Monday, February 1, 2010

Networking and A Cold - Or "Hot August Phranc" and Why I Decided Maybe I Could be Good at Networking After All

Well, last week was a bit hectic - I had a cold that came complete with brain-fog which kept me from doing anything productive for a couple of days..... But I am finally back with a post on the next chapter of Ariel's book....

Chapter 7 in Ariel's book is all about networking, live in-person networking, as opposed to online/email activities. As I started reading it, I had a sense of stress and dread, because I see myself as someone uncomfortable with self-promotion. I am much more comfortable encouraging others to follow their dreams than vice versa. In fact I've recently said to a few people things like "I am really too much of an introvert, not the right kind of personality to be a musician." But I wasn't really thinking "to be a musician", I was more imagining the self-promotion part of music that I think I'm supposed to be a lot better at. But when I really think about it, I realize I'm imagining the ideal is supposed to be some kind cross between a stereotypical used-car salesman and some big-haired spandex-wearing 80's musician guy that you might find playing electric guitar way too loud at a Guitar Center.

So after reading the chapter, and realizing the attitude I was subconsciously carrying around, I started to feel much differently about this whole topic. For one, the chapter is about networking, not self-promotion. And remembering how she's approached the whole topic of growing a band email list in previous chapters, I realize her suggestions are based on building relationships with people individually, something I do feel comfortable with. She talks about how good networking involves finding out more about the other people you're interacting with, which goes right along with my natural tendency to start interviewing people in social situations. I am starting to feel like I can actually do this - and that the necessary skills are things that really do come naturally to me.

As for the used-car salesman/spandex-wearing 80's musician dude - I am reminded of Seth Godin's writings, where he talks about how people want something authentic, and I know I do - and that imaginary pompous character is the opposite of that. I'm glad I can tell my subconscious I don't need to be more like someone I would find obnoxious in order to get more people on a band email list. Logically, I know no one would like me better if I was like that! Ok, maybe some of you would (now I am getting images of Phranc doing Neil Diamond :-) )

Update on my last post about Ariel's book - I ended by saying I was going to invite our MySpace friends to our email list. I did start on that - it will take me awhile to get through them all, but it feels great to begin! And since the last post, we sent out our short-but-sweet January Newsletter (let me know if you'd like to get a copy!). In doing that, I realized we have some outdated email addresses on our list.

I also have a lot of people I didn't invite to our email list before because they lived outside the areas we were gigging. But now that we are doing so much more online, it doesn't matter where people live, so it's perfect timing to start inviting them!

So in addition to embarking on being a better networker, I am very glad to be working on updating and expanding our email list from the contacts we already have. I can't do it all at once, so I will set aside time regularly every week.

Thanks Ariel for all your helpful ideas!
Until next time,

p.s. - Don't forget that if you buy our CD "Green" before February 7th from CD Baby, $1 per CD will go to Haiti relief efforts:

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