Post #62 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE: Think in terms of Years, not Days or Months!
As I gather info on my European festivals campaign, I see how many of the summer festivals all over the world & even local summer music series are actually already booked now. I guess people who have been doing this a long time already knew this: “Book for your summer events in the previous fall & winter, and book for your fall & winter events in the previous winter & spring.” I am realizing that I am now looking at 2013 for lots of the festivals & concert series I am trying to get ABVC into. Wow. Some bands don’t even last more than a year.
I blogged about this over a year ago: A friend of mine was talking about his band falling apart, and he said to me, “Yeah, bands are only good for about two years anyway!” OMG… this is the wrong attitude!!! You’ll be lucky you get into a festival sometime in that first year!
My boyfriend works for a company that sells cutting edge equipment which helps to make pharmacies more efficient. He has been working for this company for over 2 years, knocking on these doors for over two years, and made very little sales in that first two years. But he has finally gained the trust of the people he has been calling on for two years, and is finally making real sales, finally making real progress selling products to big companies like Wal-Mart and Walgreens. It started with baby steps. The company sold one piece of equipment to one smaller store in the region, and in the meantime building relationships with companies all over the U.S. Then one day, two years later, BAM! The sales possibilities are literally endless. Is that how I need to look at the progress of ABVC “selling” what we have to offer? I am sure you know we’re not looking to play small clubs & dive bars for the next 10 years. So, is it possible to break into those big-time venues & festivals? Well, YES, provided your product is FANTASTIC, cutting edge, whatever you want to call it… it needs to stand out and be better than the rest.
Hence, the FIRST piece of the puzzle…….
My boyfriend’s company sells products that are superior to MUCH of what’s out there right now being used by pharmacies to improve workflow. They got the first part right.
Hone your skills. Here I echo Helen Hunt. When I had the opportunity to ask her for her one piece of advice for someone trying to make it as an actress, he said, “Study, study, and study more until you HATE it, and then study some more.” So I thank Hollywood Fred for cracking the whip on ABVC. His words: “Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more.” I pray to God we stand out. (I think we sound tight.)
But even with superior product, you still have to give it a couple years. And you have to follow up and BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. My goal is to get on the radar screen of everyone I am targeting, so that they WILL book us, maybe not for 2012, but for 2013 and/or 2014.
See how far ahead I’m thinking? Does that seem ridiculous to you?
IMHO, one big reason why SO MANY bands never get anywhere is because they don’t give it enough time. Believe it or not, there seems to be a “6-month itch” for bands! If the band isn’t where they want to be, they get antsy and often this is when the band breaks up. Band members seek & find other “more promising” projects, and move on. Musicians, have YOU noticed this? I have. Every project that I’ve been in goes through it. 6 months! How the heck do you expect to do much of ANYTHING in 6 months. Baby steps. We have to remember how important those baby steps are. 2 YEARS worth of baby steps, perhaps!
Keep the Faith. Don’t give up. Set 1-Year and 2-Year Goals, and START WORKING on them. Knock on doors. If they don’t answer, knock again next week, or next month. Keep knocking until they say YES or NO. AND, if they say NO, knock again in 6 months with a new feature of your product. Maybe they’ll like your new feature. Either way, they’ll remember you, & if you were nice & respectful of them & their time & demands, they will give you another listen.
You’ll get what you want eventually. As long as you keep asking nice & offering something good, something they can use.