How are you doing these days? I missed you last weekend, but for a good and happy reason. One of my clients got happily married and I was honored to be a part of the wedding. Everyone flew into Atlanta for the weekend and since both of the parties came from musical families, the dinner, the wedding, all of it was such a musical and beautiful event. It was truly a fairytale and I’m so happy for them.
These past few weeks a lot of change happened for me, both in business and in my personal life, but it’s all moving towards the direction for me to be the best assistant I can be to my clients. I’m focusing and diving in deeper in the music industry to start working in the booking world, not just the administrative side. I’m really excited for myself and also for you! The stories are only going to get better, I’m sure, working with agents, presenters, venues, students, teachers and more.
All in all, I’m working to get all my ducks in a row so that I can move efficiently and effectively in my work day, along with these added responsibilities. I’m all about organizing and making my work day go smoothly – this means prepping and making sure I have what I need to do my job. It feels really great to take care of that part of my business and also for my clients.
It got me thinking, most of the time, we throw ourselves in our projects and fail to tend to the backend of those projects. For example, you know you need to pitch for a hole in your tour in the northeast area, and you start running off those emails to presenters, but you start forgetting if someone responded or if you even sent that email. And that’s perfectly normal, but it’s overwhelming and takes up precious time when you are trying to remember everything you’ve done. And I’m not here to let you feel overwhelmed. I’m here to help you save time so that you can focus on what makes you happy in your career: your music, your projects, whatever you do that makes you feel connected to your art.
A part of my job as an assistant is to find ways to make recurring tasks go smoothly and also make it easier for them to know the status of projects or inquiries. This was a lot of on the job learning when I first started working for musicians, but I learned quickly. I noticed that certain people, like presenters advancing a show, asked for the same things, or that my client would always ask for me to find and share a link of his latest interview. That’s when I found my biggest pet peeve. I hated having to ask the same questions or asking for the same documents. I learned quickly to build myself folders of important information that I should always have handy. It was when I started working with other team members I learned that these folders have to be sharable and communication in checklists had to be accessed. Simple business process. For musicians!
So I put together the most common things I do for my clients and how I keep them and myself organized in the process, starting with press inquiries, contest submissions, and booking inquiries.
1. Press Inquiries – I’ve gone through this again and again, it’s so important to have your press items together in one place. Have it available online to send a quick link and also have it in a folder of Google Docs as a back up to share with you assistant if someone needs a quick photo or be resent a bio. Need guidance on what you need in a press kit? Read my blog post here on building your best press kit.
Once you have the tools to give the promo items to inquiries, you’ll want to have a checklist built to follow the process of the inquiry whether it’s an interview, feature, listing or preview. Include in the checklist:
–Media Outlet Name
–Type (blog, newspaper, video, etc.)
–Interviewer Name, Contact
–Date of Interview (add a column to make this confirmed or completed)
–Date of publication (when will it be posted or printed?)
–Link to feature (if it’s not online, have it scanned and hosted on your website.)
2. Contest Submissions / Booking Inquiries – I’ve put these two together because a lot of time, they are looking for the same things. It’s safe to say you can pull what you need from your press kit for most contest submissions and booking agents asking for your info. In addition to those press items, have a document ready with your past performances. Many times they ask when the last time you performed in the area and how it went. You’ll want to have that handy. Same with contests – most conferences that my clients have applied to ask what conferences they’ve done before. Presenters don’t have a second to waste when they are looking for talent so you want to be quick to respond and give them answers quickly.
Once you have your items, keep the inquiries organized in a similar manner as the press inquiries. Build a way to organize the many inquiries or submissions you make.
–Booking Contact Name, Email, Phone
–Dates (Pending or confirmed)
–Status (Emailed, Followed Up, Second Follow Up, Offer Pending, Confirmed)
You won’t have to think about who you’ve contacted in the past, keep you updated on who the contact is that venue or festival AND will let you know when to follow up.
Yes, this takes a few minutes to set up, but once it’s done, you won’t have to take the time to remember if you’ve responded to someone or if that interview you did was posted yet. And it’s important because being a musician today is hard enough, you don’t want an ounce of overwhelm or frustration to add to your day. That’s definitely the last thing you need.
Is there a common or recurring task you need help keeping organized? Let me know by hitting reply and I can help you build an effective process to make it go smoothly and effortlessly. Some things that come to mind are social media promotions for shows, and traveling, but if you have a special task in mind, let me know and I’ll include it in next week’s newsletter.
I hope this inspires you to organize the backend of your career – once it’s done, you’ll be thankful for it later.
Have a great weekend and see you next Saturday.