Newly Networking
April 29, 2012 9:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm seeing someone who's relatively new to networking in regards to the music industry. What are some red flags he should be watching out for when it comes to meeting people and handling contacts? Most importantly, how do I make sure I don't step out of bounds if I recognize someone has an ulterior motive? Thanks.
posted by InterestedInKnowing to Human Relations (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
A lot of the advice we might give would depend on what you mean by the music industry. There is a whole different social structure in the world of corporate labels than in the world of indie bloggers or country songwriters or whatever. Some more info on what they do and where would be helpful if you can give it.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure I understand your last question: "how do I make sure I don't step out of bounds if I recognize someone has an ulterior motive?"

Why are you suddenly involved in this? I thought this question was for the person you are seeing? And whatever do you mean Ulterior Motive and Out of Bounds? I can't really picture a situation along these lines. Are you referencing something specific that actually happened?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:12 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Almost everyone in the music business has an ulterior motive. If money is your concern, get the money up front, and don't ever let anybody touch the besides yourself or people who work for you directly and who are accountable to you. Don't sign any contracts without a lawyer who works for you looking at it. Assume that every single bar or venue owner is a crook that just as soon pick your pocket as look at you.

If you're not doing it for the money, then just accept the fact that sometimes you are going to shafted either through incompetence or malice, and take gigs that look like they're going to be fun.

As far as how he should act: Follow through on what you tell people. Remember names and faces. Try not to be drunk or on drugs all the time.

As far as how you should act: unless you are acting professionally as his agent, don't be the annoying girlfriend/boyfriend. Talk to him about people that you think are screwing him, but don't get in the middle of it. In the music business, everyone is replaceable, and if you make it a pain in the ass to work with your SO, they just won't get gigs at all.
posted by empath at 12:24 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to elaborate from where I'm coming from -- I DJ'd and promoted parties in DC for about 6 years. Most people you work with, especially just starting out, are either just doing it because it's fun or they want to get laid or they want to get famous, and they aren't really trying to fuck you over on purpose. Most promoters and people in other bands or DJs are generally not going to intentionally fuck you, but they might do it anyway because they're flaky or on drugs. You're likely to get screwed by a promoter if they're putting together a big bill and offering you a percentage of the door or are going to pay only half up front or pay you after the gig. If you agree to a deal like that, I would never expect to see any money after you get off the stage, unless the party goes spectacularly well and they are swimming in cash.

Bar owners, on the other hand, will do things like ask you for a bar guarantee and then give out free drinks all night and stick you with the bill and will even hold your gear hostage to get more money out of you at the end of the night if the gig didn't go well (I have seen both of these things happen). Don't borrow money from them, don't loan money to them, don't promise them money, don't agree to a percentage of the bar and don't offer them a percentage of the door, and don't let them ever touch your money. If you're throwing an event at a party, you want your people collecting money at the door. And you are going to walk out with all of it at the end of the night.

Basically, don't ever front money that you can't afford to lose, and don't make any big plans based on money you haven't gotten yet. If you do that, you're going to reduce a lot of your stress and limit the amount of damage that flaky and shady people can do to you without having to be super paranoid and jerky with people who for the most part are just out to have a good time.
posted by empath at 12:41 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Empath's advise is fantastic. I have redacted it for lessons in general business activities.

Almost everyone in the music business has an ulterior motive. If money is your concern, get the money up front, and don't ever let anybody touch the besides yourself or people who work for you directly and who are accountable to you. Don't sign any contracts without a lawyer who works for you looking at it. Assume that every single bar or venue owner is a crook that just as soon pick your pocket as look at you.
posted by nickrussell at 5:27 PM on April 29, 2012


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