Frank Zappa said, "Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid."
Don't remember Mr. Zappa? Then you MUST remember Elvis Presley, who said, "I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
Maybe Elvis was trying to say that being a star has more to do with being a sales person, and less to do with having talent. I'll have to ask him next time I see him.
In any case, here are our Top Five Picks for traits of a successful sales person aka aspiring songwriter/performer:
1. You must be an avid goal setter. You have to know what you want to accomplish and what steps you will take to get there. Make your goals specific and measurable. You need to write them down, as well as visualize them and check back in with your goals on a daily basis to mark your progress. If you don’t meet a goal, don’t make excuses, make a plan to get back on track the next day.
2. Hone your listening skills. Great sales people are great listeners; they listen to their clients’ problems and offer solutions to address them. On the flipside, great sales people also ask quality questions. The best sales people ask their clients and prospects a lot of questions so they can fully understand what issues they are facing – they then wait for the client to respond before they offer solutions.
3. You can’t take no for an answer and you can’t take rejection personally. Being an entrepreneur (or a rising star) requires tenacity.
4. Be passionate and enthusiastic about your music. You need to love your songs because if you do, it shows in your performances and that will come across to your audience. Even if you're playing to only three drunk rednecks (and 2 are passed out) in a tiny bar in the middle of nowhere, play your songs like you're in front of a sold out crowd at the O2 Arena in London, and it's being simulcast on the web and every major TV netowrk in the world. You never know who's in the crowd (or who THEY know).
5. Stay in touch. The way to be successful is to reach out to your audience on a regular basis – not only do they appreciate it, but it’s easier and less costly to keep a fan than to prospect for a new one. Let your fans know you appreciate them and value their support. Having your own website and consistently posting on Facebook and Twitter (and other social media sites) are great ways to keep in touch with a minimal dollar investment.
Cleveland, TN based singer/songwriter A Man Called Bruce utilizes many avenues that are available to independent artists, such as CDBaby.com, http://www.YouTube.com/
Regardless of the type of business that you’re in, remember first and foremost you are a sales person. Every day is about sales and marketing of your business (which is YOU).