Here at Coalition Education, we have experts from a vast array of fields come give lectures to our artist entrepreneurs. Recently, we had Jocelyn Chan come in and talk to our AE’s about merchandising. Here’s a little bit about her, and what she does!
1) What’s your role in the industry?
I’m a freelancer, and merchandise in music/sports is currently my main focus.
2) Briefly describe your path into the music business
I did an industry diploma program following my undergraduate degree from Queen’s University. Touring and merchandising motivated me. I interned with Kill The 8 Merch in the warehouse and Dine Alone Records / Bedlam Music Management at their offices before going on tour. I also worked at every show I could to gain more experience and meet new people. When I returned from the road, I stepped back and solely freelanced while working at a regular job, then ended up at Coalition Music as an intern and eventually was hired as the online coordinator in the marketing team. After a few years, I have returned to freelancing and seeking new and different opportunities to grow professionally…it is a never-ending path.
3) If you could give one piece of advice to emerging industry or artist entrepreneurs what would it be?
Always return the favour.
4) In one word, what makes a good show?
Connection. As in artist/band to audience - I believe it’s possible, even in a sold-out stadium. Not as in mobile devices, put your phone away 3 hours and live a little.
5) Most essential tool in your day?
I hope you’re all doing well.
I would like to announce that Ulysees is available today in Europe.
For this album my intention was to create a sound that was both vibrant and serene as well as spontaneous and unexpected. The album is itself a story and each song is meant to be a journey within it.
I deeply appreciate your support and I invite you to discover the world of Ulysees!
In the music world, it’s imperative that you learn how to pitch yourself properly. It’s your opportunity to start a dialogue, build a relationship, meet and maybe begin working together. Here are 8 tips we’ve got to perfecting your pitch!
1. Don’t bury your pitch - get to the point of what you are asking for within the first couple of sentences.
2. Write in a professional and positive in tone
3. Word Economics - make every word count. Edit yourself, be as clear and concise as you can. Use short sentences and paragraphs.
4. Establish a time frame for what you’re asking for (media) or to follow-up (industry)
5. Use facts and data, not hype. Leave the adjectives in the dictionary.
6. Never assume there’s interest or a commitment by the person you are pitching.
7. Initiate follow up - never leave it so the other person has to get back to you.
8. Put yourself in the position of the person you are pitching - don’t just make it about you and how you will benefit.
No matter what industry you find yourself in, there will always be battles in your way. The most important thing is to not allow your internal voice to create more problems. Here are 10 irrational beliefs that you shouldn’t allow to get you down.
Marketing yourself is a key step to launching, and maintaining, your music career. With so many different ways to go about it, we’ve got the most up to date tips for you courtesy of Coalition’s own Devi & Andrea:
Know who you are. What’s your genre? What are you currently pushing? Know yourself, your band and your brand in order to be able to sell your product.
Have a target audience. What ages do you appeal to? How are you reaching them? Have a firm handle on who your music is reaching, and who you want it to.
Know what you are promoting! Are you focused on a single? An album? Consider a unique approach - but make sure it’s cohesive.
Realize there is no such thing as down time! Never stop networking, create Vlogs, collaborate, engage with fans - the possibilities are endless! For more tips on being creative during down time head here!
Pitching yourself between floors 1 and 29 may seem like an easy feat, but when it comes down to it, it’s a lot harder than you anticipate! While you may not be in a physical elevator when you’re pitching yourself, this technique is crucial to self-marketing. Our in house marketing experts Devi & Andrea have seven great tips on how to make the most of that elevator ride!
1. Introduce yourself/your band.
2. Localize yourself.
3. Relate yourself to other artists.
4. Use specific descriptors, but limit yourself to just a few.
5. Don’t sound scripted, keep it conversational.
6. You want your pitch to entice others to do more research so be interesting!
7. Your pitch should end with a question to make sure the conversation continues!
Songwriting is a collaborative process. It’s very rare that one person is responsible for creating a song from start to finish. When you write with like-minded artists amazing things can happen. Coalition’s Artist in Residence Sean Kelly gave our Artist Entrepreneur program, CMAE, tips for making the collaboration process flow smoothly…
Planning and executing a tour is no easy feat, as the Coalition Music Tour & Tech Academy (CMTTA) participants are learning this week. There are hundreds of decisions to make and each one could potentially turn a successful tour into a nightmare fueled by pain and misery (ok, maybe your choice between towel rental companies won’t bring on the end of the world but you never know).
Our office houses five expert tour managers who were all eager to explain the most important aspects to consider when putting a tour together…
Eric: Know Your Budget
Always keep the budget in mind. Make sure the income outweighs the costs of being on the road.
Rob: Plan, Plan, Plan
Hope for the best but anticipate the worst. Make back up plans to your back up plans on everything from vehicle choice to hotels. Something will go wrong, it’s all about how you handle it.
Julian: Advance Shows Properly
Advancing a show before hitting the road is the easiest way to prevent disasters. Call ahead and get every change in writing.
Jesse: Check the Weather
Hitting the road in different seasons require different plans. Playing shows in the winter is different than in the summer. Both seasons also bring along different travel issues to consider.
Liam: Basic Knowledge of Geography
You’re planning a tour…know what cities are near each other.
So your business cards came in the mail and you’re ready to meet potential employers…now what? Well, you better get that resume up to date! Coalition’s HR rep Beverley has some great tips to make sure your resume and cover letter gets you the gig! She’s no joke either, getting your resume past her is like beating the elite four with a team full of magikarps.
INCLUDE A COVER LETTER!!! Even if they don’t ask for one send that sucker in. Think of your resume and cover letter like a movie trailer. What do trailers do? They’re a short preview that entices viewers into wanting to see more. Your cover letter and resume should work just like that.
Remember Who You Are… Include a personal statement about yourself along with your resume. You want to give the person reading it the best idea of who you are as a worker and a person. You could be the best up and coming tech or musician out there but if you don’t gel with the company environment you won’t get a call back.
Suit Up! Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job posting. There’s nothing more obvious than a template cover letter and resume. Use keywords from the job description and do some research on the company you’re applying to. Oh, and make sure everything is spelled correctly. You’d be surprised how many people still mix up your/you’re and there/their/they’re.
5 Second Rule. Most recruiters scan resumes in 5 seconds. They have to get through hundreds a day so yours needs to stand out. Creative writing, and even creative design, will keep a reader interested. Formatting is incredibly important! Also, sending a resume in a PDF format instead of DOC ensures that the formatting you see is the same formatting they’ll see. It also prevents anyone from editing your resume without your consent.
Pretty simple right? Resumes are usually the first thing your employer will see, spend time on it. It could make a huge difference and get you an interview or even the job.
Business cards are the easiest and fastest way to exchange personal information with potential clients and employers. They are your first impression and hopefully what gets your foot in the door. Here are five great reasons you should get some wherever you are in your career:
They’re Small: Unless you really like lugging around printed copies of your resume, business cards are the next best thing. They take up like 3” of space and can fit in your wallet.
They Don’t Have To Be Complicated: Keep it simple. If you don’t have a technical work title/company link then leave it off. Your name, number, and email are sufficient. You can get good cards for a relatively low cost, but consider investing in the design and card stock. With no company attachment these cards will last you a long time.
You Won’t Be Seen As Pretentious For Having One: For some reason a lot of people thing they’ll look stupid with a business card that isn’t linked to a company. Well guess what? You’re going to feel even more ridiculous asking to type your contact info into a potential client’s phone or writing it on a scrap of paper.
They Can Make A Lasting First Impression: Be thoughtful with your design. This is literally your calling card to potential work. If you’re looking to get into a creative field showcase that on your card. Technological forward thinking is always a plus to some employers, like using QR codes or USB integration.
The Tour and Tech Academy took part in a merchandising workshop this week. Working merch for a band isn’t a simple job. Merch people need to be fast workers and crazy organized. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, especially at the arena level.
If you’re brave enough, here’s what you need to know about setting up the merch table:
1. Use Your Space. Make sure your displays are visibly pleasing. Avoid gaps and hang smaller items at eye level for fans to see.
2. Label! Label! Label! Include a master list of all items and then also tag each item individually. Include the sizing, price, and what sizes are still available. This will help make transactions as fast as possible.
3. Specialty Items Should Be Marked. Signed merchandise or limited edition items should be clearly marked and separate from any non-signed versions. There’s usually a price difference for these items and that should be marked.
4. Tape Things Down. If you’re placing anything on a table in front of you tape it down. Tape one CD face up and one face down so fans can see both sides without needing to hold it. Leave out one example and keep the rest of the small items under the table or behind you.
5. Everyone Loves Free Stuff. Buttons, pins, and promo posters are great marketing tools. If your band has giveaways put them in front of you on the table.