The Business Side: Research
Noshi here, and this blog post is about where I learn about the things I don't know about managing a band and an entertainment career, in general.
Now, to start off, I have two degrees. lol Very real flex, but that's where I'm starting. Because some of you who have met me in person may think that I'm just naturally knowledgeable about things. And while that may be true in a lot of cases, I do have the background of both a business degree in management and an entertainment degree in music (The latter of which, you've seen the long title before. So, I'm not going to post that again.) So, technically, I could have gone the route of being that professional you hire to manage all the things, but that's not just limited to people with degrees, massive intellect, psychic powers, a sacred blade, royal birthright...
You also learn a lot by experience and taking initiative. My degrees certainly didn't give me experience with public speaking. That, I did on my own by joining drama club. LOL Yet, in all seriousness, tertiary education can, in fact, be supplemented by experience and exposure. I have many people in my life that don't have the very structured background that I do, and hell, a great deal of them were where I wanted to be in the industry even before I graduated. Then, semi-conclusively, my starting point is either a structured education or experience/exposure. Or, you need to start with some sort of combination of the two.
Also, you need the discipline, drive and determination to seek answers.
Nothing matters if you don't have the energy to research and apply the knowledge gained.
When I started getting deeper into the music business (e.g. Using PROs, Distributors, etc.), there was one place that helped me the most.
Yes. Google. Not Youtube, though. I can't deal with people talking sometimes, and I'm impatient. Youtube needs to develop some sort of way to search for a keyword in a video so you can jump to that point instead of... (cough) Digression.
Using Google, I found one of my very favorite sources. Ari's Blog!!
This guy opened my eyes to so many things. Every time I googled some question, either his blog or a guest post of his showed up. He's super detailed, has great sources and actually responds to comments. A few of his articles even got updated based on responses from his readers. And even after you read some of his pieces, he just exposes you to links and important keywords you can use to learn more about the industry. Of course, one can only be so subjective, especially in the world of creatives.
Another great source is, in fact, your Digital Distributor. (As of the publishing of this article, we use CD Baby.) See because your distributor [should have] has their best intentions in place for your success. The more successful and organized you are with the infrastructure of your musical career and..."product"..., the more successful their business will be. And you might go, "Ugh. We're not making any money. So, nobody cares." But hey, in some places, you don't even need to be making money to access the resources of some of these places.
If you use CD Baby, here's a cute link: CD Baby Experts
This is a great resource that allows you to either speak to the CD Baby Staff, industry experts or other, more experienced, artists about whatever you want. It's not exactly a live chat, but it's close to it, given that you can get a response in about 10 minutes.