Helping Yourself #3


Natalie Gelman


Here is the 3rd installment in this “Helping Yourself” series.  Also check out the Helping Yourself #1 and Helping Yourself #2 posts.

To recap, Derek Sivers wrote a blog called Nobody’s Going to Help You.  Does that encourage you or discourage you?  Several singer-songwriters and industry reps responded to the post with their two cents.  Here is Natalie Gelman’s comment and my response to that.  (Don’t forget to read Sivers’ post so to get the whole picture)


Response # 6,494 by Natalie Gelman 

  • “I think its important to think positively and work to attract the success you want no matter what field its in. It always surprises me when goals of mine like playing a certain club come into being because of connections I made and people I helped who are returning favors so to speak.
    [read full response] 
  • If it frustrates you that no one will help you then be the person that helps others – set up a gig for another band, start a section in your newsletter about other bands, restaurants, etc to check out. Feel free to let them know you did that and maybe they will reciprocate somehow. As Derek said in his conferences blog its about personal connections.”


I think Natalie’s suggestion is spot-on!  How much do you network?  Is it important to you to regularly meet other musicians.  Do you get into conversation with your fans at shows.  Or are you one of those people who plays your set and clearls the bar immediately after?  Networking is key.  Here are some tips at how you can help yourself by making connections and help yourself by helping others.

  • 1]  Helping Yourself by Making Connections:  
    Go to Open Mic!  I don’t think any aspiring singer-songwriter should be above this.  I used to think going to Open Mic was about getting my music out to new ears.  While that’s important, I think its even more imporant to go and meet new faces. Talk to fellow musicians. It doesnt even necessarily have to be about music.  Develop relationships with the people you will most likely be splitting shows with in the future. 
  • Don’t Be Hands Off!  Don’t set yourself apart from your audience.  Be approachable and genuine. After you play your set, sit in the audience while the other band is doing their set.  If a “fan” wants to have a conversation with you, that’s awesome!  And I promise you that they’ll come to more shows (and tell more people about you) if you’re personable. And you never know if the person you’re talking to has connections that can take you to the next level.  You can get pretty sweet gigs just by being yourself.  Hopefully “yourself” isn’t a jerk 🙂 
  • p.s. don’t forget to have a business card handy.  (more on this)
  • 2] Helping Yourself by Helping Others 
    Natalies comment about helping others is so important.  She’s basically said “be the change you want to see.”  Don’t be stingy with your music.  If someone asks you to do a gig and you can’t play, pass the opportunity to a fellow artist.  Create shows and put together showcases featuring other musicians in your area. Seriously, its so important to create an atmosphere where everyone is looking out for everyone.  Alot more gets accomplished.  Alot less selfishness = alot more accomplished.
  • For more on Networking, check out the Networking archives


Thanks for reading.  If you could, please,  let other artists know about this blog.  And don’t forget to subscribe yourself.  Here’s to making great music in 2009.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


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One Comment on “Helping Yourself #3”

  1. We always tell artists, their networking / building a true fan base is much like someone campaigning for President of the USA. Artist are the ones that must meet, greet, shake hands, hand out business cards, etc. They must take advantage of any time they are out in public, whether it be in a grocery store, club, coffee house, etc. You never know who you might be shaking hand with….so network like your career depending on it, because, it really does.

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