So you guys have stumbled upon this post searching for the right way to move forward in the entertainment industry. I personally have been in the entertainment industry for over 10 years and have had music top the billboard charts, produced my own concerts and music festivals and I most recently got the first season of my own TV show picked up by an international network and boy have I learned a lot
Those of you that know me know that I always taken a very hands on approach to every aspect of my career. Through the years I have learned that no one is going to work harder for your career and dreams then you are. So if you want to build a team you have to always remember to lead by example and work your butt off.
I’ve always considered myself a “Self-Maker”. (To find out if you are a Self-Maker click here) not because I never get help from other people, but because I only rely on myself for motivation to more forward to my dreams. This means that it is always your job to excite and push your team forward when its stuck in shallow waters. (Learn how to build your team here)
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
This post is for people at any stage in their career that are looking for direction on how to push their creative ship forward, whether it be as a musician, actor, film maker or music producer you can apply these same tips to see result in your life.
Refine Your Skills
I can’t stress how important this is. As a creative professional you must always be practicing your craft and improving. This means if you’re a singer, make sure your always singing or taking vocal classes. If you’re a filmmaker, make sure your always watching the latest films, creating projects and know about the latest in filming techniques. If you’re a music producer, make sure always creating new music.
The entertainment industry is always evolving and its important that you make sure that quality of your craft as on par with the best. If you want to make it as a professional creative, your not competing with “Joe Blow” down the street, your competing with the “James Camerons” of the world so make sure your always learning and improving everyday.
Identify You Brand
What? …Branding? How exactly do I brand myself?
I know I’ve been there before and asked the same question but now that I know how to do it, I can’t believe I spent so much time creating content without knowing what my brand was.
The simplest way to discover your brand is to ask yourself, these 3 questions.
- What do I represent?
- What do people uniquely get from me?
- How do I want to come across to the world.
The key to branding is to make sure that once you know the answers to those 3 questions, everything you do and create reflects those same objectives.
When you think of Beyoncé you think of a strong independent woman, when you think of brad pit you think of a suave likeable guy, when you think of Quinton Tarentino you think of witty dialog and violence.
Only do projects and create content that fall in line you’re your brand.
Oh no! not networking!
Trust me, I 100% feel your pain. There are so many times that I don’t want to go to networking events.
But guess what!? The best networking NEVER happens at “networking events”!
Networking really is just sharing your passions with new people everywhere you go. The key to being a creative professional really comes down to how many people support what you do. So really networking is constant. And yes it can be about finding that big investor or meeting the right agent but most of the time it should really be about meeting new potential fans. Fans are people that are will so pay (in dollars or their time) to come out and support your endeavors and they are really all that matter in regards to overall success.
My friends are always confused when I go out because I will pretty much talk to anyone. You never know, you might meet your #1 most diehard future fan that one day will be telling their friends, “ I love [insert your name here]! I met them once years ago before they were big and they were super cool!”
Showcase your Skills
For singers and recording artist this means go out and perform! For Filmmakers this means put your short films in film festivals, for actors this means do films and theater shows!
Its funny that as artists we are always waiting for our big break to show what we can do when the fact is we’re more likely to get our big break when were actually already out there doing it.
So get out there and do some gigs! If you can’t get booked then create your own event!
I literally have produced entire music festivals and booked 50 other artists to book myself to perform on a big stage in front of a huge audience. Be proactive!
Know Your Market
This goes a lot in line with branding. Once you know your brand and you have showcased your skills you probably have a good idea of who your fans might be. This is so important because your success is really based around catering to your fans, not to executives or investors.
I 100% promise you if you have people supporting what you do, you will always be in high demand so don’t neglect your market! Create content that’s authentically you but make sure your giving them what they want!
Always Create New Content
We are living in the age of ADD.
This means there is always so much stuff going on that people lose their focus really fast.
Make sure you are always making and putting out new content. This could mean new music, new photos, new videos or performing at new concerts. There’s so many times that you meet film makers that hasn’t put out anything in 5 years.
This is the age of the hustler and you can never rest if you want to keep rising in this industry.
Surround yourself with good people
This is so important for the creative mind.
We are more overtly sensitive and although we want to make art that is true to ourselves we need constant approval.
Make sure you have good friends, family or business partners close to you that are encouraging and give your positive constructive criticism.
Its also good to be around other people that are further along in their career that you that you can learn from.
I remember being told when I was growing up that “you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most”. So make sure your around good people.
Create your own opportunity
The road to success is always hard and I guarantee there will be times when it feels like every door is closed. This is why you have to create your own opportunities.
Its your job to move your life forward, no one else’s. Need some motivation? Read some biographies of successful people and you’ll learn that in order to achieve greatest you must never take no for an answer.
If there are no doors open, find an axe, cut down a tree and build your own door.
Me and my business partners where shopping around the idea of my own TV show to a few production companies that liked the project but never moved on it
What did we do?
We shot our own sizzle reel and shopped it around to networks ourselves. Not only did a network end up picking it up, but they brought the show directly from us and we ended up shooting and produced the entire thing ourselves. Now we’re a full fledge Production Company!
There’s always opportunities if your create them for yourself.
Don’t give up
I know, I know, the good ol’ cliché, “don’t give up”. But I deeply believe this.
My path to success was been slow at first but now years later I’m finally seeing the fruits of my labor.
I honestly believe that if you put in effort it will ALWAYS pay off its just a matter of when.
If you work hard and see no results for years, I assure you there will be a period of time, if you don’t give up, that good things after good things stack up.
So use all of your struggles as motivation to how great things will be when you finally get to taste the sweet nectar or success!