Tag Archives: relationship

Success In Music & Business Is In The Knowing Relationship

The music industry is just like any business. It’s relationship driven. Go to Hollywood and the people who continue to grow and land new opportunities are the ones utilizing their relationship connections. The tech world is the same. So are most business industries. The knowing is where the secret sauce of success is.


Why then is it so hard for musicians in the indie, unsigned, and DIY world having such a hard time understanding this simple truth? The mantra of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go out into the world” is a bit of a misnomer.

Yes, you have to do the work for yourself to make growth happen. You can outsource some of the pieces, but you have to build your career to a place where outsourcing is possible and efficient. However, your ability to build relationships with other professionals in the industry is the main ingredient to short term growth, and long term success. This truth and the method for making it happen for you is detailed in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “It’s all who you know in this business” to become successful. That’s true. Yet it’s only partially true. There’s another side to this that determines whether the people you know who have clout and influence will be beneficial to you. And there’s a way to know if you have this other side solved or if you need to dive deeper into the relationship-building process.

Who knows you back?

Over the past 2 months while connecting with new professionals, musicians, industry insiders, and business experts, this subject has come up multiple times. We all agree that relationships are both the engine and the fuel that propel all of us forward. However, we get confused too often into believing that if we just get an industry pro to follow us on social media or like something we post, that now we’re connected. It’s partially true at best.

Networking, in the classic business sense, has to do with a collaboration. There’s a mutual benefit between two parties, who come to know of this reciprocal connection from having interactions and conversations. You don’t get that relationship interaction from clicking “Like” on a post, or even exchanging a few words in a comment thread.

You can start this kind of connection through dialogue. Asking questions, getting answers, and opening yourself up for communication that is back and forth is how any relationship is built. It’s how you go from the idea of “knowing someone” to them knowing you back. Until someone knows you back, and there’s a dialogue that leads to some kind of collaboration, you’ve only solved part of the problem.


When we reach out to new folks online, we’re extending our hand to create a digital handshake. This can be done through email, Facebook message, DM on Twitter, or comment on a site. The response is where the beginning of them reaching back out to you happens. When that outreach is reciprocated and conversation happens, a relationship connection can be built.

The knowing goes both ways

I’ve got to give credit to putting the phrasing of “knowing you back” to my friend Shaine Freeman of The Miews Podcast. Shaine and I see growth and success for musicians very similarly. It seems like the business world understands the need for relationship connection to grow and find success. Music and musicians seem to have missed the bus on this reality. If you want to really have a successful career, understand that it’s not just who you know, but who knows you back.

DGS_RadioHandbook_Cover-1AMake building reciprocal relationships your goal and you’ll win. Discover the proven step-by-step process for doing this in your music career through outreach to radio and media in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, now in Audiobook for a limited time on Noisetrade for free. Get it now.

Communication Breakdowns Are The Same

social-networking_110003874-012814-intOur failure to communicate well with each other leads to relationship breakdowns in every circle we are in:



Spouse/Significant Other



Band Member/Producer

Musicians should key in on the last listed category. Maybe Robert Plant was right  in more ways that one.

RelationshipMost often our failure TO communicate is the problem, not necessarily that we say the wrong thing or that our phrasing is misunderstood.

For one reason or another, in communication we often  do not ask questions. We don’t ask for clarification or ask to make sure everyone is on the same page. Often we don’t ask or even initiate a desire for communal feedback and interaction.

When we do ask questions, how often is that exchange limited only to social media, which can be a 50/50 proposition in getting a reply.

Let’s be honest. Doesn’t it seem more likely that on Facebook you will get someone (one of our “friends”) to “Like” a question we ask instead of actually getting an answer or response?

Self-absorption may be one reason this occurs, but it is not the root cause. I’m not exactly sure what the root is, or if there is only one root and not several. Feel free to indulge me on what you feel to be the cause of our communication breakdown.

I do know that I’ve encountered more people who have problems with others in their social circles do to a communication breakdown. The problem usually starts small and then escalates to something big quickly, all because of a lack of communication.

It’s interesting how big problems can have small and simple answers when you get right down to it.

Just talk. Converse. Get things out on the table.

Talk it out in real time via phone or in person to alleviate the faintest possibility that words alone can be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

Objective foresight can be a huge blessing in your world, especially when it comes to nurturing relationships. When you see and understand the power of clear communication, as well as practice it, you avoid all kinds of unnecessary problems down the road.

What kinds of problems are caused from a lack of communication? Here are a few observations I’ve had from colleagues, friends, and associates in just the past month:

the breakup of a band; fights between long time friends; arguments in the workplace and back-biting; loss of progress moving forward on projects; end of dating relationship

Talking is not always easy and relationships certainly aren’t either. Yet communication and personal/professional connections are extremely valuable. What is valuable comes at a high cost to replace. Therefore they should be invested in, worked at, and nurtured with care, compassion, and good communication.

Has a communication breakdown cost you something recently? Let’s talk about how it can be repaired. Connect with me here and we’ll straighten it out together.