Communication in the music industry is a key skill. Not only will it help you understand your client’s needs but also will help you work better.
Important to realise, a proper communication set up can make or break a release, for example. What is more, it will enable you to have the career you always dreamed of.
Here’s the deal: in a world that is dominated by social media and an incredibly fast pace of information, communication is the key skill to make a difference.
But here’s the kicker: not everybody is born with the ability or desire to communicate like a pro. In fact, it takes a lot of practice.
However, once you’ve mastered the art of communication you will notice a massive difference not only in your work but also in your daily life.
What is communication overall?
Every communication involves (at least) one sender, a message and a recipient.*source: SkillsYouNeed
What does that mean? I means that if you are talking with a person, for example. Then you are the sender of a message i.e.: information, meaning, emotions etc.
The other person is the recipient of said meaning. Now the recipient needs to decipher your message and make sense of it.
The clearer you are in your message/ information, meaning etc. the easier it will be for the recipient. As a matter of fact, this is not a one-way-route, communication always runs in both ways.
Also important, communication can also happen non-verbally by the way you carry yourself or the facial impressions happening on your face.
If you say something one way but your looks are completely different than this can bring you into trouble.
How to pass fear of communication
This is crazy: a lot of people actually have a fear of communication. Being able to talk comfortably on the telephone is a real thing.
In other words, so many people aren’t talking on the telephone anymore. The less likely you are able to practise something, the less likely you are to actually be good with it.
With most people being on their mobile phone, it becomes increasingly likely to communicate over text messages. Another point where clear and professional communication comes in place.
Actually, this is even more important to have in place when texting since space is short. Being able to convey your needs or intention in a short message can make a lot of difference for you.
Communication jobs in the music industry
Want to know the best part? There are many music business jobs working around communication.
No matter if you look into PR or Social Media Management. Being good at communications can actually land you a job in the music industry.
In fact, most jobs in the music business need some level of communicational skills. No matter if you work as a record label manager and need to lead your team in order to make amazing records.
Different communication in the music industry
- Phone: As mentioned above, phone talks become increasingly sparse. However, if you managed to talk with someone over the phone make sure to be polite and let the other person end their sentences. Also, remember the key points of what they say and repeat it briefly when you reply with your answer. It could be a very good idea to keep a short protocol of the talk and send it over per mail later. Also, make sure you are sitting/standing comfortably, even though the other person might not see you they definitely can hear you! Having a relaxed voice is key to making the other person happy to talk with you.
- Facebook/ Social Media: Make sure to reply to all comments someone might leave on your site. Also, response in time to all direct messages you get. No reply oftentimes says more than 1000 words. Make sure to be respectful of other people. Make a point and keep your written words professional, even though it is tempting to be more casual in social media.
Email is one of the most common forms of communication in the workplace
- Email: This is one of the most common ways of communication in workspace nowadays. Keep your written text short and concise. Also, aim at short and understandable sentences. Nobody has the time to depict enormously long sentences. If an Email thread has been going on for some time, always keep in mind to take important information over to the new mail. Another important thing to keep in mind is when to put other people in cc and when to leave them out. It is tempting to include anyone with some interest in the matter into the mail. However, this can lead to mail fatigue. In the end, nobody reads anything anymore. Only include people in cc if the mail is more or less directed at them as much as the main recipient.
- Text: Before you use short messaging in order to communicate about work things with colleagues or even your boss it is advisable to actually talk with them about his beforehand. There are many solutions that are better for this like Slack, for example. However, if you still need to use texting, make sure to keep it professional and only to supplement other forms like Email. Also, draw clear lines when you are able to respond and when you are off like on the weekend.
Treat Zoom meetings like ordinary business situations
- Zoom/Skype/Google Hangout: Make sure to be on time, even if you are only meeting online. Start the software program you are using in time so are ready in time. Treat it like any other work meeting in the office. Try to look business-like, at least on the top (nobody will see if you wear pj’s 😉 ) For online meetings it could also be a good idea to keep a protocol and keep the meeting time to a minimum. This is crazy, the eye contact can be really compromised in a Zoom Meeting. Make a point and check-in with the other side if they feel comfortable. If you have many meetings scheduled for a day, it could be smart to lead every meeting with a little agenda. This way, everyone knows what will be talked about and it can help to keep the concentration on the points that really need to be talked about.
Example situations where you need good communication in the music industry
This one is easy: everywhere! By all means, good communication in the music industry is key.
For example, if you work at a record label you will need to communicate with the signed bands and musicians about the new releases and more.
Making them understand the assets you need from them in order to make a release successful is of the utmost importance. No matter if it’s the master for the vinyl production or social media postings to support being playlisted on Spotify.
You need to be able to deliver industry talk in a way that your clients can understand you. What is more, musicians are really sensitive sometimes, making sure to keep the balance in communication is important.
On the one hand, you want your artist to feel save and comfortable. On the other hand, you need them to deliver.
The music industry is a very creative business
Without a doubt, most of the personnel working in the music business are creatives themselves. Making sure to keep the communication with your work pals straightforward and understandable will ensure team-happiness.
Also, it can be the currency that will help your project sell. Before you can attract new customers you need to inspire your colleagues.
Regular pitching and brainstorming are really normal in offices nowadays. The better you can convey your ideas the more success you will have in your job position.
Communication in the music industry will make or break how music is viewed by the public. Creating a message to effectively influence the public’s eye of specific music is what will make artists thrive, or if done poorly, unfortunately, ruin their career.*source: LinkedIn
I hope this post could highlight the importance of communication in nowadays music industry.
If you are not comfortable with it yet, then don’t stress out. Communication is one of those skills you can enhance easily with a little training. What is more, if you keep an eye on it will be shortly a piece of cake!