Want to be a professional musician? Great.
You need to look and dress the part. If you're a rock 'n'
roller onstage, then it's okay to rock jeans and leather jackets
when offstage. If you live it, look it. But if you've yet
to cultivate your onstage persona or image, that's fine. Or
if you find yourself in a situation where your stage clothes
aren't appropriate, not to worry! There are options.
Also, looking like a pro musician isn't
always about the clothing on your back, either. You can present
yourself as a professional musician in these five easy ways.
1. Have business cards
Spend a few bucks to create a nice business
card. There are plenty of online sites, such as Vistaprint,
that can help you do this. They're not terribly expensive,
Biz cards are a nice thing to have since they're a tactile
thing that the people you hand them to will eventually take
out of their pocket, reminding them that they met you. It's
harder to forget than, say, a digital link.
2. Dress to impress
If you're attending a music biz event
where more formal attire is required, then clean up nice.
Wear your Sunday best. Be the most pulled-together version
of yourself. If you only wear black, fine. Wear a black suit.
But make sure it has clean lines and is tailored. No rips,
no tears. If you're punk rock, fine. Wear your Docs, but throw
a blazer over your ensemble. It's all about effort and perfection.
3. Act professionally all the time
This isn't as outward or as obvious a
manifestation. Being a pro means being punctual, showing up
on time, using polite greetings in texts and emails to music
biz professionals (as opposed to "hey"), and making
sure you don't blow off your interviews or studio time.
Acting like an inconsiderate jackass won't
earn you any cool points or friends. In fact, it may do just
the opposite. So be a total pro in all of your music-business
exchanges, from emails to how you treat people.
4. Generally have your shit together
So many bands and artists... don't. If
you don't have your elevator pitch ready to go, then don't
expect people to listen to you. If you want execs to pay attention
to you and your music, then make sure you give them a reason
Be prepared and plan in advance. That doesn't
mean rehearse or zap all remnants of spontaneity from your
presentation when networking. But by all means, know what
you want to say and how to say it.
If you have one chance to have your voice
be heard by a music biz pro, and you blow it, you don't know
if and when you will get that audience again. So in the back
of your mind, stored in your brain's hard drive, have your
elevator pitch always ready.
5. Be a well-oiled machine
Be a well-oiled machine live. Sure, mistakes
and flaws are what make you and your music both interesting
and relatable. But don't get up there onstage and forget your
lyrics or chords. Don't be sloshed or unable to perform because
you were too busy partying. That's not professional in any
industry, even one as fun as the music biz.