Happy Halloween, Everybody!
The other day I took a peek at my recent blog posts, and found them a bit boring. While I love my WIBO entrepreneurial course, as well as the Music Success in Nine Weeks course that I’m co-teaching with Ariel Hyatt (we’re writing a book and going to LA together this week!), my blog posts were missing something, so today I’m switchin’ it up!
This is my second Halloween in my neighborhood of Washington Heights. The thing that struck me the most last year was how family-oriented my new neighborhood is. Moms and Dads are out in full effect to go trick or treating with their kids. The local stores, delis, and bodegas had candy ready, and I just had to capture this on video. Enjoy!
The song, “What Are You Going to Be for Halloween” is by Matthew Gray Gubler (also known as Criminal Minds’ character, Dr. Spencer Reid). To purchase, click “What Are You Going to Be for Halloween” by Matthew Gray Gubler on iTunes
A couple of years ago around this time, I spent some time at Yahoo! Answers, answering all kind of questions. In addition to the ever-popular “What should I be for Halloween?”, someone asked the question “Is Halloween evil?” No way could I ignore a question like that!! Since my answer was quite long (I did give it some thought. I even provided Wikipedia links!) I figured someone might find it interesting here too. So I’m republishing it this year for your reading pleasure.
Halloween is not evil.
Since the dawn of time, humans have always celebrated holidays to mark special days, and the passing of seasons. Originally known as the Celtic holiday Samhain, Halloween was originally known as a special day that celebrated the end of the harvest. Children celebrated by dressing up in “spooky” disguises, just like they do now.
Before Christianity came into being, women were understood to produce life, and it is believed that humans, also known as pagans, worshipped a Mother Nature/Goddess. It is also believed that these nature lovers were mostly peaceful folk.
When Jesus “the Christ” (which means “the Anointed”) lived, his power for love, forgiveness, and healing changed people, and the world forever. Long after His death, his devoted followers passionately spread his teachings throughout the world.
Pre-Christian practices were then named evil, in order to discourage followers. Before Christianity expanded, Friday the 13th and black cats were considered very lucky. After Christianity was established, pagan beliefs were then said to be evil, or the work of the devil.
Pre-Christian holidays such as Samhain were too popular to destroy, so they were “baptized” with a new Christian name and story. Samhain became “Halloween”, which is celebrated every October 31st. As Samhain (now Halloween) was the day believed to hold the veil between the living and the dead, to be safe, November 1st became “All Saint’s Day”.
Unfortunately, some of Christianity’s strongest champions employed ruthless methods to convert non-Christians into believers. In addition to physical methods such as torture, pro-Christianity propaganda was also employed.
After a few hundred years, no one even remembers why the name changed. But whatever you want to call Halloween, kids (and bands!) love it as a day to dress up in costumes, and try on another persona. So no, Halloween is not evil.
But in my humble opinion, Mother Nature should have fired her publicist!
When we are in the position to sell our music after a performance, for example, we can help a potential fan to purchase our music by:
– Having our CDs there to sell (!)
– Making an authentic connection with him or her
– Asking for the sale!
It is not enough to have CDs for sale. You gotta sell ’em too!
For more information about the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) course, visit WIBO.org
Just in time for the CMJ Music Conference, tonight Make It Happen Entertainment presents THE CONNECTION, featuring my talk: “The 4 C’s of the New Music Biz” If you’re an indie musician seeking seeking success, tonight’s talk will cover:
* Creating your musical body of work without a major label
* Marketing yourself and your music without being obnoxious
* Building a loyal fanbase
* Making a living from your music
“The 4 C’s of the New Music Biz”
Wednesday, Oct 20th
The Underground Lounge
955 West End Ave. & 107th St
New York, NY
$5 Door (FREE with a CMJ badge)
More about THE CONNECTION:
THE CONNECTION is a gathering of professionals in all areas of the entertainment industry, where people can meet and forge alliances that would help all parties involved to take their projects to the next level. This is a networking event in 3 parts:
– Information exchange session – Bring your business cards and any pertinent information you’d like to share! Looking for guest speakers to share information pertaining to the entertainment industry!
– Showcase – Music, art, theater…If it’s entertainment, we’re showcasing it! Set up a date with us now!
– The Social – Catch the musicians at the jam session or the DJ (alternate weeks.) while sipping on a drink or grabbing a bite to eat with those you connected with. Strengthen those contacts! Musicians, bring your instrument! Vocalists welcomed! Looking for DJs as well!
Guess what? Not everyone will buy what you’re selling.
Prospecting is about learning who is interested in buying your music (or other product), so you don’t waste time with the folks who aren’t.
In our class this week, there were technical difficulties with the audio equipment that plays our weekly case study, so this week’s visiting discussion leader offered role play instead.
Whenever my coursemates attempted to woo her with the features of their product or service, our discussion leader would stop them to remind them that they hadn’t asked her the first question about her needs.
This role play was quite eye-opening for me. I was able to understand how important it is to get into a prospect’s mind, find out what they need, and build rapport with them.
As helpful as the recorded case studies (and their related discussions) are, participating in role play helped me understand how to ask the right questions.
Even if you have the persuasive ability to sell ice to an eskimo, your ice business will improve if you aim for thirsty people in the desert.
Wave 3 of Ariel Hyatt’s Music Success in Nine Weeks Blog Challenge started this week on Oct 11th, and there’s still time to join! As the moderator of Ariel’s Musician’s Mastermind, I’m also one of the judges. I’ve been having a great time, meeting and interacting with the musicians blogging about Ariel’s book. I’d even say that I’m learning as much as I’m teaching, so that means I’m having a ball!
To get into the swing of things, I have recorded a new set of videos for Music Success in Nine Weeks, so you’ll be seeing more of these. Enjoy!
If you’ve been following my WIBO blog posts, you’ll notice that we’ve been learning a lot about marketing in WIBO’s “How to Grow a Profitable Business” class. In other words, marketing is the foundation of your business, whether you sell music or magazines.
You may have a stunning product or service, but if no one knows about it, no one will know about it. Marketing is how you tell the world who you are, and what you are offering. Everyone has their own methods for marketing: promotional materials, the internet, cold calling, email, PR, etc, and now I’m learning how to find and target the people who want what I have to offer.
I can’t remember if I mentioned that the WIBO course in my neighborhood of Washington Heights was sold out, so instead of a 4-block walk, I have an hour commute to get to class. The thing is, I now LOVE my class in the South Bronx. My coursemates are fascinating (mostly female), and we’re located practically across the street from a police station and a subway. Every Monday evening finds me very excited and ready to go to my WIBO class – and I’ve already seen improvement in my business life! Thank you, WIBO!
For more info on Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), visit http://WIBO.org.