Summit Lessons

Kelsey Muse Each year I have been to the CIA Summit I have taken something away. Normally a single deep thought that changed the eventual outcome of how I do business, reminders of past lessons learned, and other new ways to view situations. This year was no different, and now the things that impacted me the most will be outlined here.

The CIA Summit began for me on Thursday March 27th with a meet and greet, with food, fellowship, and reunions with several people I had not seen in a year. It was nice to see Michael De Vorzon as he set up the MasterWriter booth.

The next morning I arrived and ended up taking four pages of notes during the two presentations by Bob Baker. The first being focused on principles to success, which I am all about. The second about marketing. Some of the good reminders for me include “the big ‘Why?'” – why are you doing what you are doing, you need to know this. “Marketing is sharing your excitement for something”, and just starting is hard – do something every day.

Here is one of many good models he outlined; Why people create:

  • personal satisfaction
  • recognition, credibility, or validation
  • for the benefit of others
  • for money

There were many simple ways to look at the world to help with understanding and focus. Several items lead to changes we are consider implamenting here:

  • share what you are studying
  • reconsider and think about branding
  • not all fans are starving, ask them to help you eat – they want you to keep creating
  • in the past the industry was the gatekeeper, now creators can go direct to fans

I have also subscribed to his blog.

Robert Beeson pointed out that the music industry is not a production industry, but a service industry. Ironically it could be though of as having roots as a service industry too, but that is another topic. Robert put it as going from “Hey, look at me …. I’m Cool” to “What can we do for you?”. He reminded me that you have to have a unique selling point, Kieth Mohor says it as you need to be first, best, or different. There were lots of other little notes, and themes that were brought up time and time again throughout the two days, but one thing that is known in the podcast world, and more so in marketing and is the most important:

Your value is your influence.

The only value a creator really can provide is the ability to influence an audience, the larger or greater value assigned that influence determines everything else.

Tom Jackson really drover home the point that preforming is a craft, just as songwriting, playing, painting, writing, etc is. He also explored the question “Why do audiences go to a live event?” Encouraged everyone to educate themselves, then work. Brought up the fact that confidence comes from preparation and authority. The final note was a simple but powerful one:

True humility is accepting a challenge and accepting the hits that come with it.

Wally Nason is different. He is very humorous and does a great job of being both in your face and humorous at the same time. His use of all the tools he has is far superior then anyone else who presented. In fact, he is probably the only presenter who everyone present walked away with his webaddress, phone number and email address, not because he was the only one to passed out a sheet of paper that had a basic outline and blanks in it. I know people filled in the blanks and took that paper with them, even if they had not taken a single other note the whole day.

Wally did a great job outlining a few themes that keep coming up throughout the day. The biggest ah’ha for me was that everyone in the room is an entrepreneur, no wonder that all the speakers were presenting many business concepts in different ways that apply to musicians. He also presented the world in terms of relationships and emphasized that relationships are number one.

Charlie Peacock emphasized quality over quantity and basically equated a lot of the music industry issues as being having that backwards. He said to be a great independent artist you must first be a storyteller. This set with me and caused me to think a lot. You have to work on your communication abilities and methods, your craft. He ended with a simple question:

What is praise worthy?

Crutch FieldAll the other presenters, including Robert Anthony, Kevan Cyka, Brad Mathias, Darren Tyler, Warren Barfield, Phil Baquie and Eric Copeland all had interesting points, and several notes in my notebook.

In addition to the presentations, I managed to listen to lots of different musical acts, including Rick Cua. Some of the best that I saw that night include mile 7, Kelsey Muse, Bill Petty, and Crutch Field.

As we talked about in a recent Artist Insider Q&A, networking and education are the two great things about conferances, conventions, and summits, and I managed to get both out of being at this event.

~Jonathan Nation

April 1, 2008


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.