5 Ways To Leverage Press

[Editors Note: This article was written by Suzanne Paulinski.]

 

You spent months reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and music tastemakers to convince them to review your music and/or interview you. You sent out links to your music. You submitted your press release/bio/EPK. You got people on board. You prepped for the interviews (preferably the right way). The pieces were published. The links were shared…

…and crickets.

Sound familiar?

All too often musicians put in so much effort to get press, only to see it move the needle very little, if at all.

It’s not because the reviews were poorly written, but because many musicians fail to leverage the press they receive in the right way.

There are so many tips and tricks out there to get the attention of coveted blogs and magazines, but what happens once you’ve gotten their attention? How to do maintain the attention of their readers?

Below are five different ways you can leverage press, whether it’s a printed interview, a podcast, a music review, a video on YouTube, or something that hasn’t yet been invented by the time this article is published, you can build off of these tips to get the most milage out of the months of effort you put into being noticed.

1. Write a newsletter to your fans about the experience.

All too often an interview comes out and fans open up an email from an artist that says “New interview in ABC Magazine CLICK HERE TO READ!” with a link to the article, and that’s it. The problem with that is that you’ve given them no context.

Give them a reason to care and click on the link.

Were you nervous? Did something funny happen during the interview? Did you open up and share something you’ve never said aloud before? Write a brief explanation about your first-hand experience and then provide the link to the article. Your fans will want to know how the story ends!

2. Create a short video introduction to the piece.

Your YouTube channel doesn’t have to only be cover songs or lyric videos. You can leave a short video message to your fans telling them about how much you love ABC Magazine and how honored you were to be featured. Then, using a link card overlay on your video, invite them to check out your latest piece of press. This will add content to your channel, bring more eyes to your other videos, and add to your subscriber list (just be sure to tell them to subscribe at the end of the video and in your caption).

Second, doing a short video on how much you love ABC Magazine and sharing it with others not only converts well (as video often does), but it shows love back to the writer and company who just covered your song/band.

It’s a unique way to say thank you, beyond simply sharing a link about yourself. Relationship building for the win.

3. Share a ‘Behind-The-Scenes’ photo with the link.

Posts that get engagement are the posts that readers are able to immediately relate to, and not everyone can relate to having their music reviewed or being a guest on an awesome podcast.

Especially if the press is audio only, adding a photo to the post that shows you (and any other band members) having fun, or even better, exhibiting some sort of feeling or message that is discussed in the piece, catches peoples attention and allows them to connect with your message on a deeper level, rather than simply seeing a link to a podcast you want them to hear and share.

Add a caption that explains a topic that was discussed and then inviting them to hear the rest by clicking the link goes a lot further than simply saying, “Listen now!”

4. Write a review of the blog/podcast that featured you.

Much like the video message, this shows other outlets that you care about shining a light on those who have shone a light on you.

Creating a list of your Top 5 favorite reviews they’ve done (while including yours on that list), whether as a newsletter or simply a longer Facebook post, opens your fans’ eyes up to other artists they may not have known and may also introduce them to a writer or podcast host they weren’t familiar with until now. Posting content that provides greater value is key.

5. Reach out to the next tier of blogs/podcasts.

Much like life in general, everything has its season. A few months ago you may not have been ready for a feature in XYZ Music News. But now, ABC Magazine has interviewed you and brought more eyes to your message and music. That may be what XYZ Music News was waiting for before they decided to jump on board.

When you have a glowing review or stellar interview with one outlet, do your homework and determine the next stepping stone. Don’t jump from a small write up in a local paper to the cover of Rolling Stone – be strategic. Look at bands you admire and start to examine how their press exposure grew and follow suit.

Reach out to outlets that may have turned you down in the past and reintroduce yourself, acknowledging that some time has passed and you have recently enjoyed some positive press that you’d like them to be aware of in consideration for a future review.

No matter what, always think about these two things:

  • The bigger message. What larger message was your recent press about that others can relate to? Create multiple posts off of that one message.
  • Your funnel for bringing on new fans. Be strategic in how you involve your other channels, as well as your email list, when getting the word out about your latest press. We call this your funnel – using once piece of content to drive fans to other channels to take further action.

Lastly, don’t forget to update your EPK or press page on your website with the most current coverage. Your hard work doesn’t end once you’ve landed the review. Make it worth your effort by seeing it all the way through.


Suzanne Paulinksi is an artist consultant with over 10 years in the music industry and owner of The Rock/Star Advocate

So You Want a “Record Deal”? How To Legally Ensure An Artist Can Even Sign One

[Editors Note: This was written by Justin M. Jacobson, Esq.]

 

While most musicians dream of getting signed to a major “record deal,” the days where a record label executive attends a show and signs an artist based on their performance are long gone. These days, that only occurs in the movies or on television. Instead, today’s music industry has shifted toward a greater reliance on an artist’s social media impressions, presence, and following. It also focuses on the talent’s music streaming platform numbers and other factors unrelated to the actual quality of the music and instead focused on the artist’s perceived marketing and commercial value.

In recent years, major recording deals were signed by individuals who had generated their own independent marketing “buzz,” including those who started their own pop culture reference, such as “Cash Me Outside” as well as those who created their own independent success. In contrast, there are also artists who flourish independently without any major label or distributor assistance. This is a rare situation and typically only arises when an artist ensures that all their potential streams of income are properly maintained and established, such as Chance The Rapper.

Whether an artist obtains notoriety through creating their own pop culture phenomenon or by independently developing the artist’s following to a level that they can achieve stardom on their own, any musician who is interested in being able to actually “sign” with a recording company must first ensure that their music business infrastructure is in order.

This is particularly important as most artists believe that they are ready to sign a deal; however, in reality, the artist may not even own all the rights to the material that they think that they do. This means that the musician generally would not even have the rights that the deal requires them to possess in order for an agreement to be properly executed by the artist.

It seems counter-intuitive to presume that a label or other third-party music distributor would knowingly entertain, let alone enter into an arrangement that could potentially expose them to liability. Therefore, it is prudent that prior to entering into any agreement with a third party, especially a record label or other music distributor, the musician ensures that they have all the rights to the material that the artist thinks and purports that they have.

This means that prior to soliciting, submitting or otherwise searching for a music publishing, recording or distribution deal, the musician should ensure that their own music business infrastructure is in proper order. This could include the formation of business entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company (L.L.C.). The uses and potential benefits of such an entity are described further here.

It is also prudent for a musician to ensure that the performer name that they choose is protected and clear. While this may seem straight-forward, many musicians fail to search and properly protect the basis of their entire musical career, their artist name. Generally, a trademark protects a particular trade name, including a musician’s performer or band name.

It is ideal to ensure that a name is clear prior to attempting to enter into an agreement with a third-party utilizing this potentially infringing name. This misstep could expose the musician to potential liability from the contracting party if another party with stronger rights attempts to enforce them against the label. A more in-depth examination of trademarks as they relate to the music business is available here.

Additionally, an artist should ensure that they personally own or that the business entity that they formed and are an owner of, actually possesses the full rights to the finished music that the artist intends to release and license. A prudent course of action is that anything that the artist did not create themselves should be assigned or otherwise licensed to the entertainer. This applies to any third-party contributions to the finished music and is typically effectuated by the entering of some sort of rights assignment, license and/or “work for hire” agreement.

In short, the agreement would license or otherwise assign the entire interest and copyrights that a third-party has in the particular work to the other contracting party. This could apply to any producers, vocalists, songwriters, engineers, or mixers who contribute material to a finished song and recording.

This same concept also applies to any photographers, videographers, web designer, logo designer, marketing or other promotional material designers who contributes toward a finished creative work, including a song, video, photograph, logo, album cover, web site or other imagery. A more in-depth look at the benefits of copyright protection for a finished work is available here.

An artist should also be aware of the terms of any agreement or document that they sign. This includes if an artist enters into a production or other “demo” agreement with a third-party, such as a producer or recording studio owner. In many of these situations, the agreement provides the producer or studio owner with the exclusive rights to the material created and may only provide the artist with a license to utilize the recording or even less than that. Since an artist presumes that they own the rights to the music they create, it is essential to ensure that the documentation signed by the artist provides for this.

Finally, ensuring that an artist has proper professionals around them can be the difference between success and failure. The right professionals, including a personal manager, a booking agent, a business manager and an attorney, can open many doors; while, the wrong professionals can severely hamper an artist’s ability to succeed and prosper. Therefore, it is prudent to understand what a professional, such as a personal manager, can provide to an artist. A detailed look at talent managers is available here.

Once a musician ensures that they have all the rights that the deal requires, the artist may be ready to begin “shopping” for a music distributor. There are many variables that relate to any artist’s marketability and potential for success, all of which are outside the scope of this article. Ultimately, an artist should be aware that while they may believe that they are ready to “sign a deal;” if they haven’t signed deals and ensured that they have the proper rights to the material they want to shop, then they can’t even sign a contract that they may be presented with.

This article is not intended as legal or business advice, as an attorney or other professional specializing in the field should be consulted.


Justin M. Jacobson is an entertainment and media attorney for The Jacobson Firm, P.C. in New York City. He also runs Label 55 and teaches music business at the Institute of Audio Research. 

Personality Dynamics: Why Communication and Respect Are Vital For The Health of Your Band

[Editors Note: This article was written by Patrick McGuire.]

 

Many serious bands happily sacrifice money, relationships and careers in the hopes that they’ll find an audience for their music. But while focusing on the musical parts of being in a band is important, the way the musicians who form a band respect and communicate with each other is just as vital for acts that hope to create, record and perform music over the long-term.

Bands break up for all sorts of reasons. Some musicians throw everything they have into music for a few years only to give it all up when they can’t find the success they’d hoped for, but others upend otherwise perfectly good projects because they simply can’t work with the other musicians in their band anymore. It’s become routine for bands with massive talent and untapped potential to call it quits because they fail to focus their efforts on communication and mutual respect.

What Bands Do and Don’t Do Well

When musicians set out to create new projects, they probably think about making music and not much else, and this makes sense. If the purpose of a band is to create music, it should exclusively focus on writing, recording and performing, right?

Bands obviously need to spend time developing their identity as musicians, but alongside non-musical relationship skills like communication, openness and respect. Musicians in newer bands with plenty of enthusiasm and energy tend to be great at writing lots of songs and playing shows, but they’re notoriously bad at making goals, being open about feelings and speaking up when they feel unheard or disrespected.

Blame it on the male-driven culture behind so many bands out there or the fact that making serious music requires musicians to frequently enter vulnerable territories they’re not usually comfortable in, but most bands are simply not great at being open with how they feel about things, and this is a big problem.

All Relationships Take Work. Why Would Your Band Be Any Different?

Whether you realize it or not, a band is a relationship unlike any other. Falling somewhere between a friendship, marriage and creative business partnership, the personality dynamic behind every band is completely unique. But like all other relationships, it takes effort and sacrifice to keep a band healthy and together.

The work that makes the other relationships in your life possible is similar to the work you’ll need to do to keep your band healthy and on track. Some bands, most famously Metallica, even go as far as to get professional counseling for their issues. Your band might not need therapy, but you will have to learn to speak openly and respectfully to each other if you want to stay together.

Opening the Lines of Communication

It can be awkward and unnatural for some musicians to open up and talk about their needs and feelings, but for bands to be successful, they have to be able to really talk and listen to each other. Communication in band settings is so vital because making music with other people is complicated on every level and there’s often so much at stake.

Bands routinely deal with everything from complicated finances and contracts to spending months together touring crammed together in a small van or car. Sure, at band practice once a week you’ll be able to stay quiet and let some things you’re not happy with slide, but when you’re on tour for two months promoting an album you’ve just put a couple thousand of your own dollars into, it might be a little harder to hold your tongue. Opening up the lines of communication now will keep you from saying things you might regret later.

Respect, Openness and Empathy

Musicians in successful bands find ways to respect and empathize with each other, even when it’s not easy to. Under ideal conditions, it doesn’t take a lot of work for some like-minded musicians to be kind and patient with one another, but like in any other relationship, people show their true colors in the face of real challenges.

Who you are when the van breaks down or when your band blows the show? It’s more important for that person to be kind, open and respectful to your other bandmates than the person you are when things are going swimmingly. Easier said than done, of course, but the effort here is the important thing.

Taking Stock of the Health of Your Band

It can be uncomfortable to address underlying issues in your band, but ignoring them will only make things worse. Setting aside time after rehearsals is a good way to make time for getting things off your chest, making plans and opening up a dialogue about what your band is doing and where you want to go.

Rather than waiting for disasters to appear and become unmanageable, getting in the habit of creating opportunities for respectful dialogue now will help your band stay together and make music for years to come.


Patrick McGuire is a writer, composer, and experienced touring musician based in Philadelphia.

What 2017 Taught Us About How to Market a Record in 2018

[Editors Note: This blog was written by Rich Nardo.]

 

2017, for all its faults, taught us a lot. Perhaps the most interesting lesson for us music industry folks was that you can still make money as an independent musician. The way forward is young and not yet fully established, but it is now apparent that we will have a path back to being able to build a career in the field we all care so much about. According to a September article on Billboard.com, growth in the industry again saw an accelerated growth rate in the United States. In fact, the RIAA’s 2017 mid-year report showed double the ‘much talked about’ percent increase we saw the previous year.

If you’ve already been doing your research, you’ve probably also realized that a large percent of that growth has benefited major labels. Still, it does indicate that independent artists can also carve out their own piece of the pie. The key to doing so will be allocating your time and resources to the right channels.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re planning your 2018 release:

Instagram Is Important for More Than Just Brand Building

When I polled a Facebook group I belong to for artist managers, one of the topics I received the most feedback on was Instagram. Yes, an artist’s presence on Instagram can help put forth the aesthetic that best represents their project, but there is so much more to be gained by paying attention to the social media application.

For one, cross-promotional opportunities with influencers, brands and blogs can greatly increase your reach. Taking over a blog’s story or having an influencer post about your music can reach new fans in a way that simply posting to your own will not accomplish.

On your own page, making use of the “swipe up” function in your story will allow you to direct your fans directly to streaming or buy links. Livestreaming is as important as ever on Instagram, and it may take a lot of groundwork, but something as simple as DM’ing your fans can help build loyalty and increase sales, streaming numbers and attendance at your shows.

There is Strategy to Getting Spotify Playlisting

As the popularity of Spotify playlisting has increased substantially, so has the difficulty in getting your music placed. Playlisting has largely filled the role that terrestrial radio once did as a means to discovery and labels and management firms are gearing up strategically to put their artists in the best position to capitalize.

As an independent artist, you may not have the same resources as some of the bigger companies, but you can still approach playlisting strategically. By targeting independent influencer, blogs and brands that have significant followers on Spotify you can not only reach fans directly, but also help how your song is performing within the Spotify algorithm which will create a greater chance that you will be added to Spotify official playlists.

You can also speak with your distribution company about how to best use their services to get your foot in the door with Spotify official and, if you’re not happy with what they’re offering, hire an independent agency dedicated to Spotify playlisting much like you would hire a publicist for press. TuneCore does a great job with helping artists attain playlisting and we offer that service at Ngagency as well. Another solid agency doing something similar is Artist Method, who “empower artists and their teams with the necessary tools and best practices to develop long term relationships with companies like Spotify” according to Founder and CEO Weston McGowen.

Don’t “Just” Think About Spotify 

Yes, Spotify receives the lion’s share of attention from a streaming perspective but there are other fish in the sea. Apple is nearly keeping pace with Spotify’s growth rate, adding an average of 15 million subscribers per year (compared to 20 million for Spotify over the past two years). Amazon is quickly becoming the Ripple to Spotify’s Bitcoin as they’re integrating their streaming services with other aspects of Amazon’s empire we all use on a regular basis.

Perhaps most notably, YouTube appears set to launch their streaming service in March, which could change the field completely as they already are responsible for a significant portion of new music discovery.


Rich Nardo is a freelance writer and editor, and is the Director of Public Relations and Creative at NGAGE.

4 Myths Musicians Believe About Succeeding in the Music Industry

[Editors Note: This was written by Krizel Minnema and appeared on her blog, Music Road.]

 

Glamour and luxury has shaped the way a lot of musicians perceive the music industry. Even the way few musicians are discovered seem like glorious happenstance that seem sort of in reach. 

This turns into two things for aspiring musicians. First, success looks like a millionaire life with tons of fame. Second, to achieve this success, you need to keep hustling until you stumble upon the right record label exec to get you signed.

As a result, I’ve found that there are 4 big myths that musicians end up believing about succeeding in the music industry. And unfortunately, a lot of this blind hope only sets them up for failure.

MYTH 1: IF YOU PERFORM ENOUGH GIGS YOU MIGHT JUST BE DISCOVERED BY THE RIGHT RECORD LABEL EXEC

Sure, artists like Rihanna and Taylor Swift were discovered. But TONS of musicians are discovered and only a few of them make it. 

Regardless, musicians will gig around as many places as possible. They might even do some covers and originals on their YouTube channel hoping to be the next viral hit.

The problem with this is that it’s a “spray and pray” or “scratch and maybe win” process. It’s aimless, tactless, and it  hardly works. I call these musicians the “lottery musicians”. 

Doing gigs and sharing music needs to be strategic and meaningful. For example, The Civil Wars started in small areas and very specific areas. Their other strategy was to offer a free live recording EP in exchange for emails and zip codes. They got over 500,000 new subscribers from this!

Not only did they get an excellent way to connect DIRECTLY with fans, but they knew where their fans were to build tours around them. This is deliberate and strategic – not random. 

The kicker? They became a grammy-award winning success all without a major record label. 

In fact, record labels don’t even look for talented musicians anymore. They look for artists that have a following. For example, Bhad Bhabie. She has absolutely no rap experience. She had a few one-liners in a Dr. Phil show, and then she became an internet sensation. Not long after, she was offered a major record label deal from Atlantic.

MYTH 2: THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IS WITH A MAJOR RECORD LABEL

The Civil Wars, Chance the Rapper, Dodie, KING, Ingrid Michaelson, Kina Grannis and other artists are all independent artists that don’t have a major record label. 

Yet, they’re making 6-7+ figures in their music. Aside from their salaries, they’re able to create music full-time while paying the bills. For most people, this is success.

Nowadays, “getting discovered” is like winning the lottery. Much worse, even if you are signed, record labels aren’t obligated to get an album out of you. In fact, only .2% of those signed manage to dodge the bullet of being dropped by a label. In other words, that means 99.8% fail. Even more, 99% of the acts signed never even get to release an album (Avalon, 2011). 

You might think to yourself, “But I’m different. I’ve got real talent, and they just gotta find me.” I’m sure this *might* be true for you. But you can’t bank on happenstance to get a deal. If you do, your likely failure rate just increases.

The reality is, successful musicians are strategic and smart about how they promote and grow their fanbase.

MYTH 3: IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL MUSICIANS NEED TO JUST FOCUS ON THEIR CRAFT, EVEN IF THEY’RE A STARVING MUSICIAN. 

This isn’t just a musician problem. It’s an artist problem. The mentality is “if you love something, wouldn’t you just do it for free”? This reason comes from the idea that being poor means more passion and more authenticity. This couldn’t be more wrong. 

Deep down, it’s an excuse to not think strategically or try harder. As a result, they convince themselves that real opportunity will be handed to them. “Real art is found.” However, like in The Civil Wars example earlier, opportunity is created not hand delivered.

The music industry is changing and it demands a change in mindset. This leads me to the next myth.

MYTH 4: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS DEAD, SO WHY EVEN TRY

Ever since P2P file-sharing back in the early 2000s and, now, the growing streaming industry, CD sales have plummeted. Demand, however, has not.

People are listening to music more than ever before. In fact, there is countless academic research that show that streaming increases the interest of music consumption. In other words, streaming increases a fan’s listening palettes AND increases their interest to buy full CDs and/or physical albums. Like, for example, classical music.

And I mean music that was made CENTURIES ago is having a comeback in this changing music industry. All thanks to streaming. Back in 2016, Mozart (yes, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) had one of the highest album sales of the year.

The way in which fans consume their music is completely different from the early 2000s. How much they’re consuming is also changing. This also means artists need to be creative with the ways we reach fans and how we sell to them. 

Beyonce created a visual album. Chance the Rapper gave all his music away and made money from concerts. Kina Grannis ran a Patreon campaign to create her own label with her fans. Radiohead released their album at a “pay what you want” model and made more that way than any other major record label release.

Thanks to the changing digital landscape around music, there are even MORE opportunities to connect with fans and succeed in the music industry.

CRUSHING THOSE MYTHS AND THE NEXT STEPS FOR YOU

As a musician you can build a tangible – and strategic – plan to succeed in the music industry. It all starts with a shift from a “lottery musician” mentality to an “opportunist musician” mentality. 

Here are three jumpstart steps for you to get into that mind shift:

  1. Have smart, digestible goals. Being strategic means being reasonable with your goals. Make simple, tangible goals that make it easier to get to your biggest goal. If your goal is to have 100,000 fans, start with the first 10, then 100, then 1,000, then so on.
  2. Think of different streams of revenue. Don’t just focus on getting fans. Think of ways to monetize your craft. This includes streaming sales, single/album sales, merchandise sales, sync licenses, collaborations, lending your voice in projects, live digital shows (yes, that’s a thing!), crowdfunding, and more.
  3. Keep learning. Keep investing in your education. Not just your craft. This includes music business. Learn how to network with the right people. Understand smart promotional strategies to get more fans by reading books or watching courses on marketing. Never stop learning and APPLY what you learn.

3 Reasons “Staying Busy” Could Be Hurting Your Music Career

[Author: Suzanne Paulinski *
It’s quite common to hear, “I’ve been so busy, I need a vacation!” or, “Things are so busy around here, I suppose I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” The music industry is one of the last industries to embrace the self-care movement. Corporate titans like Arianna Huffington and Mark Cuban, along with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, have begun speaking up loudly about the importance of prioritizing time outside of work and working smarter, not harder.

All too often, musicians work ’round the clock in an attempt to prove to others how much they “want it.” However, the “24/7 grind” is nothing more than people staying busy, regardless of how much work is actually getting done. After all, when you’re on your second all-nighter, how much is truly getting accomplished?

There are endless reasons it doesn’t pay to be busy and why it’s so important to slow down in order to get where you’re going. In fact, I recently pointed out three reasons you should slow down and regularly reflect on your music career. But, in an effort to save you even more time, below are the three most important reasons it literally doesn’t pay to be busy.

1. Filling up your day depletes your energy

Okay, this sounds pretty common sense. If you’re busy from sunrise to sunset, your energy will be pretty low, but it’s important to realize how much depleting your energy truly costs you.

According to a study on sleep deprivation, 17-19 hours without sleep is the equivalent to working with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .05. That leaves, at most, seven hours for sleep. At best, most of us are running around on four-to-five hours of sleep. That’s closer to operating on a BAC level of .08, which is legal intoxication.

How often have you sent an email to a venue with your templated material still in it (i.e. “Dear [venue]”), sent the wrong material to the wrong person, missed a deadline, or ran late to a soundcheck? Ignoring your body’s need for sleep is not helping your career, it’s hurting it.

2. You’re ignoring your priorities

When you have less time to do work, your priorities will magically appear. When you give yourself more time to work, your instinct is to put more on your plate. That leads to “busy work,” which hardly ever leads to anything productive.

For instance, if you give yourself only 20 minutes to send out emails to venues to book a show, you’re not going to spam every venue on the list, you’re going to make those emails count, right? You’ll be more likely to contact the venues that are relevant to you and your music.

If you tell yourself you’re not going to sleep until you’ve emailed every venue on the list, you’re not only depleting your energy, but you’re sending out emails to an entire set of venues that are most likely irrelevant to your cause. You’re so focused on being busy, however, that that fact never enters into the equation.

3. You’re making poor decisions

Being busy leads to being stressed, especially when all of that busy work doesn’t lead to any real, tangible results. The harder we work and the less we have to show for it, the more stressed we become.

When you operate under stress, you become more reactive than proactive. When it comes to committing to shows, coordinating recording sessions, planning social media, or sending out important emails, high levels of stress can cause you to react to whatever is going on in the moment, rather than look at how a particular decision is affecting your larger, long-term plan.

Slowing down feels wrong. I get it. If people see you turning in early rather than burning the midnight oil, how will they know how badly you want it? But consider this: How will other people’s thoughts of you get you where you’re going? Thoughts don’t get us anywhere, actions do.

Slow down and focus on work that matters, work that will get you where you want to be. If someone tries to shame you for getting a full eight hours of sleep when they only got three, simply say, “Yeah, thanks, I feel ready to take on the day!” And then take on that day like your career depends on it.

*[Editors Note:This was written by Suzanne Paulinski and it originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]