Last month, Full Sail On Air welcomed to campus a group of grads and entertainment industry professionals for a panel discussion about DIY business tactics.
Hosted by Entertainment Business Department Chair Israel Vasquetelle, the panel featured the following speakers:
- Nestor Vera – Film grad and New Media Journalism Masters student, music video producer
- Rich Blanco – Music Business grad, video producer
- Thomas Jenkins – Recording Arts and Entertainment Business Masters grad, CEO of Conscious Mind Records
- Jessica Northey – Entertainment Business and New Media Journalism Masters grad, content producer at AudioPress
- Madd Illz – Co-founder at Grind Time Now, recording artist
The panelists discussed some of the methods that’ve helped them in their entrepreneurial journeys, pointed out common pitfalls, and shared a few of their favorite online tools. Thomas, for example, uses POLLSTAR Pro to research artists’ ticket sale history before deciding who to book for shows. “You have to research these people before you invest because, as anyone who’s getting into concerts knows, that’s not a small investment. You have to make sure you play as many of the right cards as possible.”
Jessica, who urges her clients to be active on social media, uses HootSuite to keep track of it all. “We recommend using at least five [platforms], and then sending the same message across all of them. It’s kind of hard work. That’s why we use HootSuite.”
Madd Illz adds that it’s important to think realistically about these tools. “As far as technical tools go, there’s Adobe Premier, social media platforms, MailChimp, Big Cartel if you want to have a store, and you’re on your way … But the biggest thing that a lot of creatives tend to forget is the science of why these things exist. Social media is built as an ego booster.”
“For people who aren’t used to receiving any kind of attention, when you start up a small idea and get a little bit of boost in your social media platforms, you think ‘Oh man, I really got it goin’ on, and I’m going to spend all this money on this product’ – and then you go out and the following really isn’t there.” The most important thing to remember, he says, is that social media is in fact just a tool to drive a conversion rate, and that (in many cases) online friends “aren’t really your friends.”
In addition to online tools, the panelists also addressed issues like honing in on your craft, overcoming hurdles, building relationships, and even navigating around cultural barriers.
For more DIY business tips – and to watch Madd Illz freestyle! – check out the full discussion below.