Finding a Business Sideman by Cheryl Hughey

Finding a Business Sideman: A guide for developing artists
Every good band demands a quality team with exceptional sideman.
This same rule in music applies to business. If you want to exceed financially
in your music endeavors, then you need to find the best sideman
for each particular assignment.
It is normal human behavior to try and stick closely to our friendship
circle when asking for help. However, asking someone to run your
business because they are a friend you trust does not mean that have the
best qualifications for the job. For example, would you ask your best
friend to fill in for the drummer simply because he’s someone you
know? Unless your friend is a seasoned musician, you most likely
would not make this choice. It could potentially ruin the set and your
ability to get booked at the same venue again. This same scenario applies
to choosing your manager, publicist and any other support staff.
You must always seek out the most qualified person for each job in order
to achieve the purest results possible.
How to you find the right person? The best advice that I learned from
my own mentors is to look at those that have succeeded and try to find
a roadmap. Research the professionals that other people used at your
particular stage of development. For instance, you may not be able to
get the attention of the booking agent for the number one artist right
now, but who is the person that local bands depend upon to get the
word out? Find someone that knows that local agent and get an introduction.
What if you don’t feel like you know anyone that can make the introduction?
Learn everything you can about that person and network.
Support the local artists on their roster by going to the shows. Respectfully
mingle, introduce yourself around and be seen. Eventually, you
will either introduce yourself to the right person or find someone that is
willing to help. Just as there is rarely an overnight success in business,
it takes time to build the right network and a top-notch music support
About the writer: Cheryl Hughey is a freelance writer, author of
“Music Promotions for Everyone” and the owner of Cheryl Hughey
Promotions LLC, a publicist specializing in developing artists.
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