The phone. Teenagers use it for texting. Your mom uses it call you just like, all the time. Obama has one that can end the world. You know how it goes. Normal people aren’t really into that kind of thing anymore right? Don’t we have emails and texts and all that good stuff so that we don’t need to worry about phone calls anymore? Actually no. As it turns out – phone calls are one of the single most important aspects of life in the music industry and the sooner you embrace them the sooner you will see yourself going to much deserved success. No matter how hard you work or how much you fake it it’s only through phone calls that you are going to find real progress being made. It’s just how humans communicate and you can’t escape it. I’m at a point where I view it as a secret weapon – and quite frankly you should too.
The reason that my phone is my secret weapon is because it allows me to soothe over hard feelings and lets me create a personal connection with people I work with. There is so much that doesn’t get properly communicated in an email and the more you go in this industry the more you will see this. That’s just how it works. You can’t expect to keep going hard with just emails. Sure introductory emails tend to be a good way to start, but you always need to all if you really want to get anywhere. Sure some people just don’t pick up their phones but screw those people – those people are assholes. Phone calls are the single greatest way to make a connection because once you are on a call the other person has to reply or hang up. That’s simply how it goes. You can use the leverage of a phone call to your advantage time and time again.
To elaborate – the magic of the phone is that it gives you a much more human side than if you just sent a harsh email. It means that when things are going south, human you can step in, not weird email you. It’s like that statistic about how 48% of sentences ending in a period in an email are negatively perceived. I don’t know how realistic that number is, but it holds a grain of truth – your emails are easily misinterpreted and that’s only going to hurt you in the long run. You need to take the time to honor the other person and talk them down from a poor decision and work with them to reason out a better solution. Sure these sorts of things can be done via email but it often takes a lot more time and explaining that many people simply aren’t going to be interested in. So take a chance to salvage a situation and build something greater.
Beyond that – your phone is really your best networking tool. Most people probably aren’t going to go on a long story of their lives via email, but if you talk with them on the phone long enough they will get to talking .They will get to trusting you and be open to give you exciting new opportunities. That’s the sort of thing that you can’t deny yourself. You have to embrace the networking power of a phone and realize that by calling people up you are starting the same sort of dialogue you could have with someone over dinner at a festival. In fact, in some ways the phone is better because people have fewer distractions and you can really gt a chance to let people rip out and speak with you. Taking advantage of that and using that charm is going to help you out over the long run. That’s how I’ve negotiated many a record deal and booking contract. If you lose yourself in the bullshit of the bleak life of modern times and try to only use email no matter what you do fewer people will care.
Again – this is a deepset psychological thing that most of us can’t do anything to combat. It’s the sort of thing that allows you to take over the world. I’ve spent hours practicing my phone voice so that when things come down to the wire and I need to make an especially important phone call I know that I can. I know that I can find a solution that works for all of us and hints at a better tomorrow. That’s why I never hesitate to give people a buzz, they welcome it – it gives them a break from the monotony of constant emails and instead shows you a path to something more exciting and strangely peaceful. There is something relaxing about getting a chance to just straight up build a relationship in th emiddle of your workday rather than work on another frustrating proposal or skim through another list of links that someone sends you. It’s the sort of things that actual organizations are built on rather than two bit music factories that never really get anything done. The power of the phone call is indescribable.
So don’t be afraid – pick up the phone. Take advantage of peoples need to connect to other humans. I can guarantee you that if you are good enough at your phone dialogues then people are going to want to talk to you – in fact if you do it well enough people will look forward to your calls, much like they would look forward to seeing any other friend. It’s hard to make good friends over email, but if you make enough calls and charm enough on the phone then you are going to find yourself with richer music industry relationships that have the potential to pay dividends the more you grow and the further that you progress.