The running theme in just about everything I say as it relates to jobs in the music industry, or an entertainment career in general, is that it’s not as hard as it looks. The most difficult thing you’ll have to tackle if you’re going to pursue this trek is your own reticence to move forward and take a gamble — and perhaps equally as important — the necessity of working for free.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what sort of approach might land you a plum internship gig working for something like Fashion Rocks 2007, which will air on September 7, 2007 on CBS. Now, I’m going to assume for the sake of argument that you’ve got very little if any experience in the music industry for this experiment. Heck, you might even live in Podunk-nowheres-ville, or even live overseas which would be a real challenge! You’ll see, however, that even with these apparent limitations, landing a music industry internship really isn’t that difficult. In fact, you might find that living overseas or in the middle of nowhere might even help your chances!
Okay, so this is how I would do it:
Research your butt off!
Finding your first little crumbs
Beginning with the end goal in mind, my first step would be to check out the Fashion Rocks 2007 website. If you go there, you’ll notice that, at the moment at least, it’s pretty much worthless. Typing “Fashion Rocks 2007″ in Google turns up the site linked above, which seems to be just a placeholder from the 2006 show. Great. Well, actually, it’s not too bad, because I want to show you how the entire process works. So, we’ve reached dead-end number one. Welcome to the music industry! Now what?
My thoughts at this point are: This isn’t the first time they’ve done this show right? So let’s see if there is anything we can learn about last year’s show that might help us get an internship at this year’s award ceremony. Let’s get our search engine fingers ready. . . .
Since I’m a researcher and freelance writer by trade, I have a method of sorts for locating the information I need to find. As a result, the first technique I use when conducting research either online is to start with a narrow field. I do this by choosing the most specific terms I can think of related to my question, AND by typing those words IN QUOTES within the Google search box.
Doing so, helps me stay focused on the topic, and helps to produce the most relevant leads. Now, I love Google, and I’ve used it for this example, but you can use any search engine you find works for you. I’ll add that in my experience traveling, I sometimes find that the localized Yahoo, sites for example, sometimes produce a better range of local results, so if you’re overseas and looking to intern at a specific event or company in your country, you might wish to keep this in mind.
But we’re talking about Fashion Rocks here, right? And this award show is being held in the U.S. so let’s take a look at what sort of results we get by typing “Fashion Rocks 2006″ in quotes within Google. . .Bingo!
By keeping the search wide and NOT using quotes around our search phrase, Google gives us a whopping 2,380,000 to look through for leads. Narrowing the search down, however, by using quotes yields us a much more manageable, and relevant 841 leads to move forward. This will help tremendously when trying to land this gig in such a short period of time. After all, we’re only talking about two months or less ’till Fashion Rocks launch time! Ahhhhh!
Making your own trail
Now that you’ve got some search results, let’s take a look at a few to see where to go from here. What you’ll want to do when looking through the return results is look for about five or six sites that you think might give you more information that could lead to some mention of the people and/or companies that make Fashion Rocks hum. Remember, because you used quotes, you now know you have relevant results to look. Reason being is that by using quotes you’re finding those specific words together in a sequence, so even though you might not see an angle to what you’re searching for when the results first pop up, the words “Fashion Rocks 2006″ are in there somewhere! So look with your business hat on!
When I looked through the results, the sites listed below popped out at me immediately as good targets to further narrow my search for this internship. I have detailed below the site name and the reason why I thought it might be a good site to explore further.
The site: Fashion Rocks 2006 Blog Why: The obvious day to day stuff about what happened
The site: Interactive Media Awards Why: Hmm…award winners. Nice leads?!
The site: Party Line Rentals Why: Might be a business with connections to the fest
The site: SAWF News Connect Why: Lots of news about fashion and entertainment
The site: The Swag Time Blog Why: Marketing departments targets. A God-send?!
Finding the nuggets
Now that you’ve got what seem like good sites that might help you narrow down your internship search, start looking on those pages for the names of people and companies associated with the event. And remember, we’re looking for folks that work behind-the-scenes. . .while it’s great that you know Kanye West was at Fashion Rocks 2006, and he looked dashing and all, you’re not concerned about his suit, you want to work with the folks that worked with him, behind the scenes.
So search for the names of managers, representatives, agents, etc. Basically anyone who might work with the talent and who might be interested in having you come on board to help out with the show. Remember, internship opportunities don’t purely exist with the show promoters, but with EVERYONE involved as well! You can also stretch this search out to the artist’s record label, management company, booking agency, clothing representatives. . .anything really. The potential is limitless.
Think you won’t find anything?
Skeptics, pay attention. For those of you leisurely strolling through these pages seemingly finding nothing worthy and ready to throw up your hands in disgust, I would recommend looking again.
Just glancing through these pages myself while writing this post I discovered tons of angles to worth pursuing if I was looking for this type of music internship. A little tip: look for the names of companies or associations that can take you to the next step in your search, and think outside the box. Who is providing services to this event? How about manufacturers, accountants, magazines, consumer products? If you’re coming to this event without much experience, what you’re really looking for is a leaping off point to get more experience. So if handing out water bottles to models gets you in the tent so you can network with the music industry insiders you’re looking to connect with then THAT is exactly what you’re looking for with this gig!!
Take for example The Swag Time Blog. Other than listing the cool s.w.a.g (stuff we all get) that award show attendees receive just for showing up, what else is there? What information exists on that page can help you get a job? Well, how about the product names of every dang thing these artists are going to get in that little freebie bag of theirs! Each one of those products is made by a company very interested in spreading their name all over the planet by giving away *for free* (notice that word there. . .you might be working for free as well for the same mission) their fancy product. AND, each one of those products is being pushed by a marketing department somewhere in the bowels of company ‘X’ that you could be helping out come ‘game day’. What you want to do is be one of the people working to help make that happen.
Don’t forget to toss away the idea of hob-knobbing with the celebrities, you want to work in music not be an idol worshiper. . .there is a huge difference. So let’s get started! On the swag site, the swag is listed. . . .go dig up the company information that will help you accomplish this, and get to work!
Yikes. This just in. . .searching a bit more and typing “Fashion Rocks 2007″ in Google, I turned up this great press release . Tons of great lead generating info in there. I’ll also mention that there are also several different web address for the show this year. . .why, I have no idea, but they are out there. For more info try www.fashionrock07.com and www.fashionrocks2007.tv
More on how to get the names of your contacts and what to tell them when you’ve got their attention tomorrow!
To read part two of this story, visit: How to get an internship at Fashion Rocks 2007: Part Two.
If you think I’ve given a few good tips here, you might want to check out the Music Industry Guidebook: A clear guide to getting a job in the music business. . .fast! In minutes you’ll have ideas that you can put in motion tomorrow to get started on your dream of a career in the entertainment industry. I love being a teacher, let me share my insight with you today. Get the book today!
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