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Apart from my lack of music industry experience, there is another hurdle to overcome. Something I forgot to mention is that Aaron is based in Seattle, and I am in Cambridge . . . England. Yes, the one that all the others are named after. Working remotely has its own challenges. You can feel very isolated and unloved at times. Aaron is filming a couple of videos to accompany the launch of the new album, “american [fever] dream”, on Venice Beach in LA. I have to trudge into town to see if that review got published in Rock’n’Reel this month. The only similarity is that it is hot and crowded.

Those of you who work remotely (telecommute) understand exactly what I mean. A team should be more than the sum of its parts and without good communication, planning and priority setting, you are just an individual working in a vacuum. Teams create strategies, assign tasks, and set common goals. Don’t underestimate the value of being able to chat face-to-face with a colleague. Knock on his office door and 10 mins later you have probably saved yourself an hour or two of email writing, and without the frustration of having to wait for a reply. Oh yes, did I mention that there is an 8 hour time difference to cope with as well.

Goal setting is essential regardless of location. Understand where you want to get to, then work out how you are going to get there. The simple bit is to get on with it. Simple it may sound, but unless you are disciplined you will wander off track really quickly. There are dishes in the sink that need washing. My tea cup is empty. Hey, look, an email on how to watch paint dry. . . My personal trick for achieving something with my day is to look at my todo list, and pick the task I am most resisting as the first thing to tackle.

One of the most difficult aspects of carrying out multiple tasks is context switching. This is a problem a lot people suffer regardless of industry. You are in phone-radio-station mindset, and then you have to switch to planning and research. Going between them takes time. Organising chunks of time to tasks is most effective, but it is so difficult not to get side tracked, especially with that paint drying website. Organise, plan and be realistic in your expectation of what you are likely to achieve with your day. That doesn’t mean you can’t shoot for the moon because it sounds unrealistic.

It’s been a tough week. We have been running a AAA radio campaign in the US. The Promoter has now finished but the CD is still in review with a number of stations. It would be wasteful not to follow them up. I have a list of stations and do the research to get Music Director names, phone numbers and most importantly their “call times”, when they will accept calls from promoters. Unfortunately, each Director has her own little window, which is great if you are following a few hundred because you will always be phoning one. But with only a dozen you may be phoning two in a day, although, as I’ve found, catching two can take several hours, if you’re lucky.



  1. You raise a lot of good points. Great stuff.

    Just a question on long distant communications. I’m in the travel/leisure industry where a lot of rogues exist, promising a great holiday and running off with your money. I find a great obstacle in communications is trust. Not only do I have to trust the visitors using my service, but I have to gain their trust as well. Within a very short time, I have to build a relationship that’s strong enough to overcome misgivings and doubt. For the visitor, there’s nothing worse than stressing all the way up to the point when you have keys in hand wondering if the property you rented actually exists!

    What are your thoughts on building trust in long distant relationships?

    • Trust and credibility are problems for all businesses whether internet or High St based. Can you deliver the service I am looking for, can you be trusted to do it competently?

      While customer quotes can seem really cheesy, and who would put up a bad one anyway, they have value. A customer referral says there is someone out there who is happy with your service and that itself has merit. If you are a Business-2-Business (B2B) service then this is easier to check up on with a phone call. However, if you are a Business-2-Consumer (B2C) service it is more difficult to verify, and if you are attempting to con money out of someone you could just make them up, so it lacks the impact of a B2B customer referral.

      In your particular case you can do a number of things to build credibility:

      – Create a Facebook “Like” page and encourage guests to join. Again, you could build false profiles to con your customers but it is less likely and as the number of Likes grow, so will your credibility.
      – Advertise a land line phone number rather than a mobile number on your website.
      – Look to get accreditations from tourism/hotel/accommodation organisations. For example your local Tourist Information Office may carry a certification, or if you use internet sites to advertise your property, then it is also in their interest to issue certification.
      – Get reviewed in a travel/accommodation magazine/ezine/blog.

      Think about the checks you make when buying a service, and make sure you provide the answers to those questions.

  2. That’s really helpful. Thanks!

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