4 Vital Lessons I Learned From The AFRIMA 2017 Roundtable Session
So I was at AFRIMA 2017 for the The Africa Music Business Roundtable (AMBR) and the theme for this year; Digital Takeover: Shaping the Future of African Music. Well, you might be wondering what’s this got to do with you, be patient with me. I learned a few lessons that I think you can apply to your life. I thought to myself, this is worth sharing, here I am.
All the speakers of the second plenary session which was the most engaging for me did well in their presentations. One conclusion drawn from what they all said was that the digital world is making a lot of things accessible and bringing an end to the era of manual content. You an get whatever you want Online and this makes the competition stiff. There’s so much engagement in the digital space, you snooze you lose.
Whatever you’re doing, you cannot deny the influence of the digital world. Be it Fashion, science, media, art, music, writing, whatever you’re involved in, the digital world is involved and surely taking over. You shouldn’t act like it’s none of your business. The world is moving fast, don’t get stuck at the train station.
My favorite speaker was Dr. Sipho Sithole from South Africa, he inspired me so much and challenged me to go for more. His profile alone gave me goosebumps. ( I went to read up on him and I was moved to tears) Get knowledgeable about different things and you’ll stand out.
So the lessons learned;
1. Having Talent is Not Enough: Don’t just relax because you know you’ve got the ability to do something other people cannot do. You have to look beyond just having it but look at how to harness it. Every talent has the ability to become better. No talent comes fully refined. Work on the process of getting better and making it worth the attention of the people around you.
2. Win Your Locality First: Your locality are the people around you. Your family, your friends, your neighbors, that guy or girl down your street. As much as you can spread your tentacles, create awareness among the people around you. Who knows what you’re doing? Can your friends pitch what you do to someone else when you’re not there? Don’t expect the millions of people on social media to appreciate you work when some of your ‘people’ don’t do so. You have to keep pushing what you have to them until they pay attention. They’re the best people to push you to the world. Samo Onyemelukwe, the Managing Director, Trace Anglophone gave a profound advice to upcoming music artistes. He encouraged them to develop a huge local base at home, get DJ’s, OAPs, restaurants and anywhere music gets heard in your area to play your music. Keep pushing till you get their attention, from there your song would be played on bigger platforms.
3. Plan for Publicity: Talented people are guilty of this, no one wants to spend money on publicity. I had a problem with spending money on publicity when a friend advised me to do so when I started blogging. I heard it from different people in different ways, I turned a deaf ear. Put some money aside and invest it into publicity to push your brand. Spending money is an important tool in digital promotion. Why should you spend money on publicity? This brings me to the next and final lesson.
4. Treat Your Talent as a Business: This is the highlight of the lessons I learned. What an eye opener! I’m I a late comer? Lol. Well, it wasn’t like I was ignorant but if you haven’t really looked at it this way, you’ll realize we’re all late comers. No one would buy into what you have if you don’t take it seriously.