Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
October 5, 2015Bob Popyk - Member Local 78 (Syracuse, NY)
You’re a professional musician. You belong to the AFM. As a working musician, you probably compete against others who will play for the door, or bands who will pay club owners to let them play for a piece of the door. Don’t play their game. There are a lot of wannabe, has been, and never-will be musicians out there who want to work, fight for radio airplay, and deal with recording and contractual issues where sometimes money is secondary. You not only want to compete, you want to excel. You want people to know about you, and for them to be able to reach you quickly and effortlessly.
Most musicians have their own websites and downloadable demo tracks. Everyone has PR kits and demo CDs. You need business cards, and you need to be readily accessible. Every promo piece I’ve seen has an email address. It’s good that someone can email you, but what if they need to get a hold of you right now? Maybe it’s a corporate gig that a committee is meeting on. Maybe it’s a group that has a job starting at 9:00 p.m. tonight and needs a replacement for someone who can’t make it. Make sure your cell phone number is listed. Email is not going to do it.
In Nashville recently, an artist at the NAMM Show gave me her CD, along with a business card and asked if I would give her my opinion on it. There was no phone number on her card, just an email address. I asked how I could call her, if there is no phone number on her card. She said to email her. She told me she doesn’t list her phone number because she travels constantly and she didn’t want to get a lot of weird calls from guys who were interested in something other than booking her. I could understand that, but no phone number can hurt a career. The easiest thing would be to list a cell phone number, not a land line (even if you have one). Cell phones give you caller ID. A caller doesn’t know where you are when they are calling.
How easy is it for someone to reach you? Here’s a little checklist for things you need to make yourself accessible to someone who wants to book you:
Okay, there are nine things to make you more accessible when someone wants to book you. How many of them do you have? As a professional AFM musician, you don’t want to hide your light under a bushel. Let yourself shine out there. Make yourself easy to find.