By Mark Scott

You may have noticed that the pros among us have a serious side and they see music as a fulfilling and creative business. They are solo-preneurs who are serious about the business side of music every bit as much as the music side. They keep ALL their chops fresh.

Here are 4 ways to be a true music professional (4 more ways are coming next post)…

1. Make integrity the substance of your personal brand

I mean it’s pretty basic: Follow through with all your correspondences. Return calls, emails, and texts. Don’t leave people hanging. Be how your momma told you to be. Don’t end sentences with prepositions.

Have you given much thought your personal brand? Your personal brand is what people think when they hear your name. Does your personal brand convey integrity?

If you’re a pro, it does.  

2. Be on time, all the time

Bad traffic can be anyone’s problem. It’s always amusing to see a Lamborghini and a Corolla side-by-side and stuck. In the same traffic. Traffic is a great leveler. So if you aren’t usingWAZE, you’re missing out on crowdsourcing for real time traffic data and an ETA that’s pretty spot on.

And if traffic has you running late for a job, then give the GM a courtesy call. She’ll probably say, “No worries!” And that’ll make the rest of your drive a lot more relaxing.

And BONUS: You’ll be a responsible adult.  

3. Don’t be a slow-pay

If you have an agent working for you, then ha ha yep you should totally pay your commissions. And you should totally do that in a timely manner. Agents work hard for their percent of the pie and I appreciate them. And I know if I pay them in a timely way then I’ll be a fucking adult and I’ll benefit from all the connections they make for me.

And BTW on a related note, never forget to pay your tab. And tip the staff. It comes back.

4. Avoid getting completely lit at gigs

I know a little something about this topic. I’M EXHIBIT A. The past is written; the ink is dry. So three years ago I totally quit drinking and it would be impossible to describe how much better my life is. I’m not saying everyone should quit or you should never drink at your gig; no, I’m merely suggesting that we all know where the lines are. Stay within those professional limits. You don’t need to be losing any rooms or friends or getting a DUI.

You don’t want to be that guy who graduated two years ago and still hangs out in the high school parking lot. Take the business side of things to the next level by being a true professional who is also a pleasure to do business with.