Friday Feature: Learn the One Immutable Secret to Entertainment Business Success

Entertainment Media Entrepreneur Jason Stocky Shares the Only Tool You Need to Succeed in the Business

You’re tired of hearing that pesky “N” word, right? The one that’s been bashed into your head since school: Networking.

Well, here’s good news. You can run that word over with your car (or bike), reverse over it and run it over again, and replace it with the one principle successful entertainment business entrepreneurs know works irrefutably.


Some ignorantly use the two words interchangeably, but they are in fact two different terms.

Don’t believe me?

Copyblogger Associate Editor and blog thought leader Jon Morrow explained in his free webinar on April 10, 2012 his paramount instruction for all bloggers looking to increase their blog traffic: build relationships with niche leaders.

Notice his rule – he didn’t say to network with your niche leaders, but build relationships with them.

Here’s what he means:

1.     They [personally] know your name
2.     They [know] your work
3.     They’ve had a conversation with you
4.     They think you’re smart and they like you

You can’t get all that from networking alone. If anything, networking is the beginning of building a relationship. It’s the first encounter.

Relationships, on the other hand, require time and frequent contact.

So to put it another way: it’s not about who you know, but who knows you.

And don’t think that principle is exclusive to bloggers. It applies to you and your business, too.

The Principle in Action

Meet Jason Stocky (pronounced STOH-key) from Rockledge, Florida (at left). He and his brother Eric have grown their entertainment business company, Transparent World Media, from the ground up solely by building relationships with a service-minded model: “What can we do for you first?”

Because of its music-centric focus, some pigeonhole the company as a “record label”, but Transparent World Media offers music production, publishing, and entertainment business consultation.

Jason manages the musical and entertainment business consulting functions, while his brother Eric handles the publishing (graphic and web design, computer animation, and email marketing).

And all for one price. Stocky made that very clear.

“If a client comes into the studio to record a song and then picks my brain for entertainment business expertise, I’m not gonna charge him twice for that – that’s just wrong…If you’re coming to me for one thing, you can get the other services as well for no extra charge.”

Sound brazen or crazy? Nope. It’s differentiation – what every business needs.

The Principle as a Business Model

Stocky can provide his services that way because of his six years of simultaneous experience as a booking agent for Ultra-Elite Entertainment and as a member of a metal band, which he brings to the table with every client. 

During that time, Stocky made moves that drew others to his band:

1.     The band did 150 shows in Florida in its first year

2.     People impressed with the band’s tour schedule asked him how he did it… 

3.     Which led to him booking tours for four or five other bands while his band was touring

Because of his solid work booking other bands as well as his own, he was able to refuse acquisition offers, booking, and record deals from labels and managers.

How did he manage that? By building service-centered relationships.

Here’s a great example:

To get booking for one of his bands in another state, he contacted sponsors (Dunlop, etc.) and asked them to provide loot for targeted venues for the highest performing local bands in that specific area.

That tactic blew sponsors away. Why?

Because he was aiming to meet their promotion needs ahead of his own, without asking them for any financial backing for his own bands, and it proved that he’d already done his research on the local music scene in that area.

That approach also fostered relationships with the “highest performing local bands” and venue booking agents as well because it showed them that he researched and respected their renown and was actually bringing sponsors to them.

It worked every time.

Stocky uses that approach for daily transactions. The company works on a business-to-business and service-to-service basis to get things done instead of paying money for what they need each time.

The company mainly receives income from its publishing and entertainment business consulting arms, which is evenly distributed throughout (staff, resources, and artists); and for the record, the artists keep 70% of their music sales revenue.


The Jumping Off Point

Stocky was doing booking through his self-named sole proprietorship in the beginning, but wanted to ensure he was running his business correctly, so he returned to school.

During his studies in Full Sail University’s Entertainment Business Bachelors Online Program, he did creative development with Sony Entertainment, but the deeper he got in his studies (Intellectual Property, Entertainment Law, etc.) the more he realized how crooked the major labels really were and consequently discontinued his work with them.

That experience led to the birth of Transparent World Media in January 2011 (as a DBA under the sole proprietorship) using his own financial resources. 

He wanted to provide artists with an experience that wouldn’t rob them blind but still give them the quality music and publicity they need.

Transparent World Media’s Artists

Stocky currently has three artist clients: 

R&B singer Smoke from Cocoa, Florida

Hip Hop artist ZIB from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Helsinki area Hip Hop artist LC Nick (fluent in Finnish and Russian)

Stocky understands the power of overseas distribution and put his Florida artists out in Europe for one killer year:

·      10,000 downloads in four months with no paid ads
·      Eric made social pages in several countries in their local languages to leverage social engagement

How did he manage all that? He did his market research and fostered relationships with radio DJs and industry professionals in those countries (as well as here in the U.S.).

How Stocky Learned the Principle

Stocky learned the importance of relationships and service during childhood. His single mom raised him and his brother while working two jobs – and at times, they even had to help her work.

From then, the boys learned that the key was to find out exactly how to get something done, then do whatever was necessary to get it done.

Resourcefulness goes a long way, and they’ve been at it since the age of 13.

The hustle is in the blood.

Technically, so is the music. The brothers toured with their grandmother Julie Andrews (not the Julie Andrews), who started as a jazz singer and transitioned to singing Gospel music after she became a Christian.

That experience raised him in jazz, rhythm and blues, and blues, so Stocky’s current work was a natural progression. 

Here’s another great example for the road:

Stocky encountered challenges in getting into music festivals, so he coordinated his own using five to six clubs on Bourbon Street in Jacksonville, Florida, and had a turnout of approximately 4,000 people. 

How did he do that? He researched how to coordinate a fest, and did whatever was necessary using the personal industry connections he already had. “The only way to make it happen is to do it,” he said.

Your Takeaway

Start building relationships from now on. You have your mountain of business cards from various networking events, but admit it – you’ve forgotten at least one or a few of those names.

Don’t waste those. Contact them and restore the connection:

·      via Facebook
·      via LinkedIn (especially here, since it’s the premier business network site – it’s where Stocky actually found me)
·      via their professional website and email
·      better yet, find out what next networking event they’ll attend and go (Stocky’s business growth came from face-to-face connections)

Don’t just go to networking events and get business cards, but get to know people. Go with Stocky’s mindset: “What can we do for you first?”

What do you do to establish relationships in your business? Let me know in a comment below.

Got a question for Jason? Feel free to ask below as well.

Public domain keys photo: Anna Cervova
All other images used with permission of Transparent World Media.



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