An Interview with Nancy MoranArtist Development Coach
How did you become a coach?
Well, I started out–like many of my clients–as a singer/songwriter. I quit my day job back in 1991, right after I released my first CD. And I’ve never looked back.
But I like to say that I was independent before independent was cool. Because it wasn’t as easy to release a CD back then as it is today. There wasn’t an Internet or Facebook or even CDBaby. So, I had to learn and DO everything on my own.
Looking back, that was a great thing! I learned a lot about how the music industry works. And I gained a ton of firsthand experience – being the record label, the booking agent, the manager, and the publicist as well as being the artist and songwriter.
Not all musicians were doing this back then either. Many were still waiting to get the big record deal. So, not everyone had a CD for sale.
Me? I guess I was just too stubborn to wait for a record label to deem me worthy. So, I went ahead and did mine without them!
As soon as I released my first CD, other artists started asking me questions. How did I record it and where? How much did it cost? How’d I get it played on radio? How did I promote it? And I’ve always been the type of person who likes to share information. I like to help people. If I knew something that would help them, why not tell them?
So, that’s what I did. And eventually that process just grew – first into teaching and finally into becoming a certified holistic coach.
What IS an Artist Development Coach anyway?
Yeah, I know. “Artist Development” is one of those nebulous terms that they throw around in the industry and no one is REALLY sure what it means. But it’s actually a pretty accurate term.
Back when record labels used to sign young artists, they would often spend time and money to “develop” that artist. Meaning…they would bring in people to help them write songs or image consultants to help dress them or performance coaches to help them perform on big stages, etc. They were, in essence, teaching them to be better artists. They were allowing them to improve their skills and grow into mature artists. They were even helping them discover their true voices as artists. So, there was a lot to “artist development.”
Nowadays, record labels expect you to come to the label fully developed. You’ve got to prove to them that you are marketable already.
So, as an Artist Development Coach, my role is to fill that gap. I help artists–whether they want to be signed or not–“develop” their own music careers by focusing on the three core disciplines: Creative, Business, and Mindset. I am there to guide, support, encourage and hold them accountable to higher standards than they would hold themselves. By doing so, I help them find the Inner Music Mogul that’s inside of them.
How are you different from other coaches?
Well, one of the ways is that I’m still a working singer/songwriter myself. Although I don’t travel as much as I used to (by choice), I still perform with my producer/husband, Fett. And I still have the same desires to get my music heard as most of my clients do. So, I relate to my clients on a very real level!
Second, I’m a great listener. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about creative people especially, it’s that they NEED to be heard. They need someone to hear about their dreams and desires and wishes and goals, yes. But they also need someone to listen to their frustrations and disappointments. And quite frankly, their friends and family are probably getting a little tired of hearing their whining and complaining! I’ll not only hear them, I’ll understand them. Heck, I’ve probably felt the same way at one point or another.
However, don’t get me wrong…I’m not going to let you complain for forever! I will hear you and validate you. And then I will help you find solutions and move forward.
And I will also believe in you 150%!
My clients tell me over and over again that I’m positive and encouraging and that I believe in them even when they don’t. Sometimes, that’s what you really need from a coach–someone to hold the space for you until you catch up.
One of the biggest ways that I’m different, though, is that my coaching style is really more of a coaching, consulting, and mentoring hybrid. So, I’m not afraid to give you advice or educate you on something if I know the answer. I won’t hold back information OR an opinion, if I think it’s in your best interest.
Who are your clients? What kind of people do you work best with?
My best clients are generally artists, singer/songwriters, composers, producers and performing musicians who are serious about their music career–even if it’s a part-time thing or a side career. The point is, this is not “just a hobby” to them anymore. They are passionate and committed to music because they realize that they have something to say and they have a purpose to communicate with and touch the world through music.
They treat their music career professionally and with respect. They invest time and money into their own development as an artist or songwriter. They’re open-minded and willing and eager to learn new information and ideas that can help them.
And, perhaps above all, they are action-takers. Once they record, they do something with the recording. If they learn something new, they use the new information to make a difference in their careers.
What kind of personality or client do you NOT work well with?
Someone who is looking to be “discovered” or who wants someone else to do all the work for them.
Someone who is all talk and no action.
Or someone who wants to blame the industry and/or complain that no one “gets” them.
If you’re negative, a doom-and-gloomer, or are just looking for someone to magically make you a star, then I’m not your coach.
How do you work with people? What can I expect?
Currently, I offer online training programs, as well as private one-on-one coaching.
My private coaching packages are a MINIMUM of 6 months long and consist of frequent phone or Zoom strategy sessions as well as email support, material reviews, weekly check-in reports, and group forum support, among other things.
My private clients are very important to me. You can expect to have my undivided attention during our scheduled calls and also much of my attention and intention outside of our calls.
I really just need to talk about one thing. Can I just sign up for one session?
I used to do one-off “consulting” sessions of an hour or two. But ultimately, I found that they weren’t very helpful. Sure, I may have spouted off a bunch of answers to questions. But it never seemed to help anyone move forward.
The reason is that “artist development” takes a while. It just does. This isn’t a quick fix. And it’s not something you can just pop by for whenever you’re feeling like you need a boost.
The type of work that we’re doing here is BIG. And it requires your long term attention. The longer the better, actually. So, in order to focus on the kind of coaching that I LOVE and the kind of clients that I want to help, I have to say no to one-offs.
Why do I need you as my coach? Can’t I do all of this on my own?
Yep. You absolutely can. No question.
But my guess is that you’ve been doing it all on your own already. And how’s that working for you? Are you where you want to be?
As creative types, we tend to do a LOT on our own. Sometimes, we even like it. It’s part of our creative process.
But the reality is, if you want to take your career to a new, higher level, you’re going to need support. Someone to push you a little harder and farther. Someone who can see that you’re almost there and will cheer you on until you reach your goal. Someone to mirror back your thoughts and ideas and ideals so you can see them clearly in front of you. Someone who will brainstorm with you. Heck, just someone to communicate with so you don’t feel so alone! And, in my case, most of the time I’ll understand what you’re talking about because I’ve been there and done that…or worked with someone who has.
I’ve learned this lesson from both sides – as a coach AND as a coachee. (Yes, I have a coach!) And I know from my own experiences that I make bigger and faster progress when I’m working with a coach than when I’m not.
I have never invested in myself like this before. How can I justify this kind of expense?
It’s funny what we, as musicians, will and won’t spend money on. We have no trouble plunking down thousands of dollars for a new guitar or recording gear, but when it comes to investing in ourselves and our artistic/business growth, we suddenly get all tight-fisted.
And I get it. I used to be the same way!
The first time I invested in a coach, I cried. Seriously. I’m not kidding. It was the scariest and most exciting thing I ever did! And it was totally worth it, because having a coach forced me to “up my game” and made an enormous impact on my approach and success as a music industry professional.
The thing is–and I’m NOT making this up–something magical happens when you “go all in.” When you commit to your dream fully. When you stop playing small and start playing big.
When you DECIDE that you and your dream are worth it, the Universe plays along to help make that dream a reality.
So the real question is…how much is your music dream worth to you?
And are you willing to invest in yourself to achieve it?
What’s next? How can I get started?
The best way is for us to hop on a call together so we can see if we’re a good fit. I want to make sure I can help you. And you’ll want to make sure I’m the right coach for you.
Fill out the form below and we’ll set up a call!