Zemfira Orlova: I don’t like stereotypes

Today we talked about sales, principles of working with the target audience, professionalism and work in the direction of events with the producer and owner of Orlova Concert Agency — Zemfira Orlova.


Zemfira, what important criteria do you highlight in the sales of artists?


We can talk a lot about sales and their criteria, because everything depends on the level of the artist, on the goals and objectives that we set for ourselves! For me personally, there are several main criteria that I passed, and I would like to bring this up in my concert department.

The first and most important thing is to work for «‎outgoing». I will try to explain in a nutshell. Since I work not only in Ukraine, but also abroad, the approaches are very different. Yes, there are top artists who are known everywhere, no one needs to talk about them, you can sit and just wait for the «‎incoming». But there are a number of other artists who need outgoing work. But you need to understand that many artists can be tops only in our country, and in others they do not enter or they do not know them there at all. And there is a third option, when an artist, or rather, their team, clearly understands what target audience they are working for, and are aimed specifically at it!

Therefore, the second, no less important criterion for me is to figure out which plan we are using!

And the third, important criterion is the presentation of oneself and the ability to communicate with people. Many people say that you need to be born with this vein!


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Do you think a person needs to have a special education to become a salesperson?


Here it is difficult to answer, because I did not study to be a concert director or a producer! I have a legal education, but in the direction of sales I have gone through a lot of trainings, lectures, online courses and various systems, from building network sales to an individual approach!

How much time did you have to spend to get all the necessary knowledge in this area?

Honestly, you need to invest a lot in this and every day, in addition to what I personally practice, I also try to always improve in this direction, read new books and work methods in new conditions. The world does not stand still, you need to keep up with it.


How important do you think it is for an artist to work with professionals in this area?


Well, it all depends on what you think of as a professional. I watch the concert direction, namely concert directors, salespeople, managers, agents, whatever you call this position, everyone wants the artist to be «‎top», while sitting and only accepting incoming calls and accompanying them. But there are those who, albeit not such professionals, but with the desire and desire to work for the result. And this person achieves significant success in a year. Therefore, the pros are great, but I am for those who are also passionate about what they do!


In general, how can you find a good sales director?


Oh, I probably need to start with the question «where?» It is not the first year that I have been looking for «salesmen» for myself. I was even ready to share my experience, but so far this question remains open… And all because everyone wants the result here and now, but this does not happen.


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What qualities, in your opinion, should a sales manager who sells events have?


I don’t like stereotypes and requirements. But, I have my own principles, which I just talked about and from which I try not to deviate. Therefore, it is important for me, first of all, that the manager not only knows how to work for incoming calls, but also understands what outgoing calls are. And it doesn’t matter whether they will work with a top artist or a beginner. This skill is often missing. Well, and understand the specifics and target audience of the artist they sell. Because we come to the conclusion that the manager does not understand what target audience the artist is intended for, what kind of music they perform and how and where to submit it. After all, it depends on the filing whether it sells or not.

In past interviews, you often spoke about the target audience (TA) of the artist, why is it so important to find it?


You know, there are those who argue that there is no such thing as «‎own target audience» at all. But I can safely talk about something else, because, given my 15 years in sales, I have repeatedly checked it. Yes, there are artists who work for the general public, and that’s great! But there are those who are successful only in their target audience, and this is also good. For any artist, the most important task is to find their listener, and for this they must understand what audience their material is intended for. After all, if an artist performs music in the chanson genre, then they clearly understand that teenagers will not listen to it. Yes, this does not mean that this or that song cannot become popular and recognizable among young people, but in general those who love this music will go to their concerts. I can give many such examples. And that is why I think that an artist should clearly know what target audience they are working for, this will help the artist develop faster and, of course, become a marketed artist.


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What does an artist need to do for this?


It seems to me, first of all, you need to do what you like. After that, clearly define which target audience it works for. Yes, I don’t mind, an artist should keep track of new musical items, trends and keep up with the times, but not to confuse this with the desire to «get into the format». This, in my opinion, is very important. And you also need to remember about the integrity of the image, because an artist is not only music. Everything you do, your image, PR, social networks — must respond and work for the selected target audience. By the way, many people here forget about it.

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