Company: 7S Management
Title: Director of Digital Strategy
Function: Extra Services (non-traditional management services)
Education: BM Music Business from New York University
EHC: What is your daily schedule like?
My day can vary. Mostly corresponding with digital retailers about our artists’ release schedules, inviting them to shows, researching trends for new pitches, and making sure that I’m on the same page as the day-to-day managers and my counterparts at the record labels our artists are signed to.
EHC: What is your favorite part of your job?
The fact that I get to work one on one with artists for campaigns that get their message out and promote their music without an alternate agenda.
EHC: What were the steps you took to get your job?
I’m part of a Facebook group for women in the music industry, and someone posted a need for an intern at 7S Management in Denver (my hometown). I asked that woman to meet for coffee when I was next home, and we chatted about the company and what I was doing in digital strategy in New York. I knew I wanted to move back to Denver, and my bosses helped connect me to other people at 7S Management. The company didn’t have a digital strategy specialist and was interested in what I could offer. After a few interviews, they gave me my job!
EHC: What is your best piece of advice for girls interested in this field?
Get experience. Get a copy of Donald Passman’s “All You Need to Know About the Music Business and read it–it’s an excellent overview of the jobs and roles that exist within the industry, and you’ll know a little bit when you get into an internship and meet people. Also, you don’t have to go to college in New York or Los Angeles. If that’s the case, consider a semester or summer somewhere that has a great music scene. Do an internship or two in that city because internships are so important.
EHC: What inspired you to pursue this career?
I have always loved music and the idea that it is the universal language. Coming from the performing side, I know how special it is to be able to create music, and I wanted to help those creators to get their music into the hands of the public.
As Director of Digital Strategy, Arielle oversees the digital campaigns for 7S Management’s artist roster. Big parts of this job are keeping an up-to-date list of ongoing projects, communicating information across digital platforms such as Spotify and YouTube, coordinating with record labels, and researching trends in online marketing. A good example of the kind of work Arielle does is when she developed a campaign for Ray LaMontagne that included a handwritten note from the artist on a postcard of artwork from the upcoming album. They also partnered with Shazam to add an invisible code that could be scanned to hear some of the new music. Not only did people love the handwritten notes but they were rewarded for being loyal fans with early access to new music. Another meaningful project was a recent philanthropic campaign for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Working with Spotify, the biggest fans were invited to purchase an exclusive t-shirt, which benefitted flood recovery for farmers in North and South Carolinas.
The Value of Connections
Arielle didn’t plan on working in digital strategy or even in management! After interning at Columbia Records in college, Arielle kept in touch with her supervisor, which ultimately lead her to an opportunity at Mick Management. Her former supervisor told her about job openings that she felt Arielle would be good at and Arielle trusted her judgment and gave both of those prospects a shot.
It was at one of these jobs that Arielle started learning about digital strategy. While she was working as an assistant, she also took on the role of running social media for Mick Management. Her bosses saw her initiative and dedication and gave her the opportunity to take a brand strategy course at General Assembly. Arielle used the connections she forged to show drive, and, from that, she has built a successful career.
If you’re in a small town (or a city that doesn’t have great internship opportunities), try to go somewhere new. Try a new city. Find someplace to intern and do the best you can because it’ll make an impression. If you show thought and ingenuity by researching bands, knowing about the music you love, and building connections, you will make a really good impression. An internship also helps you confirm whether a job (or even the industry) is something you want to pursue. There’s no shame in working at a label or management company and deciding you aren’t really passionate about that kind of work. Show interest in what you’re doing and keep the connections you make while you’re on the job.