WIM is now 1200 members strong! Although our community is growing rapidly, we've still maintained that sense of an intimate group. Somehow, we all seem to just know each other. That being said, it's important for our members to be better acquainted with the board members that work tirelessly to ensure the success of our community. Over the next few weeks, we will post interviews with all of our board members outlining their journeys, successes, and challenges.
We're kicking off this series with Sari Delmar! Sari is a Board Director and Co-Chair of Communications for Women in Music, which is the team that is responsible for informing our members about all of the events, perks and on-goings that they need to be aware of.
Sari is a proven marketing director and team leader with extensive experience in building brands, developing creative marketing strategies; and consistently exceeding goals and expectations for what is possible in the marketing, event, and digital space. Her commitment to the marketing industry lead her to launch her own boutique agency in 2009, AB Co., a digital, lifestyle and communications agency.
For the past eight years Sari has helped her company, AB Co. experience progressive growth, having moved from 1 staff member and 3 clients to 15 full time staff members, 65 clients per year, and offices in Toronto and New York.
Want to connect with further Sari? Visit www.saridelmar.com.
Success is such a personal concept – we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?
Success to me is finding balance within yourself and those around you. Doing great work, inspiring those around you, and moving things forward each day, while at the same time being able to take a moment to breathe when you need it and just take care of yourself. Success to me is striking the perfect balance between hustle and serenity and living each day right between the two.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry - What are your top three tips?
To work in music marketing specifically I would say….
1- Put your head down and just do the work. Results will come to fruition slowly, but you need to push yourself to do great work and to maintain high standards even when it is hard to do so. This is a slow moving industry and great change may not make itself known until a few years of working towards a larger goal.
2 - Know your value. Try to truly understand and be real with yourself about where you are and what your value is in every given situation. It will change constantly, but if you are aware you will make sure you never get taken advantage of or on the flip side, never scare people away with your ego.
3 - And lastly, be willing to take risks and fail often. It takes a huge number of failed campaigns before you can launch your artists or campaign into viral stardom. Be willing to get back up and try again, every darn time!
How have the personal and professional experiences in your life contributed to your success today?
I put a lot of faith in passion and community. Personal and professional experiences have contributed hugely to me being able to chase my passions. Personally, I started out as an obsessed music fan, following bands on tour and helping to run their street teams. Understanding how fan bases are built and become sustainable is a crucial part of my job now and my fan experience from the age of 13 onwards has contributed hugely to my success. Professional experiences like getting to attend conferences, network, and learn from panels have also contributed hugely. A community will always be there for you when it’s time for a transition or you need a favour for a client, so building one personally and professionally will contribute greatly.
Can you share with us some of the challenges you’ve faced?
I started my company when I was 18 years old and walked headfirst into a huge number of obstacles. It wasn’t until I came to terms with the fact that it’s all just part of running a business and constantly trying to achieve more each day that I was able to chill out.
Some of the big challenges I’ve encountered are trying to work with clients who have very little budget and marketing experience, trying to manage and lead a young team, trying to get through tricky cash flow moments, and just in general trying to manage a busy schedule while prioritizing the business’ needs. Over time I was able to establish tricks that worked for me and removed a lot of the stress attached to these challenges.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
There are so many! If I had to pick just one lesson I’ve learned, it would be that you need to set your own goals, exceed those, and then set new ones. Those goals need to not hinge on outside validation. You can not bank on winning an award or being named in a magazine. Those things come about sometimes and sometimes they just don’t. All you can control is doing great work every day, contributing to your larger goals, and finding a way to enjoy your life while you do that.
What do you think is the most pressing issue women in the music industry face?
I think there are a handful of issues in the music industry as a whole right now that are very concerning. I think the most pressing issues right now and the easiest to hopefully work on, are confidence and asserting power. I think that being aggressive and direct can be contributed to being “manly,” but I believe that it is necessary and a good business practice. I think women can do things in their own way of course, but that confidence and bold strength needs to be built up. We can work together to build that up so when you’re the only woman in a room of men, you can lead the conversation and not just follow it.
Who inspires you and why?
There are some amazing female CEO/CMO’s at marketing and advertising agencies that I really am inspired by. Many of them have put the time in to really grow up a ladder and now they lead in a really fierce and creative way. Karina Wilsher at Anomaly is one of them as well as Patricia Korth-McDonnell at HUGE. I think the music industry has a tendency to stay stuck in the past, but a lot of other industries have busted out of their old regimes. I think we can look towards other industries for guidance around how fair leadership and strong women are setting the bar!
What do you look forward to accomplishing in the next year?
I am going through some huge transitions with the company changing so I hope to really reset, regroup, and find myself in a leadership position again in NY. I just got my O1 visa and am allowed to stay in the city indefinitely, so I look forward to building a more solid community and working on progressive marketing campaigns that touch into the music space!