18 MARCH 14
My intent is to provide you with solid advice and help to start, build and maintain your career as a musician/artist. TALENT ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH! Read the tips below and go find your place in the music industry… and the world! Besides its FREE… doesn’t mean its invaluable.
1/Good Music Isn’t GOOD Enough
If you think your music is “good”… then just keep it as a hobby. The music marketplace doesn’t need any more “good” music, it needs GREAT music. These days not only can everybody and their sister make bland music, they are making AND releasing bland music; so the marketplace is flooded with mediocity.
2/Know Thy Audience
The minute you decide you want someone to listen to your songs, you have entered the MUSIC BUSINESS. If you don’t know who would like your music, why would you make it in the first place? Art and commerce not only can WORK together, in today’s marketplace they MUST work together. Gone are the days when a musician’s talent alone is all that is needed to succeed. Spend time asking yourself WHO is your average fan, and get to know everything about their lifestule, ages, sex, and income levels. Do that, and a whole universe of inspired opportunities on how to reach them will open up to you.
3/A Good Idea Is Worth More Than A Good Budget
Getting a music career off the ground is not only hard work , it also COSTS MONEY. But the simplest ideas can deliver big payoffs. Look around where you live, and find simple ways to get your career moving. Use your time creatively and challenge yourself to come up with one original music marketing idea a week! You will be surprised how many good ideals you can move up with, and most of them won’t cost much money at all, if any.
4/Being Nearsighted Might Make You Blind
If you don’t know clearly where you are going, you can easily lose sight of your goal, and miss an opportunity that may come your way. Don’t see only what you THINK needs to be done with your music. Find out as much as you can about how the music business is set up, and how all aspects of developing your career are related. REMEMBER that every job, responsibility, and professional involved with creating, developing, and marketing music is related to another part, and they all NEED each other AND work together for the mutual benefit of each other. Do you have a realistic plan for yourself that puts the whole picture into clear focus?
5/Get The Job Done, and Get The Job Done Well
DO what you SAY you are going to do, and don’t use any excuses for not getting things done. Everybody you meet in this business who agrees to help you in some way with your career, may also benefit from your success. When an opportunity arises to get your foot in the door, KEEP IT THERE! If you treat people unprofessionally, they will remember you. If you treat them professionally, they will remember you, YOU DECIDE WHAT KIND OF REPUTATION you want to established.
6/Weave A Thread of Consistency In Everything You Do
Like it or not, as a musician you are a part of the ‘show biz’, and as should be very conscious of developing a clear, honest, and definitive IMAGE of who you are, and what your music is about. If you believe you don’t have an image, go ahead and let the music business create one for you… BUT don’t complain when they call you something you’re not. Only you know what’s inside you. Be sure your ARTWORK, PRESS MATERIALS, LIVE STAGE APPEARANCE, and your SONGS reflect who you are, so that every time you work on a part of your career development, you are thinking consistently about any and all aspects of your image.
7/Work With People, Don’t Work On People
The music business is built on relationships. Don’t take advantage of people! Nurture contacts you make, and spend time building these relationships within the particular music scene that exists for your music. Learn who the key players are in each area of music marketing; the distributors and stores, the broadcast media (TV & Radio), the press and the live performance industry. Give them SOLID business reasons to want to work with you.
Expectations are different from goals. They imply that you DESERVE something because of some inflated, premature ego that has put you on your own pedestal. A sure way to fail as musician is get the reputation of being difficult to work with.
9/On The Road To Success, There Are Many Detors
Anticipate trouble and find a way around out. Knowing that problems will arise, and finding solutions to your problems is half the challenge. The other half is implementing your strategies and tactics consistently and professionally. Many ‘wanna-be’s’ give up when rejection arrives. Rejection is a coat of armor that must be worn at all times. For every yes, there will be countless no’s. Learn from the rejection, the missed opportunities, the failed promises, the bad reviews, the insensitive label personnel, the crooked agents and managers that you encounter. Turn every negative into some kind of positive. See what can be learned from the bad experience, so that the next experience might be good.
10/Stop and Smell The Roses
Doing music and nothing else is a bad idea! Too many musicians forget that to grow as an artist, experiences are what matters most. It is so easy to get carried away with your music to the exclusion of everything else… friendships, family, other artits, nature and other interest that are essential to keep the creative juices inspired and flowing. Do things you have never done before. In fact, go out and do the one thing that you feel is the last thing you have an interest in… that should give you something to write about. Music is a business, no doubt about it, but music is also an art, an as an artist you need to nourish your soul as well as your wallet.
(Information in this post was pooled from and inspired by Christopher Knab’s FourFront Media & Music)
I firmly believe that we are called to impact our culture… BUT we must be affective with our offering. These tips should help you clearly define your role as a musician/artist to prepare you for a robust and sustainable career.
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