Music Promotion In 2018, Are You ready?
As 2017 gears up for a final curtain call, many independent musicians are still scrambling to understand how to get their music heard; despite the undeniable greatness of that music.
For many, it feels as though the constant output of energy and music to the public for free is not at all being appreciated, or ultimately, effective to the project itself.
Trust me, you are not alone in your confusion about how any of this effort helps form a career in the music industry, and you are not alone in failing to appreciate the small steps needed to take, daily, to move forward with your music.
So, what mistakes are holding your music back? And what steps can you take to overcome the frustration found in obscurity? Read on if you care to know.
NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR OWN BRAND
Look, you don’t have to struggle to find a unique angle, and you don’t need to look around to see what is working for someone else, and then adapt it to you. You are already unique, and no doubt, your music reflects that creative individuality. What you need to do is listen to your inner voice, and you need to find the face of the story behind why you do this in the first place, the soul behind the music itself.
You need to listen to your music, give credit to your real influences, and then figure out what part your music is currently supposed to play, and then just help that music find it’s space, and help find its voice. In that very powerful act of self-reflection, you will see yourself on the stage, in the magazines, and in the public’s eye, and that person you see will excite you, because it is who you are as an artist, a truly awakened artist.
I know, you might think this is a bit too heavy on the motivational side, but if you don’t see your true self in all this, then I can promise you that you will burn out way before you reach any level of success.
The difference between the great ones who move the world and the ones who struggle in obscurity, is that the great ones have found a way to become undeniable, while the others just want to be seen.
You need to see your logo, your style, and your public presentation, as a complete picture. Your brand is having all these things compliment the music itself, and there is no room to hold your own artistic vision back; so, if you feel the need to embrace your inner theatrical side, then go all the way!
STAYING A PART TIME MUSICIAN
Chances are, you aren’t rich, not even close. Most artists, in any field, can agree that it can be feast or famine, more than a constant spread. How many great musicians had to overcome the nay-sayers and the terrible fear found in a late bill, or two? How many great creative minds have chosen the security of a job they hate, to hopefully bank enough time to buy a couple days to work on the music?
I will save you the fieldtrip, a lot of musicians!
Of course, I am not telling you to quit your job, to chase your dreams, and to rush headfirst into the great unknown…but, what if you did?
Alright, perhaps that is too much of a dare, but the real point I am trying to make is this; working full-time is exactly that, full-time. The problem of the situation is right there in the words, because you cannot succeed at anything with a part time effort, unless your goal is to have regrets, part-time will get you there every time.
If you want a real chance at succeeding in building a career in the music industry, you will need to switch it up, immediately.
You need to create the best scenario for your first love, music; and the best way to do this is to stay within the music industry on some level, and in any way, as much as possible. You must flip the time spent in a soul-crushing job, for the time you want to spend on the music you love.
You must become a full-time musician.
Becoming a full-time musician means that you spend one more minute per week on your music career than you do that job you want to leave. It means that you have decided to treat music as your choice of career, and not just your hobby.
Need an example?
You might be stocking shelves for $10.00/hour at your local grocery store, but if you managed your finances a bit better, could you choose to take a dollar an hour pay-cut to work at the local music store, and be surrounded by music all day instead of canned food?
Yes, you need a job, we all do, but don’t casually, or arbitrarily, choose your place of employment.
Look at the bigger picture here, and choose to become a full-time musician, whatever that means to you.
NOT RESPECTING THE PROCESS. NOT ACCEPTING THE GRIND
Do this one thing, then again, and again, and again, and then try something else, and then do that again, and again, and again.
The process of promoting your music is a grind, and a grind, and a grind…
It is the act of trying this and trying that, and all in the hopes that, somehow, in all this you are starting some sort of Music PR fire.
Reaching out to the people can often feel like work, or some strange type of punishment, but it should be regarded, in every case, as a privilege. You see, there was a time when musicians had to reach out to people, one club at a time, and there was no social media platform available to constantly update you on your progress. Now, every musician can see their careers unfolding in a dynamic way, and many successful careers are built without the record labels being the main reason why.
This is incredible for all artists!
The problem arising for artists is the oversaturation of their time online, and more to the point, their time wasted online. Whether it is endless scrolling of the Facebook news wall, the tricky nature of Buzzfeed articles, or just following every video to the next random one; a truly inspired musician will see the building of their music career as a far better use of their time, and as such, will limit their unfocused distractions.
There is a trap that many people fall victim to, and that trap makes hard work look easy. It is the act of seeing the success in another, and then believing that success could easily be yours, as if no effort was ever taken; no one wakes up a celebrity, don’t believe the hype.
If you want to succeed with your music next year, then next year must start today.
You must be excited and appreciative about the process of daily routines, and grinding out the work necessary to reach the people.
Promoting your music is going to take a lot of time, research, and effort. You must develop daily routines of posting your music, your photos, and reaching out to people through multiple platforms. There is no award for being too cool, or too sincere, to join Facebook or Instagram or Twitter; social media is going to play a huge part in your numbers.
Choose a few social media sites, set two alarms on your phone a day for when to post, and don’t miss a day of saying something; but make sure that whatever you say it is in line with your brand (image).
All us artists are in this together, no matter what the medium.
We all hang out in obscurity, we all struggle to build up our own empires, and we all wish it didn’t have to be such a grind, but it does have to be this way, and we must embrace the process if we are to survive the grind itself.
Success will always be on the other side of hard work, and there is no way around it.
NOT PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MUSIC IS
A successful business person will tell you that the best way, if not the only way, to truly succeed, is to reinvest in yourself time and time again. The problem is, many artists do not see the business side of what they do, and they might put in the initial investment to make a few boxes of albums, or shirts, or whatever, but then they put that piggy-bank on lockdown. They start spending their money on everything but the music, and the music suffers for this.
At the start, and in the middle…most likely even further down the road; you are not going to make your investment back, monetarily speaking.
It is not about the money at the start, or at least it shouldn’t be. It should be about the music, and if the music requires you to break open that piggy-bank time and time again, then do it, time and time again.
Don’t go broke in the process of course. Pay your bills, live your life, but never forget that your music, your brand, and your career, is a business, and that business needs to be reinvested in, time and time again.
Expecting others to fund your dreams is a hopeful lie, and it will leave you feeling unappreciated.
Everyone has their own dreams, their own bills to pay, and their own businesses to reinvest in, and as such, they might not have the extra money to send your way; this can often leave musicians feeling like their efforts are for naught, but if your music makes even one person’s day better, and they take the time to let you know, then you just struck gold in my opinion.
NOT STAYING PATIENT. NOT STAYING CONSISTENT
In everyone’s case, this is going to take time, more time than you probably want it to.
In everyone’s case, this is going to take a lot of daily effort, more effort than you probably want it to.
If you want to build up a real audience, then you must stay real with your branding, you must stay authentic with how you present yourself to the people, and you must stay patient during the entire process.
If you want this, and I mean truly want this, then you will want to post new information daily, and you won’t leave your social media sites a dead-zone for most of the week.
Part of being consistent is to command and control your image, which means that you need to lockdown your social media sites to represent the artist you are trying to be (which is the one you already are). The public should not be invited in to see every side of your life, or else they can get confused about your branding, which will inevitably dilute your entire project.
Take a few days this week to clean up all your social media, get it all on the same page, and control the flow of information that surrounds you and your music.
If you can do this, you will not only strengthen your music, but build up your confidence in the process by having a clear idea to focus on, daily.
ON A FINAL NOTE
Music Promotion is no different from any other type of promotion. It still requires the same sort of effort from the artist, the same kind of financial support, and the same kind of patience.
You can learn a lot about what you can do next, just by paying attention to what is working for others.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, not with your music, and not with your music promotion.
It has never been about trying to find a way to be unique, but more importantly, it is about accepting that you already are.
Becoming undeniable is the true goal for your music, and to do that you must be willing to put all that you are into it. Part time isn’t going to cut it, losing patience in the process isn’t going to grant you any rewards, and leaving your branding up to chance isn’t going to win anyone over.
2018 could be the greatest year for you and your music, but that has everything to do with whether you make that your focus…and then putting that focus to work, every single day.
Do you need music promotion? Empire Music Promotions (www.empiremusicpromotions.com) offers result based campaigns aimed at helping you build your own musical empire.
Submit your music today!
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