Despite music being more accessible than ever before, feelings of unfair treatment and unfair compensation are rampant among musicians at all levels. Although Spotify takes the brunt of the blame, there are a lot of factors at play (the jury is split on the effects of piracy) and this isn’t the first time musicians have felt unfairly compensated for their music.
Summer touring season is fast approaching and many bands are finalizing those last minute details before the tour starts. Every year, bands report issues and problems that could have easily been avoided by simply talking to their manager before they ever set foot on the tour bus. Whether you’re a part of a top selling band or just starting out with an unknown group, there are some simple details that can make this tour the best one ever.
Ever since the days of Myspace, artists and musicians have known that leveraging their presence in the digital space can lead to greater success. Using social media and the internet to strategically build your brand helps fans find you. Beyond that, it boosts your credibility with venues and, these days, even the labels. Many artists know social media is a powerful way to connect with fans, but training them to go to another website like Facebook to find you isn’t necessarily the best long-term strategy. It makes more sense to steer your fans to an online address that you control.
YouTube is undoubtedly one of the most important tools for musicians to market and engage with fans online. But how does YouTube make you money?
Rather than simply allowing YouTube to run ads on your music videos and hoping for the best, you should focus on creating a sales funnel strategy.
There’s always been a notion that if we could emulate the lives of those we admire, then our lives would have the same outcomes as theirs – talented, successful, rich, famous, happy, whatever. That, of course, explains all the “Seven Secrets of…..” books and the popularity of biographies as treasure maps to our desired fortunes. Although the lives of successful music artists fall into that same category and there are certainly crafts and skills to be mastered, there are two areas that cannot be duplicated, which are, unfortunately, the two most important things required for success – artistry and luck. Which is why nothing compares to Prince. His was the perfect storm of skills, artistry and luck.
I am a muscian who recently read this article on The Guardian about musicians who scoff at their young female fans. Even before reading it, though, I’ve heard many people elude to it: musicians having young female fans takes away some sort of credibility. I even accepted this to be true as a teen girl myself, while listening to a song on repeat for hours, obsessing over every word and its possible meaning, and becoming entwined with the music and personal life of the artist. It seemed that any musician on a poster in my room instantly and undoubtedly became laughable.
- Tom Hess | The One Thing That Will Ensure Your Music Career Success
- Janette Berrios | How To Advance Your Music Career In A Digital Age
- Jon Ostrow | 5 Steps To Creating An Effective Music Marketing Plan
- Ta’rikah Jones | 5 SEO Tips For Musicians
- Larry Butler | The Ten Rules Of The Road (And Of Your Life)
What one thing is the key factor for your success in the music industry?
Answer: Your type of mindset. Regardless of what you do, every choice you make and action you have performed up until now has been determined by the type of mindset you’ve built for yourself.
The most popular and successful professional musicians were not born with amazing skills or more potential than everyone else. They have a separate kind of mindset that causes them to take different actions and get better results.
Being a musician these days is tough! Back in the good ‘ol days, artists just had to worry about learning their craft and booking shows, hoping to get radio support along the way that could eventually get you signed to a label. But today things have gotten a bit more complicated. But with every challenge there always lies opportunity. This opportunity is that we now have more access to information than ever before–information is knowledge. Now all the barriers of entry only large record labels knew about are out there in the open. With a bit of research and time, we know the industry works and we know how musicians can make money in it.
Whether you’re a brand new musician establishing yourself online for the first time, or an already established band with a dedicated fan base, there is one thing that love it or hate it, all musicians will have to do. That, my friends, is marketing your music.
So, you just created a website so your fans can learn more about you and your music, but you don’t know how to get fans to your website without paying for ads. As a musician with a website, you should practice different SEO (search engine optimization) techniques to make the website experience better for your fans and help you to gain new ones in the process. This is something many artists go through because they’ve never explored the world of SEO. SEO is all about generating organic traffic to your website, which can be done through optimizing your website and will improve your rankings in the SERP (search engine results page).
When asked what advice I might give to the aspiring touring artist, I consider my reply much the same as Polonius must have felt in passing on wisdom to Hamlet before the latter’s aborted trip to England with the ill-fated Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Neither a borrower nor a lender be… etc.).
Here then are the ten most important things to remember as a touring musician that must be memorized in order to survive. There’s no trick to coming out healthy, wealthy and wise at the end of a tour (assuming you started the tour that way), as long as you follow these few simple tenets.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)