Self-promotion in the music industry is a topic that has been explored extensively over the past 20 years. Some of the basic ground rules are the same that apply to any business or freelancer. Most people in the industry, however, bands included, don’t know a whole lot about it. Many prefer to hover around the topic of social media because it’s all they know. After all, once you call yourself a “social media coach”, there’s really not much room for expansion besides posting an analysis of every new Twitter or Facebook development/etc. Artists flock to new music technologies, discovery platforms, unsigned networks, indie authorities, and crowd funding platforms looking for the answer, and yet, the message generally being sent to the artists tends to do them a disservice. Promises, promises. Even the term “submit your music” can be very misleading. Submit it where? Well…the junk folder, to be blunt.
What does signing to a non-exclusive deal mean? One question has come up consistently over the years when my artist friends come across a company using the term “…represented on a non-exclusive basis…” At first they think “Score! Someone’s going to put my music on TV and I get to keep my all my rights!” But hold on - it’s important to understand more about this situation.
The start of just about every marketing plan in history starts with what’s known as a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). It just so happens to be my first go-to step as well when I’m taking a look at a new band.
Although I don’t always do it formally, a SWOT analysis is the best way to get a handle on a band’s current position in a market and what the next steps should be. Having one in hand will help you determine what the steps of your marketing plan should be and how best to approach the next 2-3 months of marketing for your band.
It’s hard being a musician these days. In addition to writing/performing music, we’re often bombarded with the need to maintain an online presence, deal with licensing contracts, book tours, work with promoters, find sponsors, record/mix/master/distribute CD’s, and more. Because the work can be overwhelming, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and do things that hurt, not help our careers. Here are some of the bad habits that musicians are guilty of:
Matthew Jones: Talent VS. Taste. The Ugly Truth.
Yes – YOU the artist manager/label owner skimming through this blog. Have a hard time keeping up with your personal social media platforms when you’re in and out of meetings all day or on the phone? I hear ya! I’ll keep this short and sweet. Here are my tips for managing your social media when you’re mega busy, you’re not alone!
3 Wise Monkeys masterclass in Melbourne
Greetings from the land of AUS! I have just wrapped up an incredible nationwide tour of this gorgeous country called The 3 Wise Monkeys and Ralph Murphy (hear No Evil), Tom Jackson (See No Evil) and I (Speak No Evil) met some amazing and inspiring artists as well as managers, producers and songwriters. We each delivered 6 hour master classes in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide.
In 2012, we at Gracie Management created a model to predict high music consumption among Millennials and what drives music consumption, which led to great conversation. Since then, we have conducted new research and analysis, this time among the next generation – The Pluralist Generation (Plurals). The Plurals, as coined by Magid Generational Strategies, are those born beginning in 1997 and defined as least likely to believe in the American Dream, affected blended gender roles, last generation with a Caucasian majority, etc.
You can read the Gracie Management full report on the influence of music-based communities on Plurals’ music consumption habits – click here. For a quick take, here are the core findings and implications:
Let’s look at this idea a little closer. I wanted to discuss this certain ugly truth, which plagues the music industry, and great musicians everywhere. The music industry is flawed, and unfortunately not very fair. Best to know the truth and move on accordingly.
As you look around the industry this is highly apparent. I’m talking about he highest paid musicians vs. the level of musical talent. The popular attractive pop star vs. the refined musician. For example, Britney Spears vs. Diana Krawl. Lil Jon vs. Christian Scott. Unfortunately salary is not dictated by the level of talent in our capitalist structure, but the most in demand style of music.
Dillon Roulet: Religiously Recorded: Why The Studio Is Still Relevant
This piece is sure to be the enemy of home studio manufacturers, yet it’s something that must be said. Call me orthodox, but I still find the process of constructing a studio record to be imperative to superior quality music production. While the digital revolution has made it possible for recording technologies to be made available to the masses, there are so many reasons why producing a top notch album can only come from hours spent in the live room. Artists who take the studio experience seriously will find that the ritualistic nature of this process adds an enormous amount of non-tangible value to a record.
Hey guys. Today I want to look at one very important music business skill that will greatly benefit you in your quest for a ‘successful’ music career. We all have our own idea of what success is, but if to you it involves getting known on a wider scale then you already are, the below strategy will definitely help.
I’ve already looked at three other essential business skills for musicians, but this additional skill is just as important, if not more so. You should use it alongside the others for a more professional and faster moving music career.
So, let’s have a look at what the subject of today’s guide is:
Leveraging other people and platforms who currently command more influence than you.
With that in mind, let’s get into it!
The key to establishing yourself online and within your niche, is building a strong brand. Unfortunately this is far easier said than done. The process of designing, building and nurturing a new brand means you have established:
- A unique voice
- Consistent compelling content
- A trustworthy reputation
The problem for most comes down to the simple fact that there is no single path to achieving any one of these things. And yet, you need to achieve them all in order for your brand to blossom.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)