Everybody wants to know the easy, proven steps to music success. Therefore, most experts offers tips and strategies to help you reach your goals in a positive light — including me.
Well, it’s time to shake things up and serve a new audience — which explains why this post takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the dark side: How to destroy your music career in seven easy steps …
1) Give Away Your Personal Power
The first step to destroying your music career is to realize that your destiny is in the hands of other people and circumstances beyond your control. Fully embrace the fact that you need to be in the right place at the right time to get your “lucky break” and be “discovered.”
Know that industry people and music critics must deem you worthy of success for you to have value as a musician. Also, cling to the belief that all the answers are “out there” somewhere and out of your control and you will be incredibly successful at failure.
2) Turn Marketing, Promotion and Sales Into a Huge Burden
Do you really wanna fall flat fast? Then start referring to marketing as a “necessary evil” right away. Realize that you don’t have what it takes to “sell yourself” and reach more fans. In fact, there’s probably a biological reason you hate promotion: you were born without the critical marketing gene that all those “gift of gab” people have. Therefore, you are destined to live a lifetime of hardship as you struggle with having to engage in the ugly chore of self-promotion.
3) Be Fearful of Being Perceived as a Greedy, Capitalist Pig
Paranoia will go a long way to helping you fall short of a thriving music career — especially when it comes to earning money. Just know that every one of your fans is watching you and waiting to jump ship the second they smell any scent of capitalism. Therefore, if you make any sales pitches at all, they better be so low key as to be barely perceptible.
In fact, it would be best not to even make people aware that you have things for sale. Just wait till they come to you. If they’re interested, they’ll ask. And if you want to score extra points, when they do ask, tell them you left all your CDs and T-shirts at home.
4) Use a Lack of Time, Money and Connections as Your Biggest Excuse
Here’s a surefire way to go down in flames. Have convenient scapegoats based on scarcity. Tell anyone who asks (as well as a lot of people who don’t ask or care) how lousy your career is because of all the lack in your life. Frequently use phrases such as “There aren’t enough hours in the day,” “If I had that kind of money, I’d be a rock star too,” and “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” To spice things up, every now and then throw in an angry reference to “The man.”
5) Market Yourself to the Faceless Masses Using Traditional Big Media
Why spend all that time dealing one on one with fans, when someday someone could just throw a bunch of money (you know, the funds you don’t have enough of now) into a massive marketing campaign? Realize that it takes big bucks spent on radio promotion, retail placement, billboards, and paid display ads in national magazines to succeed. This mass media mindset is your ticket to success … at hitting the fast track to failure.
Bonus tip: Never answer your email from fans, and rarely — if ever — log into your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter accounts. Better yet, don’t even start these accounts, since they are time-wasting fads.
6) Promote Yourself Sporadically and Only When It’s Urgent
If you have a mailing list (and with piss-poor email delivery and open rates these days, why bother?), be sure the fans on your list don’t hear from you very often. One of the best “road to ruin” marketing tactics is blasting your fans with urgent “come to my show” or “buy my new album now” messages when they haven’t heard from you in months. Your ultimate goal is have fans read your promotions and go, “Who is this band again?”
7) Know That Everyone Owes You Something Simply Because You Exist
I’ve saved the best way to destroy your music career for last. Simply know that everyone will care as much about you and your music as you do. Understand that complete strangers will indeed listen to every note of your 70-minute concept album and read every word of your 10-page bio. Be sure to send long, in-depth emails and leave lengthy, rambling voice mail messages for the imbeciles who don’t recognize your greatness. Also, be sure to insult anyone who doesn’t get back to you within 10 minutes.
There you have it — the top seven ways to ruin your music career.
So … what are you waiting for? Now get out there and demote yourself!!!
P.S. Did I miss any important ways you destroy your music career? Please add your own tips in the comments below.