ODDS ARE… (A response to What are the odds of succeeding without a record label?)
July 7, 2011
DG Gutekunst in Fans, The Road to Success, promotion, record label, success

Odds are if an artist has to calculate their potential for success based on statistics – regardless of veracity – they are doomed from the start.

Really.  Think about it – the only formula known thus far to work with any predictability is BEING an act REMARKABLE enough (thanks, Bruce, a favorite word the past year or so), to spread by word of mouth.

A formula NEVER out of date.

You certainly don’t want everyone to like you – but you do want everyone to talk.  BE something they must remark on. 

And have a live show that makes people FEEL IT.  Then word will spread.  Only ten times faster now with all the sharing capabilities.

So seems pretty clear:  Use SM to grow a fan base through right cliks.  Think EVERYONE CLIK.  Everything you do should be done with that goal in mind.

Then your tribe really will find you.  Work that ‘til your fan count gets high enough to land a distribution deal.  No bloodsucking production deals.

But if word’s not spreading to where you see measurable growth at least every month – well you know the truth – you ain’t ready yet.

It’s extremely difficult to be “ready” for success in anything – music included.

Oh yeah, and best to come up with some unique aspect to your act – nothing travels faster than a good story.  But smashing instruments, capes, moonwalking and meat dresses are taken.  Ditto for being shot many times and disrupting awards ceremonies. 

However, no matter how talented you are and how good your promotion is, getting to MAJOR success will take MAJOR media…which will take MAJOR bucks.  Which means eventually either a label or outside investment (including crowd funding – and while indie artists may not have raised in the six or seven figures that way yet, I suppose it’s possible for one remarkable enough).

No way around it – cash is still king, and to think otherwise is literally delusional.

One step at a time it can be done.  Ain’t that the truth?

DG Gutekunst, author of the forthcoming book, Artist 3.0  A Career RoadTrip Manual:  From Zero to Stardom in Simple (but not-so-easy) Steps, can be reached at dg@artist3point0.com , and welcomes all input! And if helpful in any way, feel free to re-post content to your blog or website.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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