Too often, our first instinct when measuring “success” is by the amount of money that’s in your bank account. One year Joe Shmo is making 30K annually, and the next year he gets a raise to 45k. Now he’s more successful, right? However, in music you’ll notice that unlike most other professional fields, “success” is a far more intangible and complicated concept to measure.
Entries in success (30)
FACT: Musicians generally look for the answers to all the wrong questions. What questions am I talking about? The ones that all amateurs or people who have never been in music ask. These questions are based on ignorance, guesswork, fears and self-destructive thoughts centered around how some people think the music industry works. By seeking the answers to these questions, you can only reduce the likeliness that you will ever have a chance at growing a successful music career.
I hate that artist, they are so annoying, their music is always playing, they look so arrogant with all their bling, they don’t deserve success and all that attention. That should be me.”
Why is it that so many of the successful artists see to be loud, outspoken, rebellious people when it’s this same kind of attitude that gets students kicked out of school? That somehow breaking the rules leads to more success than sticking to them.
The time of year for New Year’s Resolutions is almost upon us again, and with it will come fair-weather promises to ourselves to get into shape, cut down on alcohol, and maybe tidy the garage. For many of you who frequent this site, the New Year’s Resolution will be something along the lines of a fairly vague ‘be more successful’, and that in and of itself is fine, but I’d like to invite you to take a step back a little.
At some point, every musician hits a wall. The worst part is, sometimes you don’t even realize it. You’re trudging along, so stuck in the day to day and what you need to do to keep your head above water that any room for growth is instantly stunted. And before you know it, you’re beating your head against the wall trying to figure out why there hasn’t been any real progress in six months.
When a venture is new and everything is still fresh and exciting, it’s easy to get swept up in the potential of it all. But when dreaming turns to reality, and the stress of day-to-day life hits us, we forget how essential it is to step back and really focus on the future – not just the now. So before you go throwing in the towel, try asking yourself these five questions.
People are so weird. Last week, I was at this amazing barbecue restaurant and the table next me to opens up their bags, pulls out some ribs, and asks the waiter: “Uh excuse me, can we get some plates? We brought our own food.” WHY WOULD YOU BRING YOUR OWN FOOD TO A RESTAURANT After I wondered how this …
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!
1. Write, record and play high quality music
It seems like an obvious thing to say, but everything starts & ends with the music. If the songs are poor, the recording is bad, and the live show is dull don’t expect to make a living from music.
2. Continue to only deal in high quality
Some of the best new bands and artists are let down by terrible videos, bad photography and shocking design. Yes it is fickle, but judging a book by it’s cover is a reality. When you are choosing which artist to review, book, or even sign you are invariably drawn to the most attractive presentation. So why not increase your chances of being heard? Remember, you can have the best music in the world but if nobody listens ,you get nowhere.
Seriously. Do you give your best to your art?
Maybe you do creative work for yourself, maybe you do it for others. Maybe it’s a mix of the two. In any case, whatever you’re up to, if you’re not serious about it, it probably won’t amount to a hill of beans.
Sound a bit harsh?
Yes, it is. Go ahead, test it yourself. See if you end up playing Nickelback covers at weddings, or scribbling half-baked sonnets after an awesome night of PBRs. See if you find yourself hanging out at Starbucks talking to no one in particular about the novel you haven’t started yet.
Not the prettiest sight.
But there’s hope.
I’ve recently become intrigued with DIY, Youtube sensation Alex Day. Coverage of his ongoing artistic success has been popping up here and there for the last year and I finally sat down to review and digest the different possible factors that have led to his success in hopes of revealing a path I may be able to co opt for my own musical efforts.
10 Questions Artists Should Ask Themselves at the Beginning of Their Careers (To Increase their Chances of Success)
Every young artist has their reasons for working hard at their music, yet so rarely do they ever define these reasons to themselves, bandmates, and their team. Some reflective thinking and sharing could lead to a great deal of clarity when running your business (well, band). I’ve seen success get in the way of an artist’s core values and goals too many times. Sure, goals are allowed to change and augment, as circumstances do, but too often do great goals get lost, and that bands fold on the brink of their success, and abandon everything they have worked so hard for. Thinking about these questions and sharing the answers with your team might be hard, but it could help bring you back to what’s important OR save you from wasting your time with the wrong team, and pursuing your career aimlessly in different directions that will never connect.
The urge to believe there is a magic formula for success, and that it can be deduced from studying past hits, is powerful. Strategic Communications Group CEO Mark Hausman believes he has distilled The 3 Hallmarks of Exceptional Content. Columnist Marcel Williams is convinced he knows The Essential Features of a Hit Record. Using the so-called Nickels Paradox, we show the fallacy of such beliefs, how correlation with the past seldom predicts future success.
Hey my Music Think Tank gang, I hope you had a good new year. That said, the turkey’s done, and it’s time to pull sleeves up and get our music business grind back on!
With that in mind, I’ve written up a guide for anyone looking for some motivation and a way to move their music career forward this year. What’s more, I’ve made it available as a free (And very pretty) ebook for you to download!
So start reading this guide below, and if you feel it could be helpful to you and want to read the rest, simply click the ebook link at the bottom of this post and download the full version.
Recent Popular Content
(Updated January 13, 2016)