A True Artist

Artist Ghandi Quote Feature Image

By Johnny Dwinell

Every day I think that if Daredevil Production, LLC is going to make a dent in the Universe with new music we need more true artists.  Thank God the new music industry is all about true artists!

 

A true artist cares about the work

A true artist is interested in and incessantly pursues the truth in their art; no head-tripping allowed.Artist Can you handle the truth2

A true artist is fascinated with the process and not the outcome.  For instance, Billy Joel was quoted as saying something like “I look at my songs like my children. Some of them grow up to be doctors and lawyers, some of them grow up to be delinquents, but I love them all equally and unconditionally.”

The outcome continually improves when a true artist is focused on and fascinated with the process.

 

Artist Billy JoelA true artist has no concern about failing because the work is an end by itself.  For instance, the first record is stepping stone to record two; a snapshot in time of exactly where the artist was on the journey and so on.

 

The task & labor of creation is the satisfaction; it’s even exhilarating to a true artist.

A true artist proves through work that they are worthy and gains confidence in their art.Artist Confidence Thermometer

A true artist gets lost in the cause & forgets all the distractions.

A true artist understands that art can be very objective to the world.

So quality counts.

A true artist doesn’t use the notion that “art is subjective” as an excuse to ignore constructive criticism. For instance, constructive criticism, despite the imminent sting that’s involved, can help define strengths and weaknesses.  Thus, providing a road map on how exactly to work smarter to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.  This is called development and refinement.

Artist art is subjective and objectivve

A true artist doesn’t use the notion that “art is subjective” as an excuse to get by with half-assed work.

A true artist doesn’t use the notion that “art is subjective” as an excuse to be lazy or cheap with their process.

A true artist is driven to continually improve their songwriting, their playing, recording skills, their understanding about the process of making records, their live show, their vocal skills, and their presentation to the world.  They’ll make a living by accident if the energy is right and they’re not self-sabotaging.

A true artist learns through the process of work to ignore the inner censor and entertain all ideas swimming around in their heads.  Write them all down now.  Refine later.

 

A true artist always honors the muse.  When she shows up, drop everything and write it down because you won’t remember.

 

A true artist understands perception is reality.

 

Therefore a true artist doesn’t share their art with the consumer world until its finished and done well; they know they will be judged.brokenCD2A true artists understands that any demos, work tapes, and rough tracks are only interesting and “colorful” to the consumer after they fall in love with the finished track.  Before that it’s just a crappy demo; so they don’t display anything on the world’s refrigerators like Soundcloud, Spotify, etc., until it’s finished.

A true artist knows the difference between a well written song and a song that isn’t ready yet.

A true artist knows the difference in the sonic quality of their music as compared to their idols.

 

A true artist knows it’s less expensive to hire a professional than to hire an amateur.Artist if you think it's expensive to hire a professional wait till you hire an amateur

 

A true artist knows that while well done art is subjective to taste, poorly executed art is objective and crappy.  There’s a difference between a good song and great song, right?  So then is there a difference between a good song and a crappy song.

 

A true artist knows that their mother, best friend, and significant other are the only people who care about their potential.  The rest of the world can only be interested in and react to what you have accomplished.  Getting heartbroken or spiritually injured over anything less is foolish and naïve.

 

A true artist knows that “magic” doesn’t happen out of the heavenly skies until they have their 10,000 hours.  For instance, we see magic happen every day in our studio because we work with professionals who have their 10,000 hours and then some.  There will be no magic with amateurs who can’t play well…that “magic” happens in post-production afterward.

Artist it's all about the magic

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are You Doing?

Doing Feature Image RESIZE

The last weekly article I wrote entitled 10 Reasons Not To Give Up  received a ton of response.  There was a particular Dreams Clouds reaction that was inspiring to me.

First, I thought I’d share the email with you and then we can dive into my thoughts for this week.

I would love for you to bend your nimble mind around this one . . . it is one thing to hold your vision of the dream and never give up, but for those who really and truly don’t have the skill or talent to make it happen, how can a person accurately gauge when enough is enough and begin to pursue a more attainable dream?  I see it so much – people pouring their life’s energy into a delusion . . . and are crushed when it does not happen.  And that translates to a life of disappointment and pain.  That scenario is far more common than is success in music, don’t you think?

How would you guide a person and advise them via a critical assessment, a self-diagnostic, of their real potential to be successful in the music biz, without shooting them down?

For me, I understand success on a business platform and experience it daily.  Musically there are still a few remnants of fear there and I practice daily not allowing negativity to dissuade me.  I know I will have only the success and fame that I choose to have, given my knowledge of the law of attraction and how manifestation works.  I have done the self-diagnostic and am encouraged 🙂

Your posts encourage me.  I can feel your energy and drive to thrive, brothah!  Keep up the great work!

 

I assure you the person who authored this reply is coming from a very compassionate place, and has asked a real honest, Doing Feature Image RESIZEphilosophical question that I think we all have considered more than once as artists.

 

This brings up a real good perspective to consider, don’t you think?  I’m glad this person reached out!

 

I have an answer to the question that was posed in the reply printed above, “How would you guide a person and advise them via a critical assessment, a self-diagnostic, of their real potential to be successful in the music biz, without shooting them down?”

 

Ready for the answer?

 

It’s simple.

 

What are you doing?

 

Doing Excuse me WTF are you doing

 

The success, legitimacy, or potential for anyone’s future in any life adventure can be easily measured by the work that their doing.

 

What are YOU doing?

 

Wishing for something to happen is not work.

 

Wanting something to happen is not work.

 

Believing something should happen is not work.

 

Hoping for something to happen is not work.doing don't be upset by the results you didn't get from the work you didn't do

 

Complaining about something that is not happening is not work.

 

Making excuses for why something is not happening is not work.

 

Work is the conduit to success.  Work is where you find out exactly how your story will play out.

Work creates luck, opportunity, relationships, and results.

 

For instance, if you are an aspiring singer/songwriter/artist who is broke, living in B.F.E where there is no music business, married with 3 kids, and you are constantly working by writing songs, you are in it.

 

Your potential is greater than someone who is next door with the same circumstances telling everyone what they want to be and why they can’t get it done.

Just do the work.

doing do your work image

 

Through work you will find like-minded people with similar goals in the smallest towns.  That will lead to other people with similar goals in bigger towns.

 

The artists who work hard will always outshine the artists who talk about work and about the business; REGARDLESS OF SKILL AND TALENT.

 

The artists who are constantly working don’t have time to complain about not making it; they’re too busy creating opportunities for themselves.

 

I have learned that people who really love something are busy working on it.  As a consequence, I always judge my involvement with someone on a business level based on the work that they have done.

 

So any self-diagnostic should begin with an honest assessment of what are you doing?

Where are you spending your time?doing is our time well spent hourglass image

 

If you say, “I have to work a job I hate to pay the bills so I can live and therefore I don’t have enough time to be an artist” then you are right.

 

The kind of living you are making is clearly more important to you than becoming an artist because that is what you spend all your time working on; that is what you are doing.

So again I ask every one of you, what are you doing?

 

Whatever you are spending your time working is where you will see results.

 

If you realize that you are working towards something that isn’t as important to you as your artistry, then change it.

doing let's work together image

 

Right now.

 

If you have good reasons for putting all the energy you put into working towards something that doesn’t have anything to do with your artistry, then that is where you really want to be and should be.

 

 

I know this because that is what you are doing.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

 

 

 

10 Reasons Not To Give Up

Give Up Don't you dare FEATURE

Did you ever notice how we only see success as success?  When we are first exposed to someone successful we initially only think about their success, right?

We covet a little bit.Give Up The Struggle You Don't See

We become envious.

Unless we are exposed to all the details of a personal success story, we don’t see (and we’re usually not told) about the struggle that preceded the success. We weren’t told about how many times they didn’t give up.

Every success comes with mountains of struggle

 

mountain-landscape-640617_castle_peI have news for you, EVERY success comes with mountains of struggle, endless hurdles, obstacles overcome, bullets dodged, etc.  There is ALWAYS a back story rife with failure, heartbreak, doubt, fear, second thoughts, and the fact that they didn’t give up through any of it.

Bottom line, I can guarantee you’ll fail if you don’t try again.  Nobody can guarantee failure if you don’t give up.  So, it’s a scientific fact that you can win if you don’t give up and you will definitely lose if you quit.

The only thing that is impossible is what you don’t try to achieve.Give up Don't You Are So Close

What’s the worst that could happen?

You have to try again?

So what?  It’s worth it, right?

This dream of yours isn’t going to be easy. Simply put, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Here are 10 reasons not to give up

  1. It’s All About Talent Again Give Up You Bring The Talent 2

    As terrestrial radio continues to become less effective at breaking acts in the marketplace, the big hype machine disappears with it.  The ability to “hype” a non-talent into super-stardom is waning fast.  The future stars in the music business are going to have to be talented to get recognized.  Don’t give up. You have talent. Talent will win in the end.

  2. Pressure = Creation

    There’s a saying that goes “Necessity is the mother of invention”.  You thrive on pressure even if you think you don’t.  You are stronger than you think.  Rick Rubin on several occasions (most notably Weezer’s “Beverly Hillsand Tom Petty’s “It’s Good To Be King) would wait until a week or so before the scheduled recording sessions to tell an artist he didn’t think they had a single just to see what the pressure would create.  Never give up. Pressure creates diamonds, I know it’s cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

  3. Failure

    Give Up Failure doesn't come from falling downYou need it believe it or not.  It’s what teaches you how to navigate your career better. Failure is what teaches you how to win. Remember every success is preceded by many failures. Just ask Michael Jordan who was cut from his high school basketball team; he didn’t give up. Sheryl Crow got a major label deal and recorded her first album only to scrap it completely before it was released. Of course she was then sued by her label; this was before Tuesday Night Music Club. She didn’t give up. Thomas Edison failed 2,000 times before he nailed the long lasting incandescent light bulb. He didn’t give up.  Henry Ford went bankrupt multiple times before he invented the assembly line. he didn’t give up either.

  4. The Pursuit

    Life happens as you make your way toward your goal; enjoy it.  This time in your struggle, these are the moments that you will remember forever.  Again, I know its cliché, but think about it, success is not a destination, it is the journey.  Especially in the music business, man, you are either on your way up or on your way down, there is no plateau where “things calm down” and you relax. Don’t give up. You want to make a living being a creative which means you’re always creating.

  5. You Are Strong Give Up Stay Strong

    You are stronger than you think.  You have the capability to understand the fact that your career is always full of challenges, so EXPECT them and eat them for breakfast.  Success will come when you resign yourself to dealing with these challenges as challenges, not excuses.  1, 10, or even 1,000 setbacks are not enough to stop you, so don’t give up.

  6. If You Give up on Yourself Everyone Else Will Too

    Listen, ALL successful people have overcome incredible odds and incredible struggles to get where they are; you just aren’t aware of the back story.  These prosperous people deeply understand that success is a mindset.  They surround themselves with positive, like-minded people.  They view quitters as a cancer, or a STD.  When you project negativity or a quitting vibe it pisses successful people off.  It pisses them off because it scares the shit out of them.  It scares them because they KNOW failure is just 1 negative thought away.  Don’t give up.

  7. There is no Overnight Success

    No great thing was created overnight.  Many years of work went into every success before it ever came to your attention. Don’t be naive. Don’t give up.

  8. You’re Just a Few Tweaks Away

    Sometimes a few tweaks and adjustments to a plan are all that it takes to make a giant leap forward.  Over the course of my band’s first tour, we lost $8,000 because I didn’t know what I was really doing.  A few tweaks coupled with a clearer understanding of the game and our second touring experience had us actually making a living on ½ the gross revenue! Don’t give up. I failed first, learned, then got better; you can too.

  9. You Can Change the Industry ForeverGive Up The Struggle Your in today

    Make your dent, man.  Florida Georgia Line had the BEST writers in town and a KILLER producer behind their project.  All the record labels still said “No” because FL/GA Line was too different.  They went to Satellite radio where “Cruise” became a smash hit and after a little tour they sold 100,000 downloads.  Then every label that said “no” was saying “yes”. The record, the production, the band, the sound, and the songs didn’t change.  The only thing that changed was the perception. They didn’t give up when everyone said no. Don’t give up.

  10. Let the Haters Hate

    The more you succeed the more haters you will have.  Think of them like little trophies, assuming you’re not a douchebag it means you’re doing something right.  Don’t give up.

Give Up Do It For The People Who Want To See You Fail

 

Give Up It's hard to wait for something that may never happen

 

Give Up You Can't Go A Day Without Thinking About

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give Up You Are the creator of your own destiny

 

PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put  in your Mistake Twittername and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.

 

 

 

 

 

Pragmatic Epiphanies

By Johnny Dwinell

 

prag·ma·tism

[prag-muh-tiz-uhm]  Show IPA

noun

character or conduct that emphasizes practicality.

a philosophical movement or system having various forms, but generally stressing practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value.

 

Pragmatic Pragmatic MLK image

 

Utilitarian

 

Sober

 

Realistic

 

LogicalPragmatic Bono Quote image

 

Practical

 

Efficient

 

Down-to-Earth

 

Pragmatic To Do Image

Businesslike

 

I am wondering, how do you run your career?

 

I am wondering, how do you approach your art, your talent?

 

Many of you are suffering artistically and stagnate in your careers because you are trying to be something you’re not.  Some of you are pushing for things you think you need to do and ignoring the lanes that options that will bring actual momentum to your career.

In short, many of you are creating your own obstacles unnecessarily.

Yes, it is much easier and quicker to start a fire with a blow torch or flame thrower, but if _MG_2855you don’t have these things, then the more pragmatic approach is to set up smaller kindling wood stuffed with newspaper. The paper burns immediately catching fire to the kindling which catches fire to the big logs in your fireplace; then just keep stoking.

 

You can choose to lament the fact that you don’t have a flame thrower/blow torch which results in no fire, OR you can work with something more practical, something you do have, and the end result is a nice fire.

 

 

 

EVERY ARTIST has their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.

An artist really is not going to gain serious momentum until they can objectively sit down and pragmatically determine where the strengths and weaknesses are in their live show, recordings, images, lyrics, melodies, market approach, business plan; their art essentially Pragmatic Madonna Album Cover image

Madonna is an Icon.  She isn’t a good singer.  She’s a good dancer, a great business person, and a great entertainer.  Her live shows do not focus on her singing do they?

She focuses on her strengths.

Ray LaMontagne has a voice that is like butter.  He is an AMAZING singer/songwriter.  Listen to his tracks.  They are decidedly arranged with space.  Space that allows that voice and those lyrics to easily shine through and change your life; that’s how he touches you.

 

He is accentuating the positives.

Pragmatic Ray LaMontagne Image 2

Ray is not trying to blow you away with vocal acrobatics.  That is not his lane and he knows it.  His lane is in the tone and the story, like Stevie Nicks or Rod Stewart.  These kinds of voices just need to sing good songs and the tone feathers out in your chest like a really good scotch.

 

If you listen to pop music with a pragmatic ear you will notice that many of the artists can’t sing.  Consequently the musical arrangements around their voices are akin to a sonic circus.  By design, they don’t really want you to focus on the voice all that much.  It’s more about the hooks and the feel.  Pop music has always been lyrically “light” so much that the words don’t even have to make sense, they just has to sing well; remember Phil Collin’s “Sussudio”?Pragmatic Phil Collins Sussudio image

Two different approaches.

Each approach is appropriate to the artist and genre, yes?

Are you pragmatic with your songwriting?  Do the songs you write fit your vocal range and style?

Are you pragmatic with your live show?  Does your show accentuate your positives and eliminate the negative?

Are you truly a captivating act?

Are you pragmatic with your sonic production and arrangements in the studio?

Pragmatic Tony Robbins Resourcefulness image

 

Are you overplaying?

Are you over-singing?

Are you over producing a great voice?

How about your marketing approach?

Pragmatic is about focusing on what you do have instead of what you don’t.

Be pragmatic.  Get momentum.

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

Excuses versus Challenges

No Excuses Feature Redo

People hate it when I talk about this subject. Mostly because everyone has some festering sore spot in their life where they felt like they coulda, shoulda, woulda, but made an excuse and never did. So having a serious discussion about excuses causes people to relive their most catastrophic or most painful failures which in turn pisses them off.

I get it.

Do you know why it pisses them off?Excuses Are The Tools Of Incompetence

It’s because they knew better. It’s because, deep down, they knew that there was more they could have done, but they chose to make an excuse.

They chose to give up.

They succumbed to their moment of doubt.

They behaved weakly.

I have some to be sure. They don’t feel good when you live them and they certainly don’t feel good when you relive them. I submit to y’all that there is exactly ZERO people on this planet that do not have a sore spot left from an excuse.

Excuses Before After Weight loss imageHere’s the key part of this concept EVERYBODY has at least one moment where they wish they would have done something differently, ya know?

The difference between the successful people and the people who seem to get stuck living in the past or making the same mistakes/excuses is that the successful people learn from the error in judgment and move on.

Successful people grow.

They learn that the difference between an excuse and a challenge is simply perspective.

Now you’re thinking about your moment of doubt and you’re deciding whether to continue reading.

Again, I get it.

My dad always told me that excuses are like butts, everyone has one and they all stink. (He always used more colorful language)

Yes, I know, there are definitely valid excuses. Real good reasons that something didn’t get done.

There are also crappy, weak, excuses. Real lame reasons why something didn’t get done.Excuses Are For People Who Don't Want It Bad Enough

It is a FACT that all valid and all lame excuses have the same outcome; something didn’t get done that should have been done.

Another way to articulate this fact is to say that whether one has a valid excuse or a weak excuse the damage is exactly the same. Something doesn’t get done.

Another really HORRIBLE fact about excuses is that they always imply failure. They precede giving up. Excuses become the trumped up reason to quit.

Excuses make it ok to fail at your goals and dreams.

Excuses make it ok for life to happen to you instead of the other way around.

A challenge is processed COMPELTELY differently in the subconscious mind.

If one thinks of any roadblocks as a challenge they are framed as an obstacle that is delaying the execution of a certain goal or dream.

See the difference?

An excuse is subconsciously thought of as “Here’s the reason why we failed.”

A Challenge is subconsciously thought of as “Here’s the reason why our success is being postponed.”

With an excuse there is no need for further action; game over. (This is why people like them so much)Excuses Don't Limit Your Challenges Challenge Your Limits

A challenge REQUIRES additional effort.

(This is why people don’t like them)

Thomas Edison could have had 2,000 excuses why he couldn’t make the light bulb. Instead he viewed them as 2,000 challenges that got him closer to his goal.

Oh yeah, and then he made the first practical, long lasting, incandescent light bulb.

Excuses are toxic and nonproductive. View them as the most horribly addicting drug that will ABSOLUTELY, UNDENIABLY ruin your life.

You should seriously treat excuses as something life threatening like the Ebola Virus that should never to be put in or around you.

Challenges are a pain in the ass.

Challenges make us uncomfortable.

Challenges delay success.

But challenges alwaysprecede success.

One cannot have success without challenges.

One cannot succeed with excuses.

Are you busy making excuses or are you busy dealing with challenges?

Excuses Challenges Make Life Interesting

Excuses Mom with 3 ChildrenExcuses Handicapped Kid Image

Excuses Olympic Discus Thrower

Excuses Stop Making Excuses image

 

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

There’s Always 1 Skeptic

Skeptic Feature image

 By Johnny Dwinell

Lately, I’m proud to say, many of my articles have been reposted by some resource sites that have far greater traffic than ours does. Every so often, I get a wild hair and a little extra time that directs me to read some of the comments people leave about my blog posts. This is a rare occurrence but interesting because, while I receive and reply to all comments on Daredevilproduction.com, I don’t get “pinged” when comments are posted anywhere else. Additionally, one cannot directly reply to any comments on these sites.

Reading the feedback on any given post is usually motivating because most people get the information or at least find something in there that inspires them, teaches them, makes them aware, etc., and they make a point to say so.

…and then there is always at least 1 skeptic.

At least one person who takes the time to spin or trump up some undesirable angle so he/she can poo-poo all the information and go on about their life and career as-is with no meddlesome disruptions that would threaten their current understanding of how the music business works.

I am still an artist and will always have an artist heart

I want to thank anyone who takes the time to remark on the positive and/or helpful info that they received from my articles. Even though I operate at high level on the business side IMG_8642of my brain, I am still an artist and will always have an artist heart. That means it’s wounded pretty easily from disapproval and nourished by positivity.

While I totally understand that being divisive on certain subjects is a good thing (negative comments means I’m touching a nerve somewhere right?), I must admit that the adverse interpretations get me thinking a lot; sometimes too much. I guess I just can’t help wanting to please everyone.

 

Yesterday, I was reading the comments on an article called 20 Biggest Marketing Mistakes. I experienced mostly great comments and, of course, 1 skeptic.

This skeptic trashed all the information because, in his head, we were selling something.

If you’ve already read it, #18 in the article stated “You won’t pay for coaching” as a mistake. The skeptic then summed up the whole article as a hustle to lead people into paying us for coaching.Skeptic LEARN image

Everybody needs to be educated. Especially in an environment where the targets you must hit to survive are constantly moving. If you can get free coaching a.k.a. on-the-job-training or an internship, God bless! The rest of us will have to learn somewhere else or suffer through doing the same ineffective routine that gets us the same, useless results. Btw, isn’t college paid education/coaching?

So THIS thought got me thinking about how and why the consummate skeptics self-sabotage. They don’t want to find the answers because that would mean they would have to stop complaining and actually show up for work.

Showing up for work means they would have to take responsibility for the results.

A level of skepticism is quite healthy. We definitely need a “devils-advocate”, if you will. We believe in this concept so much at Daredevil Production, LLC that Kelly and I regularly practice skepticism against any new ideas we bring up. We actually try to blow holes in the concept to test their strength and validity. The difference is that the skepticism is served up in a positive spirit of finding the truth rather than some hostile rant of pure negativity.

But like anything else in life, too much skepticism is the opposite of healthy.

It’s debilitating. Sometimes this is unconscious, and sometimes people are just downright angry, evil, and bitter so they do it intentionally.

Either way, the damage to the skeptic is the same.

skeptic don't be afraid move forwardThey don’t move forward.

Skeptics will typically label themselves as “unlucky”, that’s one big reason they are so damn skeptical.

The definition of luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation. Now, as you read that your eyes are glazing over.

True as it may be, It’s a cliché isn’t it?

 

As artists we want to believe in skill and talent.

The truth is that skill and talent will always get you more “at bats” in life, but it certainly does NOT guarantee success.

The other truth is most artists require a little more validation (I use “a little more” in the same way a bar would use “free beer Skeptic Free Beer Tomorrow singtomorrow”…it never comes) before they really get to work on the preparation part of the equation.

Too many artists are waiting for the opportunities to present themselves before they invest in the work portion of the formula.

So the “Luck Equation” is changed. When it’s changed the opposite happens; you get unlucky. Then I guess you ultimately become a skeptic.

Let’s look at luck and skeptics who consistently feel unlucky from a different perspective. I was reading an incredible article about Survivorship Bias. This article was LONG but so worth the read. It focused on the human proclivity for noticing and therefore studying winners simply because winners are more visible than losers.

Skeptic You are not so smart imageFor instance you want to open a restaurant because you see so many successful restaurants in your neighborhood. What you don’t see is that 90% of restaurants fail.

You want a record deal because you see all the successful artists and they inspire you. What you don’t see is that 90% of signed artists fail. It’s always been that way.

Get it?

In this article there was a portion that basically attributed all successes to luck. Which is disturbing at first glance, until you consider the following facts:

  • Luck isn’t fairy dust
  • Luck isn’t a mythical force where the Gods determine the haves and have-nots.

There are many scientific studies that show luck (and Luck’s opposite which leads to skepticism) to be a measurable output of a group of predictable behaviors.

While randomness, chance, and the noisy chaos of reality may be impossible to predict or tame, luck and therefore skeptics are something else.Skeptic We only regret the chances we didn't take image

Huh?

Luck and skeptics are the results of a human being consciously interacting with chance.

The example given in this article was compelling. These scientists followed the lives of 400 people of all ages and professions over a 10 year period. The scientists found these people through newspaper articles that asked for subjects to apply if they thought of themselves as generally very lucky or generally very unlucky. The subjects were asked to keep diaries, participate in experiments, and be interviewed over the course of the decade.

In one such experiment, the subjects were given a newspaper and asked to count the number of photographs inside. The people who labeled themselves as generally unlucky took an average of 2 minutes to complete the task.

The people who considered themselves generally lucky took an average of a few seconds.

The scientist had placed an ad in GIANT BOLD LETTERS on the second page that said “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” Deeper inside the scientists placed another ad with the same sized text that read, “Stop Counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250.”

The people who were unlucky (a.k.a. the skeptics) usually missed both. (I submit that if this experiment was performed during the internet age they would have “commented’ on how the test was unfair, fixed, a scam, and somehow partial to the lucky group)

The scientists observed that skeptics are narrowly focused

They crave security, tend to be more anxious, instead of wading into a sea of random chance open to what may come, they remain Skeptic Fearless Focus imagefixated on controlling the situation, on seeking a specific goal.

In the case of the skeptic who commented on my article, he did exactly ZERO research because he was narrowly focused on finding the angle, finding the moment where we ask for money; which in his interpretation devalued the information. This goal of his, distracted him from all the possibly educational content.

If our skeptic did any research he would know that Daredevil Production, LLC is in the artist development business. We don’t charge for and put on conferences of any kind; it’s not our business model. If he read that article again, he would also pick up that Kelly and I were panelists not the hosts at the mentioned conference. Furthermore, he would have read that we made many relationships with some amazing new writers we met at this conference. In fact, we have already placed one such writer with an artist we are developing (they’re getting along famously so far)

So I guess that writer who paid to attend the conference is just lucky, right?

And our skeptic remains unlucky due to an overwhelming need to find an “angle” with every opportunity or piece of information. If it requires money it must be bad, right?

To be clear Mr. Skeptic, what you “See” as a music fan is:

  • An interview or two from your favorite artist.
  • You hear probably 1 live radio interview on whatever local station you listen to.
  • You see your favorite artist in 1 appearance on your favorite late night TV show.
  • It seems really grandiose and adoring for the artist whom you aspire to be like.

Mr. Skeptic, what you don’t see is:

  • Your favorite artist doing weeks of 12 hour days that consist of nothing but interviews for every print magazine, newspaper, blog spot, radio station, and podcast on the planet.
  • Your favorite artist does weeks of radio tours hitting every station in everybody’s home town.
  • Your favorite artist appears on ALL the late night TV shows, ALL the morning talk shows, and ALL the mid afternoon talk shows.

Oh, and Mr. Skeptic, there’s the final nail in your “integrity coffin”. Your favorite artist deserted-town-old-west-casketsuffers through weeks of interviews answering the same, monotonous, lame questions, over and over. They endure tons of travel to get to a new city to answer more monotonous, lame questions on a radio tour which could ultimately be described as, GASP, sales calls!

Yes, Mr. Skeptic, your favorite artist has the very thing you so diligently seek to dismiss every experience and every educational opportunity, the one thing you despise most on this Earth; an angle.

Your favorite artist wants to sell records and concert tickets.

Sorry.

The moral of the story is be a little skeptical because it’s healthy, but don’t be a skeptic.

The bad news is if you are bitter, sour, and too skeptical it’s your own damn fault.

The good news is you can change it if you want.

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

Artistic Terrorists

By Johnny Dwinell

We have traitors amongst us.

I am now acutely aware.

They’re more like artistic terrorists.

This is serious y’all. I’m NOT screwing around.

These people work against you, the artists.file0001791513547

They are ruining artists and the art for that matter.

They’re haters!

They are demons working against us artists to ensure we don’t realize our dreams.

I have seen them PURPOSEFULLY hinder follow-through on important, possibly life-changing opportunities, ruining artist’s chances to take the next necessary steps in their respective careers.

I have seen these conspirators stop creativity in its tracks!! Or worse, stop the spiritually healing act of creation before it even begins. They use insanely cold-hearted manipulative tactics like bullying, misinformation, mental abuse, physical abuse, sabotage, and downright tyranny to achieve their ultimate goal of shutting artists down.

These turncoats MUST BE STOPPED.

This is freaking ridiculous.

Artistic Terrorist I Kill You imageI have seen these people that work against artists literally destroy lives, careers, and dreams without so much as an ounce of regret. It’s like they LIVE to kill dreams. They LIVE to steal our energy.

They are not compassionate.

They are never remorseful

They are extremely dangerous

<H2.Here’s what’s really scary…you know who they are.

Let me give you an example. Most of you know that Daredevil Production, LLC is in the midst of developing a reality TV show that will expose artists to a larger market and boost selected artists up to the next level. We will do this by coupling the mass market TV exposure with a concerted effort to capture contact information while the iron is hot.

In plain English, we will make hay while the sun is shining.

The selected artists will develop a brand name of some kind.

The selected artists will sell their music, merch, and tickets

The selected artists will tour the country.

We created a very succinct submission page that clearly asked for just 4 mission critical pieces of information.

  1. Contact information – If the TV Studio likes the artist, they need to contact them for further interviews and hopefully for business purposes if they are chosen
  2. A recent image of the artist – it’s TV, they need to know what the artists look like.
  3. A Link to the best recording of the artist’s best song – Daredevil Production and the TV Studio want to hear what the artist is up to. Where are they exactly on their artistic journey?
  4. A Link to a Video – Where the artist answers questions that are posted on the submission page in an interview kind of fashion. I actually thought this was genius. The questions are there. The artist is not burdened with video content creativity. Just answer the questions on camera and be “fascinating”, the TV execs can see if the artist is “Good for TV” or not.

The terrorists won on so many of these submissions; it’s frightening how powerful they are. They intentionallyMona Lisa Artistic Terrorist image disrupted the process and literally screwed quite a few entries.

I am really worried about this. It’s a darkness that exists.

I wish I didn’t know about it.

On one entry I believe these artistic terrorists actually replaced the supplied artistic content (i.e. the link to the song and the link to the video) with a link to the artist’s website music page (with many different tracks on it) and the name of the artist plus a handy http://Youtube.com link (that’s the EXACT link…to the home page of YouTube…Who does that??)

FYI, I looked this artist up on YouTube. I discovered her name was common. On the first page there were no less than 4 different people with personal home spun music videos. I did identify a few of the artist’s videos after some detective work (a photo wasn’t supplied either so I took time to match the image on her website with the very different images on her videos but I’m pretty sure I got it right) but these videos were all 8 years old or more.

See what I mean? These artistic terrorists knew this. They knew I wasn’t going to find what I needed to complete the entry for the artist.

Where was the video interview she made?

I decided to contact the artist via email and ask, again, for the link to the best recording of her best song, and a link to the video interview as I couldn’t seem to find it on YouTube page 1 or 2. She was mortified and sent another email…

Then these artistic terrorists struck AGAIN by replacing her content that she worked so hard on with the exact same information provided on the original submission.

file8811257954602Twice?

To the same artist?

Really?

These people need to be stopped, man. This is horrible. I moved on because I literally didn’t have time to fight these radicals. It was exhausting.

I’m telling you these artistic terrorists are potent, man. They are true professionals. The mental aspect of their onslaught is downright terrifying.

They use some sort of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (much like a cult leader) to actually get inside these artist’s minds. They effectively change the mindset of their victims; even the SUBCONSCIOUS mind of their targets.

They lead them to believe they’ll never make it.Keep Fear Alive Artistic Terrorists image

They lead them to believe their not worth it.

They lead them to believe they suck.

They lead them to believe that people around them who are negative belong with them and should never be excommunicated from the artist’s delicate world.

They lead them into constant moments of doubt.

They lead them into temptation.

Listen we all have moments of doubt. If you don’t you’re not trying hard enough. Even Jesus Christ had a moment of doubt, man. I mean, twice a week I wake up wondering what in the HELL I am doing, but I keep going, ya know?

I keep going because the juice is worth the squeeze.

But when you’re inundated with constant negativity and blocked by continuous physical hurdles and challenges that are put in place by these artistic terrorists, it will bring you down eventually; I don’t care who you are.

Some of us know enough to keep the negative, jealous haters out of our lives, but we don’t know enough watch the back door, where the true evil lives; the artistic terrorists.

You see, you are intimately acquainted with these terrorists.342They live inside you.

They are you

They are your dark side.

They manifest themselves in the form of excuses, self-sabotage, jealousy, rage, envy, coveting, addiction, gluttony, self-destruction, projection, pain, sorrow, and poor art; or worse, no art.

 

Don’t let the artistic terrorists win.

It’s a journey NOT a destination.

Eat your challenges for breakfast.

Never surrender.

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

Implied Power

Power image

First of all, a big shout out to Brent Baxter for a killer post last week! Thanks Brent (I totally needed that! Let’s do it again)

The last blog that I wrote 20 Biggest Music Marketing Mistakes I touched on the concept of implied power.

I want to dissect this concept a bit more to demonstrate how important the delivery of your message is regardless of value of the content.

I keep seeing artists and artist promo teams at all professional levels make thefile0001719225336 same mistakes with regards to communication errors and developing relationships online.

Too many people think if the message (music) is good and the message (music) is true, everyone will accept it.

This is false.

You have to understand your position in the exchange first.

Then you formulate the language to service the dynamic of the specific exchange for message to be effective.

Even within your music life right now, the message and the way you serve it up definitely file000766340476has to change depending on the situation if you want it to be received.

To truly receive information, people need to be in an emotionally open space where they feel either curious, safe, subordinate, or intrigued. It’s your job as the communicator to understand this dynamic and frame the appropriate stage for your message to actually be heard.

Communication is not the intent of your message but what is actually being received.

 

If they aren’t getting the message, it’s the communicator’s fault.

Until you internalize this FACT you will continue to view social media as a frustrating, foreign mystery and you won’t sell anything.

Then the artist voice of doubt enters your head. Ewwwwww.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone I see massive social media companies working with multi-platinum artists making these same mistakes. They make them honestly because they are used to effectively communicating to masses or a crowd with implied power.

When they apply sales language reliant on implied power to a private exchange such as the 1 on 1 interactions on social media or email, it has the exact opposite effect.

One of P.T. Barnum’s famous quotes is “Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd” (at least I think it was Barnum). It’s PT Barnum Power imageabsolutely TRUE.

Whether you wade in the shallow end or swim in the deep end of the gene pool, you are a human being and therefore wired up to respond with some level of curiosity.

Maybe you walk over to the crowd with a totally open sense of wonder and complete gullibility.

Perhaps you are not gullible and walk over to the crowd with supreme skepticism, but you walk over; that’s the point.

Now, if the message drawing the crowd is consonant to any interests you may hold, you stay. If it isn’t, you leave.

But you walk over.

In the 1800’s that crowd might have assembled around a stump where a man was selling snake oil, tickets to the circus, or Power Politicking imagepoliticking. When you walk up on a person who is on a stump with 30 people around him, this person has implied power.

After all, why are these 30 people gathered around him?

What is he saying or selling that is keeping their interest?

Curiosity.

Intrigue.

The fact that people are there creates a subconscious referral of sorts because you see these people with your own eyes. There is also more of them and only one of him.

Safety.

Many years later we amplified that implied power with mass broadcast technology like terrestrial radio and television. In these communication scenarios, the implied power is magnificently influential in swaying consumer buying decisions.

Therefore, hype works. Over the top energy is not only effective but expected.

After all, the communicator must be someone really important because they were on the radio or on the TV, right?

Subordinate.Power Subordinate image

Here’s a real example of having a great product, message, truth, etc., but COMPLETELY different results selling it based on a strategy change in communication techniques and language.

When I was in the mortgage industry, the market was real hot; everybody was in the mortgage industry. There were these trigger leads that generated whenever a consumer would have their credit pulled by a lending institution. The 3 credit bureau companies would sell this information for about $1 or $2 per lead. Agents would have no relationship with these consumers but they did know for a fact that these people were thinking about getting a mortgage.

They were cold calls, to people we knew were in the market, man.DSC00769One day I reached this guy around 6PM or so after work and I gave him real good phone.

I heard this honest “sigh” on the other end.

I immediately asked if he had a bad day.

He responded, so sincerely, by telling me he had an answering machine and the digital display told him I was the 70th unsolicited cold-call that day trying to sell him a mortgage.

I thought there must be better way to communicate, this is ridiculous.

I had a recording studio

I recorded a radio show and bought some time on a radio station.

Same product

Same person

Now they were calling me.

I had implied power.

I was able to be more of my boisterous self on the radio which (most) people love.

Consumers were willing to accept my whole personality because of the way they were exposed to it.

In the midst of a market being overwhelmed by salesmen clamoring to gain consumer trust, I rose above din and offered up educational programming to people with an 800 number to contact me and it worked.Power No Cold Calling Zone image

I was able to create relationships by giving them valuable information.

They responded by giving me an opportunity earn their business.

I didn’t make a cold call after that ever again.

Get it?

Here’s the key, once I got them in the room the tone and message had to change because I was no longer on the stump so-to-speak; we were in a 1 on 1, private meeting.

Now I had to completely change my approach due the vastly different arena because hype or big, boisterous tones weren’t going to work in a private setting. In fact, hype and big boisterous tones would have the opposite effect and turn the consumers off immediately.

Let’s apply this example to your music and how to serve up your message with educated anticipation as to the way the information will be consumed.

When you are opening for an artist with huge draw or maybe you’re an artist with a huge draw you are in front of a crowd. You can be more boisterous, you can hype because you have implied power.

You’re the center of attention.

Power Axl Rose On Stage imageAfter all, you must be somebody important to be on that stage right?

Incidentally, the term huge draw is relative. What’s important is the feel of the crowd; the energy. If you can draw 100-200 people make sure you’re playing a place with a capacity of 100-200 people so the joint is packed.

 

The more packed it is, the more power you have. Get it?

 

Here’s the biggest mistake everyone continues to make. The language, hype, and energy that will work and effectively communicate a message on stage will NOT work on social media or email exchanges; because they are private conversations, they are consumed 1 on 1.

Your implied power is gonePower One on One Sillouette image

Now it’s about THEM

Exclamation points are a NO-NO on social media and email interactions. They’re a turn off. They say SALESMAN.

Do you want to be perceived as a used car salesman?

Everybody wants to buy but nobody wants to be sold.

If you recall my story about the mortgage radio show, I said the radio show gave me an opportunity toearn their business. It very rarely gave me their business.

All too often I see artists create a relationship on social media and immediately ask for the sale.

This is too soon to close the deal.

You have to deepen the relationship first.

If your product is good, and your message is appropriate, and the message is served up in a manner suitable to the exchange, the power will come.

Just give it time and attention.

Most social media and email exchanges in the music industry remind me of a scene from Monte Python’s “The Meaning of Life”

“What’s wrong with a kiss, boy?” “There’s no need to go STAMPEDING towards the…”

Watch the video up to 2:45. It’s hysterical.

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

Song Kinetics

Kinetics Feature image

WHAT ARE THE KINETICS OF YOUR SONG?

Hey y’all, meet Brent Baxter.  He will be guest blogging in my absence this week as I am hanging with my family in  Utah’s amazing Zion National Park.  Songwriters this is a must read.

Kinetics Brent Baxter

<Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson (the top 5 hit “Monday Morning Church,” Lady Antebellum, Randy Travis, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford (the #1 Canadian country hit, “When Your Lips Are So Close”), comedy legend Ray Stevens, Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame member Steve Cropper, and more.  He blogs about songwriting and the music business at Man vs. Row, manvsrow.com.>

I call the energy of a song the “kinetics.”  Kinetic energy is energy in motion, as opposed to potential energy, which is energy at rest.  There are three components of a song’s kinetic energy: 1) tempo 2) melody and 3) phrasing.  Let’s take a look at each of these elements.

Tempo

Tempo is the speed of your song in beats per minute, or bpm.  As a general principle, uptempo songs are in higher demand than midtempo or ballads.  Therefore, your best bet to get a cut is by writing great uptempo songs.  The mathKinetics Tempo image everywhere supports this.

Look at the albums by the top artists.  Most of their songs are mid- and uptempo.  There’s usually only one or two true ballads on most albums these days.

Radio mostly plays uptempo and midtempo.  They want the listeners to feel good and stick around through the commercials.

And, finally, artists want their shows to be fun- they want the crowd on their feet, singing along and having a great time so they buy a T-shirt at the merch table.  An artist works hard to get everybody on their feet at a show.  Then he plays a ballad.  What does everyone do?  They sit back down.  Now the artist has to work hard to get them on their feet again.  Because of this, most artists don’t play many ballads in their shows.

Shows, radio, and records all rely on tempo.  Therefore, it’s wise give your song, if possible, in a faster tempo.

Here’s another reason to lean toward writing tempo.  A lot of people listen “beat first.”  This means they don’t pay attention to the lyrics of the song at first.  They listen for a good beat first.  Then, if they like the beat, they MIGHT get around to connecting with the lyric.

Your song might have a great idea and a powerful lyric, but “beat first” listeners will likely never know.  Writing songs with a good beat and a good lyric helps your song connect faster to both beat-first and lyric-first listeners.

Melody

I’m a lyricist, and I don’t write melodies.  I leave that to folks who are great at that. However, I know from experience Kinetic Melody imageand observation that MELODY MATTERS.  It’s huge.

Let me be clear- a song with a great melody and average lyric will get cut a lot faster than a song with a great lyric and an average melody.

Your melody has to fit your idea, simple as that.  This is not to say that sad songs HAVE to have “sad” melodies (I’ll touch on that later), but if your lyric is angry, your melody probably shouldn’t be too “sweet.”  Likewise, if your idea is for a tough guy, the melody should be one that a tough-guy artist would sing.

In general, if your song has a slower tempo, it probably needs to have a bigger, more rangy melody.  There just aren’t many slow songs with soft melodies getting cut these days.  You put your song at a disadvantage when you frame it that way.

If you’re going to go ballad, go big.

A good example of this is “I Drive Your Truck,” written by Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary and recorded by Lee Brice.  It’s a sad ballad.  But it doesn’t FEEL like a ballad because of the power in the chorus.  Lee just sings his backside off.

If they hadn’t CHOSEN to go the power ballad route, I don’t think the song would have worked as well- and I definitely don’t think it would’ve been a #1 hit country single.  If the tempo had been too fast, it might have trivialized the subject matter.  If they had given it a soft, flat melody, I think the singer would’ve come across too whiney.

Again, if you go ballad, go big.

Phrasing

Phrasing is the rhythm of the lyrics as they fit into the melody.  You could say it’s the “bounce” of the words.  Phrasing could be melodic and slow, like the chorus on “Drink A Beer” recorded by Luke Bryan and written by ChrisKinetics Phrasing image Stapleton and Jim Beavers.  It could be more like a rap, like the verses of “Boys ‘Round Here” recorded by Blake Shelton and written by Craig Wiseman, Thomas Rhett, and Dallas Davidson.  Or it could be somewhere in between.

Play with your phrasing.  Mix it up.  If you’re not great at writing uptempo songs, try writing faster, more interesting phrasing.  Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford did this well when they wrote “Dirt Road Anthem,” which went on to become a #1 country single for Jason Aldean.  The tempo wasn’t that fast- the song felt really laid back.  It’s the rapid-fire phrasing on the verses which really gives the song its energy (instead of giving it a power chorus or a fast tempo).

You don’t want your lyric to have the same “bounce” all the way through.  Mix up the phrasing between your verse and your chorus.  This will help you vary the melody between the verse and chorus, too.  That’s really important.

Right now, rap-like lyrics are pretty popular in country music, but who knows how long that’ll be the case.  My best advice is to just keep it interesting, whatever you do.

IN CONCLUSION

Let’s take a look at “These Days” recorded by Rascal Flatts and written by Jeffery Steele, Steve Robson and Danny Wells.  The idea of the song is that this guy runs into his old flame and they start catching up.

He basically says, “I wake up, think of you, cry and hope all day that you’ll call.  Then I go back to bed and dream of you.  That’s what I’m doing these days.”

What a whiner!

But those hit writers knew they could not only get away with, but GET A HIT with that bellyaching lyric by giving it some tempo, a big chorus and interesting phrasing.  It’s a classic case of “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Let’s learn from this!

God Bless,

 

Brent Baxter

MANvsROW.com

 

If you like  this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT.  Thank  you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

20 Biggest Marketing Mistakes

20 Biggest Marketing Mistakes

20-Marketing-Mistakes-Songwriting-logo

20-Marketing-Mistakes-songwriting-and-music-business

 

This past week Kelly and I were honored to be panelists on Grammy nominee Amanda Williams’SongwritingandMusicBusiness.com songwriting conference. Whoa, let me tell you Amanda and Todd put together an informative, well organized, event that had attendees rubbing elbows and getting their music heard in front of many music industry professionals including, managers, publishing company executives, record executives, live performance coaches, and social media experts. There were many panels, events, networking, and performance opportunities during the day at the lovely Preston Hotel in Nashville.

One of the highlights was definitely Amanda Williams performing “Asstastic”…just sayin’.

20 Marketing Mistakes Amanda WIlliams Big Stage image

I am quite sure there were more than a few new songs written as artists and songwriters took their long day and extended it to jump on impromptu collaborations at the pool every day after midnight.

What a sweet vibe, man.

Kelly and I had a blast! We also became aware of several amazing artists we invited to submit to the TV show that we are casting. One writer we saw happened to look like a perfect fit for an artist we are currently developing.

 

 

The introductions have already been made.

Additionally we began a relationship with the management from a Barbados duo that we may just do some business with. Both Kelly and I were blown away by the talent and relished the environment provided to meet these people and interact.

I’ve been telling y’all about this event for well over a month now. Many of you continually email me with stories of your networking challenges, frustrations with your progress, and questions on how to “get in the business” deeper so you can make a living at it. Well, here was the PERFECT opportunity.

Why weren’t you there?

One of the breakout sessions I was asked to head up was a social media/marketing session. During this tutorial I got to thinking about the most common mistakes EVERYONE from indie artists to major labels are making with marketing in the new music business.

 

So here’s a list of my top biggest marketing mistakes

  1. Social media is about THEM not you – There are many clever ways to get what you want by thinking about them first. Start 20 Marketing Mistakes NOT YOUproviding something for them, cool quotes, inspiration, humor, knowledge, etc. Start talking about them, asking about them etc. I told a story of the Twitter campaign we did a year ago for an artist. This fan tweets that he’s CRANKING the song in his garage, drinking beer, and LOVING IT! Instead of basking in the glory (I was tweeting as the artist at the time) I asked a question. Which lead to an answer. Which lead to another question. This happened just 4 times and that guy invited the whole band to STAY AT HIS HOUSE in Texas when they came through on tour. 4 questions = Superfan
  2. Hype doesn’t work – Have you ever heard the phrase “A person is smart, people are stupid”? Have you ever heard PT Barnum’s famous quote “Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd”? There is an energy in a crowd that speaks to our core need to be a part of something; we are wired up to want to belong. When we see someone on file0002005996090a stump with 30 people around him there is an implied power given to the speaker. How else did he get all these people to stop and listen? Mass media like TV and radio put the speaker in a similar but largely amplified position of power. A Donald Trump-esque hype speech actually works in mass media scenario or on a stump in front of a crowd, however, social media and email interaction is always consumed 1 on 1; privately. Now, imagine someone totally hyping a product during private conversation with you. Total turnoff right? If you must hype yourself the time to do it is at a live show where you pack a crowd in; they’ll believe whatever you tell them. If you propagandize through social media and email they will think you’re an idiot. Stop it.
  3. No list building and lead capture strategy– OMG I talk to artists every day who play for huge audiences during the summer. When it’s over they have nothing. This is a perfect time to capture phone numbers or email addresses…nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd,20 Marketing Mistakes List Building right? There are many companies like CallLoop.com who provide text capture technology that connects with your CRM (aWeber, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, etc.). Give away a song in exchange for their phone number. Text messages have a 99% open rate. Squeeze pages are a super effective way to capture email addresses in exchange for a free track(s) which will expose the consumer to your music; win, win, win. Work out a deal with the bar owner to pony up a $25 bar tab (costs him about $4) that you would award at the end of the night to a lucky person you choose from the list they just opted into (works like a champ)
  4. Y’all record before you have an audience – To quote my friend Rick Barker, “would you open a hamburger stand in a vegan community?” Social media, YouTube, Blogging, and LIVE SHOWs are killer ways to build up a following before you release a product. Otherwise it’s a vanity project, which is cool, but you can’t really be pissed it isn’t selling, ya know?
  5. You’re trying to get “laid” on the 1st or 2nd date – Social media initiates the relationship and allows you to deepen it. Clever email campaigns can further deepen a relationship. There HAS TO BE A RELATIONSHIP before you ask for the sale. Period. You can’t just 20 Marketing Mistakes Getting Laidput a compelling PPC ad or tweet up that instantly drives people to iTunes to “get to know you”. Consumers will say “screw you”. However, we all know someone who purchased a CD to support an artist they “know”. See the difference?
  6. Crappy unproduced product – Remember how you felt when you bought the last product that totally disappointed you? Odds are you need help SOMEWHERE. Maybe you’re a great writer but not a producer. Maybe you’re a great singer but not a great writer. Maybe your lyrics aren’t as strong as your melodies. Identify the weak suit(s) and find help to make your music better. Just because you, your mate, and your mom like it doesn’t mean anybody else will; they are always going to encourage you. Find out what people think about the track on social media and get your answer. We had an artist that we did one single on and promoted it on Twitter. We got 2,000 downloads (giving it away free) in a couple months. This was a great litmus test because people responded and LOVED the track. Yes, art is subjective. But successful artists reach beyond their friends and family so if everyone else doesn’t get it you’ve got a hobby not a career.
  7. You don’t have a website and therefore no web store – Since you’re an indie artist and you will doing all the work to drive traffic, why not drive fans to your OWN STORE where you get 100% of the money? Yes, you will need a presence on sites like iTunes, Spotify, and CD baby because healthy percentages of fans prefer to buy there, but many will buy directly from you if you tell them to; especially after you have created a relationship. This is just common sense, isn’t it?
  8. You’re not bundling – Have you ever gone to a bar to order a cocktail and the server gives you 2 choices of top-shelf liquor to choose from? You either choose one of them or have the balls to say, “Give me the cheap stuff”; this is called “upselling”. 30% of your buyers will be willing to be upsold if you have something for them to spend more money on. Old CD’s, demo tapes, posters, set lists, autographed 8×10’s, t-shirts, hats, and key chains, make for great bundles. Check out this company for amazing bundling products that are simply unbelievable
  9. You’re only on 1 social media platform – While it is definitely counterproductive to try and be on all of them, at least 2, preferably 3 are a solid choice. Remember MySpace?
  10. You’re overexposing your act – get outta town, man. If you play every week or twice a month or even once a month (depending on how big your town is) in the same market, it’s too much. If any iconic superstar played every week down the street people would get sick of seeing them, I mean there’s always next week, right?
  11. You aren’t making your shows an event – When we got our start we opened for a band in Minneapolis called Hericane Alice. They were the biggest band in the Twin Cities at the time. They played about once a quarter and brought in FULL national act production and lights. They always sold out. When I lived in L.A. I would book a show and buy a keg. I’d tell people to pay the $10 at the show then beers were on me at my house afterward till the keg crapped out. It was an EVENT, an anticipated social gathering. What can you do to step up your game here?
  12. You haven’t studied content marketing – Social media is about content marketing so you better learn this fast. Gary Vaynerchuk is a pioneer in content marketing, learn from him. He says content marketing is like boxing, jab, jab, jab, RIGHT HOOK (which is your 20 Marketing Mistakes Gary V“call to action”) So content, content, content, then a call to action to a squeeze page of some sort or text based opt-in technology. Get it?
  13. Your live show sucks! – C’mon man! This is totally a pet peeve of mine. When we toured we worked our ASSES off on creating a compelling live show. 99.9% of the time I see a band they are totally boring even if they can play well. Have you ever seen Bruno Mars live? His show is one of the best. WORK. PERFORM. GIVE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE. That’s is what people want to see.
  14. You’re panhandling or worse, begging – Wade Sutton shared a great quote with me last weekend. He said “Take the napkin off your chest and put it on your IMG_2815arm”. In other words, stop asking “What can you do for me” and start asking “what can I do for you” to the people that can help advance your career. “Making millions off you in the future is a weak and markedly naïve pitch. Intern, clean, run, do whatever it takes to create a relationship. Jon Bon Jovi used to clean the Power Plant in NYC to gain access to studio time where he recorded over 50 versions of “Runaway”. One of them was picked for a WAPP compilation record, which in turn made the song a hit single, which ended in a record deal for Jon. Trent Reznor did the same to gain the access he needed to record “Pretty Little Hate Machine” from Nine Inch Nails. Both of these men accomplished this in an environment where records cost the 2014 equivalent of $550,000 to make. Now you can do it with a killer producer for less than 10% of that…what’s your excuse?
  15. You’re not adding images to every Tweet – images significantly improve open rates. Add images. Learn to Meme because it’s a great way to add your unique perspective to any image. Addtext.com is a killer resource for memes and not-for-nothing it’s a fun creative release. You might surprise yourself.
  16. You don’t fully understand the Sales Funnel – You need a sales funnel. A relationship building process that uses effective language to convert email addresses into cash. Once you have figured out the sales funnel portion you only need to focus on 2 marketing areas; traffic and average revenue per email address; the rest is mathematically predictable.
  17. You don’t understand the definition of marketing – Remember marketing is defined as influencing buying decisions. Distribution is where they go to purchase your music once the buying decision has been made.
  18. You won’t pay for coaching – This past weekend was an amazing chance for songwriters and artists to meet and create relationships, learn, evaluate, regroup, plan, and strategize using accurate information from many industry pros. With all the Woe-is-me emails I get about how hard it is to get ahead and meet the right people here was a great opportunity. No money is not an excuse; sorry. Jon Bon Jovi20 Marketing Mistakes Earl Dibbles Jr. found a way around a $550,000 hurdle. So did Trent Reznor, so did many artists. FIND A WAY TO WIN and stop getting in your own way. Sell a guitar, get an extra job, do whatever it takes to learn what you need to learn to succeed at what you love to do. IT’s worth it, right? Some great resources to consider are Rick Barker for virtual management, Wade Sutton for live show coaching and PR development, Amanda Williams for publishing, placement and copyright knowledge, James R. Meny for vocal instruction (we spent TONS of money on vocal lessons when we toured, everyone needs vocal lessons).
  19. You won’t focus on one genre – I get it, you love many genres and you’re talented enough to do more than one genre justice. If you can’t figure out a way to combine them into a stylistic thing, then choose the one you really excel at and go there. Consumers can’t digest a record with many different genres on it. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning the other genres you love so much. It means you are focusing on one first because it’s smarter for your career.
  20. You don’t believe it can really happen by marketing online – Want proof? Earl Dibbles Jr.is the alter ego of indie country artist Granger Smith. Check out both sites. Earl has over 1 million FB likes and Granger is over 276,000. I know for a fact there are 4 people working this marketing juggernaut. They are geniuses, they cracked the code because they wanted to figure it out. They move 7 figures worth of product every year and, of course, all the major labels want him…well both of them I suppose. LOL. They aren’t biting. Why would they? This could be you if you developed a passion for cracking the code.

 

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]