Isn’t perspective the answer to everything?
At the risk of sounding redundant, proper perspective puts things in proper perspective.
Proper perspective increases your chances of success exponentially.
On the contrary, an inaccurate perspective can ruin your chances of success and/or ruin your success. Just ask the late Kevin Dubrow from Quiet Riot or Terence Trent D’Arby.
Perspective is a soothing substance is the difference between you freaking out about a win or loss in your career and realization that this is just one necessary step on the journey.
The Universe is always as it should be.
This knowledge calms my soul and makes me comfortable in my own skin.
I’m noticing the hardest perspective for people to obtain, especially artists, is a viewpoint on the “known unknowns”.
How does one think about a subject or situation that they know they don’t know?
What is your take on really making a living doing what you love to do?
My take is that a life spent doing what you love is the greatest life of all. It’s an existence free of the dichotomy too many of us live.
Why do artists continually ignore marketing when that is clearly the key to jumping from a hobby into a profession?
The answer is a lack of proper perspective.
Today marketing can and should be happening all the time. It should be happening while you’re in the process of making the music.
In ADVANCE of the CD release.
I have trouble with this one because it’s so painfully obvious. To me it’s plain old common sense.
I don’t care how amazing your musical masterpiece is, if nobody hears it, it’s irrelevant.
Irrelevant means it doesn’t matter. Who cares if no one knows?
As artists we ALL want validation for our art.
Validation is like oxygen to an artist.
Using this analogy all artists need to breathe, yet, a naïve or down right ignorant perspective has them minimalizing the importance of marketing which keeps a bag over their head and they suffocate. They continue to gasp for air until the dream and the artist eventually dies within their soul.
Somewhere along that downward spiritual spiral, the artist gets jaded and cynical.
Angry at the world and the system that prevented them from achieving their dream.
Often, these unfulfilled artist souls become miserable people too.
Especially considering the fact that the solutions are readily available making this scenario preventable.
Artists understand they need marketing but are generally uninterested in doing anything about it.
They habitually blame money, yet every day I see the poorest most financially destitute artists apply their tax return to purchase a new guitar or pay for studio time, drugs, vacations, blah, blah, blah.
In short, because their outlook is that they need the guitar, they find a way to get the guitar; the Universe provides.
What if they viewed marketing in the same way?
Do you see how a simple change in perspective could absolutely change so many outcomes?
I wonder how much great music we’re missing out on simply because the artist bought a Les Paul as opposed to some solid marketing and/or some valuable marketing education.
How many amazing artists are locked up, deep down inside an artist soul never to be shared with the public simply because they lack proper perspective?
How many lives won’t be changed because of that great song we never heard, man?
What if artists finally understood that the marketing is equally as important as the music if they want validation and respect from fans?
What if artists decided they really need to do whatever it takes to breathe?
I just had a conversation with another older artist friend of mine. He’s an amazing talent, really. His voice is a gift from God.
We talked about marketing and like EVERY other artist I speak to, his thoughts are that he needs new music first and then he’ll worry about marketing it, one step at a time.
He also thinks he needs to get money first.
My intuition is SCREAMING to me saying that he needs to grow his fan base and the money will be easier to get. Yes, one step at a time but he has the steps reversed.
With our artist Bailey James, we have grown her Instagram account to over 30,000 followers. Bailey has fostered the relationships. She averages over 600 likes and 85 comments per post because she engages EVERYBODY.
These social media relationships, which we have been developing for a year now, have been EXTREMELY influential with regards to how Bailey is being received by the industry, such as PR companies, video promo companies, and school institutions that we are trying to book performances at.
From the industry’s standpoint, looking at her social media presence, there is clearly something going on with Bailey James.
They’re more excited.
She’s created impact with these new business relationships. They’re more likely to go out on a limb and take a chance (making time for her project) because almost all artists at this stage of the game, like you, have zero social media presence.
With zero marketing it feels to these business relationships as if they have to completely build the momentum from the ground up.
That feels exhausting even before the job begins. Ugh. Too Risky!
Think about how risky that is from the industry side. An artist with zero marketing is asking future team members to not only trust that the music will resonate with fans, but trust that the artist will “suddenly” begin working on marketing once the future teammates commit.
It’s the same as the artist saying, “Once you get involved, I’ll take my career more seriously.”
On the contrary, an artist that works to put themselves in a position like Bailey James is far more attractive to the industry because it’s clear there are people responding to the artist in the marketplace and it’s also undeniable that the artist worked their butt off to make that happen. In this scenario, it’s like the artist is saying, “I’m driving this train and you’re welcome to join but we’re moving with or without you.”
Which of these perspectives do you want future business allies to have about you?
It’s seems much more fun to hop on a train that has a little bit of steam as opposed to one that doesn’t even have a pilot light started.
And it really isn’t that difficult if you have a serious attitude about it and learn what needs to be done.
The video promotion guys are telling us there is a chance Bailey can get into a few places an artist at her level wouldn’t normally be considered for because of the marketing that has been done already.
That’s strong. That was purposefully created.
Waiting for the music to be finished, waiting to get money, waiting for whatever excuse you’re currently waiting for is just waiting.
And more waiting.
You’re waiting because you don’t know what to do and you don’t want to do it.
You’re smarter than this.
You KNOW that SOMEBODY is going to have to market your music if you want to make a living at it.
How long will you wait before you figure out that somebody is YOU?
The work you do NOW on your marketing has a significant impact on the way the industry will perceive you tomorrow.
That never changes, by the way even if you’re a superstar.
I just watched a Spike Lee documentary on Michael Jackson that chronicled his rise from the Jackson 5 as a little kid, to his first solo record Off The Wall.
We all know Michael Jackson was a massive international star.
Spike interviewed a few record Epic Records promo executives that didn’t want to sign MJ to a solo deal because they thought he was over. Their opinion was that he was a novelty as a little kid but nobody would take him seriously as an adult solo artist.
These weren’t bad guys or stupid guys, they had an opinion, a lot of it due to the nature of the family musical group and the cheesy cartoon series. Michael outworked everybody else and proved them wrong because he had to.
Isn’t that amazing?
Berry Gordy, Leon Huff, Kenny Gamble, Valerie Simpson, Quincy Jones, and Bruce Swedien were all interviewed. They all had similar stories. Michael was always asking questions about recording, engineering, marketing, songwriting, etc. He was interested in learning every aspect of the business, man.
Berry Gordy said something like, “It could be 4 am and I would be mixing. I would joke to my engineer and say I KNOW Michael is behind me and staring at me, watching.”
Michael’s perspective was the more he knew, the better artist he could be and the better he could understand the perspectives of the teammates.
Having that knowledge would make Michael a better teammate.
So many of you want the industry to stand up and salute you as an artist based on the merits of your music alone.
But what if a possible key member to your team doesn’t particularly care for your kind of music?
What if you’re a rap artist and that key member only listens to classical music? Does that make them bad at their job?
Does that mean he couldn’t possibly play a key role in your ascending artist career?
Those promo guys at Epic Records (where the Jackson’s went to after Motown) didn’t believe Michael was going to make it as a solo artist. Put yourself in that situation for a second. You’re already a star, you’ve already sold records and proved your worth. Now you want to change up the recipe a bit and your own team members on the record label don’t believe you can do it.
This crap happens a lot, you know.
So what is in your power to “move the needle” on industry perceptions?
The perspective that you’ll hit easy street once you get your deal or once you get the “right people” to hear your music is naïve and wrong.
Attacking your marketing now means you’ll speak more intelligently at the table when the industry does take notice.
Why would you want to trust anybody else but YOU with regards to your future as an artist?
Why wouldn’t you feel the burning need to learn this stuff to protect your efforts?
I can think of several artists who did the work they needed to do in order to get a deal, and then chose not to participate, not to influence the marketing team after the deal was signed. The label lost all their momentum because the label didn’t understand exactly what the artist did to create the buzz.
Those artists now reside in the “Where Are They Now” file.
Step one is spend some money learning to market yourself. Then play the role of Michael Jackson watching every move and asking questions.
Step two is watch how the perceptions change amongst fans and industry personnel when you start to show marketing progress.
Now you stand out.
Now you’ve clearly demonstrated your work ethic to the industry.
Now there is a little less of a risk because the fans and the industry sees that people like you and it’s clear to the industry that you’re serious about your career.
Your marketing has influence.
How about a potential investor? We all need money to do this, right?
Back to common sense, wouldn’t said investor be more likely to cut a check if he sees that there is something going on already in the marketplace?
If your perspective was accurate, you would be making a living doing what you love to do; what you maybe were born to do.
If this is not your reality, then maybe you should consider the idea that your perspective needs to be refined
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