We all aspire to do good business.
We all dream of exactly how we are going to treat our employees, business relationships, and charities once weâ€™re on top and the cash starts rolling in.
Getting the cash flow requires business savvy.
The entertainment industry is no different than selling any other widget. Itâ€™s all about creating relationships, creating good product, and selling that product.
Donâ€™t be naÃ¯ve, just because that product means something to you, moves you emotionally, or is your reason for living doesnâ€™t discount the fact that it is a product, although certainly means itâ€™s an important product.
To you anyway.
The rest of the world wonâ€™t know unless they experience it.
If youâ€™re making art for the sake of art, God bless, you need not read any further.
If youâ€™re aspire to make a living at making art, then you not only need to be an artist, but you also need to be a good businessperson.
This important product, for some of you itâ€™s your lifeâ€™s work, needs targeted exposure to infiltrate the marketplace.
You got to turn people on to something cool, man.
You got to serve it up so consumers are willing to receive your information
Youâ€™ve got to communicate with them.
The old wives tale that states â€œgreat music will find its audienceâ€ (or some such nonsense) is perpetuated by legacy artists who had their record deals in the 50â€™s, 60â€™s, 70â€™s, and 80â€™s and chose not to think about marketing or any other business aspect of their careers.
You have to understand that while they are definitely doing you a disservice by making such a statement, these misguided artists arenâ€™t intentionally lying to you.
You always have to consider the source.
Yeah, their great music â€œfoundâ€ an audience alright, thatâ€™s because some marketing team went out, targeted the audience, and put something wonderful in front of them to consume.
Consume they did.
How the hell can anyone respond to something they havenâ€™t experienced yet? Sheesh!
Listen, there are TONS of people who live and die for music out there; maybe even your music.
FACT: 99.99999% of these people will not take the time to discover the music on their own. They need to be shown something good and then theyâ€™re a Superfan for life.
Hereâ€™s the good business dichotomy I see every day with most artists.
Yâ€™all are MORE than willing to spend your money, your life savings sometimes (or someone elseâ€™s), on a killer recording project, be it a single, EP, or full CD.
This is good business.
Youâ€™re (hopefully) dead set on creating an amazing piece of work, AKA product.
Most of yâ€™allâ€™s plan to market this product is to â€œput it out thereâ€ on iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify, etc. and see if anyone likes it.
This is bad business.
This is the reason your music doesnâ€™t sell at all.
This is the reason youâ€™re broke either financially, spiritually (working your crappy job), or both.
So youâ€™re willing to take the financial leap artistically speaking with regards to making the product.
Why is marketing the product never worked into the budget?
Thatâ€™s like writing songs with beautiful lyrics and melodies only to record them with no singer.
Whatâ€™s the point exactly?
This is a mission critical oversight.
Some of you want so bad to be on a label that will do this for you but you ignore doing it for yourself.
This is adolescent thinking because you need to learn to market yourself to get the record deal.
Then youâ€™ll need to know how to market yourself to keep it.
You have to wake up, your careers are burning.
The contradiction lies in the fact that you gladly paid good money to get your project recorded or you did it yourself (which requires thousands of hours of experience for there to be excellence).
You got the sound you wanted for your release.
Now, for some reason you choose not to put the same financial attitude/approach or work ethic into the marketing of your epic release.
Iâ€™ve said it a thousand times, once you get that record deal you are so desperately seeking, the label will allocate a staggeringly low percentage of the overall budget to recording.
The lionâ€™s share will go to marketing for the sole purposes of doing good business.
You are going to have to pay for customers initially.
You are going to be a startup business in the beginning.
Itâ€™s going to cost money to expose this masterpiece of yours to the marketplace.
Fans = repeat customers.
Repeat customers are far more profitable than preliminary customers.
Profitable repeat customers are non-existent without preliminary customers.
If you keep in step with a normal record budget in terms of the financial allocation, at least 75% of the overall funds would go to marketing; the remainder is for the actual recording.
What did your last recording budget look like in comparison to this equation?
Why is marketing so often overlooked when it is the biggest piece of the professional artist pie?
Think about that statement for a second. If good art was mission critical weâ€™d have no bad songs or horrible artists.
Yep, good marketing is mission critical for an incredible project, it turns crap into commerce too.
So many of you are spending low or zero attention & money on marketing efforts and consequently getting low or zero dollars in revenue.
Zero marketing = zero revenue.
Makes sense doesnâ€™t it?
Here is the way I see it.
- You can choose to learn this yourself – in the lifetime you have left after work, family, writing, recording, etc.
- Yes, this will work just fine (provided you commit to a consistent effort which will require passion for marketing) but you have a huge learning curve.
- I dare you to work half as hard on learning the marketing as you did learning to play your instrument. Can you imagine?
- Where exactly will you get the knowledge in this extra life time to learn?
- How long will it take to tackle that learning curve and begin to see results?
- How certain are you that this isnâ€™t just an excuse not to start?
- You can choose to pay for knowledge – and get a jump start on the strategies while you learn to customize these strategies to your particular situation.
- This method will cut your time to the coast for sure.
- It also means you are truly taking action instead of making excuses.
- Some of you paid for music lessons right? Isnâ€™t this logical as a next step?
- You still have to put in the sweat equity but at least you are addressing the fact that you need to market your music and you need to learn how to do it well.
- You can choose to pay someone to set it up for you
- Watching someone is the fastest method for learning.
- Of course, itâ€™s the most expensive of these three options.
- You will witness the process of developing customized marketing strategies for your particular brand.
- If you have a brain this would be considered an education because it will get your creative marketing juices FLOWING while it teaches you â€œhow to fishâ€.
I have some thoughts.
You probably paid for some kind of musical lessons somewhere along your journey.
You probably paid for studio time somewhere along your journey.
Some of you have paid to play somewhere along your journey.
Some of you have paid for a music education or recording education somewhere along your journey.
If you can agree that marketing your product is crucial, then you will need to pay for some marketing education somewhere along your journey.
Paying a company you trust to work YOUR project is far more effective than any marketing class youâ€™ll ever take. Kill 2 birds for the price of 1.
Thatâ€™s just good business.
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