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Is Your Perspective Killing Your Career Right Now?

Perspective Feature MEME

Isn’t perspective the answer to everything?

 

More succinctly PROPER perspective is the answer to being the smoothest player in the game of life.Perspective Spinal Tap Meme

 

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 Dubrow D'Arby Collage

 

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?

Perspective Jumping in

 

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.

Perspective Fallen Tree

 

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.

 

Period.

 

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 Perspective Suffocationmarketing 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.

 

So sad.

 

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.

 

Perspective Les Paul Collage

 

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.

Perspective Reversed

 

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.

 

Comp-Bailey James-8x10 DannyThese 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.

Perspective Risky Caution

 

It’s the same as the artist saying, “Once you get involved, I’ll take my career more seriously.”

 

Get it?

 

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.

Waiting.Perspective Waiting

Waiting.

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.

Perspective Michael Jackson

 

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.

 

Perspective Barry Gordy

 

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?

Perspective Epic Records Logo

 

No.

 

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?

Perspective VU Meter

 

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.

Perspective Where Are They Now

 

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.

 

Perspective Make Your Own Momentum

 

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.

 

Absolute BLISS.

 

God’s work.Perspective Stream Train MEME

 

If this is not your reality, then maybe you should consider the idea that your perspective needs to be refined

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

If you found this article valuable, please SHARE and COMMENT below!

 

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Feature

At the end of every year I ask y’all to respond to me about your feelings on the article content. I also ask for any suggestions on what you want me to write about moving forward. Many of you responded with requests for help.

You asked for answers to some of the common problems I’m expressing; especially with marketing your music.

Much of the content in this article was posted in a June 25, 2014 article simply as an articulation of the mistake. Here is a revved up version of that same content with some ideas and direction towards solutions. I hope this helps.

Please let me know what you think.

1. Misguided Language – Too many of you are telling people what to do on your CTA’s (Calls to Action) and failing to get conversions.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Paraverbal Example: “Check out my new single” or “Hottest new rap artist spitting real life, yo, check him out now” or “Donate to our Kickstarter campaign”.

Nobody cares.

Hype on social media is as useless as screen doors on submarine. What you should be doing is making it about Say something like, “Wow, thank you for the follows #grateful, I want you to have a free download of my first single in return”. When someone engages YOU, respond with a similar message. Your conversion rates will skyrocket and people will begin to actually give your song a listen. This is a social media adaptation of paraverbal communication.

 

2. Paying For Discovery – Imagine a late night infomercial starting off with “Just $19.99!!!” Asking for the money and then attempting you to get excited about the product.

Would you watch?

Would you care?

Every day I see a tweet that says something like “Discover us on 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes iTunesiTunes” or “Download our first single on iTunes”. Indie artists are misguided into thinking that giving music away is devaluing it somehow and “good business” means collecting money.

Listen, I’m all about collecting money, but just like you, I have NEVER, EVER, EVER, paid to discover an artist in my life.

Think about it, your favorite iconic artists came into your awareness for free. You discovered them on the radio (while you were waiting to hear your “jam”), a friend turned you on to them after he/she found them on the radio, or you paid to see a headlining act that you knew was worth the money and 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Kickstarterwere pleasantly surprised by the opening act.

Without terrestrial radio,  marketing means you are going to have to get people interested in you and emotionally involved in your artistic journey before you shake them down for the cash.

In simple sales terms, you have to build desire first.

 

3. Likes and Follows Are Strong Connections – This is the biggest common fallacy.

Likes and follows are NOT strong connections in any way, shape, or form. If you ask for money directly after a like or follow it’s the same as meeting someone at a cocktail party, handing them your 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Chain Link WeakCD and asking for $10.

Can you imagine? “Hi, I’m Johnny D, here’s my CD. You’re going to love it! That’ll be 10 bucks.”

You KNOW that won’t work.

It doesn’t on social media either.

A like or a follow is a handshake after an introduction at best.

If you’ve toured at all you KNOW that you cannot possibly remember everyone you meet. Something else needs to happen for you to remember a fan, right? You need to remember that when you networking on social media.

 

4. Selling, Selling, Selling – Too many indie artists just ask for money or hype themselves on social media with every post. This is the 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Jabequivalent of digital panhandling.

You’ve got to give to receive, man.

Create content that is focused around YOU that can be offered for free to potential fans (make sure they know you’re benevolent) to get them interested in YOU first. THEN about every 4th post, serve up a CTA but give them the single.

You want to space out your CTA’s (where they need to act) with cool content that is about you and your brand. Read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK for more ideas on this subject.

 

 

 

5. Old School Marketing Methods – Look, I get it. Every artist we love was marketed to us via the radio, that’s where we most likely discovered them and that’s certainly where their music was driven into our brain enough 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Old Man MEMEto become familiar after we discovered them.

It stands to reason that is how you would fashion your marketing plan because that is all you know. Listen, radio is no longer effective for exposing new artists.

The power of radio to introduce a new artist into a market is over because consumers don’t have to suffer through the “getting-to-know-you-process” of listening to unfamiliar music.

Even if you have 1 million dollars to spend on a P1 radio campaign, they have Wi-Fi in the car, man.

They’re going to change the channel when faced with an unfamiliar tune to find their jam because, well, now they can.

While there are always exceptions to the rule, I submit to you that outside of country music no new artists have broken on rock or pop radio in the last 5 years. Any artist that has their very first single on radio in the last 5 years broke somewhere else and THEN radio started spinning them.

They broke first on YouTube, American Idol, The X Factor, The Voice, TV show soundtracks (theme song music), some anomaly that created attention, or great online marketing.

Most of you don’t have 1 million dollars so relying on radio to break you is a convenient cop out that ensures you won’t make it and it’s not your fault.

Spend your money putting your promotional content in front of a targeted set of eyes. Spend your money on a PR launch for your record to get some valuable press that you can use for social proof. Spend your money either on a company that can help you find your audience on social media OR learning to do it yourself. (Gasp!!)

 

6. Directing Traffic to Digital Distributors – If you’ve marketed correctly, you’ve influenced a consumer buying decision and they will find a way to purchase your product line.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Traffic Cop

Digital distribution has exactly ZERO effect on sales today.

No artist broke on iTunes and nobody is stumbling across cool music there either. They’re buying what they went to iTunes to look for.

So, if you’re spending the money and busting your butt to influence buying decisions and drive traffic, why send them to a digital distributor and give up such a huge percentage on purpose?

YES, OF COURSE, you need to have a presence on all DD’s but drive them to your webstore and let the consumer decide to go somewhere else. At least 45% of them will probably go somewhere else, the rest will buy directly from you where you get 100% of the money.

BTW, don’t be afraid to offer packages and products that aren’t available on digital distribution making it sexier and smarter to buy direct.

 

7. Zero Bundling On Artist Webstore – Let’s be honest, most of you don’t have a webstore which is 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes abbeyincredibly idiotic. You’re giving at least 30% of your hard earned revenue to a company to access essentially free 1’s and 0’s.

Those of you that do have a webstore (Kudos!), don’t have bundles.

FACT: 30% of your buyers are willing to be upsold and will purchase more while their credit card is out. That is as long as there is something for them to purchase!

There is a 70% chance you are NOT one of these kinds of people who can be easily upsold, but don’t that be your erroneous, short-sighted reason for leaving money on the table.

 

8. Ignoring YouTube – YouTube is probably the biggest marketing asset you have available to you and hardly any of you are using it. The ones that do use it aren’t consistently posting videos.

YouTube is your own private TV network, treat it as such.

Many artists break on YouTube.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Ditzy

Hardly any have broken on the radio in the last 5 years with the exception of country music and those days are numbered.

Our artist Bailey James is 13 years old and has over 260K views on her YouTube channel and I assure you that was from consistent content with ZERO paid promotion.

That’ll change soon but 260k views and 2,900+ subscribers from just hard work and intelligence isn’t too bad.

There’s at least 2,900 people that want to see her next video enough to subscribe. How many do you have?

 

 

9. Zero Marketing – Sadly, MOST indie artists spend every dollar of their precious, limited financial resources making the record and 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Zero MarketingZERO dollars marketing it.

Sound familiar?

If they do spend any money marketing it is horribly misspent and proportionately upside down.

Good music has rarely if ever found its own audience “organically”.

Somebody, somewhere, somehow was putting the artist works in front of the right group of people to create a little fire in the grassroots.

Whether they PAID for radio promotion, or they PAID for PR to get them on Letterman, Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Leno, GMA, Rolling Stone, Spin, or they PAID for tour support, or they PAID for a radio promo, these were all strategic calculated marketing plans.

If you got a record deal tomorrow the label would spend around 10% of your total budget making the record and 90% promoting it. Try adjusting your budget to get closer to spending 9 times the recording funds on marketing and see what happens. Even if it means recording just one song.

Any other approach is as asinine as flip flopping the salt and the sugar amounts in any given dessert recipe. If you don’t follow the recipe you’re masterpiece is going to taste like crap.

 

10. You’re Not Asking the Right Questions – Too many of you are asking yourselves “How can I get my music to the right industry people so I can make it?” or “How do I get 1 million dollars so I can get my shot at fame”.

The questions indie artists should be asking are “Who is my audience?” “Where can I find them?”, “How can I connect with20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Question them?” “What can I do to get them to seriously listen to my music with an open heart and mind?” “Where can I learn the right questions to ask?” and “Where can I learn the answers for the right questions?

All the marketing power you require is available on your computer and it’s mostly free.

The only thing missing is a good, creative attitude about the project, some education to get you accurately inspired, and then the gumption to get started!

If you don’t know, LEARN. Yes the education is going to cost some money but somehow you managed to get your music recorded and that wasn’t free. If it was free the recording equipment you used wasn’t.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Book collageYou’re resourceful, when you really decide to make it happen you’ll find a way, believe me. Some good books to start getting intelligent, accurate marketing strategies are:

Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK: How to Tell Your Story In A Noisy World by Gary Vaynerchuk

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Music Marketing on Twitter: How To Get 1,000 Loyal Music Fans Every Month in Just 15 Minutes a Day by yours truly , Johnny Dwinell (this one is free so just click the link and tell me where to send it. You’re welcome)

 

 

 

11. Consistency – Most indie artists are not consistent with social media marketing.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Consistency

 

Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Facebook, and all social media platforms require consistency and content.

If I were to grow a client’s account without adding content the followers will soon unfollow because there is nothing to consume.

I would be like going to party and the host never shows up so nobody has cocktails and there is no music playing. See Ya! You have to provide regular consistent content or you’ll lose them regardless of how captivating you are.

 

 

 

12. Engagement ­– The days of the mysterious rock star have been over for quite some time now.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes BaileyIndie artists need to engage EVERYBODY that engages them.

People still admire creatives but they require more if they meet you through their device.

My amazing 13 year old client Bailey James interacts with every single person that reaches out to her on social media.

They can’t believe it when she does that which makes her look genuine and makes them feel special.

She has over 30k followers on Instagram and every post that little girl puts up averages a SOLID 600 likes and 85 comments per post.

The difference between you and Bailey is she gets it and you’re still making excuses as to why you can’t, why you shouldn’t, or why you won’t.

You’re meeting people for the first time on social media, think of it like a cocktail party.

FACT:  When you meet someone for the first time they won’t remember what you said so much as they will remember how you made them feel. Remember that and your fan responses will instantly change.

 

 

13. Lack of Aggression ­– You can’t seriously believe that being antisocial on social media is a smart idea.

Too many Indie artists wait around for people to follow them in a misguided attempt to grow their social media accounts “organically”.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Aggressivve

Your favorite iconic artists have massive social media followers because they’re famous. Paying millions of dollars to promote these major label artists all over the world is what made them famous which means it was man-made, not organic. Consumers were exposed to an artist and liked what they saw or heard the music and chose to follow that artist.

This approach doesn’t create “organic” traffic, rather it’s targeted to strategic groups of people they think will like the music. The PR convinced them it was cool.

You can promote yourself online via social media and create a similar effect but you have to follow somebody first for crying out loud.

And why not be aggressive this way?

When you do the initial following you are handpicking the people most likely to connect with you.

You’re targeting (remember picking teams on the playground when you were a kid? Some of you did the picking and you picked in a certain order for a reason. Some of you were always the last to be picked you felt horrible. Well, now you’re doing the picking. Pick intelligently and make them feel welcome or they’ll feel like you when you were passed over).

Essentially, you’re deciding who gets invited to your cocktail party. A bunch will follow back if you’re not a douchebag and they’ll stay if you have regular content.

 

 

14. Overthinking YouTube – Save the super creative, expensive, big time videos for the single promotion.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes OverthinkingThe “I can’t afford a good video” routine is a cop out.

Every week you should be gleaning potential fans from popular videos by doing regular cover songs. Do this via low-cost, easy-to-shoot, one-shot, smart phone videos of you putting your artistic spin on whatever the most popular video will be that week regardless of genre.

In fact, the more disparate your version of the hit song/video is from the original artist, the more compelling it will be.

Study and compare Noah Guthrie’s version of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” or The Gourd’s version of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” to get an idea of what I mean by different.

BTW, Bailey James’ YouTube channel at this moment has one professionally done video with about 3,500 views. 99% of the content is shot with an iPad camera. The most popular videos were shot this way as well. Just sayin’.

 

 

15. Annotating YouTube Videos – Here it is plain and simple.

They won’t subscribe if you don’t ask.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Annotate

They won’t download that free single if you don’t ask.

FACT:  You get 80% of what you ask for in life so why not do it? The worst thing that could happen is they say “no” but then, since its social media, you’ll never deal directly with the rejection.

 

I recently got the opportunity to work with an AMAZING 14 year old artist name Erin Kinsey. She had 3 videos on her YouTube channel with a total of around 250k views and 1,224 subscribers. They added a 4th video just before Christmas and I annotated all 4 asking for subscriptions.

That 4th video has over 113k views now and her subscriptions jumped 41% in 3 weeks adding 503 new subscribers for a total of 1,727.

All I did was ask.

All the info you need to learn to do this is on the YouTube “Creators” tab.

 

 

16. You Think You Own The Information – You don’t own the information.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Own Info

 

Don’t fool yourself.

All your likes and follows may be from your real fans but you don’t own that information, and as such, somebody is going to charge you to access that data at some point if they haven’t already begun to do so (ahem, Facebook).

You need to be regularly trading free downloads in exchange for email addresses and/or phone numbers via squeeze page technology or text capture technology.

Facebook charges you for access to your following. Twitter will do the same, so will Instagram and so on. You have to own the information so you can reach them whenever you want for free, on your terms.

 

 

 

 

17. Ignoring Periscope – Why?

This is the most amazing app with the most amazing reach and the BEST capability of showing your true soul to your fans.

Be consistent and you’ll build an audience.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Periscope

Remember, if you’re a pro artist you’re living a life most people only read about in books.

What would it be like for your viewers to experience walking onstage to a packed house of people?

How would your audience react if you told them they were live worldwide on Periscope?

Case Study:  With Bailey James we created an interactive exercise where we asked her social media following to help us pick the 5th song on her upcoming EP. They responded in droves with their choice between 2 songs.We announced the winning song live via Periscope from inside the recording studio on the day we tracked it accomplishing social proof and cool interaction. There were fans from Brazil, Canada, United States, and England on that broadcast. (Boom, drops mic).

Another neat idea is to ask for requests on your social media throughout the week and play 3 of them live at the same time on the same night, every week. When you play a request show a printed S/O to the requestor’s handle and thank them. This adds a vanity aspect to your weekly draw. They’ll want to see if you play their request and mention them. The ones you don’t mention will be excited for their opportunity next week.

 

 

18. Missing Live Show Contact Capture – Live shows have the best conversion rate if you’re good.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Contact Capture

 

My good friend Wade Sutton at Rocket To The Stars recently worked with a band that tours so much they have performed over 1,000 shows in 4 years. They had 300 people on their mailing list. That’s like 1 person every 3rd show!

On the contrary we did 1 show with Bailey James at a middle school and received 160 contacts!! We gave away a free download and they just needed to tell us where to send it (translation: we got their email address or phone number).

It was easy.

Is it wrong that when I see a crowd in front of a stage I envision everyone with credit card heads?

Not for nothin’ but the more you do this the more you can reach out to individual markets to let them know you’re coming back to town. Your live draw will increase if you do it until you outgrow the venue. Just a thought.

 

 

19. Social Proof ­– 2 things to consider with this.

One is that most of you aren’t putting up enough social proof if you putting up any at all (no doubt because you don’t want to come off as bragging).20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Social Proof 2

Two, you’re putting it up incorrectly and you come off as bragging.

Social proof is anything that proves you’re really doing it and other people are into it.

 

This includes, reviews, interviews, fan comments from your social media platforms, emails, live show clips, BTS clips (Behind The Scenes), etc. Rather than implying “I’m awesome, check me out” which is bragging, why not give a “Shout Out” to the source of the content?

For instance, “S/O 2 Honkeytonk Central in Nashville for letting us play #Grateful We had a BLAST partying with all of you” with a 15s clip of the show.

 

 

20. Not Promoting Interactivity People want to feel like they’re a part of something.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Interactivity

 

Get them to interact. You can do this by engaging them.

You can accomplish this with controversial content. For instance, Bailey James posted a YouTube video of Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up” and it was controversial. I convinced her parents to LEAVE THE NEGATIVE UP and her fans defended the attackers. The result was deeper fan relations.

 

 

Also ask to be interactive. Have them send pictures of themselves and POST those pics with a S/O to the fan. This adds a “vanity” aspect to your web traffic. They want to see themselves, man.

 

Stay

In

Tune.

Awesome Marketing That Will Make Your Music Absolutely Sticky

Sticky Music Marketing Feature

I’ve been reading the brilliant book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It breaks down why some ideas stick and some ideas die. For instance, why are Aesop’s fables still remembered after 2,500 years (“The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, etc.)?Sticky Music Marketing Tortoise

 

Why are urban legends so “sticky” like the famous kidney harvester story which has a dude accepting a cocktail from a random hottie in a bar and waking up in a hotel bathroom in a tub full of ice, a phone within reach, and a note attached to it that reads “Don’t move, you are missing a kidney, dial 911”?

How do these ideas or stories survive over years, decades, and centuries?

 

Sticky Music Marketing Surgeon

 

 

Why are people so interested in retelling them?

 

Retelling is the old school term for SHARING.

How come nobody is interested in sharing your music?

Whoa, wait, what?

 

I’ll repeat the question, how is it that we ALL know a friend of a friend who witnessed the famed kidney harvester story and nobody wants to listen to, purchase, or tell people about your music?

 

Crazy, right?Sticky Music Marketing Urban Legends 2

 

That’s the rub.

 

I believe that if your music is marketed correctly, it will be heard, and it will matter. That’s what we all want, right? Money or no money, we want people to look at our art endeavors and experience the music as the soundtrack to their lives.

 

You want it to be your song they’re listening to the first time they have sex.

Sticky Music Marketing Making Out

 

 

You want it to be your song they’re listening to when that one crazy thing happens at the party that they’ll never forget for the rest of their lives.

 

That’s the code that needs to be cracked to find your success in today’s music business.

 

Mostly y’all haven’t really thought about this at all, have you?

 

At the very best, y’all have spent 5 minutes thinking about connecting with your future fans and your entire lifetime working on the music.

Sticky Music Marketing Scales 2

This disproportionate allocation of your creative time between music and marketing  is the reason behind your lack of response.

 

I will tell you that the same market shifting problems are at the core of the music industry’s sales slump.

 

You’re on your journey and your music is where your music is for right now. The quality, originality, and craftsmanship of your music is directly proportionate to how hard you’re willing to work at the recording and the creative process as well as your level of humility.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Most Successful Friends

 

I say humility because it’s no secret that my most successful friends and artists are always humbly asking questions (to anybody and everybody) while my least successful friends and artists are always telling people “how it is” and why they can’t get a leg up.

 

There’s a man who thinks he can and a man who thinks he can’t. Both men are right.

 

 

Which one are you?

 

Which one do you want to be?

 

These two questions could have completely different answers, huh?

 

Sticky Music Marketing Ask PermissionThe good news is that if you want to make a living being an artist today, you don’t need permission from anybody.

 

You don’t have to wait.

 

You don’t need to get “lucky” and meet the right people who will open all the doors for you and place in a room full of EZ buttons and unicorns.

 

No, you can get started right now…but, only if you really want it, of course.

 

It used to be you couldn’t put out a record without a major record label because it was WAY too cost prohibitive, now it’s super inexpensive.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Bon Jovi and Reznor

 

Jon Bon Jovi and Trent Reznor both figured out how to exchange their valuable time for studio access to create the recordings that broke them wide open and they did this without a record label when the cost of recording was 15 times what you’re facing.

 

Where there’s a will there’s a way (another sticky statement, right?)

 

If you can’t find a way, I assure you that the problem lies within your will. Either recognize and accept this notion to refocus your efforts or do yourself and the industry a favor and move on with your life.

 

Don’t be bitter about moving on if that’s your choice. It just means you didn’t really want it enough.

Sticky Music Marketing RADAR Screen

Your music is important but in today’s market it’s secondary when it comes to marketing. The first interaction a future fan will have with you as an artist will not be the music; it won’t be the single. Rather, the first interaction a future fan will have with you as an artist will be YOU.

 

If they like YOU, then they will listen to your music with an open heart and an open mind. At this point, the music better be good, man.

 

It better WORK.

 

If you’re sticky enough, they will respond and remember you.

 

But things have to be different. They have to be approached differently these days. This means they have to be thought about differently.

 

When you truly reexamine an approach things begin to change.

 

For instance, sometimes I will write more than 25 titles to a particular blog article. The first 15 are the obvious choices and the last 10 are when I really begin to rethink out of necessity. This is where the true creativity happens.

 

You have to approach your marketing this way.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Mr. BurnsFor the love of God, if your approach is to “let the label handle it” you might as well quit now. You’re going to fail with or without a label, man. It seriously won’t matter.

 

If the big wigs really knew what was going on in today’s market, we’d have a hell of a lot more platinum records than just Drake, Taylor Swift, and Adele.

 

You have to be your own business first. You have to.

 

If you think that you’re going record a demo, then get a deal, you’re wrong. They don’t care. Even if they LOVE your demo they don’t care.

It’s not in their business model to develop you as an artist.

 

What does that mean?

 

Would you be pissed off, hurt, distraught, and flabbergasted to find out that you cannot go to an IHOP and get your oil changed while you eat pancakes?Sticky Music Marketing Penzoil and Pancakes

 

No, of course not. It’s not in IHOP’s business model to change oil, they make pancakes.

 

Record labels can’t develop you because they no longer have the money.

 

They want to see that you have a growing business.

 

They want to see that your music has value in the market place not because you think it’s amazing, but because people are BUYING it. Period.

 

Record labels are looking to buy small businesses, not develop artists.

 

So the development is your job.

 

Artistically and in the marketplace.

 

Stop ignoring it.

 

You’re wasting valuable time.

 

If you need guidance, there are plenty of mentors out there to mold your creative endeavors as well as your marketing approach.

Sticky Music Marketing Targeting

Target your audience. Who will most likely dig what you are doing?

 

Clearly Metallica fans are NOT going to give a crap about your amazing jazz music.

 

So target intelligently.

 

Go find your audience on social media and say “Hello”.

 

Yes, say “HELLO”. Is that so freaking hard?

Sticky Music Marketing Hello

 

Follow them first. When they follow back say hello. Give them something in a gesture of gratitude.

 

They will appreciate it if you serve it up right.

 

Ask QUESTIONS. Be interested in THEM.

 

When they feel that you are interested in them, they will begin to ask questions about you.

 

They will begin to be interested because you are an amazing person.

Sticky Music Marketing Questions

 

Answer their questions.

 

While you’re doing this provide some social proof that other people are interested in your music. One piece of social proof is a healthy following. Another would be some good reviews on your music. Another would be some quick clips of a live performance or two. Maybe a few BTS (Behind The Scenes) shots of you recording?

 

Remember walking out on the playground in grade school and seeing a huge group of kids in a circle? Probably a fight, right?

 

What did you do?

 

You went over to check it out!

Sticky Music Marketing Crowd

 

“Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd” – P.T. Barnum

 

Everyone wants to be a rock star.

 

You’re living a life that most people will only read about in books.

 

Realize this but don’t be cocky or condescending.

 

You need them.

 

Then offer a killer deal on your music.

 

You’ll sell something.

 

Now you have a measurement.

 

If you can measure it, you can manage it.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Post It Note

 

Tweak the plan.

 

Improve awareness.

 

Make a better living.

 

You make your music to “stick”.

 

 

Now make your marketing just as sticky.

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

 

 

 

David Bowie: Exhilarating and Terrifying

David Bowie Feature Image

Sorry this post took a while. I was a little devastated. I’m unsure as to whether I knew about David Bowie and his battle with cancer and ignored it or simply didn’t know. Either way, I felt blindsided. This is a tremendous loss for the artistic community. He was super intelligent. A visionary. Mostly he was an artist right up until the end.David Bowie Interview

 

 

Watch this 2000 interview with David Bowie. Here he begins to predict the power of the internet to change the music industry in the future.

 

 

 

David Bowie Exhilarating Ying Yang

 

 

 

“I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society – both good and bad – is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

 

“The monopolies do not have a monopoly:”

 

David Bowie No Monopoly

 

Pretty spot on, huh? Hard to imagine it was 16 years ago that he gave this interview.

 

I want to discuss the “exhilarating and terrifying” part of that quote.

 

 

We need to touch a little on the terrifying to truly find an accurate perspective of the exhilaration counterpart that accompanies it.

 

The terrifying has manifested itself in many ways, hasn’t it? Free tracks have temporarily devalued music but artists like Taylor Swift have proven that when you embrace the new methods you can still sell 8.6 million records. Which blows the whole “if they can get it for free they won’t buy it” argument right out of the water; now THAT’S exhilarating!David Bowie Wolfman Jack

 

If she can sell 8.6 million records when the ENTIRE industry can’t really crack 1 million in sales, YOU can certainly make a living. Oh, and she’s clearly doing something different than the rest of the industry.

 

It’s terrifying that our tried and true methodologies of curation have broken down. It used to be that a trusted DJ in a market would spin something that moved him and if it was good (which it usually was because of the hurdles an artist had to overcome to get their song to the DJ to begin with), the world would catch on. Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” both broke in this fashion. They started abnormally in the Midwest and caught fire moving outwardly to the coasts. FYI, Pink Floyd’s single became viral in spite of a power play by The Syndicate (a group of 6 men that controlled radio in the 70’s) to keep Floyd OFF the air in an attempt to prove their power eclipsed their ability to get a song played.

 

It’s exhilarating that artists like Karmin, Noah, and Macklemore can find a huge audience without the corporate amen from the powers that be at terrestrial radio or major record labels.

David Bowie Karmin

 

 

It’s terrifying that records used to cost the 2016 equivalent of $29 and now they only cost $10.99.

 

It’s exhilarating that proper marketing can not only bring record sales back, but monetize the tremendous talents of artists in many brand new ways.

 

 

 

 

Unimaginable was what Bowie said, I believe.

David Bowie Unimaginable MEME

 

 

It’s terrifying that the record labels are so broke they no longer develop talent anymore. The methods artists used for 7 decades to get their music made and heard no longer apply. This is foreign and foreign creates feelings that range from the uncomfortable to downright scary.

 

 

It’s exhilarating that there is a new frontier with an embarrassment of artistic and monetary riches that waits for the pioneers that are willing to learn. It’s never been easier and this inexpensive to target, connect, and create relationships with your fans.

 

As David Bowie said in the interview, music is now a community experience.David Bowie Community

 

 

It used to be an artist would get distribution overseas and have no choice but to trust the suits that their music “wasn’t really selling”.

 

 

It used to be that an artist would sell 8 million records and never fully “recoup” the budget put forth by a record label because they could hide the money and screw the artist in perpetuity.

 

David Bowie Beggar

 

Now, we can track everything digitally. There is no reason for an artist to have to “trust” anyone. Now artists can “trust but verify”.

 

The monopolies no longer have a monopoly.

 

 

You don’t need a record label or radio to find your audience, you can find your own fans at your fingertips and it’s basically a free exercise.

 

You don’t need a record label or radio to create a buzz about your artistic efforts.

 

David Bowie Bailey JamesDaredevil artist Bailey James has at least 14 independently created social media accounts. They were created by fans. 12 on Instagram and 2 on Twitter last time I checked.

 

That’s buzz

 

She hasn’t even released her record yet.

 

It’s real, man.

 

About 6 months ago, Bailey posted a cover of Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up” on her YouTube channel. This song was chosen simply for the traffic value we felt it would bring and it didn’t disappoint. However, this cover was the first that created some real controversy. The reaction to the video was split down the middle with as many people hating it (whether it was Bailey’s performance of it or the song itself I’m still unsure) as loving it. Bailey’s father was systematically removing the negativity in an understandable paternal effort to protect his little girl (she was 12 years old).

 

I told both parents to keep it real and leave the negative comments up. I said this because there were people that were actually listening to our artist expecting a train wreck (due to the negative comments) that were blown away by her vocal prowess and therefore baffled at the negative commentary.

 

They commented as much.

David Bowie Bailey James YouTube 3

Now they’re fans and subscribers to Bailey’s channel.

 

Some of the best, deepest relationships in life are forged from adversity. If the adverse reactions were allowed to stay, I said, her fans would come to her defense.

 

What makes you believe something deeper than defending it? Psychologically, that has a subconscious positive effect on the defenders; a bond is created between the defenders and the defended.David Bowie Scary

 

Last week a little girl made the sorry mistake of posting an Instagram message calling Bailey James a “bitch”.

 

Papa bear let it ride.

 

Whoa. The fans SKEWERED that little girl who left the bitch comment so much I felt bad for her. She digressed and said it was some boy on the bus who posted the comment without her knowledge or approval so it wasn’t her fault.

David Bowie Bailey James Bitch

 

I think all those protectors will buy the record when it is released, don’t you?

 

They’re passionate now. Definitely more passionate than before the bitch comment.

 

All this is possible from a laptop or smartphone.

 

You can create your own demand.

 

You don’t need a record label to make a living making music, everything you need, including the education on how to do it, is right at your fingertips and instantly available for those who know to ask the right questions.

 

You don’t need a record label to monitor your money for you. In fact, collection agencies like ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are all feeling the pain of maintaining their relevance in this new digital age.

 

 

 

You don’t need 1 million dollars to make your music and market it these days. You just need to want to do it enough to venture forth into the unknown and learn some new skills.

 

That’s what I did.

 

You need to be bold instead of whiney.

 

You need to be courageous instead of fearful.

 

You need to be curious instead of lazy.

 

Embrace the change.

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streetsDavid Bowie Young Americans
And every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace timeDavid Bowie Hollywood Star

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace timeDavid Bowie Patch

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

 

You were a true genius, Davie Bowie.

 

Thanks for the great music, man.

 

God Speed.

 

Now any artist can make true art without corporate intervention and bring it to the world without corporate intervention.

That is, if they really want to.

 

When you can have complete control over your art and your cash, why would you place your future in the hands of 2 different committees (record labels and radio) whose businesses are dying right before your eyes?

 

Why on Earth would you want to do it the old way?

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

YOU Are Your Only Hope

Hope You Are Your Only Hope Feature

This is the absolutely most exciting time in the history of the music business. It’s unprecedented because you can create any kind of art you want and bring it to the world with the least amount of roadblocks. If you choose to, as an artist, you can create without a committee. Some of you areHope Exciting Time probably scoffing at that but most of you inadvertently create by committee because you’re too focused on emulating what is popular instead of finding your own voice.

 

What is popular these days whether it’s good or bad in your subjective opinion, was created by committee.

Finding your own voice is mission critical to true originality.

 

Finding your own voice is important to me mostly because, like you, I care mostly about ME.

 

Hope Relating

 

That is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Your own voice is truly interesting because somewhere in your own story, there are a couple threads, gestures, stories, experiences, downfalls, victories, struggles, and failures that I can relate to.

If I can relate to your reality, instead of a concocted image or alter-ego, our artist-consumer bond will strengthen.

 

 

That’s real.

 

The music business has always been about relationships and most of you are aware of this to point of it becoming a cliché. You think about these relationships in terms of business relationships. However, I would take it a step further and tell you that the music business is now all about relationships with your fans. Deep relationships at that or at least far deeper than a “follow” or a “like”.

 Hope Like Strength Equation 2

The music business used to be about B2C or business to consumer. Now it’s about P2P or people to people.

 

The artist that focuses on how to do that, how to make the fans feel as if they have a relationship with said artist, is the artist who cracks the Hope Code Laptopcode for success in the NEW music business, You will be the artist that fans will pay money to see live, to download your whole record, and to be a part of your tribe.

 

 

Today is so freaking exciting because YOU have the power. YOU have the strength, YOU have access to all the knowledge you choose to seek out, YOU have the ability, YOU have the talent and as long as YOU are willing to do something about it, there is hope.

 

Hope You Have the Power MEME

 

Hope that your music will become the soundtrack to a specific beehive of people.

 

Hope that your song will become my jam.

 

As long as YOU embrace the challenge of reaching the fans through marketing as seriously as you take the challenge of reaching them through your music, YOU will be successful. There is HOPE

 

YOU will live your dream.

 

Hope Dreams Come True

 

 

 

 

Or at least there is hope that you will live your dream.

 

 

 

 

 

I want you to read this excerpt from an amazing book I am reading called The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer.

 

This is a marvelous, inspiring period of history when you can shed the traditional burdens of authority and build true influence on the webHope Content Code through your own merits. On the web, nobody cares where you went to college or how much money you have. The color of your skin or your body mass index don’t keep you from connecting to people on your own terms. Your ability to walk or run or even speak doesn’t matter because you can publish.

 

Yes, you can bring your work of art to a targeted audience of people who are predisposed to liking your style of music.

 

You can learn the psychological steps a consumer needs to take to internalize your music and make your song their jam.

 

You can find 1,000 Superfans that will pay $100 per year to experience you in all your glory.

Hope Superfan Meme

 

 

The music business will be better for it.

 

 

 

Gone are the days where a couple radio Program Directors decide what you will listen to, what you will like, and ultimately what music will become the soundtrack of your life. Now you get to choose.Hope No Board Of Directors

 

Gone are the days where a committee of corporate executives get to decide whether you’ll get a record deal and a shot an entertainment career. Now you get to choose.

 

 

Taylor Swift said “Today artists get record deals because they have fans, not the other way around.

Hope Taylor Swift MEME

 

 

The internet holds the power of the radio times the whole world. The power to influence is more sophisticated but also more powerful and longer lasting.

 

It’s more sophisticated because the internet is decidedly NOT broadcasting which is how we are all used to being exposed to new music. The language has to change from what we know and what we’re used to. That will require innovation much like your music.

 

 

 

Playing an instrument well is extremely difficult.

 

Writing a really good song is extremely difficult because it requires simplicity and economy of words.Hope Guitar Lessons

 

Singing really well is astoundingly difficult and rare. This is why we are so impressed with musical talent. This is why we put rock stars on pedestals.

 

They make us feel.

They make us think.

They make our lives better.

Sometimes they make our lives tolerable.

 

So marketing in the NEW music business can be done well. It has been done well. One has to approach it like the burden they took on to learn to play guitar. I’ll bet most people spent MONEY on lessons, practiced for hours, spent MONEY on guitars, they spent MONEY on amplifiers, straps, guitar stands, cords, pedals, strings, and seasonal maintenance.

Why not marketing?

 

Hope Guitar Gear License Germanium

 

Why not approach marketing the same way one would approach learning a new instrument with all the costs and time involved in acquiring the necessary gear and attention to learning how to make it work correctly?

 

What would happen if a bunch of artists took on the challenge of reaching fans and treated it like the art form that it is?

 

What would happen if these forward thinking artists truly understood the difference between the art of connecting with someone through music and the art of connecting with someone through the internet?

Hope Code

 

What would happen if they spent the same amount of time and money learning to master music marketing as they did to master their instrument?

Connecting with fans is easy and sadly, most artists ignore that.

 

Deepening the relationship is more challenging.

 

Once an artist master the art of creating Superfans, they will own the world.

 

The internet is more powerful because one video can be seen by fans all over the globe as opposed to restricted to one market like a radio station or one country like MTV.

 

Never before has the music industry been more pregnant with opportunity for any artist who is smart enough to see the writing on the wall.

Hope the Unheard

 

Since most artists either can’t see it or choose to ignore it, the performers that do embrace the learning and master marketing will easily rise above the din of the abundant unheard.

 

I just giggled at that.

 

Separate yourself from the unheard.

 

There is hope for the artists who are smart enough, driven enough, and that really work towards getting their music heard.

 

This is the most exciting time in the music business but code you have to crack has changed, man.Hope Dreams flag

 

I say it’s exciting because you are the only one standing in your way; just you and your excuses.

 

You have access to all the tools, all the education, and all the methodologies you need to find your real voice in your music, create that music, and master the art of exposing your music to a targeted audience.

 

Hope Access

 

You are your only hope.

 

The artists that become aware will become successful.

 

The artists who choose to remain naïve will disappear amongst the unheard.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

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

 

You Absolutely Can If You Will Your Life

Will Feature Image

I date a beautiful first grade teacher of 17 years who has two amazing daughters that are 11 and 8 years old.   The first week of this past October, it was their school fall break, so I took them up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a couple days to see where I grew up. Lake Geneva is a beautiful, Will Lake Geneva Collagequaint, little tourist town nestled against a large natural lake with AMAZING homes on it (The Wrigley’s estate, the Walgreen’s estate, etc.) I contacted a former co-worker of mine (from a killer restaurant I used to bartend at 25 years ago) who remained in the thriving hospitality industry up there to get a deal on a resort room for the 2 nights we were going to stay. My friend, Geri, had married a guy named Lee who was a GM at one of the resorts. Geri was really a former co-worker and acquaintance to me, but a life-long friend to my little sister who also worked at this same restaurant with Geri and me at one point.

 

Geri came through, I got a sweet room at this amazing resort overlooking the breathtaking views of Lake Geneva for 50% off. This was accomplished through a small but succinct set of text messages.

 

1 week later my little sister texted me to tell me Geri had a brain aneurysm and Lee was about to pull the plug on life support.

 

My first thought: W…T…F

I still had those texts from just one week ago.

Geri had to be close to my age, give or take 3-5 years.

 

Will HeartbeaatIt’s at a moment like this I count my blessings and I take great solace in the fact that I wasn’t afraid to take risks in my life. Maybe that’s weird, but these are the things I think about when faced with my mortality (I don’t have kids of my own).

It’s true you know, on your death bed, the ONLY thing you will regret in life are the risks you didn’t take.

 

 

No one ever thought, “Whew, I’m glad I followed all the rules and flew below the RADAR screen of society my whole life.”

 

This past Friday, like everyone else in the world, I stared on with disbelief at the horrific events that happened in France.Will France Flag

 

There were people attending a huge soccer game, people out to eat with their families, and people attending a rock concert that were all senselessly and purposefully wiped out.

 

 

 

 

 

France has far stricter gun laws that the USA, if you weren’t aware.

Will gun control

 

So these people were exterminated by illegal handguns, illegal automatic weapons, and illegal explosives.

 

It was illegal and still, they were destroyed.

 

 

Who cares why? David Letterman said it best after the 9/11 attacks when he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “If you live to be 1,000 years old, will you EVER make any sense of this?”Will_David_Letterman

 

I mentioned the gun control statement not to start a political rant, but to open your eyes to the bigger picture beyond guns.

 

Your life is short and promised to no one.

 

Too many of you are drinking whatever Kool-Aid you prefer and not paying attention to what’s really going on.

 

Here’s what’s really going on:  You’re wasting time.

 

Will Wasting Time

 

Regardless of what your government says they’re going to do to protect you. Short of putting all 7 billion of us on the planet in straightjackets to shield us from each other, if someone truly wants to damage you they can and they will.

 

Life is never going to be fair in this regard.

 

So the question is, what are YOU going to do about it?Will Straightjacket Collage

 

Any lawman will tell you most crimes are crimes of opportunity, which means you did something stupid and left yourself vulnerable. This stupidity was unfortunately recognized by a criminal mind and the situation was exploited.

 

The first day I moved to California, I was staying in Venice. At the end of the night I had the wherewithal to remove the face of my car stereo and placed it in its case, however, I left the case on the passenger seat like a moron. Next day I awoke to a busted window, no stereo face, and mangled dashboard from the rookie who tried unsuccessfully to pull the unit.

 

That one was on me. It was preventable.

 

What isn’t preventable is when someone REALLY wants to hurt you. When that situation arises, you can only take care of yourself.

 

I’ve never owned a gun and I don’t hunt (hunting in Wisconsin = COLD).

 

The gun control arguments on both sides are laughable. My problem with these debates has nothing to do with guns.

 

It has to do with the byproduct of too much control (of any kind) which is creating a society of victims who rely and/or blame someone or something else for their lot in life.Will Concentration Camps License Rodrigo Galindez

When we don’t take responsibility for our own happiness, love, safety, health, mental health, job, life mission, etc., someone else will, I promise.

The more your government, parents, friends, lovers, etc. step in to protect, the more humans will rely on that and not do for themselves.

 

 

We’re just wired up that way.

 

Nobody is responsible for you but you.

 

And just like us all, you are broken.

Will something Broken MEME

We are all broken.

 

Maggie Rose wrote, “Life’s full of broken things, like hearts, homes, and dreams. We all come from something broken,”

 

You’re health, your heart, your home, it doesn’t matter, because you’re just like everyone else.

 

What will define you is how you play the hand you were dealt.

 

Will you choose to believe the media, the governments of the world, and your naysaying friends when they tell you someone or something else is responsible for your unhappiness?

 

Will Pressure

 

It’s easier to think that. Takes the pressure off of you, right?

You don’t have to do the work but you do have to live with the consequences.

 

 

 

My friend Geri and those unfortunate people in France all stupidly lost their lives too early.

 

Their loss of life was not their fault.

 

How they lived their lives up until that last moment was.

 

I don’t know any of the victims in France. I do know that Geri led a wonderful life. She had grown kids and fostered a loving marriage to her best friend, Lee.

Will Meaning of Life MEME. License Leland Francisco

Photo: Leland Francisco

 

I hate that she had to go.

 

I love what she did right up until that moment.

 

Want to know what the meaning of life is?

 

I know the answer. It’s easy.

 

You are a mission critical cog in the wheel of advancing human society.

Will Society MEME

 

Your job is to be a little smarter, a little wiser, a little worldlier, a little more creative, and a little more aware than your parents were. (For some of you, maybe you’re a LOT more of these things.)

 

 

 

 

 

STOP thinking about what you don’t have.

 

STOP blaming your parents, past events, sickness, trauma, blah, blah, blah.Will Stop Hand

 

STOP waiting around for something to happen to you and START making something happen FOR you.

 

START working with what you have in front of you right now.

 

START making moves right now.

 

You cannot change yesterday.

 

You cannot predict the future.

 

The only thing you can control is RIGHT NOW.

 

 

Will butts

 

 

You need knowledge and you need to apply that knowledge to become more powerful.

 

We all come from something broken so your excuses for not accomplishing what you want to accomplish are like butts, EVERYBODY HAS ONE AND THEY ALL STINK.

 

 

1,000 years of additional, positive, forward progress in our advanced society will not change the fact that one cannot guarantee your safety or any kind of equal outcome to your life experience.Will Downloading Future

 

So blaming anyone but yourself is futile.

 

It’s still going to be up to the individual to craft the results of their life.

 

 

Will BurglarIllegal guns, drugs, alcohol, knives, bombs, automobiles, and hurtful words choices designed strategically for the purposes of emotional abuse will not change the fact that if someone wants to hurt you they can and they will.

 

So it’s on you.

 

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

 

 

 

 

Who are you authorizing to make you feel bad, inadequate, pathetic, or downright horrible?Will Consent Quote

Is it family?

Friends?

The news channels?

Your government?

Drugs?

Alcohol?

Television?

 

What risks have you been putting off?

 

What are you scared of?

It’s time to love deeper and forget the B.S.

It’s time to be the kind of friend you’d like to have.

It’s time to start working on your dream; start that band, finish that song, record that demo, learn how to market your music, etc.

 

What would be going through your mind if you were one of the victims in France with an illegal AK-47 to the back of their head just before you were executed?

 

What would’ve been your regret?Will Cowboy Up

Life is a full contact sport and nobody gets out alive.

 

Don’t give anyone permission to take your happiness away and put it in the hands of anyone else.

 

You cowboy up and take the good with the bad.

Will Rocky collage

 

You’re going to screw up, we all screw up.

 

 

Get over it.

You’re going to fail, we all fail more than we succeed.

 

Get over it.

 

You’re going to have to get back up again, shake it off, and learn from the mistake.

 

It’s a scientific fact that the big win, the big score, the game-changer in your life will absolutely happen immediately following a failure that you had to recover from.

Will No Traffic Jams Extra Mile

 

Don’t wait, man.

You’re life is almost over.

 

 

You’re out of time.

 

There are no roadblocks in the extra mile. If you’re feeling them, you haven’t driven far enough.

 

Get to it.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

 

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Quality Over Quantity

Quality vs Quantity Feature image

All too often I see artists overcome the common hurdle of funding their recording budget only to fail miserably at project management. They’re engrossed with recording a full length CD so they focus on how to achieve that goal within their budget parameters.  They choose quantity over quality.Quality vs Quantity Scale image

Professionally this is a poor choice.

What’s your intent?

Do you want to be received as a professional artist or do you want to record a vanity project?

If you intend to sell your project you need to accept the fact that you are competing with all your favorite artists, the ones who inspired you.

Quality stand out in a crowdIt has to be GREAT or you will not stick out of the crowd.

Your mother and your friends will understand how and why your project sounds amateur.

Consumers won’t care.

If the songs don’t blow them away and the record doesn’t sonically sound amazing they won’t buy it.

If consumers don’t buy it that obviously means that they are not listening to it.Quality no buy image

If they’re not listening to the music that means you have a vanity project.

Vanity means it’s just for you, your friends, and your family.

Which is totally fine.

Unless your dream was to make a living making music.

This requires commerce.

 

 

Quality Steve Jobs quote

 

It’s confusing to me to hear artists wax on about how they want to record albums like their heroes did, back when they “made the records they wanted to make”.  However, the artists they speak of were on major labels with incredible infrastructure in all aspects of the record making process.

 

These heroes wrote world class songs (often with hit songwriters).

They worked with world class musicians (often not the same musicians in the band)

They worked with professional engineers, and producers.

Then they recorded in world class studio facilities.

So they “made the records they wanted to make” with a quality-tested team of professionals who earn a living every day making records (which is a vastly different skill set than recording music)

Quality Professionalism Consistency of quality

 

Don’t you think this is an important fact to consider?

 

I mean this is your dream, right?

 

These are your babies, aren’t they?

 

If you want your project to be competitive you will not be able to accomplish this in a home studio all by yourself.

Your undying admiration for music and a Pro-Tools rig is nowhere near enough, you’re going to need experience.

The good news is that it is easier and less expensive than ever before to access quality professionals and create your epic masterpiece.

A little consideration towards project management can go a LONG way to making the dent you need to attract major attention in this business.

 

Attention from consumers.

 

Attention from the industry.

 

Quality over Quantity

Quality Universe quoteI constantly see artists screw up their projects from the get-go. They feel they HAVE to record a full length CD because that’s always been their “dream”.

Was the dream really to record 10 songs, or was the dream to be a professional artist who finds an audience and makes a living selling their music to their fan base?

The problem is a smaller budget won’t allow for quality AND quantity so they erroneously choose quantity and go “shopping” for a place that will take their limited finances and deliver a 10 song CD.

 

I promise, if you are looking for a studio that will charge $250/song or $25/song YOU WILL FIND IT.  Your tracks will suffer greatly but you will indeed have a 10 song CD.

 

Did you win or lose?

 

What if you focused on quality instead of quantity?

CASE STUDY: We were approached by an amazing Canadian singer/songwriter named Tanya Marie Harris.  It was time for her to record her next project.  I remember her saying, “Johnny, for what you and Kelly are charging me for 2 songs, I could record a whole CD up here in Toronto.” I remember preparing my usual response of “Well, we aren’t your guys then” when she followed up with “but it would be mediocre and I need something awesome. This is my last shot and I want these tracks to blow people away.”Quality Tanya Marie Harris

We did exactly that.

Tanya recorded 2 songs and is currently building a real career on the strength of those tracks.  She recorded “A Woman Scorned” and “Secondhand Dreams” which currently has almost 2 million YouTube views and is getting more spins on radio every day.

Tanya is touring constantly.

Tanya signed a deal with a Nashville management company.

She made a dent.

Quality make a dent in the Universe

 

Professional recordings mean that you’re a professional.

 

How nice would it be to hand someone your recordings WITHOUT a disclaimer?

 

 

 

 

To quote Steve Jobs, “Quality is better than quantity.  One home run is better than 2 doubles”

FYI, he put his money where his mouth is. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built their very first run of Apple computers out of Wozniak’s garage.  They had a limited budget and chose to manufacture 50 quality computers over a quantity of 500 of a lesser quality. The rest is history.

 

What are you after, home runs or doubles?

 

Find a quality team.

 

Stay in tune.

 

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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!

 

 

 

Imagine Every Artist

Imagine Feature image

Imagine Every Artist just wanted to make art.

Imagine Every Artist started paying attention to effective content marketing and social media.

Imagine Every Artist stopped SELLING on social media and focused on building relationships.Imagine Lyric image

What if legacy and heritage artists monetized their million dollar brand names via direct-to-fan marketing?

What if legacy and heritage artists changed their business models to be subscribership/internet mail order businesses?

Imagine indie bands, singer/songwriters, and major label artists actually had a customer list like every other successful business on the planet. (How is this constantly overlooked?)

Imagine indie bands, singer/songwriters, and major label artists surveyed these customers to see what exactly they wanted and what they were willing to pay for like most other successful businesses.

Imagine Customer List image

Imagine Every Artist wanted to learn from a producer

What if every artist could be half as good at creating relationships on social media as Amanda Palmer?

 

 

Imagine Every Artist was interested in being better rather than famous.

What if every artist stopped making excuses for why they aren’t doing their art?

Imagine Every Artist lived for the journey and stopped focusing their emotions and self esteem on the time it took to get to some fleeting destination.

What if every artist could find a way to make a living being an artist? ($30k-$40k isn’t that difficult. What do you make right now?)

Imagine Every Artist stopped coveting other artists and started working on their own art?Chain

Imagine Every Artist knew the idea of being famous was a lot better than the reality.

What if every artist replaced the energy they spent on worrying, hating, coveting, pontificating, waxing nostalgic, brooding, complaining, and being narcissistic with real work/creativity?

Imagine Every Artist understood that their weak points need to be as cool as their strong points.

What if every artist could hear the difference between “art that is done” and “well done art”? (Yes, art can be objective)

What if every artist continually worked to create opportunities instead of waiting for opportunities to show up at their door?

Imagine Every Artist understood that commerce wasn’t a bad thing if it was done on the artist’s terms, done well, and done consistently.

Imagine Every Artist understood that to really be unique you need to be brave enough to be yourself. (Stop being derivative!)

What if every artist knew how to build a decent team?

Imagine Every Artist knew terrestrial radio was going to be 1000 times less effective tomorrow that it is today. (How would that change your approach?)

What if every artist used a company that offered text phone number capture technology to build their customer list during live shows because text messages have a 99% open rate?

Imagine Every Artist didn’t give away 90% of their revenue to tell their parents and friends that they have a record deal.

Imagine Every Artist understood how a squeeze page with the proper language could maximize the exposure of Imagine Don't Be Afraid imageevery public appearance including live shows, magazine interviews, podcast interviews, song placements, TV interviews, blog interviews, etc.

Imagine Every Artist wasn’t afraid to be afraid.

Imagine Every Artist expected relationships in the music industry to work like their personal relationships with quid pro quo and adding value.

What if every artist focused on making a living being and artist instead of being famous?

 

Imagine Console imageImagine Every Artist stopped making excuses and started recording.

Imagine Every Artist used Stage-It to reach out to their fans for the purposes of including them in the song selection for the upcoming release ala Bon Jovi’s Pizza Parlor Jury

What if every artist understood that it’s a numbers game and you have to constantly create opportunities through hard work rather than placing all their emotional “eggs” in one basket, for one deal, with one person, at one company?

Imagine Every Artist stopped being closed off to constructive criticism and opened their mind to constant improvement along their journey.

Imagine Every Artist wasn’t afraid to fail.

What if every artist understood it starts with the song and spending money on a better recording of an average song will render a better recording of an average song?

Imagine Every Artist stopped asking and started giving.

Imagine Every Artist knew they needed a team to get to the next level.

What if every artist knew they needed to shop for this team rather than shop for studio rates?

Imagine Every Artist stopped bad-mouthing successful artists.

How Will You Add Value?

How will you add value

Somehow, we have lost sight of the simple, honest truth that people need to add value, real value, to any organization to be accepted and succeed in that organization. If you don’t add value, the relationship will inevitably end or at least DRAMATICALLY shift gears to accommodate your lack of value.

In real life you have to earn respect.

There are people at your current job who demand respect simply because they outrank you. You want to keep your job so you intelligently play the game and feign respect to these people; but they don’t really have your respect do they?

Your respect is counterfeit because they haven’t earned it.Add Value Demand Earn Respect image

Consequently, you have people that outrank you and that you outrank at your current job who DO have your respect; they’ve earned it. They somehow bring value to the relationship.

Think about these people for a second. How exactly do they bring value to your relationship?

Let me tell you how important the concept of adding value is to me. I was hired to manage a phone sales room in LA by a friend who knew I could turn the 2ndshift around and make it profitable. He wanted me to start managing right away. I was flattered but one thing I KNOW about killer salespeople is they are cocky; as they should be.

I wasn’t going to have top sales people’s respect until I EARNED it and I NEEDED their respect to get them to perform for me.

So I agreed to take the gig as long as they put me on the sales floor first, so the room could see me work; as one of them. When the room saw I was a real hitter (took 1 day) they would respect me as a manager. Two weeks later after I was one of the top 2 or 3 salespeople in the room they announced I was a manager. The room loved me.

Get it?

My mother always told me water seeks its own level.

Add Value Water image

Translation: you’re going to end up where you end up based on the value you are adding.

 

 

I interact with young artists every day who simply can’t understand why they didn’t get a blue ribbon for showing up in the music industry.

They are genuinely frustrated by the lack of attention, the missing tickertape parade, the blase reactions they get from industry professionals after pitching their music or act. They are heartbroken because they met someone important in the industry one time that was polite to them and that person didn’t return their call or further the relationship as the artist expected them to do.

These aspiring artists often feel they should be famous or important simply because their parents told them so. Well, that part is true, you are important to your parents because they love you, unconditionally.

The rest of the world doesn’t care.

The rest of the world will need proof that you can add value to their cause before they offer up any kind of help.

It’s impossible to have a reputation based on what you’re planning to do.

You can only develop a reputation based on what you already have done. Add Value Henry Ford image

If you think about this in terms of managing your expectations, you have yet to prove your music has value in the marketplace. The professionals, whose help you need to break through to the next level, will require something more than a promise from someone they “don’t-know-from-a-can-of-paint”.

You behave like this too, by the way.

Would you let someone watch your kids or your gear because they knocked on your door and told you they are planning on being the best babysitter on the planet?

How about your money? C’mon, man, you should be a good person and give everyone that really wants a chance a shot at managing your money; you know, like a bank. I mean they PROMISED that they would be really good at it, right? Isn’t that enough?

Get the point?

This thought that everyone should instantly respect you before you add value is a bass-ackwards approach that is certain to yield disappointment and frustration.

It is also offensive to the people who are students of the game and have paid their dues. Think about it, if you worked you backside off your whole life to create something and then you encounter someone who wants you to help them (when they haven’t ever really done any work or enough work to help themselves) it’s downright insulting. It’s insulting because the artist is not bringing anything to the table; they just want to take.

When you were 8 years old you made trade agreements the lunch table. “I’ll trade you my Twinkie for your Ding Dong, interested?” You didn’t expect to walk over to some kid and say “I want you to help me get a Ding Dong by giving me yours” because you knew it wouldn’t work.

file0001434770515

So how will you add value?

When an artist asks for “help” in the wrong way at the wrong time, it’s insulting the person whose help they require. This in turn leads to rejection which mortally wounds us as artists; but we set it up that way from the start.

This naive method is akin to repeatedly putting your naked hand into a bag full of rattlesnakes, getting bit, and then consistently reacting to the event with emotions of surprise or betrayal.

If you’re gonna handle rattlesnakes, you better know what you are doing or you’re going to get bit; that’s just plain old common sense and animal instinct.

Next time you are at a friend’s house who is waxing negatively about their lack of success in the music business (or the next time you are) consider the possibility that you are going about it wrong.

Consider the fact that whether you are lazy or just naive, the damage is the same. You don’t have enough of a resume to compete at the next level until you have enough of a resume to compete at the next level.

There are no short cuts so KEEP WORKING.

I receive an email every other day from an aspiring artist who wants our “help”. These artists are frustrated because Labels won’t talk to them, booking agents won’t help them, club owners won’t book them, they can’t get a band together, etc.

Add Value I want you image

I am genuinely baffled about how to respond to emails like this.

The real message inside these emails is I want you to make me successful.

I want you to put a band together for me.

I want you to get the club owners to book me.

I want you to make the labels like me.

I want you to find my audience.

I want you to do all this because I won’t do it myself. I promise I will START TO WORK once you get the ball rolling “trust me.”

Imagine someone coming up to you wanting to play guitar for your band. Imagine them saying they are going to be a great guitar player but they really don’t want to commit any time to learning the guitar until they are sure that they have a gig with you.

Can you all read this and consider how insulting this is?

I put my first band together when I was in 8th grade. We played one or 2 parties, we were horrible, but we were practicing and playing gigs immediately. By junior year we had done ENOUGH WORK to get regular weekly gigsAdd Value Delavan image and add value to a couple clubs in Milwaukee. Incidentally, I grew up in Delavan, WI population 5,000 (at the time). We had multiple band-member changes in that shallow musical gene pool over the course of the first 3 years. I will never understand anyone who says they can’t get a band together. To me it means you just don’t want it enough.

Where there is a will there is a way; period.

Understand booking agents work on commission.

Once you prove you can ADD VALUE by making them money then believe me, booking agents will fall all over you like a cheap suit.

Record labels need to sell records to survive.

Once you sell 100,000 downloads of your song, believe me the labels will be clamoring to sign you because it would be impossible to deny that you can ADD VALUE to their cause.

Do you really want a counterfeit commitment?

Once you start thinking about how you can add value to a relationships, instead of asking what they can do for you, you whole world will change.

 

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