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Reach & Frequency: How to Get Valuable Fans To Actually Listen

Reach and Frequency Feature Image

Marketing of any kind requires 2 very necessary components: Reach and Frequency.Reach and Frequency Molecule

 

First, you have to reach the (hopefully) targeted audience.

 

Second, there has to be frequency on the message, regardless of how good it is, before it sinks in.

 

Both are expensive via the mass media.

 

Both aren’t working anymore via the mass media either.

 

Reach and Frequency Old School Collage

Let’s look at your dreams of breaking on the radio right now; I want to focus on that.

 

Let’s break down both marketing components with regards your assumptions on the significance of radio spins today.

 

If you think about it, reach in mass marketing wouldn’t allow a whole lot of “surgical” targeting or micro-targeting. (You are a unique artist after all.)

 

For instance, you could be getting spins on a country station and your audience would be targeted to country but think about how segmented that is. Traditional Country (old school icons), Pop Country (Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain), Bro Country (You know them), Country Rap (Big Smo, Big & Rich [remember Cowboy Troy?]), Country Rock (Jason Aldean, Eric Church), Alternative Country (Jason Isbell, Kasey Musgraves), etc.

Reach and Frequency Everyone Else

 

Not so targeted, huh?

 

Just like you, fans have VERY divisive thoughts and opinions about each of these subcategories. This dynamic is true of any genre, by the way, like rap, rock, pop, indie, etc.

 

Consumers are passionate about their subgenres.

 

 

Here’s the thing, radio was super-effective and worked for 60+ years because the reach was SO big. Everybody radio reached was paying attention with fewer distractions, and up until the last 20 years, there were far fewer sub genres.

Reach and Frequency Passionalte

 

Absorb that statement, can you get your head around how efficient radio used to be?

 

Too many of you have false hope that if you get your hit song on the radio in any given market that it might “blow up” after people hear it once.

 

 

 

Let’s dissect this belief for a second.

Reach and Frequency Blow Up

 

Let’s assume for the argument that people are actually “listening” to the radio.

 

What does that mean, “listening”?

 

Terrestrial radio is mostly consumed in the car. What goes on in the car (phone conversations, texting, Vining, Snapchatting, Twittering, Facebooking, YouTube, movies for the kids in back, etc.)? Who’s driving? Do they have kids?

 

Reach and Frequency Driving Texting

What are they thinking about while a song presumably provides a backdrop for the onslaught of mundane errands, social media addiction, fodder-like drama, real drama, conversations, text messages, arguments, rants, road rage, and otherwise general thought processes that occur in their heads even when their favorite familiar artist is playing?

 

 

They’re NOT thinking about you.

They’re not focusing on your song.

 

Hell, they’re not focusing on DRIVING!

 

Think about how your driving habits and behavior have changed since the invention of social media and smart phones in the last 10 years.

 

Yikes!

 

Next time you are listening to the radio, I want you to try and be aware of EVERYTHING else that is going on inside your head, your car, your office, etc.  Are YOU really “listening”?Reach and Frequency Why Don't You Get Me (2)

 

See my point?

 

Do you really expect anyone to “get” you and understand you as an artist after hearing one song, one time?

 

Here’s the sobering truth:  They’re not “listening”.

 

They have aux cables, WiFi in the car, and their own preferences.

 

When it comes to the reach element of the marketing equation, you are battling people with all these distractions while the radio is playing.

 

Simply put, you’re not reaching anyone.

At least in terms of the reach equation with regards to terrestrial radio. ESPECIALLY on your indie budget which doesn’t allow for anywhere near enough frequency. I’ll get to that shortly.

 

Truth is they’re most likely avoiding the radio altogether and experiencing music they are already acquainted with emitting that conversant signal from their smartphones.

 

Next, who’s going to hear it exactly?

 

In other words, is it your targeted audience?

 

With Bailey James, her audience is 7-14 year old kids. What station do they listen to?

 

Of the reach that terrestrial radio has in a given market, how many of the people listening are in your demographic and subgenre?

Reach and Frequency Sterilization

 

Can you comprehend the erosion of consumer attention here?

 

How about the resultant “art by committee” that occurs to optimize your chances for being spun?

 

 

2 words: Artistic Sterilization.

 

The tactics for effective reach have to change if you’re to be effective. Period.

 

To think otherwise is to be naïve.

 

To be naïve is to sacrifice your artist soul forever.

 

Artists, your soul is at stake!

Reach and Frequency Suffering Artistic Soul

 

Your artist soul won’t care why you don’t have an audience. It’ll just suffer the common tragic death because there is not enough adoration and compensation for the good work.

 

 

Which creates frustration.

 

Which creates doubt.

 

These are the initial infections that lead to the gangrenous decomposition of the artist dream.

 

I’ll bet that one hit close to home.

 

Don’t trip, it’s preventable to the seekers of the truth.

 

Reach and Frequency Preventable

Frequency, the second component of the marketing equation is equally mission critical.

 

Major advertisers are acutely aware of this fact and you must be as well.

You’ve heard the stories (that continue to feed your uninformed hope) about artists like Guns & Roses whose life changing Appetite for Destruction record took a year to break. They were about to be dropped. Then label owner David Geffen called in a personal favor at MTV who played the new video for the second single “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” at 3am on a Saturday morning and they blew up.

 

Yes that happened.

Reach and Frequency Appetite For Destruction

But not the way you imagine it.

 

That ONE video spin caused enough of a reaction to convince MTV it deserved a few more spins. They bought into frequency of their precious airwaves.

 

Which begat more video spins.

 

Don’t look now, but GNR blew up because good art met with reach and frequency in a medium where the market was paying attention.

 

Who’s paying attention today?

 

To be perfectly clear, it was frequency on a hugely popular NATIONALY CONSUMED television music station that no longer plays music videos and is no longer nationally consumed.

Reach and Frequency No MTV Logo

 

Assuming you’re on the radio and anyone is “listening” it takes a TON of spins A.K.A. frequency for your art to sink in and catch on with each individual listener.

 

Now, how many times are you getting spun per day in each market?

 

 

How many spins till any individual experiences enough frequency within a given market to influence them to take action and buy your single, ya know, when they get home from driving, unload the kids, stop texting, and hop off Facebook?

 

Get it?

 

Reach and Frequency How Many Spins MemeFrequency takes time even when there was an attentive mass market to influence. Most radio promo campaigns take at least 35 weeks to get traction with established iconic stars never mind a new emerging artist.

 

Frequency is also expensive on mass media.

 

Expensive means its cost prohibitive to the indie artist like you.

 

This is why radio promo has become a poor, archaic approach to any new artist’s promotional strategy. Even to the majors with million dollar budgets.

 

It used to work, now it doesn’t.

 

Get over it.

 

Wow, that sounds disappointing doesn’t it?

 

Ready for the good news?

Reach and Frequency is free

 Frequency is FREE if you have the audience’s permission.

 

Emails, text messages, social media posts, tweets, snapchats, etc. are free once you get their attention.

 

It used to be that your music opened the door and got you noticed within a market. That is no longer true.

 

Now, you have to break through another way, and the quality of your music is what keeps you in the room.

 

Stop fighting the way you “think” it should be or the way it “used” to be and start imagining how you can break through with the way it is.

 

Reach and Frequency JimiJimi Hendrix, one of the ultimate rock guitar Gods was a huge star in England that couldn’t break through the clutter of USA radio in the 60’s (when radio ruled and there was no real clutter!). He wasn’t noticed, that is to say he didn’t come into anyone’s awareness (in the States) because of his music, at first. It wasn’t until he played the Monterey Pop Festival and famously lit his guitar on fire that he caught the attention of the American people.

 

This seemingly impromptu sacrificial burning ritual was NOT a spontaneous act from an artist “in the moment”, rather it was a premeditated, strategic plan put forth by his brilliant PR firm.

 

They (being Jimi and the PR firm) got our attention.

 

Then, we listened to him play.

 

After we opened our hearts & minds to really “listen” we truly experienced Jimi, and we responded. We fell in love!

 

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

 

Don’t confuse the love and importance of your favorite artist’s music with the strategy that was used to get your attention.

 

STOP focusing on what you don’t have (money, management, radio, label deal, blah, blah, blah) and START focusing on what you DO have.

 

Reach and Frequency Focus

Focus on creating relationships with an audience. If you do that you’ll own what the marketing world considers to be the greatest asset of all, HEADSPACE and TRUST.

 

They’ll listen with an open heart and an open mind.

 

 

If you’re compelling, and they know & trust you, they’ll buy your music, merchandise, tickets, and anything else you suggest is cool.

 

You now know what the record business refuses to figure out. The numbers prove this point and the numbers don’t lie because the numbers can’t talk.

 

Here’s what you DO have.

 

Free surgically targeted reach via social media and YouTube.Reach and Frequency Social Media Logos

 

Free frequency if you’re smart enough to begin amassing contact data.

 

Oh, and your intelligent creative brain to begin connecting the dots.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

If you liked the information in this article please SHARE it and comment! Thanks!

 

 

The Climb 200x200

 

 

P.S. I you like podcast formats, I have a new one with hit songwriter Brent Baxter called The  C.L.I.M.B. (Creating Leverage In the Music Business). You can listen HERE for free. again, please leave a rating and a review.

 

 

 

 

Why Do Consumers Absolutely Ignore The Best New Music? (part 2)

Music Influence 2

In Nashville the tourist trap honkytonks are all located on Broadway between 1st and 5th streets. The North side of Broadway gets 40% more foot traffic than the south side.Music Nashville Lower Broadway 2

 

Location, Location, Location.

 

Here’s the deal, in this market example, the foot traffic is a reality regardless of what bars are there. Putting a business along that street will guarantee you a certain amount of customer traffic. Putting your business on the North side of Broadway will guarantee 40% more opportunities for commerce.

 

Online, when it comes to consumers and new music/artists, there is no “existing foot traffic”. At least none that will pay your bills in any real way.

 

Music Marketing Infographic

 

Platforms like iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, etc. promised exposure to new indie artists. They imply that you’re placing your music within a framework of “digital foot traffic” and through the popularity of said traffic, created by the already branded, famous artists, the indie artists will find an audience.

As if the traffic overflow would create some kind of magical cornucopia of consumers that are interested in spending their precious time exploring new artists.

 

POPPYCOCK! This is a lie. Don’t believe it.

 

They haven’t been able to make that happen as of today.

 

Consumers go to a digital distribution platform to find something they’re looking for, not to browse or “shop”. Consumers always went to record stores back in the day to find what they were looking for, not to shop; this behavior hasn’t changed.Music Online Shop icon

 

 

Here’s a factual observation to bring some persepectivve to this reality. When women go “shopping” it doesn’t always mean they’re going to purchase anything; they enjoy the thrill of the chase as much as the kill. When men “shop” we know exactly what we have to get, we find the store that has it, we do business with that store and then leave. IN AND OUT.

Music Shopping List MEME

Music consumers shop like men.

 

If I put a gun to your head could ANYONE tell me about 1 artist who “broke” on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Slacker, etc.? Is there even one story about an artist who was NOBODY until they put their music up on one of these sites and then found throngs of loyal fans and started a career?

 

 

 

 

 

Music Marketing iconYOU will have to create the traffic.

The traffic will come from marketing that YOU do.

YOU will have to create the buzz.

YOU will have to influence the minds of these consumers into responding to and purchasing your music.

 

The big question I’m always asking myself (you should be asking yourself) is this: If radio isn’t going to expose the new music to the masses (because consumers have choices and will predictably change the channel to find familiar music), what has to happen for an artist to break?

 

What do I have to do to get ME to break?

 

Music Marketing BEFORE Meme

 

Consider this, in the-old-school-radio-breaks-your-single-world, the music, i.e. the single, was the first interaction consumers had with an artist.

 

Because music was the first experience a consumer had with a new artist, creating buzz and building a brand was initially about the music.

 

You were essentially forced to sit through an unfamiliar song on terrestrial radio while you waited to hear the DJ play ‘your jam” and if the new song was a hit song, you’d probably like it. Then you heard it 6 more times (however long that took was directly related to how much time you spent listening to the radio) and your buying decision was greatly influenced as the killer new song became more and more “familiar” to you. At some point, you were swayed enough that you would go and spend your hard earned money on that new artist’s record or CD.

 

Since artists hate to talk about commerce, I’ll serve up another way, it takes 7 listens (and however many spins in a marketplace that is required for a consumer to hear it 7 times) for your hit song to become someone else’s “jam”.

Music Old School MEME

 

Think about this, it’s a psychological phenomenon that most consumers will always change the channel until they find what they are familiar with. If consumers now have the capability to constantly change the channel, to an infinite amount of stations, until they find “their jam”, how will they be exposed to the new music?

The music is no longer the first interaction a consumer will have with an artist.

 

Whoa!

 

Does that make sense?

 

Music New Music Handcuff Image

 

Before, consumers were forced to suffer through the exposure process, now we don’t have to. We get instant gratification in playing music that is already familiar to us.

 

Your music is important, don’t get me wrong.

 

 

But your music is not going to be the first thing that turns heads and creates a buzz with consumers anymore.

 

They won’t listen to your new song on the radio when they can so easily find their jam.

 

How is it going to work?

 

Wrong Marketing YOU finger 2It’s you, my artist friends, it’s you.

 

YOU are now the first contact, the first interaction, the first connection consumers will experience, if they LIKE you, THEN they will hear your music.

 

You’d better be marketing accordingly, or you’ll experience the crappy sales numbers that all the big dogs are dealing with.

 

Music Drake Album Cover

 

 

 

I think there is only one record that has gone platinum this year, y’all.

 

The old marketing method doesn’t work anymore and the sales numbers prove it.

 

 

 

Here is some data to support my statement.

 

Let’s first look at the history of pricing.Music TP Comparison Meme

 

In 1978 Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes was released and the price was $8.00 which, when put into an inflationary calculator, is worth $28.80 in 2015 dollars. Tom Petty’s new CD Hypnotic Eye (released in 2015) like everyone else’s CD’s can be purchased for $10.99

 

The price-per-widget has declined by 62%.

 

Let’s look at unit sales.

 

Industry Shania Twain UP

 

The bestselling country music record 10 years ago was Shania Twain’s Up! which sold 11 million copies. The bestselling country music record last year was Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt which barely sold 1 million.

 

Unit sales are down 90% from 10 years ago.

 

 

 

So, price per CD is down 62% and STILL consumers are only purchasing 10% of what they used to purchase just 10 years ago.

Worthless Empty Pockets Image License Barabara Nixon

Photo: Barbara Nixon

 

Think about this devastating market reality a different way to drive home the incredible impact. What if your current boss told you he was cutting your pay by 62% AND cutting your hours by 90%?

This is a marketing failure.

 

 

 

You may be thinking that the economy is to blame; people are holding on to their money these days.

 

Music Gas to Water MemeI would counter with the fact that every day, the poorest people in this country walk into a gas station and pay more than 3 times the price of a gallon of gasoline for something they can obtain FOR FREE; bottled “purified” water, A.K.A. tap water.

 

 

Think about that. For a 1 liter bottle of the cheapest water you’re going to pay between $1.50 and $1.99.

 

There are 3.78 liters in a US Gallon. With the cheapest bottle that would equate to $5.55/gallon for bottled tap water that you can get for free.

 

It’s not the money.

Music 1 Million Sold MEMEA

Why then, if it’s not the money, are sales down?

 

Jason Aldean had just as much money to promote as Shania Twain.

 

With every single going into heavy rotation, Aldean had just as much exposure on the radio as Twain.

 

Aldean was the bestselling country music artist last year, people are paying to see his sold out arena shows. Heavy rotation on terrestrial radio means consumers are definitely familiar with Aldean’s music and ticket sales mean they definitely like him, so why then aren’t they buying his record?

 

Whenever you pass on purchasing a product you are familiar with and you actually like, it’s for only one reason.

You don’t think it’s worth it.

 

Music 555 per Gallon MEME

 

These days, the consumer buying decisions are being influenced by the artists themselves, not the artist’s music; at least not at first.

 

Now, you may say “They won’t buy the record because they can hear the music for free on YouTube, or get it through their Spotify/Pandora subscriptions, etc.

 

 

You may be right, but again, I give you the bottled water example.

 

 

 

 

The sales numbers show that artists who focus on relationship with their fans sell more records than artists who are old school and let the “music do the talking”. Fans don’t trust a relationship with the music or song like they used to.Music 7 Million MEME

 

Thus, Taylor Swift sells 7 million units with no Country radio support and Jason Aldean, the darling of Country radio, barely sells 1 million.

 

Any indie artist that manages to send a project to duplication has no problem selling the first 50 units.

 

Both of these artist examples sold CD’s because the buyers felt they had a relationship with them.

 

That’s the key. The music can deepen the relationship, but initially the music is essentially useless. The artist’s interactions, talent, and relationship with the fan is going to initiate the connection. Something compelling, clever, honest, truthful, and spiritual will be the catalyst.

 

If this concept makes sense to you, why on earth would you wait until the music is finished being recorded to begin to market it?

 

Let that one marinate inside your head for a second.

 

Music Traffic Marketing YOU DO MEME

 

If making connections is now the way to get people interested in listening to your music you shouldn’t be waiting for anything. The old school methodology of “waiting till the record is done to promote it” is obsolete if consumers aren’t going to hear the music first.

The old school way requires the music to be the catalyst for the sales, for the artist/fan relationship, so it would make sense to wait because you needed the music to do the marketing.

 

 

But if you’re not initially marketing with your first single, you have nothing to wait for.

 

Get it?

 

Radio will continue to lessen in its importance with marketing. That is to say that, in the future, radio will help to “spread the word” but it will no longer be “creating the buzz” and introducing you to the world.Music_Earl_Dibbles_Jr

 

Your proof lies in the sales figures from Taylor Swift, Earl Dibbles Jr., and every indie artist who ever released a shrink-wrapped duplicated project.

 

 

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

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

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Consumers Are Starving For Your Music

Music Starving Millions

Consumers really want to buy music.

I keep hearing everyone complain from the bottom and from the top that record sales are down; consumers aren’t buying.Consumers Buy Feature Image

This is true.

Why?

Why aren’t people buying music like they used to if they really want to buy music?

 

Music is such an important part of so many of our lives. Is it that we just don’t care these days?

Are we in danger of having a society where music just isn’t present in the fabric of our lives?

Music is Important

 

No, it’s not that we don’t like music anymore as a society.

Consumers aren’t buying music because we aren’t reaching them.

 

 

 

The methods and dynamics to connecting with consumers has changed, therefore the marketing needs to change to influence their buyingMusic When You Are Happy decisions.

For the most part it hasn’t. We keep holding on to what used to work and by “we” I mean all of us; indie artists and major labels.

Either consumers aren’t aware of the product or they are aware of the product and don’t think it’s worth the price.

The previous statement was the very definition of ineffective marketing.

 

Yikes! They don’t think it’s worth it??

 

Access to the “mass market” is becoming more difficult and complex. The result is the mass market is nowhere near as “massive” as it used to be. This is because the mass market is continually fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces.

Music Mass Market Niche Market

As a big market disintegrates into smaller, more focused markets the definition changes from “mass market” to “niche market”.

 

As a marketer (of your music) you have to consider the fact that the mass market simply isn’t as easy to reach as it used to be because consumers have so many choices to hang out.

 

In any given media market, there used to be only 3 TV networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC), 1 or possibly 2 (genre specific) radio stations, 1 or 2 newspapers, and maybe MTV for consumers to receive input about any product, project, or artist.

Think about how easy that was for the record labels to reach us when we were such a captive audience.

 

Now we have well over 500 channels on TV in addition to the initial 3 networks.file00041345220

 

There are endless possibilities for consumers to devour radio including their 1 or 2 local terrestrial radio stations, HD Radio, Satellite Radio, I Heart Radio (1,000 stations), Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Slacker, personal playlists, etc.

 

Every magazine, YouTube, social media, and countless music sites are accessible online at anytime, anywhere in the world from a smartphone.

 

There is a fundamental, paradigm shift happening right now in the music industry.

 

Simply put, the methods that were once effective in exposing consumers to new music and influencing their buying decisions has gone through a drastic change.

 

Music Paradigm Shift

 

These formerly effective methods were geared towards communicating to and converting a mass market.

 

The WHOLE industry will have to change with it and adapt. Until then, it will continue to suffer.

 

 

Consider this, as indie artists and human beings for that matter, our understanding of our everyday reality is directly related to the input we receive.

 

Think about that concept outside the realm of marketing music for a second.Music Input Brain Chart

  • Poor children aren’t aware that they are poor until they are exposed to how the other half lives.
  • Children of famous parents aren’t aware that their parents are famous until they are exposed to other children whose parents aren’t famous.
  • Mentally and physically abused people are sometimes not aware (or forget over time) that there are more peaceful ways to live because they get only one kind of input.
  • People that are constantly told they are bad, horrible, not important, etc., will ultimately begin to believe that if it is the only stimulus they are exposed to.

We are all products of the input we receive in life and, of course, input from the market place is equally applicable.

 

The input we receive becomes our reality.

 

Music Time To Adapt

 

My point is when you think about marketing your music you naturally think about how music (in the form of your favorite artists) has been marketed to you in the past.

 

It’s the only input you have ever received with regards to music marketing, and it worked.

 

 

 

It’s not working now.Music it's not working

Not for you.

 

Not for the major labels either.

 

Shania Twain’s “Up!” was certified 11 million units sold in September 23rd, 2004.Music Shania Twain Up

 

 

10 years later, Jason Aldean’s “Old Boots, New Dirt” was the best-selling country record of 2014 and it barely cracked 1 million in sales by December of last year.

 

Music Jason Aldean Old Boots

 

 

Clearly the record labels haven’t got it figured out yet, man.

 

So why follow them?

 

Consumers haven’t stopped wanting or liking music. The way in which they receive their input about music has drastically changed due to technology and a fragmented marketplace.

 

Music Who Else Should We Target

 

So, in a way, they’re starving for good music, they just can’t find it in the new marketplace. They can’t find it because we aren’t getting it to them in a language/manner they find acceptable.

The artists and labels that have figured this out are thriving.

Listen, consumers are just as desperate to be turned on to really good music as you are to sell it to them.  Crazy, huh?

 

The new way for receiving this marketing stimulus via social media and content marketing through email and text exchanges is consumed Music Chicken Paradigm ShiftCOMPLETELY differently than the mass media branding methods that were effective before.

 

Systems and strategies for addressing mass media don’t work for private, one on one interactions which is how social media, text messaging, and emails are consumed.

 

 

Once the fundamental changes to language and the approach have been internalized, understood, and executed masterfully music sales will rise.

Huh?

 

Taylor Swift provides us with proof of concept on this statement.

Music Taylor Swift 1989

 

While Jason Aldean is an undeniable superstar at the top of his game with TONS of country radio support for his new record, he barely broke 1 million copies.

 

Taylor Swift released “1989” in 2014 and it was certified 4 million in sales January 22 of this year and she did it WITHOUT any help from country radio.

She knows how to communicate with her audience effectively in the new marketplace and she has the sales to prove it.

Not only is Taylor’s audience aware that her new record was released, they all felt it was worth it.

 

Right now I want you to quit lamenting the fact that you aren’t as popular as Taylor Swift and concentrate on the concept here.  COUNTRY RADIO ABANDONED this artist and still, she QUADRUPLED the sales of the #1 selling record that country radio unwaveringly supported!

 

How did that happen?!?!?!  Your future as an artist lies in the answer to this question, people.Music is Live image

 

You hear Jason Aldean’s singles every day, multiple times a day on the radio, every single he’s released is in heavy rotation.

 

You never hear Taylor Swift anymore on country radio (except for very recently but only on the limited number of NASH ICON stations which is a joint venture between Cumulus radio stations and Scott Borchetta’s NASH ICON label who is Taylor’s record label head…so that was just a matter of time).

In plain English, record sales are down because labels are not marketing properly. Period.

 

Music Marketing Sucks

Your marketing sucks too.

 

That is if you even think about marketing.

 

 

 

People want music, people need music, and people continue to consume music.

Just not your music.

 

It’s about the marketing.

 

Artists need innovative marketing strategies.

 

Want some staggering proof that it’s all about marketing?

I’ll give you 2 examples.

This is the absolute dumbest most insanely unnecessary product ever produced.

I believe the infomercials for this product still run today.

That is because of only one reason, it sells.

It sells for only one reason, marketing.

Nobody NEEDS the Pasta Pro but the buyers all feel it is worth it because it’s marketed correctly.

 

 

Here is another example that is simply mind blowing.Music Bottled Water

Bottled water.

Everyday people purchase a 1 liter bottle of water for $1.99.

On average. There are 3.7 liters in a gallon.

That equates roughly to $7.40/gallon for a product we can get for free.

We happily pay more for water, something we can obtain at no cost, than we do for gasoline.

 

Music Worth It

 

This is because of marketing.

 

We feel like it’s worth it.

 

 

 

 

Bottom line to all artists and major labels, if you aren’t selling your music, it’s because people aren’t aware of it and the ones that are don’t feel it’s worth it.

What has to happen for consumers to think your music is worth it?

If we can sell free water for more than twice the price of a gallon of gas, we damn sure can sell music.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

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

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The Impeccable Artist

By Johnny Dwinell

Art is a craft and as a craft, I realize that there are 2 kinds of craftsmen.  Some are born with the innate ability to rise above all else with their art; they’re supremely gifted.  Most are born with the love and fascination for a particular art form and choose to follow it.

Craftsmen require mentorship to succeed at making a living, of any kind, with their art.

Here’s the key, both kinds of craftsmen require mentorship to succeed at making a living, of any kind, with their art.impeccable mentor definition image

For the artist prodigy born with the skill set to emotionally move people with their craft, they need mentorship on all the tasks that orbit around a career created by amazing art.  Just because they’re a born songwriter with a golden voice from God doesn’t mean the artist understands how exactly to make a record; which is different than recording.

It doesn’t mean the artist has an audio engineering skill set whatsoever.

It doesn’t mean the artist knows how to produce or make records

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt doesn’t mean the artist understands how to produce and it usually means they NEED a producer to foster them while they grow.

It also doesn’t mean the artist is excellent at executing the business side of a career.

Maybe artists shouldn’t have to.

I totally get that.

But one should definitely understand the concepts and cash flow of their business.  If you don’t someone else will; and they’ll be smart enough to know exactly what you don’t know.

Understanding and overseeing is one thing.

Doing the day to day is another.

If a business manager always has to get checks signed by the artist, it keeps them in line.  They’d better have a story for every vendor the artist doesn’t immediately recognize.file9581279077716

We have a few multi-platinum artist friends, some are more involved in the business side and some prefer to turn a blind eye.  It comes as no surprise to me that the artists who choose to turn a blind eye have many stories of getting screwed over and the business-minded artists have a different outlook.

Get it?

 

Here’s a link to the Beatles “Revolver press conference August 24, 1966 (this is just interesting and entertaining to watch, btw).  Notice how they put all the business questions onto their manager Brian Epstein.

Point of comparison: When Jon Bon Jovi finished the “Slippery When Wet” tour in 1987 he sold 12 million copies in the USA and had made about 93 million dollars from record sales, publishing, ticket sales, tour merchandise, etc. When the Beatles broke up in 1970 they had sold over 600 million records and each of them was worth about 10 million dollars (which equates to around 29 million each in 1987 dollars).

Yeah, man, read that again.impeccable slippery when wet

Bon Jovi is a businessman too.  The Beatles weren’t back then.

So many of you lament the business side of the music but as I mentioned In a previous article, if the word “professional” is valid in your music career, then commerce must exist. Since commerce is present in ALL professional careers, one should really know about it, yes?

If you’re a consummate artiste then you need to at least understand what goes on in the business and sign your own checks or you will almost certainly be pilfered.

Even Oprah says, sign your own checks.  How do you think she came to that realization?

Lastly, I want to share an exchange of ideas I had with a friend this past 2 days.  My friend is a good artist who has made the short list for our reality show. He was expressing frustration with the music business and the broken system.

It is broken.

It’s up to us to fix it; which means reinventing it.

He was wishing it would go back to where “Record labels took a chance on real artists and real artists didn’t have to be so self-promotional”.

I shared with him these thoughts.  Wishing for any label to go back to the old way is like wishing for Pennzoil to make pancakes; it’s not in their business model.

One of the biggest selling country records 10 years ago was Shania Twain’s “Up!” which sold around 12 million copies.  I believe Luke Bryan has the biggest selling country record last year and it was barely 2 million copies.

That’s only 16% of the sales from just 10 years ago.

How would you survive on 16% of your current income?

Then you factor in that each record sold generates 1/3 of the revenue it used to and you can clearly see that it’s not that the labels don’t want to develop talent, they can’t afford to.  So wishing for it or worse, planning on development from a label is setting yourself up for failure.

Labels want to buy small, profitable businesses and expand on the spark that was started by the artist and the art.

That means that even if you intend to pass all the business off to someone else tomorrow, you still need to learn to be a business person today.

Not-for-nothing, but learning that now will help you to keep an intelligent eye on it later.

 

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Your Artistic Journey

Artistic Journey Your Journey Begins Now

 

By Johnny Dwinell

I’m always thinking about artists.  An artist’s success is quite literally paramount to our success at Daredevil Production, LLC.

Last night I was watching Howard Stern’s movie, “Private Parts”, for the umpteenth time but with a whole new set of eyes; artistic eyes.

It turns out this movie is an awesome articulation of an artistic struggle to the top.Artist Journey Private Parts image

I wanted to break it down in that perspective because I feel it’s really enlightening.

If you have seen this movie and you are an artist, watch it again and apply this perspective to your artistic struggle.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch it and connect the dots.

****SPOILER ALERT****

Howard learns early on what exactly he wants to do in life

Howard is an unattractive, socially awkward geek with balls so big I swear they rode shotgun with him whenever he drove.

Still, he was unattractive, and socially awkward; sound familiar?

He dove into the local radio DJ scene at his college.

He sucked because we all suck at the beginning.

Artist Journey Suck MeterHoward’s on-air personality was this lame interpretation of who he thought he should be. He was emulating all the crap he was constantly exposed to.

He was fake in the beginning man. Essentially posing, but driven.

Don’t we all start this way? Emulating?

Howard graduates and goes to his first station gig where his boss tells him that he sucks at his art but he’s reliable so he promotes him to Program Director for 2.5x the money; a position which has nothing to do with his artistic dream.

Howard takes the money; he’s human after all.

Then he regrets the upward move and explains to his new wife that he needs to be a DJ again which means less money; his wife supports himArtist Journey Fred Norris and he quits the highest paying job he’s ever had.

They move to Hartford, CT. where he meets an early Stern team member, Fred Norris.  This is huge because Fred was the first person willing to “play in the sandbox” with Howard.

Then he had his first artistic breakthrough.

Howard had an embarrassing moment where he was caught lying on air.  He admits to it publically after the fact and realizes that when he was honest, forthright, and open about himself, he was better.

Artist Journey Time For Your Breakthrough imageHe didn’t quit after being embarrassed.

When he was himself he was compelling because he was unique.

When he was unique he scared people, namely his superiors in the beginning because there wasn’t really an audience yet; they didn’t trust it.  That’s because they didn’t get it.

There wasn’t an audience yet, because it was new, nobody was doing it.

Sound familiar?

Howard pissed off his superiors until his artistic vision began to get a little traction, their ratings constantly improved in Hartford.  This allowed Howard the wiggle room he needed to hone his craft.

Listen to this, man, the beginning of the upward climb to this undeniably iconic career was littered with tough decisions and failure.

The battles NEVER stopped, in fact they just got bigger with more to lose each step of the way.

Sound familiar?

He screws up with his wife in Hartford and hits a major speed bump in their relationship; epic fail.

On the evening Howard tells his wife about a new job opportunity he was offered in Detroit, a much bigger market than Hartford, she confronts him and dumps him.

Howard moves to Detroit without his wife or Fred. A definite step backward…or was it? I’ll bet it felt that way in the moment.Artist Journey Optimist is 1 step forward and 2 steps back is a cha cha

In Detroit, miserable and with nothing to lose, Howard starts to really hit his artistic stride.  He learns that being real while covering divisive subject matter is his lane.

He’s moving past emulation and coming into his own.  He did this through work.

He also learns that his new artistic lane comes with pushback from the powers that be; it’s foreign to them and unproven at this point. He had to believe in himself to endure the climb.

Then there was a monumental setback that was out of his control.

The Detroit station decides to change from a rock format to a country format. He makes a tough decision to leave Detroit to stay true to his lane.

Big BALLS!

His next gig in Washington D.C. is where Howard meets Robin Quivers who was destined to be his now famous sidekick.  He loves the way she riffs with him from the first day.

Artist Journey Robin QuiversNew band member.

His decision to leave Fred behind (temporarily) pays off with a new KEY member of the team.

Howard continues to hone his craft because it’s a craft. He uses his hardships to his advantage by sharing themArtist Journey Without Craftsmanship Inspiration is a Mere Reed Shaking in the Wind with his public following; something no other DJ’s were doing.

He also inherently understood what most artists don’t these days.  The radio station wasn’t going to make him an artist, rather, it was the other way around.  In fact, he looked at the Detroit station changing formats as a failure on his part; he took responsibility for it. His artistry was going to have to create the audience that would make the radio station successful.

He was going to have to create his own opportunities.Artist Journey Musicians Create Your Own Opportunities

Howard’s superiors continue to hate him because all the major sponsors are bailing out due to the “shock value” of his act. Howard continued on with his vision in the face of complete adversity and then the ratings come out; He’s #1 in D.C.

He uses the ratings momentum to pressure the upper brass into hiring Fred.

#1 in D.C. means that Howard obliterated all the local competition which happened to be NBC.  That leads to a job offer from the #1 market in the country which is New York City.  This move came with a HUGE paycheck piggybacked by HUGE pressure to conform to a new, larger market with bigger suits who had more to lose with Howard’s shtick.

Artist Journey Plot TwistPolitical plot twist; Howard WAS in fact hired because of his talent that took him to #1 in D.C.  However, he was hired by suits who were pissed about losing their ratings position in Washington to Howard’s act,  not because they liked it or even heard it.  He was hired on ratings alone.

He just proved himself in D.C. got the big promotion and HAD TO PROVE HIMSELF ALL OVER AGAIN!

All the same shit with monumentally more pressure, more at stake than he ever had before, including a pending family.

Get it?

New, crazy business scenarios form in the way of the highest NBC brass expressing hostility over Stern’s act, and thus firing the executives who made the hiring decision. They couldn’t fire Howard because contractually they would have to pay him a boatload of cash.  They had to get him to quit.

An NBC executive agreed to torture Howard to the point of leaving…which ultimately led to Robin Quivers, his highest ranked sidekick getting sacked in the crossfire. This lead to Robin hating Howard for the perceived betrayal because Howard made the executive decision not to quit with her; Howard stayed to keep fighting.

Ultimately Howard goes #1 in New York City as well and Robin is rehired.  The rest is history.

This is show business people.  If you think there’s a threshold where you reach a point where you “get paid” and you can kick up your heels and relax; you sorely mistaken.

I promise you haven’t begun to fight. With every rung you climb on the ladder of success there are bigger and more challenging battles. This is why you have to love what you do.

You’re going to have to get used to challenges

Artist Journey Success What people think it looks like what it really looks like

Let me save you the suspense, you’re going to have to get used to challenges; they aren’t going away if you want to succeed.

 

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A True Artist

Artist Ghandi Quote Feature Image

By Johnny Dwinell

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

 

A true artist cares about the work

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

So quality counts.

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

Artist art is subjective and objectivve

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

A true artist understands perception is reality.

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Artist it's all about the magic

 

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Pragmatic Epiphanies

By Johnny Dwinell

 

prag·ma·tism

[prag-muh-tiz-uhm]  Show IPA

noun

character or conduct that emphasizes practicality.

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

 

Pragmatic Pragmatic MLK image

 

Utilitarian

 

Sober

 

Realistic

 

LogicalPragmatic Bono Quote image

 

Practical

 

Efficient

 

Down-to-Earth

 

Pragmatic To Do Image

Businesslike

 

I am wondering, how do you run your career?

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

EVERY ARTIST has their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.

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

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

She focuses on her strengths.

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

 

He is accentuating the positives.

Pragmatic Ray LaMontagne Image 2

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

 

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

Two different approaches.

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

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

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

Are you truly a captivating act?

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

Pragmatic Tony Robbins Resourcefulness image

 

Are you overplaying?

Are you over-singing?

Are you over producing a great voice?

How about your marketing approach?

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

Be pragmatic.  Get momentum.

 

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Excuses versus Challenges

No Excuses Feature Redo

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

I get it.

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

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

They chose to give up.

They succumbed to their moment of doubt.

They behaved weakly.

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

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

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

Successful people grow.

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

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

Again, I get it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A challenge is processed COMPELTELY differently in the subconscious mind.

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

See the difference?

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

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

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

A challenge REQUIRES additional effort.

(This is why people don’t like them)

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

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

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

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

Challenges are a pain in the ass.

Challenges make us uncomfortable.

Challenges delay success.

But challenges alwaysprecede success.

One cannot have success without challenges.

One cannot succeed with excuses.

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

Excuses Challenges Make Life Interesting

Excuses Mom with 3 ChildrenExcuses Handicapped Kid Image

Excuses Olympic Discus Thrower

Excuses Stop Making Excuses image

 

 

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There’s Always 1 Skeptic

Skeptic Feature image

 By Johnny Dwinell

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

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

…and then there is always at least 1 skeptic.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

As artists we want to believe in skill and talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get it?

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

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

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

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

Huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The scientists observed that skeptics are narrowly focused

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Skeptic, what you don’t see is:

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

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

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

Your favorite artist wants to sell records and concert tickets.

Sorry.

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

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

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

 

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Implied Power

Power image

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

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

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

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

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

This is false.

You have to understand your position in the exchange first.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But you walk over.

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

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

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

Curiosity.

Intrigue.

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

Safety.

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

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

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

Subordinate.Power Subordinate image

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

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

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

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

I immediately asked if he had a bad day.

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

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

I had a recording studio

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

Same product

Same person

Now they were calling me.

I had implied power.

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

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

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

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

They responded by giving me an opportunity earn their business.

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

Get it?

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

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

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

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

You’re the center of attention.

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

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

 

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

 

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

Your implied power is gonePower One on One Sillouette image

Now it’s about THEM

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

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

Everybody wants to buy but nobody wants to be sold.

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

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

This is too soon to close the deal.

You have to deepen the relationship first.

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

Just give it time and attention.

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

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

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

 

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