How To Not Suck In The Music Industry: 6 Rules For Artists

By SJ on Sun, 05/24/2020 - 10:52

Tags: Artist | Development

1. PLAN FOR SUCCESS. 

Sounds logical, but artists underestimate what it takes to get to the top. A goal (like playing Tomorrowland) is cool, but what’s your strategy to get there? It’s okay to dream big, but you have to start somewhere. Be realistic and crystal clear about what you're trying to achieve. Be honest with yourself and be prepared to change direction if what you're doing isn't getting you closer to where you want to be.

2. NO MUSIC. NO LOGO. 

We see a lot of artists investing significant energy, time, and money, into logos, social media, merchandise, and other branding-related assets & activities, while not giving their music the same consideration. Don’t forget that your music is your product, focus on creating and finishing strong songs, and learn to be consistent in your output. Great videos or cover art, won't save bad songs. They could, however, elevate great songs to new heights. Both are important, but music comes first.

3. KEEP YOUR DIGITAL HEARTBEAT PUMPING. 

Building momentum is impossible if there isn't buzz around an artist - things to Tweet about, things to like and share, etc. Waiting for that one big hit is the same as hoping to win the lottery. Instead of aiming for that peak, rather have a consistent flow. The world is digital baby! - You need to win over algorithms now. A flat liner in today's digital world means you’re dead. Just like in real life. Release more music, post more, like more, tag influencers, go out and meet real people in the industry, go and see the acts you love, tell the world about your adventures, and so on. Great music is critical, and the more you have, the better. But you also need to tell your story, and that story better be engaging. If not, nobody's going to care.

4. DON'T SELL YOUR PRODUCT, SELL YOUR STORY. 

This has been said in every imaginable industry for as long as anyone can remember, but what does it really mean? There is a theory that humans reached the top of the food chain through storytelling. Uniting strangers behind big ideas is what art is all about. What's your story? If you don't have one, create one! Even if it's largely imaginary. Even if it bends reality. Your story doesn't have to be entirely true, but it has to be entertaining. Don't be shy. You're not just a musician, you're a creative being. This is your own personal art project, to do with as you please. So say, be, and do what you want. People aren't interested in what they can find in a million other places, so give them something they haven't seen before and you'll have their attention.

5. KILLER CONTENT CATCHES THE EYE. 

Did you know that the human brain can process an image in 0,013 seconds? It's more important than ever to impress your followers with great-looking content. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Tik Tok, etc. etc. - our newly connected 'always on' world, is endlessly visual, and you need to be too. That’s why we always say: make it visible. If you have someone in your circle (or better yet, in your team!) that is a graphic designer, web developer, videographer, photographer, fashion designer, and so forth - put them to work! People can't get behind you unless they can clearly see what you're all about.

6. ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE. 

Create a movement! Unless it is part of your brand identity to be aloof and untouchable, interact with the people that care about you. In turn, they'll spread your gospel and convince others to become believers too. If you want serious online growth, engaging with your followers is key. Give your movement a name (Lady Gaga has "Little Monsters", etc.). This allows a collection of strangers to become a passionate, unified, and motivated group. You can't win this war on your own. You need boots on the ground!

We know tour schedules can get hectic, label plans can be confusing to follow never mind developing them yourselves! Starting from the ground up and building a successful brand is time-consuming. This often requires wearing many hats when all you want to do is make music, right!? Trust us, we know a musician’s life can be pretty busy and that you might not have time to do all this on your own. Luckily, we are here for you to cover distribution when you are ready to be part of a professional independent structure! Our label managers are happy to help you, reach out and get connected!