The record label is dead. You are on your own. Get over it.
The artists that made it are trying to figure out how to keep their seat at the table of fame. New musicians are barely making it. Some are doing better than others but most musicians I talk to are pretty much broke or going broke unless they have a day job. There isn’t much good advice going around because all of the old industry pros are trying to do things the old way because they are still making a bit of money. The new musicians seem to be passing around bad advice back and forth to each other and nobody is going anywhere. Musicians are stuck in a rut
As a podcast host, I talk to lots of different people inside and outside of the music business. That said, I have made some observations about what is and is not working.
Here are ten of my best tips to help you think outside of the box and stand out from the competition. Maybe they will help YOU get out of a rut.
#1. Stop trying to sell your music to fans – they don’t want it!
Yes, you can sell ANYTHING to SOMEONE. People still buy music from artists. The problem is they don’t buy a lot of music from artists. You don’t make good money selling music unless your customers buy a lot of product. You should have product to sell for those that want it but you are not going to get rich doing it. NOT a priority!
#2. Figure out what your strengths are inside and outside of music and develop them further.
Be better than anybody at something music related and something NOT music related. If you don’t know your strengths, ask your friends or read Strength Finders 2.0 and take the online test! http://strengths.gallup.com/default.aspx
#3. Stop saying that the only way to make decent money is touring.
Totally untrue. Touring is one way to make money but unless you are an established act, don’t rely on it. There are better and faster ways to make money as an artist if you have a decent brand around your music. Tour and play music, just don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
#4. Network your tail off. Surround yourself with people that know how to make money and build scalable businesses.
Hire a business coach for a month to help you jump start your business. Set goals. Talk to people OUTSIDE of the music business often.
#5. Participate in your social media and quit acting like a lazy, entitled rock star. Don’t pay someone else to do your social media.
I really don’t have much more to say…if it’s a lot, pick a day out of the month and do your best to reply to your tribe.
#6. Read books about things other than music.
If you don’t like reading, subscribe to Audible and also listen to podcasts every day when you are doing passive tasks like folding laundry.
#7. Don’t take business advice from musicians that are broke.
Just stop it…
#8. Hire a coach/choreographer to design your live show and make it better. It probably sucks.
Why do people hire coaches to get in shape? The gym is open every day! It is because they need to be pushed sometimes. We get in a rut and get comfortable. That does not breed awesomeness…there are people that do this for a living. Let them help you!
#9. Recognize that in business, you make money when you solve problems for customers and they pay you.
Your fans and followers have problems too. NOT HAVING ENOUGH MUSIC IS NOT ONE OF THEM! Many fan bases have similar traits and needs. Poll them (online survey or ask them questions live) and see if your strengths can solve some of their problems. Get paid for doing it.
#10. Build your BRAND – not your fan base.
If you are cool and artistic enough for other people to want YOUR MUSIC and BRAND to be a part of THEIR personal brand (like someone who wears a concert t shirt in public) you are doing it right. Numbers DO matter but not if they are just numbers. You need to become a brand that others identify with.
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I hope that these tips help you reboot your brain and get the money flowing into your pockets! If you have any questions, email me at [email protected] or send me a snap on Snapchat! https://snapchat.com/add/mattgibsonmusic
Matt Gibson is a guitarist, social media personality and host of the Kingdom of Rock Podcast for DIY Musicians and Music Entrepreneurs.
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