I did some consulting work in Southern California last week. A very good band had signed with a large independent record company. Before signing, the record company said they would market and promote the band’s project. After signing, the front office executives decided not to market and promote the band’s project because of economic conditions. The hard lesson learned was the band had no control what so ever over whether the record company promoted their music or not. Mistakes were made on both sides. The band’s mistakes happened way before they signed.
I want to pass on some knowledge as you advance to the next level:
1. Always be as professional as possible when dealing with the media, the music industry, future contacts, as well as your fans.
2. It is all right for others to brag about you, but don’t do it yourself.
3. Get involved in your official website. The reasons you have a website is to expose you & your music to the world and to sell your music.
4. Social media sites are tools to direct traffic to your website.
5. The more reviews you have, the more curious people are about you. Reviews make you a critically acclaimed band as opposed to simply a band.
6. Always respond to email messages.
7. Build a following one fan at a time.
8. Expect your hard work to advance you, gain new fans, add more hits to your website, more downloads of your music, and more press coverage.
In today’s world it’s not difficult to make music. Making a career in music is not easy but it never was easy. I still say, this is the best time in all of history to be a musician. There are hundreds of thousands of ways to promote your music on the Internet. Being a great singer, songwriter, and musician takes dedication and when all three are mastered is the most rare of the species. Young musicians want to be great at every aspect of music and the music business. That is admirable but virtually impossible. Many burn out early and band break-ups are more than common these days. I think it best to stick with what you do well. Results will depend on how good you are and how hard you work. It’s all basic but all of us need to be reminded now and then.
As always when I go to a different part of the world, I check out the record stores. The best of the best in record stores I visited this trip is Bagatelle Records on Atlantic Ave. in Long Beach. The owner Steve Mintz is knowledgeable and truly enjoys what he does.
Also colleagues in California assured me that the Indie Entertainment Summit is worth the money and effort. There is a live stream of the IES seminars, workshops & speakers for only $50 for us that can’t attend. IES happens August 1-5 at different venues in L.A. Most of the venues are in the Hollywood area. http://www.indieentertainmentsummit.com/