Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Before You Worry About Anything, Worry About Being Good

There's no shortage of advice from every corner of the net on how to promote and market your music, use social media tools, set up a successful tour, create a professional press kit/EPK, distribute your music, and so on. And if you're looking in the right places, there's a great deal of relevant content to learn from; however, the most important element--and the one that seems to get the least amount of emphasis--is to make sure that you've really got something GOOD to offer. Something that people will really want.

Having all the infrastructure in place is great, but unfortunately it's all pretty useless if you're selling something that no one is really interested in. I understand that it's important to have artistic integrity, but it's also smart business to study the market you're selling to and make sure you've created something that will be well received if not by the masses, at least by a solid niche market.

In business, it makes very little sense to create a product and then search for a market after the fact. Your likelihood of success will be much higher if you determine where there's a need and then fill it. Lucky for you, people always need more good music and entertainment. Without it, life would be pretty blah, don't ya think?

And by 'good', I mean good in every area. Good musicianship, good songs, good live show, good image, good chemistry among band members, good work ethic, good organizational skills and a good attitude. Take a long, hard look at your band and your music in all the above mentioned areas and be honest with yourself about where you can improve, so you can get yourself to the required level of 'good.'

Maybe you're all very proficient players, but your songs are lacking. Or perhaps your image and branding are inconsistent. To figure all this out, sit down individually and as a band and brainstorm some ideas that will tighten things up for you. And don't be afraid to look outside of your band for help in some of these areas. Any band or artist that ever created anything good, didn't do it on their own. There's always a team of people contributing to the greater good. If you need lessons, seek out a good teacher. If your songwriting needs work, hook up with a good songwriter.

Keep this process positive too. It's important to keep the inner core of your band solid because there will always be plenty of people and circumstances on the outside that will present challenges for you. Cheer each other on and focus on your strengths as individuals and as a band unit. Assign tasks to each member that coincide with his or her talents and check in with each other on a regular basis to ensure things are getting done and to motivate each other. How you deal with your band mates throughout this process is of huge importance. Remember, getting upset and tearing a strip off one of your partners is not conducive to positive growth and productivity.

Once you're confident that you've really got something special to put out there, then you should plan your attack on the masses. You only get to make one first impression, so be sure that you're putting your best foot forward and leave everyone speechless. Always put a great deal of creativity, enthusiasm and care into every step of the process and you'll be sure to meet with success.

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