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How to be a successful Music Artist

In music there is no difference where plagiarism is concerned. Covers lend to the saying that imitation is indeed the best form of flattery. Indie label are often faced with the ‘ sounds like ‘ issue for the lack of originality by music artist and amateur producers.

This article provides many of the resources used by artist in practising their skills in a ‘home’ settings before entering into the atmosphere of a formal ‘ studio ‘. In some cases the quality of the recording made there is on par with a professional studio. Practising at home as opposed to in the studio addresses the ‘ wasting time ‘ factor and as we all know that time is money. This can also help in producing ‘ Demos ‘ useful in the shopping process.

Part of the Blueprint for success has been written by an authority on the subject. Someone who is currently signed to a Major Music Label. A writer and fellow musician who is best at describing his trials and mistakes. Someone who is willing to document his successful journey for others to follow his recipe to success. You can peruse his bio later at the link provided below. Today I want to discuss the ever important topic of Marketing as it relates to Music, your success and that of owning an Indie Music Label.

The word ‘success’ appears over and over again? This is important to your investment. Much relies on your ability to market your Label properly and to be cost effective. In a digital environment such as today’s where the Internet plays an important role in getting your message across, any reliably good advice is important.

Finding you is very important and so is hearing your artist’s recording (masterpiece) as well. You can be found by search engines used on the internet (Nothing a good SEO can’t accomplish) and unless you are ahead of the class by virtue of your prowess or your big pockets (money), you are just like any ordinary student in a very big class.

You do not stand out and to the contrary you do not sit at the head of the class. This article is an attempt to get you closer to the teacher and the ‘chalk board’. Today it is not fashionable to be at the back of the class neither is it profitable. You need proper Marketing.

Now that we are ‘here’ and hopefully we have a captive audience by some moderate airplay that we will need to use wisely. Time to market our product some more. The media is very important. It can be so important that some resort to the illegal practice of ‘ Payola ‘. Payola exist when DJ’s or Program Directors of radio stations receive money to play your recordings. The Station’s accounting department in turn pays you back royalties for playing your product. Meanwhile the masses hear you. The main reason why it is considered illegal is because the station is seldom not in on the agreement but are often seen as an unwilling participant or accomplice.

Getting the word out is not exactly marketing. Don’t confuse Marketing with Advertising. You get the word out when people ‘want’ the word. It is your job to create the demand. The old saying of ‘give the people what they want’ comes to mind. We are creatures of habit. Most of us follow the crowd so it’s up to you to identify the leaders and influence them, the rest will follow.

It is increasingly difficult to ‘break’ a new artist as it is to introduce a new art form. It is like trying to swim against the tide. It can be difficult but quite rewarding. (ask the trout fish)

There is a Grey area that deals with celebrity endorsement & product placement (alignment). It works very well in product marketing (clothes, drink, etc). Top Musicians are regarded as trend setters. A good example concerning alignment is encouraging your artist’s song to be in a feature film, an upcoming movie or recording a popular product jingle.

Visual marketing is very important as well. For instance, if you manage an artist or group it is advisable to hire or at least retain a good publicist which can:

1. Have your music artist at as many public events as possible and constantly seen with celebs.

2. Seek a good clothing endorsement or invest in the appropriate dress.

3. Constantly being seen (your artist) will raise a public awareness and demand will rise if not out of curiosity alone.

4. Open mics are an excellent way to practice in front of an audience while building a following. I do not suggest performing at karaoke events although some artist are known to go this route.

5.Performing on Modern televised shows can give you adequate exposure.

6. Vocal training has proven effective done by a competent person.

The marketing process is well on its way. This is commonly referred to as Branding the artist.

After successfully (there goes that word again) marketing or branding the artist, all that’s left is for he or she (group) is to back up these efforts in the studio. At this point, artist morale is so high that the product coming out the studio should be way above par. The artist will be so ‘pumped up’ to match their ego which has gotten a boost from your efforts. (Stroking the artist’s ego is good but brown-nosing is not). Proper Marketing truly has its benefits. Not only in financial gains but from a moral perspective as well.

Knowing that you can formulate a plan and successfully implement it using your ideas coupled with those of others is an achievement in itself.

Having owned an Indie label (Soul Rican Records) has done several things but the most important thing it has done is taught me how to be humble and the ins and out of a very cut throat industry. Always remain vigilant.

Taking and listening to good advice from others is important. Giving credibility to others is paramount to your growth. Anybody can give advice, it’s up to you to choose to follow it. Good advice comes with a premium. Mine is free. I have nothing to lose.

Throughout this account the word SUCCESS is constantly used and that is not by accident. The pinnacle of any project brought to fruition is not failure, It is indeed success.

Nobody enter a race to lose or seldom to say I compete or was the runners up. The Marathon is different as they can be only one winner but participants enjoy saying ‘I competed’. In Marketing however, we strive to be all winners. The race is not for the swift but for he that endure. (once said by a wise man)

So there you have it. ENOUGH FODDER to ponder what you are doing right (or wrong).

Enough to ‘tweak’ your approach a bit with the knowledge that there is no fixed way of achieving marketing success.

There is no right way or wrong way, there are however ‘proven’ ways that evolves everyday with the constantly changing market.

Photo by Ted Van Pelt

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