I am much more focused on my own music these days than running this operation as a business, but there are still opportunities to share resources, make connections, and take the steps forward to put solid music promotions in place.
I am not taking on clients per say, but I am thinking about cost sharing arrangements, since I am carrying out promotions tasks anyway, there is an opportunity to scale up where others coming to the table have contributions to make to covering the costs of online music promotions, content creation and distribution.
Been awhile, right? I decided to come back and do a post on my old blog since I’m making changes again to my business and to what I’m doing with myself.
Yeah so you know how I was saying about CD Duplication and DVD duplication? Yeah well I still do that, it makes me really good money and I don’t actually work that hard. I’m just about ready to hire someone to run the business for me and step away entirely, but you know what?
I would never step away from the music game, because I still just want to write my songs, and while I’m still involved in actual music marketing and management, there’s every reason to try and leverage my skills.
And of course it was a bit sad for me that the CD / DVD thing started going so well because I had to give all of what I was doing here up! It was maybe not making great money but there was still an opportunity for someone younger who loved music to step in and do what I was doing here with my supervision, but it’s a challenging kind of business to be in I suppose.
It’s hard when you’re expected to deliver results, when the clients you deal with have unrealistic expectations of the huge issues they are facing.
Because I am a musician and I actually follow this stuff and I sign my tunes to labels and play gigs and I tour, I understand it, and I still go through all the experiences musicians do, and I understand how hard it is.
It’s so challenging, that there really is no real solution where you simply pay your money and get the promotion you need. It has to be faced that you could be an incredible musician with an amazing vision but if nobody likes what you’re doing then there is no business in it.
There is no profit in the music I do, personally I just enjoy it as a lifestyle choice and I can afford do it that way. You may have accepted, wisely, that you fall into this category, the realists. There may not be a career waiting for you, but that’s not always what it’s about.
I enjoy making music and travelling and interacting with punters at the gigs, I enjoy making videos, I enjoy the community and connection around music. The fact that there are people like me who will operate at a break even point, makes it even harder for the professionals to compete. You may not like it, but that’s the way it is.
At the moment I am working on raising my profile locally because I am not getting plum gigs, I only get decent gigs out of the city, and either, way it’s a lot of work because I am managing logistics and details myself.
You cannot afford to skimp on the highly skilled jobs of management, publicity, and technical execution, such as your studio engineer, for example. Most people cannot afford it full stop and that’s why they aren’t getting anywhere, because they don’t have $10k to play with so that these jobs are done right and you do get decent gigs and you do get media – if you’re of the standard, of course.
These are the high end tasks of music marketing and management that have to be done at a professional level or you will not be regarded as meeting this standard in a sea of wannabe’s.
But their are also the tasks I used to specialize in that still have to be completed, often painstaking and tedious, and sometimes not altogether legitimate.
Websites still have to be built and presented at some kind of professional level or you won’t be taken seriously in the way that someone who does have this will.
And the list goes on – don’t you even have one video giving the people who have tuned into your music a vibe for where you’re coming from, something to make them think, something to catch, that angle that makes you unique?
Is your youtube, facebook, soundcloud, DEAD? I mean look, no one smart is telling you that fake plays and likes and followers will help.
There are even more ways to get suckered these days than there was when I was doing all this stuff, that’s why you want consultants with blogs who front up to give you advice, not shady software guys operating their shady sites, you want guys like me who are experienced in the mean streets of the web, who hang out with dodgy characters looking for the good stuff in the spam game.
Spam still matters, but you need to use it smart. You can’t play the same stupid game they all are. But the steps are slowly being placed and step 1 is that you can’t have your sites looking all dead. You need a shot in the arm before you get started.
Now promotion online almost always requires additional content, and creating that content as well as promoting it effectively, takes hours of slog which is not what you signed up to be a musician for, but unless you’re going to get stuck researching, contacting and following up relevant points of influence, you’re not going to get a foothold.
It can be a full time job, who is even going get this type of work going, building your network sustainably?
This is why I’m here. Artists – like me and you – need promotions services and those services cost money.
Web designers, video editors, little minions scurrying doing publicity tasks, building legitimate web links, circulating, distributing, updating facebook, tumblr, twitter, youtube.
You’re not helping yourself really until your ready to get this wind in your sales, but somebody has to pay for it!
Outsourcing is what I’ve always done and continue to do, I may as well benefit from the good contacts and skills I’ve learned because this is the best competitive edge you can attain, having all – or as many as possible, it’s never straightforward – of these tasks managed by someone else as possible.
You may not be ready to spend $5k on a publicist, I’m certainly not, my music isn’t good enough yet. I am still struggling and building, so we’re in this together, you just have to front up with the cash to benefit from what I’m doing anyway.
So it’s a pretty simple exchange. You pay for the services, and you get the benefit of my strategy, because everything I’m doing, I’m doing for my own music promotion efforts, so one thing you can be sure of is that I believe the investments I choose in spending promotions budgets will have long term benefits and after 7 years doing this I can explain to you exactly why I feel this counts.
But not too much explaining or skyping or anything or you will have to pay me of course because that’s what consulting is.
It’s all about leverage, leverage the net, leverage what you do have, I am promoting music online anyway, I just need to get some more musicians together so I can justify hiring full time outsourcers who become fully involved and engaged with promoting my acts and the few that are involved in this little scheme of mine because it’s not to scale, it’s not a business for me.
I just want to promote my music and get more gigs, I’m going to be doing this anyway.
But promotion and management costs actual money.
It’s the reality that you need $10k to do this properly but I don’t want to spend $10k so what can I do? What can you do? Put our money together to start on all these many many jobs that need to be done to be consider a serious and viable artist in the 21st century.
3-5 people putting in $50 p/week should probably do it. That should employ say 1 full timer – or 2 part timers with different skills, to be constantly beavering away on web content and promotion.