A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories


Creators Don’t Have A Clear Definition Of Success

On one hand, Nirvana sold 7 million copies of “Nevermind” in the US. By December 1992, all the band members had to show was a house. The rest of the monies went on fees, lawyers, accountants, managers, record labels and miscellaneous expenses.

While on the other hand, Tommy Emmanuel has a career in the music business. He releases new music frequently, tours frequently, runs master classes, works as a session guitarist and songwriter. He doesn’t have the 7 million multi-platinum sales on the board however he has been in the music business since the mid Seventies.

What is your definition of success?

Define that first.

Creators Are Not Sure On What To Focus

There you are, in your room, writing and demoing away the killer song that will break you to the masses. Time goes by and suddenly you have created 5, then 10, then 15 songs. When do you say enough and start focusing on that one song and putting that out to market and seeing how it floats in the sea of twenty million unheard songs.

Then once the song is out what do you do. This is where you will need to focus on three things:

1. Are new people gravitating to your song
2. Put time frames in place and measure it and then compare the time frames.
3. Work and finish off the next song.

Creators Don’t Put Their Time Into Understanding Metrics

How is your song being used? How is it being listened too? Which musical platform is getting the most traction?

There are a few ways to do this. Talk to your fans. Create fan groups and give them ranks. Tell them to email you so that they can join one of those groups and talk about the songs released, the new songs in the pipework and so forth. You would be surprised how much goodwill and loyalty this fosters.

Creators Have No Budget

You need to invest in yourself to launch your music onto the world and after that is done, you still need investment in yourself to maintain it.

No Sign Of Life

In IT/Product launches, the actual creators of a new product get really scared right after their products launch because of the very typical “launch bump” and the eventual “pit of despair” when the press and social media stop caring about you.

So let’s take that analogy and apply it to music.

You create your song, record it, mix it, master it and then release it.

And nothing happens.

There is no sign of life that your song is even alive.

Maybe it wasn’t good enough for fans to like it enough that they couldn’t live without it.

Songs have a funny way of finding their way into people’s lives. The big difference today is that the get paid right now paradigm of the past is gone. That paradigm worked when the Record Labels had control of the distribution and acted as gatekeepers. Todays paradigm is different. A song released 5 to 10 years ago could connect with an audience right now. Are you still around to capitalise on this change of fortune. If you are in the music business for the right reasons you will be still around.

No Idea On How To Grow

I am sure that any business entity has come across the following three questions;

Why are we not growing?
Why is growth slowing?
Why are we shrinking?

In order to plan for growth businesses put someone in a position to build that plan, execute that plan and study the results so the next plan can be 20% better.

Apply that to music and ask any artist if they have a growth plan and how do they measure if they are growing.


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