We are no longer in 2008. That’s a fact.
So why keep on using the same outdated methods, as if the music industry hadn’t evolved?
Remember, in the 80s and 90s, most musicians wanted to become rock stars by signing a lucrative deal with a record label, to then tour the world and be broadcasted on radio and TV. In the collective subconscious, signing a contract = success.
That’s the dream artists were sold by the music industry for decades, before the new era kicked in.
With the label signing being the essential key to success in music at the time, artists hoped for one thing: to be spotted by a record label so that they could entirely focus their energy on the creative process.
Read twice, this system is not only the door to success in 2021, other ways are possible!
The way labels operate has changed. Fans have changed. The way music is sold has changed. The rules have changed. And you should too if you don’t want to be left out of the party.
If you are an emerging artist or a band and want to take your career to the next level, you need to embrace the new golden rules of the new music industry and stop looking back.
Golden Rule # 1: Work like a start-up 💸
Nowadays, artists cannot just create and sell their music. They have to sell a full experience. They need to sell a story. They must sell their brand image.
This point is particularly important since it often creates discrepancies between debuting artists and established ones.
To attract the attention of the real movers and shakers and unite more fans, artists must now master their image and strategy.
And that involves many things. Starting with the fact that the artist should no longer see himself as just a producer, singer-songwriter, author, composer, and performer.
To become successful, you have to be ready to go beyond making music.
You have to consider your project as a real business on its own and act like an entrepreneur.
In more concrete terms, artists have to do what labels would do in the past and manage all commercial aspects: from market research to press relations, digital promotion, pr, events, partnerships, and so on.
Of course, some artists can rely on labels for the marketing part, but with more and more artists signed to labels, the minority that benefits from this advantage has become negligible.
If you want to truly stand out, you have to offer more than your music. This implies taking a step back from your artistic project and learning the basics (and more!) of how marketing will serve your end goal.
Lots of musicians would not like to read this and face these facts, but if you are starting from scratch, then this is probably one of the only ways that would help you make a living from your art!
Without promotion and branding, music alone is not enough anymore!
Don’t live with the expectation of finding someone to promote your music. Be that person.
Speaking of promotion….
Golden Rule # 2: Content Strategy Is Crucial 📖
In case you haven’t noticed, we live in an age of continuous information flow and overconsumption.
All you have to do is open a web page for your brain to be solicited by hundreds of more or less relevant content.
How does this impact your music?
This means you can either play along and take part in that global game with an optimized content strategy to attract potential fans or fall into oblivion by neglecting this aspect and losing the battle right from the start.
The truth is that today, you have all the tools at your disposal to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the online world: your fans are online en masse and all you need is the right content to capture their attention and retain it.
Without publishing content (texts, photos, videos, lives), it is extremely difficult to have an online presence and to grasp fans’ and professionals’ interest in such a digitized society.
What to post?
It varies depending on the platform and the audience you seek to target, but you definitely want to be consistent and have a minimum quantity in order for your potential and current fans to have you on their minds.
This means you regularly need to post content rather than just episodical announcements when you release a new EP, single, or album.
In short, become your own media.
Artist promo tip: Speaking about becoming your own media, refer to our article on the NFT Frauds, to know what to avoid in the NFT space and execute smart music business moves.
Golden rule n ° 3: Choose quantity and authenticity over “quality” 🔥
You have to publish content regularly. So it is advised to leave your perfectionist traits on the side.
If you think about it, it’s a good thing.
Thanks to the Internet, we no longer live in a world where successful artists are semi-gods, shining with perfection and untouchable to the common of mortals, as was the case a few years ago.
Of course, there are always pop stars with oversized egos and labels willing to pay millions to polish their image even more, but overall, the fan-artist relationship has become largely much more humane and authentic.
The modern-day artist has flaws, interacts directly with fans, knows how to be vulnerable, takes selfies, and is fundamentally HUMAN, like anybody else.
So no content is required to be perfect, including music, photos, and videos. And that’s good.
Because perfectionism is the enemy of creativity, productivity, and authenticity, three essential elements for developing a healthy, authentic, and intelligent fan-artist relationship in the digital world.
Nowadays, you can’t just put out an album and a few “perfect” music videos every couple of years.
Your fans will not wait for it and will be forced to look elsewhere. You have to be part of their daily life and therefore be less demanding regarding perfection.
Of course, this does not mean falling into amateurism and rushing up uninteresting content for the sake of authenticity.
But when your content is of decent quality to fulfill your goals, better not spend hours polishing the smallest details.
Spread, promote, then move on.
Golden rule # 4: Fans are the core of your project 🙌
Totally neglected since the dawn of time by big record labels, the fan-artist relationship is nevertheless one of the pillars of today’s music industry, alongside entrepreneurship and content strategy.
While in the past, fans were considered an identity-less mass with limited potential, modern-day artists know that the real value of a project lies in its fan engagement.
An excellent marketing strategy in the new music industry is therefore to personalize your message as much as possible rather than targeting everyone as done in the past.
The focus should be on building strong and sincere relationships between the artist and each individual in his fanbase.
In real life, this means using video (live or not), social networks, applications, and personalized email marketing, among other tools.
Ultimately, the goal is to no longer try to get the attention of a handful of pros (manager, label, or others) in order to succeed but to directly attract a targeted audience, who will act as a structure for your music’s launch, crowdfunding, Patreon / Tipeee, and so on. So target your niche and interact with individuals.
All artists would love to dedicate all of their time to their music. But that’s just not how things work anymore. The music industry has changed drastically and you must adapt to these new codes, trends, and processes. To build a long and lasting music career, use these 4 golden rules to maximize your efforts and take advantage of the many opportunities that were non-existent just a few years ago.
BTW, check more about MPT NFT, a Modern-Day Music Marketing Tool for all types of Artists.
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