It’s so important that you make your moves at the right time.
Knowing when to hire a publicist, when you’re ready for a manager, how to work with people in the industry available to you, and doing things in the right order is how your efforts will pay off.
But making the wrong moves at the wrong time can seriously hurt your efforts.
Here are my Top 5 Musician Mis-steps to Avoid in Your Career:
1. Producing Yourself.
Okay, I’m just going to say it. No one, no matter how freaking good you are, no one should produce, mix, and master themselves. Having no outside perspective will easily kill your chances. Unless you are a proven genius, and even then… smart folks collaborate with the right people.
2. Thinking A & R is a Department at a Label.
A & R is the most critical piece of your record. That’s why there was a whole department at a label dedicated to it back in the day. It’s called “having good ears and good taste.” Knowing which songs to put on a record, which ones will get a pulse, and which ones to leave off the record (and why.) And the only thing you really need to know about A & R is you shouldn’t make another record without it. Don’t decide the songs that go on your record by yourself and especially after you’re done recording. Consult an A & R company (like us) to ensure you’ve got the right songs in the first place. Otherwise? Your record is either a vanity project (which is okay too :), or a total waste of your hard-earned cash. And I’m not talking beginners here. I see countless established indies and well-known artists making these mistakes which hurt them all the more. Do not ignore this process.
3. Thinking DIY is Still Alive.
The record business has been transitioning and is still transitioning for the past 14-16 years. And the independent music business has reaped some great benefits. You get to release your own material, control artistic decisions, and stake your claim without the big boys controlling you. That’s good, but it’s also wracked with problems as I mentioned in #1 and 2. However, the single biggest misnomer that the fall of the music business created for independents is that you can actually do-it-yourself. DIY is dead. The sooner you realize that, and start to build your team, the sooner you will find success. Start with a community – a good one – that has your back. Then grow your administrative team once you are making money. Build your business, don’t wait for it to come to you.
4. Are You On the Outside, Looking In?
One of the biggest mis-steps I see independents making is recording, playing, and building your fanbase, but doing all of that and still staying outside of the music industry. There is a rich resource of people like Performing Rights Organization reps, music mentors, music publishers, people that can really help move your career forward. People that know people, that can make introductions for you when the time is right. I had a meeting with one of my artists at ASCAP where we got an introduction to a producer she had been wanting to work with because the rep knew them. Most artists do not know how to work the industry. If you’ve got great stuff and that’s you, give us a call. We might be able to help.
5. Hiring a Publicist When You Don’t Have Much Marketing Muscle Behind You.
I think everyone out there has done this one. Myself included. That’s how I learned it. Well if you haven’t learned that lesson yet, then listen up. A publicist is not going to get many eyes on you, not unless you really have something happening. The time to hire them is when something breaks that they can really shout out about and you can capitalize on that news. Otherwise, it’s better to invest in social media strategists who can help you grow (but find people who get your industry, not just a regular Joe Schmo.)
The most important thing is that you find the right people to help you. People that actually help you, not just squawk at you. Sometimes you really have to search. Don’t let that discourage you. Stay positive and follow this blog ;). Careers in music happen by having a team of people who believe in you, even if it’s just one. One foot in front of the other and you’ll get there.
If you want to get there faster (and better)… you might want to think about joining a free artist development program like ours below. It’s a great way to take a big jump ahead…
Join my FREE 6 Week Online Artist Development Program: Step Up to the Spotlight. This program has helped over 13,400 artists amplify their impact and skyrocket their careers. I want you to be next.