Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Top 10 Mistakes Musicians and Bands Make Seeking a Career in Music

If you want to become successful in the music industry, there are many
things you need to know and do, but even if you get all that right,
you can prevent yourself from reaching big success by making
critical mistakes along the way (and there are many potential
mistakes one could make, when not being careful).

After coaching and mentoring many musicians and bands seeking a
career in music, the same patterns of false assumptions, problems
and mistakes appear over and over again. Here are my top 10! I hope
they help you too, by giving you insight on what to and not to do.

Mistake #10 - Not having a compelling image that is congruent with
your music. Most musicians (and bands) severely underestimate the
importance of their image. Yes, music is about 'music', but music
business success is about a total package that includes music,
image and visual stage show among other things that need to be
fully developed in a congruent way.

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Mistake #9 - Trying to 'get your name out there'. Although this
seems to be a main goal of most musicians and bands, it is the
wrong approach to start with. Before trying to be seen and heard as
much as possible, it is often more important to focus on
'converting' the people who hear and see you into becoming actual
fans. This 'conversion' is the first key to your promotional
success, NOT getting seen or heard as much as possible.

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Mistake #8 - Believing that social media websites are the keys to
online music promotion for musicians and bands. Social media
websites are a tool. They are ONE piece of the online music
marketing puzzle. Music industry companies (record labels, artist
managers, booking agents, etc.) are far more interested in the
popularity of YOUR website, not how many friends you have at
MySpace, YouTube, Facebook or any other website that you do not own
and control. Want to impress the industry with your band's
promotion? Build a website and then build your website traffic.

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Mistake #7 - Not investing enough time into building your music
career. Most musicians spend most of their time on music, but put
very little effort into the many other critical elements needed to
make it in the music business. If you are already a talented
musician, you should invest at least 50% of your time into starting
or advancing your music career. If you are still developing your
musical skills, you should still invest around 25% of your 'music'
time into building a future music career.

Mistake #6 - Surrounding yourself with people who are negative,
lazy and lack ambition. If you are very serious about becoming a
professional musician and building a great career in music, then
you absolutely must surround yourself with like-minded musicians.
(This one alone is just sooooo important that I cannot stress it enough!)

Mistake #5 - Having merely mediocre live performing skills. Many
musicians, who are not yet in a good band, put off developing their
live performing and stage presence skills. This is a big reason why
talented musicians don't get into really good bands that they
audition for. Your music may be good, but a live 'show' requires
more than great music. If people only wanted to hear the music,
they would listen to you at home. Both fans and record labels want
(and expect) to see a REAL show. Neglecting this area results in
talented musicians and bands becoming quickly forgotten.

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Mistake #4 - Focusing on increasing the 'quantity' of fans instead
of the 'intensity' of your fans. The 'number' of fans you have
should always be your secondary focus (not your primary one) if you
want to become successful in the music industry. The fact is, it is
not the number of 'fans' that matters most, it's the number of
FANATICS which will contribute more directly to your success (or
lack of it). This is particularly true in the beginning of a band's
music career. Focus more effort on converting your existing fans
into raving fanatics. Learn to do this and the number of your
overall fans will increase through powerful word of mouth.

Mistake #3 - Not enough cash flow to support your music career.
Like it or not, it takes money to build a music career. Even if
other people/companies are paying for your record, tour support,
merchandise, etc. you still need to have the freedom to pursue
opportunities as they come. Sadly, many musicians miss
opportunities because they can't afford to take advantage of
them. In addition to a decent income, you also need the flexibility
of being able to take time away from that income source to go into
the studio, go on tour, etc. That is why learning how to teach
guitar is such a great way to achieve both if you learn how to
become a highly successful guitar teacher.

Mistake #2 - Not enough depth in your music relationships. There's
an old expression, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." In
music this is often modified to, "It's not who you know, it's who
knows you." The truth is, it's not about either. The most important
aspect of connections within the music industry is how deep are the
current relationships you have now and will develop in the future.
You don't want to simply know people or be known, you want people
who know you to have a real deep connection with you so that you
are always on the top of their mind when opportunities present
themselves. Ask yourself, "What can I do right now to deepen my
existing relationships further on an ongoing basis?"

Mistake #1 - Having a fundamental misunderstanding about what
record companies look for - and expect from new bands. This is a
huge topic, but in a nutshell it's very useful to think of record
companies like a bank that lends money to people or small
businesses. Record companies make most of their decisions about
whom they will work with and what the terms will be in much the
same way that a bank will determine who they will loan money to and
what the terms of the loan will be. Both record companies and banks
basically want to see 3 things:

1. How much value do you bring to the deal right now.
2. How much risk do you bring with you right now.
3. How much potential value and risk might you bring to them in the
future after they invest in you.

If you want to buy a house, the bank wants to know a lot about the
specific house you want to buy and EVEN MORE about YOU. Record
companies are the exact same, they want to know about your music,
your talent and your band, but they also care as much (or more)
about YOU (and your band mates) as people. What about YOU makes a
record deal a good or bad investment for them.

To learn more about avoiding these big mistakes and building a successful
music career, take a look at our website
Pro Music Records primary purpose is to help independent artist and small to mid-sized labels increase their revenues and profits through the development of our easy-to-use, yet extremely powerful marketing software systems and processes that deliver effective, comprehensive online marketing solutions.

Much Love & As Always.... Grind and Don't Stop, You Can Have Anything
in This World That You Want.. As Long As You Are Willing to Work Hard,
Kick-Ass And Stay Focused! Go Get It, The World is Yours For the Taking!