Mistake 1: You’re not investing money and talent in your music.⠀
“Building a long-lasting music career is starts with the music! If the music is not great, and if the fans don’t absolutely love it, nothing else matters.” That statement has become our mantra here at The Music Development Agency. In this competitive music market, the first 10 – 20 seconds of your song will determine whether a fan clicks next or listens to more of your song. In short, if your music sucks and the quality is unprofessional, all the marketing, networking would be a waste of time and money, period.⠀
Mistake 2: You think you are Mr. or Ms. Do-It-All. You’re producing, mixing, mastering yourself. You’re managing your project yourself.⠀
Have you ever wondered why most of the music superstars STILL use producers? Just because you can work ProTools or Logic doesn’t mean you can or should make a record. If you get signed today, The RecordLabel would put you with someone who is not only more experienced at the entire process of making records, but a way better musician than you. The smart artist always thrives being around true pros that are better than themselves to soak in the education and grow to a new artistic level. After all, delegating processes to experts increases the chances that your music gets better, if not great and frees up time for you to focus on and improve your music.
Mistake 3: You Think It’s All About Music, And You Are Not Marketing or You Don’t Know What You’re Doing.⠀
Without marketing, nobody cares about your music because they haven’t heard it. And putting your music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc. is #DigitalDistribution NOT marketing. Marketing is the art and science of influencing buying decisions and it’s not an easy thing to do. It involves more than just tweeting or gramming. To do it right and be effective, it takes a lot of experience and mastering a lot of tools such as Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Live Shows, Music Blogs, Indie Radio, Internet Radio, PR and networking that you might not have time to do. So, leave the marketing to the experts who know how best to get the most out of the few resources that you have. ⠀
Mistake 4: You’re Operating With An Out-of-date Model. You’re Waiting For Your “Big Break”. You Still Think Record Labels Develop Talent. You’re Not Thinking Like A RecordLabel.⠀
Are you still trying to cut cheap demos to shop to record labels and A&Rs to try to get a deal? Do you still think radio is the key to marketing your music? Do you still think that if you get a deal that’s when you’ve made it? I got news for you, you’re at least 10 years behind. Nobody gets “discovered” anymore, so you’ve to create your own opportunities, your own momentum. Record labels don’t care about your music, they care about your current cash flow, and how many fans you have a measurable connection with. Prove to the world that your “music” has a value in the market and deals will come flying from left and right. Successful artists that are still around today, never let the labels take care of everything. Surround yourself with experienced experts like Songwriters audio engineers, producers, PR agents, marketers, promoters brand developers, content strategists, photographers, financial advisors mentors. All these people would be highly professional and much more dialed in to the market and process than you, your friends or your mom. ⠀
Mistake 5: You’re Not Thinking Of Yourself and Your Music As A Brand. ⠀
$300 million! That is the estimated net worth of Beyonce. Aside from her musical talent, Beyonce owes her net worth in large part to the fact that she’s become an internationally recognized brand. Fans nowadays want to “experience” music rather than just listen to it. They buy into a lifestyle rather than the music by itself as a product. Successful artists today are recognizing that success today means that you’ve to create a brand that is marketable. Can you imagine BeatsByDre sign a partnership deal with an artist named Tity Boi? One artist learned this the hard way and quickly changed his name to 2 Chains. Before you adopt that name your boys gave you as your career name, bear in mind that a name is the most important aspect of your branding identity, so choose wisely. ⠀
Mistake 6 (Bonus 1): You Are Too Sensitive To Take Constructive Criticism. You’re Listening To Haters⠀
You would be amazed how many of your favorite superstars were brutally schooled by the label on their first record. If you’re too dumb to know that you don’t know, you’ll never make it. Be professional and LEARN. And when you do start to get momentum, lighting up that fire, people you don’t know and sadly, many that you do will start hosing down your fire. Get used to it. You are doing what they can’t. Have no room for firefighters, rather surround yourself with and learn from firelighters.⠀
Mistake 7 (Bonus 2): Ego vs Talent: Your Ego Has Grown Bigger Than Your Desire To Succeed And Overshadows Your Music Talent.
Egomania is a psychological abnormality that we all encounter in mild doses in our regular lives, either as a sufferer with it, or suffering it from other people. In music, as performers, a little ego is healthy. It helps you believe in yourself. However, you must be cautious not to allow it to inflate your ego to the point of preventing you from realizing the full potential of the many and diverse collaborative efforts which are available throughout your musical careers. You must not lead people to begin to associate you with the saying “Where there is a lack of talent (and wisdom and maturity), ego usually fills the void”. You must be aware that the same driving force that compelled you to start a band, to be a rapper, that self-belief, that fire, which is absolutely essential if you are going to be a musician, is also the number one killer of music careers before they start. After all, a cup that is already full is kinda impossible to fill up. So check that ego as your door every morning when you leave your abode.