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Three myths about the music business

Three music myths and fallacies that most people believe.

The legendary Ozzy ozzbourn
Music Myths and Legends are the Building blocks of Music culture.
If you’ve been around the music scene for a minute, or like me, a little longer. You will undoubtedly hear stories. some stories even reach epic/legendary status such as Keith Richards preternatural ability to consume alcohol, cigarettes and drugs and remain alive, possibly forever… Or the story of how Steven Tyler and Joe Perry got the nickname, ” The Toxic Twins” from,of all people,  Jerry Garcia.  There are literally thousands of legends out there about various folks of whom some are celebrities some of whom are local musicians or groupies much less well-known. 
The topic of this article is Music myths and legends but because the overall theme of this site is DIY/indie music business success tips. I want to focus on myths or beliefs about being in the music business that continue to persist and may have a direct impact on your DIY music career. 

The impact/influence of myths. 

Why even pay attention to myths in the music business? For the most part  these stories are nothing more than just that, stories…  Some stories however persist, year after year, generation after generation. They become a part of the cultural fabric and resultantly  accepted as part of the lore of the culture.  
Don't let Music Business myths affect your career
Music cal myths and Legends. How they affect your career

 Three myths that most musicians believe that aren’t true!

Myth # 1:  “You need to grind away, paying your dues for 5 years, 10 years or more in order to be successful”.
This certainly is one way to go about your music career…. However, with digital direct marketing and sales technique aimed at your specific Niche Market you can cut a lot of wasted time and energy out of the equation.
Myth # 2:  “Once you get signed to a label you’ve made it!”

Getting signed to a label “can be” a  step towards having a successful music career and not that long ago it was a necessary step along that path. The old school music industry was very tightly regulated and controlled by Middle men gate Keepers in the form of Indie Labels and A&R reps for Labels at all levels.

However…., Getting signed IS NOT and has never been any kind of Guarantee of success in your music career and many artists have been dropped from labels with no rights to the distribution of  their albums and Merch or recordings of their own music. I myself played in the backup band of a signed artist, he had a three album contract with a small to medium sized indie label.  when I Played in his band he was still living on food stamps and still had to do all of his own booking and managing of his gigs and of his marketing and sales of his CDs.

 

Myth # 3:  “I don’t need a Website/online Marketing and sales campaign, It’s too soon and people will just steal/Pirate my stuff anyway…”

Ok Guys, wake up, sniff the coffee, It’s 2016. All Business is being conducted online. Believing this myth pretty much guarantees that you will be a Living example of Myth # 1.  Now, I know most if not all Musicians these days are using Social media. But 95-98% of musicians are using it ineffectively.  That being said,  I have heard with my own two ears and seen postings online that some musicians still believe That They don’t need a website or an online marketing strategy or an online sales funnel.  The Only thing I can say to that is… You may be right. But only if your Musical goals include just remaining stuck in a local market and playing local bar gigs and other local events. If you want to remain stuck in the “hobbyist” stage of your Career for years to come. Then yes you are right you don’t need a website or an online campaign.

As far as the Stealing/Pirating goes, You not getting your media up online quickly is Not going prevent someone from pirating your music. In fact I watched a Video a week ago where a Music Business consultant talked about how one of their clients is involved In a legal battle with a “FAN” who went to their shows and recorded all their songs with an iPhone and Then put up a “fan channel” on you Tube and started Monetizing all of the you tube views and making money off of the bands songs. 

You won’t ever stop people from stealing/Pirating your stuff But if your smart and Savvy maybe you can use it to your advantage. But either way, Not having a website and you tube channel or other social media outlets claimed as your own is only making it easier for someone to beat you to it and make money off of your music.

 

Succeeding in the New Music Business means changing with the times, understanding the market we are reaching out to and being willing to change our role as Musician/artist to Musicians/artist/entrepreneur.  You don’t have to stop listening to the rhetoric of the old school music Business But, you need to recognize that what worked for musicians in 1976 or even 1986 may not be the only or even the best way to plan and execute your career in 2016

 

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My name is Richard Artichoker,
I am The Founder and Creator of the 7th Gen Academy for DIY Musicians. I have been involved with various aspects of the Music Business for 30 years. in 1992 I founded the hard Rock band “7th Generation”. I stopped playing out live 13 years ago but continue to research the music market and digital sales and marketing techniques and I want to share my experience and knowledge with you.

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ow to succeed In the Music Business: How to Identify your #1 fan

How to Identify Your fans

 “If you are marketing to everyone Then you are really marketing to  no one”. 
When It comes to marketing any Business proposition The first, and by any entrepreneurs opinion, The most important ingredient is your niche market.  One of My Business mentors once said the exact quote from above to me. His intention was  really get me to understand that targeted marketing is  the best way to improve  chances of sales .  This requires that you focus your efforts on a Target audience. This is known as a “Niche market” . The Definition of a Niche market is as follows:
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment.
As a Musician/artist/entrepreneur it’s important to have a plan to increase your chance of success and to reduce the chance of wasting time energy and other resources.  And as an entrepreneur it is important that you become familiar with what are know as “best Practices” These are tried and true methods and concepts that have become the staple of good business no matter what market you are in.  Frank Kern is one of the big players in online Marketing and commands an almost godlike status in online business circles. every year Frank does a “state of digital marketing” presentation where he gives a marketing/business lesson to the marketing community with the idea of sharing important information to increase the success of Online entrepreneurs. 
Here is an example of such a presentation.

 

Focusing your marketing and sales efforts on a Specific Niche Market or even a “micro-niche” ( an even smaller subset of the initial subset. – Think 18-21 year old male metal heads vs. just , “metal heads” )  This allows you to begin a conversation with a very specific known group of personality types. It allows us to reduce  the likely hood that you will waste years of just “trial and error”

Who are your Fans?

Up to date I have approached this conversation keeping in mind my own background as a musician and the conversations I’ve had with many other musicians over the years.  I have purposefully avoided using the term  “customer” or “client”  because I know this is not how Most musicians talk about their “fans” The people who come to our shows and listen to our songs.
But It is Time for a Paradigm shift….
The Music Business of 2016 demands that a DIY artist who wants to succeed on all levels begin to think like an entrepreneur and this can be a very liberating experience if you are willing to let go of some old prejudices. Your Fans can also be your customers. In fact whether you realize it or not or are willing to admit it or not your Fans have to become your Customers.  I bet 98% of the musicians who read this article don’t realize that a fan is “NOT a customer! That’s right a fan is Not a customer until you convert them! Think about it. lets say you have a band and you have a FB Fan page for your band and you have 10.000 fans subscribed to your fan page. Now you go out and record a Killer album and release it and it’s now available on every digital outlet there is; Sound cloud, band camp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon,  and on and on and  two weeks later you go and look at your sales analytics  and you’ve sold 200 copies…. What happened?
If I were consulting with This band the first Thing I would look at is the specific aim of their marketing campaign, did they really identify and understand their “niche-Market”

Lets find your #1 fan…

Identifying your ideal customer is a key to your overall marketing strategy. you need to have a Niche Market in order to find success with your sales strategies. When creating your “Ideal customer profile you shoulder consider the following factors.
  1. Are they male or Female
  2. How old are they
  3. Where are they from
  4. What is their educational background
  5. What is their social,financial status
  6. what are their beliefs, Religion,cultural,spiritual
  7. What are their Hobbies
  8. What are they passionate about
  9. What causes do they support
  10. What upsets them.
Creating an Ideal customer profile helps you to target your marketing efforts toward “pre-qualified” customers and increase  your chances of sales. But more importantly makes it much easier to create Engagment and trust between you and your tribe

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My name is Richard Artichoker,
I am The Founder and Creator of the 7th Gen Academy for DIY Musicians. I have been involved with various aspects of the Music Business for 30 years. in 1992 I founded the hard Rock band “7th Generation”. I stopped playing out live 13 years ago but continue to research the music market and digital sales and marketing techniques and I want to share my experience and knowledge with you.