Now we’ve all heard it before, and might even be guilty of saying it “This year is it. This year I’m gonna take my career seriously” but really… what’s your plan to make this happen?
I’ve decided to write this article to help hungry artists accomplish their mission of taking their career to the next level in 2014. Below are just a few things to focus on that will give you a jump start to the year. Remember its not always about working harder, it’s about working smarter.
- Focus on Singles – If you release a great single with a video, and get that posted to blogs and really start spreading it around, it will have much more of an impact than trying to get everyone to listen to a mixtape. Why would you release a mixtape if you don’t have people checking for it? A single will make much more of an impact. People don’t like to search through 14 songs from an artist that they haven’t heard of, but they will check out a single (especially if it’s referred by someone they know, or posted on popular blogs). Once people start to catch onto your single, they will anticipate more of your work. So while most artists like to take the time out to record tons of music but then only spend 5% of that time actually promoting it, this year you should spend less time recording and more time marketing. Record 5 singles instead of 14 mediocre records – and all that extra time that you would have spent on the rest of your mixtape, spend it heavily marketing and promoting your singles.
- Brand Yourself – Know who you are and be able to describe who you sound like and what you stand for. Identify your distinct sound. Use one name for all of your social networking sites (so that it’s easy to find you), get professional photos with a few different looks that make you stand out, get your own personal website, and make sure your bio is up to date. All of these things matter more than you think (and that is actually the least you can do). You are not selling your music, you are selling your brand. Artists that have a clear branded image stand out from the crowd and look a lot more professional.
- Get Your Paperwork in Order – This can be the annoying part, but it is all very necessary. Paperwork makes the world go round and sets apart those who are only pursuing music as a hobby from those who are pursuing this as a career. Once you create your demo, you need to get all of your music copyrighted and registered with a PRO (ASCAP, BMI). If you are expecting radio play this might also be a good time to get your songs BDS registered. I am not going to go into all of this here because we have already discussed this in previous articles. But if you do your research, you will find all of the details you need. Which leads me to my next point…
- Do Your RESEARCH! – Everything that you don’t know, someone else has mastered. If you don’t know something, be sure to look it up! The more you learn the more you earn. This music industry is rough, so why would you blindly go into a business like this and expect to be successful? Make it a point to research something new everyday.
- Stay Consistent With Your Content – Instead of solely focusing on gaining followers and fans, focus on keeping everyone entertained with great content. From music videos to behind the scenes footage, live performances and in-studio vlogs etc, there are so many ways to provide great content which will not only please your fans but attract new ones as well.
This year, make it a point to DO THINGS WITH A PURPOSE. Do things that will help your career progress. Longevity usually means creating great music and a strong brand that stands out, so focus on creating the best product you can and then getting it out there in the best way possible. Have goals and try to stick to them. Whatever you do, don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.Brianna DeMayo has been helping artists build strong brands and sustainable careers in music. Visit her company website www.ExclusivePublic.com and follow her on Twitter (@BreezyB215) and Facebook.