Goals have always been important in music, but they’re more important than ever in today’s complicated music industry. Lots of musicians start bands because they want to express themselves through music, and that is and always should be the driving force behind why a band makes music. But if the goals stop there, your band probably won’t be able to accomplish much.
As a musician, your single biggest challenge is getting your music before your target audience. It’s not enough to create good music; you also have to market it effectively.
It doesn’t help that far too many musicians rely on spur of the moment actions and ad-hoc marketing tactics. Instead of approaching their music marketing with a systematic plan, they make reactive decisions that don’t yield any long-term success.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to create a DIY music marketing plan that actually works. I’ll cover branding, developing a marketing mix, and finding your target audience so you can make better marketing decisions.
Music is, was, and probably always will be an often brutal and thankless career path for most musicians. Summing a musician’s struggle up as lots of work for not much money would be way too simple because for serious songwriters and musicians, the emotional toll of trying to forge a path in music proves to be emotionally unbearable from time to time. For most musicians, money is secondary to their passion, but rejection after rejection and the creeping feeling that an artist’s sacrifice, talent, and work won’t ever amount to anything is often so damaging that it makes even the most promising musicians question themselves. Learning to cope with disappointment is not an option if you love making music and want to share it with people.
Songwriting can be frustratingly unpredictable. You might write for six hours and come up with nothing memorable one day and come up with something incredible the minute you sit down the next. But believe it or not, songwriters are best off pursuing all their ideas, even the ones they think won’t go anywhere. Musicians risk cutting themselves off from opportunities to develop good ideas when they’re too rigid about their own creative processes, and one of the best ways to combat this is by following through on finishing all of your songs.
Bad shows can be temporarily devastating even for musicians who’ve been performing professionally for years. Things like bad sound systems, unattentive crowds, and performance mistakes can turn something you love into a truly awful experience if you’re not careful. But while some shows are so bad they feel like black holes that you and your bandmates will get sucked into, that’s not the case. Most bad shows can be turned around. Here’s how:
Ableton Live has become one of the most powerful Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) on the market today. Although it was designed primarily for live performance, it’s become a studio favorite. Originally built for DJs and electronic musicians, it still has enough audio capabilities to compete with other big-name DAWs. We’ve launched a new video series teaching basic Ableton Live tips and tricks so you can get started in Ableton Live today.
Tom Shawcroft is an indie-electronica singer, songwriter, and producer from Nottingham, UK. Over the past several years, Tom’s sound evolved from predominantly acoustic when he started making music as a teenager to a now unique style of production influenced heavily by his love for electronic music.
It’s that unique style that caught the attention of fierce panda, who he signed to after submitting to one of our opportunities.
“What we really like about the whole ReverbNation talent-spotting process is that it gives us a chance to think outside the A&R box. The fierce panda label is generally renowned for peddling shambolic indie noises but Tom comes from a totally pop background, and his finger-clicking beats and soulful vocals really made him stand out from the alt.rock crowd. It’s a modern sound in a world gone mad.”
Check out this interview with Tom Shawcroft below where he shares how being diagnosed with an illness as a child ignited his spark for songwriting, how artists should make use of every tool available to them, and what’s up next for him.