8 Tips For Singers And Songwriters: Techniques, Ideas & Inspirations 2022

Focus On Your Fans First

I understand how difficult it can be to make a living as a musician. Especially in today’s do-it-yourself society, let alone in today’s economic climate!

Last Friday, Digital Music News published an excellent piece titled The 20 Most Profitable Pieces of Merchandising Products, which I found to be very fascinating. It provides a somewhat comprehensive list of the many forms of products that you or your band might give to your fans, and then evaluates the profitability of each type of merchandise.

Here’s how it works: Concentrate first on your followers, and later on your revenues. If you do an excellent job of providing people with what they want, the money will follow.

Be Informed About The “Music Business Industry”

Many individuals have asked me where they can obtain reliable information regarding the “music industry” on the internet. Creating and selling your music might be complicated, but there are several blogs, musician and business organisation websites, forums, and professional organisations that can provide valuable knowledge. Musicthinktank.com is one of my favourite websites. People who live and work in many parts of the music business may share their thoughts and experiences on the site, which is a great resource.

You’ll discover information (and views) on anything from how to advertise yourself to how to raise money via crowdfunding, how to receive competent legal counsel, how to create songs, how to sell your music, how to comprehend the music industry, and everything in between. Some of the articles are rather light reading, while others are quite in-depth and may help you make some important choices about your professional life (and people). Take a look at it when you get the opportunity. I believe you will be pleased with your decision.

You are also welcome to share with me your favourite sources of information on anything and anything music-related. I’d be interested in hearing about them!

Learn How The Album Was Actually Recorded

Have you heard of the book Making Rumours, The Inside Story Of The Classic Fleetwood Mac Album, written by music producer Ken Caillat? It’s a great read. Backstage information from Caillat’s time with Fleetwood Mac and the development of Rumours, as well as memories of the heyday of big label-sponsored music recording, is included in the book. In contrast, I believe that the finest part of the book is the quantity of information provided on how the album was really produced, including the methods and creative processes that were used in putting everything together.

However, before you run out and get the physical edition, I recommend that you purchase the e-book instead. Why? Because the digital edition includes genuine audio excerpts from the recordings themselves, in addition to the text, it is preferred. As you read the book, you will be able to hear the different tracks, instruments, and mic methods that were employed. It’s very wonderful stuff!

Get Contact Lists, Network, And Be Part Of The Community

However, if using an industry database service can help you succeed in this crazy company of ours, then by all means, use it! The people over at recordexpress.com sell a variety of music industry contact lists, which can be found on their website. Possibly one of the hundreds of music business experts included in their database will strike up a wonderful conversation with you.

Another alternative is to sign up for LinkedIn and make connections with other individuals in the business, both amateur and professional alike. Keep an eye out for other interest-based organisations that you might join that are related to your specific area of interest. Project Studio Network and the Music Producers Forum are two of our favourite websites.

Pay Attention To Contracts To Protect You/Your Business

Seen The Lee & Thompson Guide to Music Industry Agreements yet? It contains examples of recording contracts, management contracts, and producer/publishing contracts. Although Lee & Thompson is a UK-based company you’ll still find a lot of helpful info. And best of all you can download it for free!

Know Social Media “marketing” For Musicians

If you’re a musician you already know what it’s like to fail. You already know what it’s like to put your heart and soul into something and have someone come along and flame you big time. And you know what? That’s OK! That’s how you learn. That’s how you know you’re going to succeed! Whether you’re a musician, a comic, an artist, an actor, or a small business person, that’s how you learn your craft. And for every person that hates you, there’s another that loves you. They just need to find you.

That leads me to that whole “marketing” thing you’re supposed to do now. You know, that whole social media marketing thing the “new music industry” demands. Do you hate it because it’s so personal? Are you afraid someone won’t like what you say? That you’ll fail? Turns out you’re doing the same thing every night when you go on stage. Or every time you post a video on youtube or a song on SoundCloud. You are declaring who you are. Sometimes it works some times not. Some people like it, some people not so much. But so what. if you’re not failing, you’re not succeeding. Think about it.

What does this have to do with social marketing? Because it’s really just declaring who you are. It’s not selling or promoting anything you’re not. It’s just being yourself. Some will love you, some will hate you. The thing is don’t fear it. Don’t avoid it. Accept it.

Need more convincing? Watch this video interview Ariel Hyatt of arielpublicity.com did with Seth Godin. Be weird. Be yourself. Be authentic. The next time someone boasts you on stage, don’t say screw you, say thank you!

Set A Marketing Action Plan And Stick To It

If you’re a small business owner like me, you know how important your marketing efforts are to the success of your operation. Fortunately, there’s a ton of free (or nearly free) marketing tools available on the web. The challenge is to find the time to sort through them all and incorporate them into an easy-to-follow marketing plan.

Luckily, Oli Gardner from unbounce.com has done exactly that with The Noob Guide to Online Marketing (With Giant INFOGRAPHIC). It’s more than a guide though, it’s really a six-month action plan for online marketers. I’m several months into it and it’s been a real help for a time-challenged small business owner (i.e. head go-fer) like me. Check it out and see if it helps you too!

Avoid Too Much Gear Syndrome

Have you seen this post by Seth Godin Tools vs insight? Food for thought next time you’re lusting after another piece of home recording studio gear. Make sure you know how to use what you have before jumping into something new. That next new interface or mic or set of monitors might just solve all your problems. Or it might not. First things first. Get solid advice, practice, get more advice, then practice again.

Be just careful out there or you may find yourself afflicted with TMG (Too Much Gear) Syndrome. And as all us home recorders know, (thankfully) there’s no cure!

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