The Heretic’s Comment: Blogger Mike McCready delivers an excellent post asking and answering the following question: What Does It Take To Break An Artist? McCready’s short and dirty answer to the above is to say an Artist needs a solid team and cold hard cash. We generally agree with McCready’s comments. With the above in mind, we highly recommend that you invest the time to read Mr. McCready’s article….it will be a great investment of your time.
One of the best observations McCready makes within the article is the following:
“Those who tout all the DIY strategies are seeing the tide turn on them simply due to the lack of success cases. It’s been years now that artists can have their music cheaply distributed to fans and even to all the digital retailers. Promotion widgets and tools have been spreading like wildfire across the web. But where are all the artists who have broken doing it on their own?”
The above comment is something we want to discuss a little further. It’s true, there are a number of so-called industry experts (The Heretic included) who do tout DIY strategies to the Indie community. But we want to caution you to recognize a great truth that you must always account for when discussing any industry that is going through a lot of change and flux: Industry people (both experts and wannabe experts) will try to come up with solutions as to what you should do next in order to survive the changes. The above is why it is so critical for you as an artist/band/musical group/production company/artist-development company/label to do your research. In other words, don’t do something just because you see everybody else doing it…Remember Lead Trends…Don’t Follow.
One last comment on the above point, don’t spend money on industry experts who do not have a proven track record that confirms the success of what they are trying to convince you to do. And we don’t mean success from 10 years ago…you need to see recent success along with positive cashflow estimates connected with the recommendations they are giving you to implement concerning your project. If the industry expert cannot provide the above…keep your money in your pocket and keep doing your research and making your own moves.
Okay, we want to pull out a couple of quotes and action points provided by Mr. McCready. Check out the following:
“Don’t get me wrong. I think the entrepreneurs who are making music and acts easier to promote, distribute and find are doing a HUGE and much needed service. I recommend using them and really like many of the people behind these companies. The thing is, artists aren’t directly benefiting – at least not much. Do you know who is? Other entrepreneurs and the business people who are interested in getting behind acts to give them a big push. These new services have made it possible for smaller teams with fewer resources to compete against the big boys and get real results. But don’t let anyone fool you into believing it can be done by the artist themselves and for no money at all.”
“What does this mean? Mostly it means that if as an artist you want to stand out (and in addition to great music) you need a team. You need differentiating factors that will help you rise above the noise of every other artist out there trying to gain traction. It’s not unlike the challenges that are faced by a new company trying to enter a crowded market. You have to have marketing know-how, smart people who can execute a well-thought-out plan and you have to have the resources (read “money”) to make it happen.”
McCready makes excellent points above. Now let’s check out some action steps McCready recommends in the article. Please note: we are only providing the subtitles, please read the article to get the additional commentary provided by Mr. McCready:
1. First and Foremost you have to have great music;
2. Professionally record your music;
3. As you’re working on points one and two be performing live;
4. Get the right people to hear your music
As we stated earlier, for the most part, the Heretic feels that McCready’s commentary and recommendation are right on the money for indies to think about and follow. Additionally, never, ever, never, ever, ever, never (you get the picture) forget the importance of putting a team together to support what you do as an artists/band/songwriter/performer. As is often pointed out Kobe Bryant is a great individual basketball player, but not even Kobe Bryant can defeat a team of 5 professional players by himself. Always look for opportunities to partner up with individuals who believe in your music and your ideas for spreading it…growing it…and cashflowing it…..
Let us know your comments to the above? Also let us know of additional steps you feel are important for indie artist to pursue in gaining success?
Closing Comment #2:
Make sure you come up with your own definition of success. This is a very important point. You have to come up with your own determination of what success means specifically to you and your project. As we all know, success can mean different things to different people. So as a result, don’t let someone else’s definition of success become your own definition by default. Never do this!!! Figure out what level of success is acceptable and achievable by you…and then go out there and make it happen.
The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement…….