In the past few months, we have given you some basic advice on how to get your music on Spotify, how to get it featured on playlists and how to use Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to promote your music. Too often musicians spent all their efforts creating the music, and the actual promotion ends up being an afterthought. We post it and hope that people will listen to it. In this post, I want to try to change your mentality and help you succeed in music. That is why we look at how making music is not enough.
Don’t get me wrong; music does matter. If your tracks are not interesting, the lyrics do not resonate with your audience, no amount of promotion will make it a hit. We can achieve a fantastic recording quality with a small home product studio these days. But the quality needs to be at a certain minimum quality, or it might get rejected by your digital distribution company.
Having said that, you should not try to reach perfection. Capturing the feel of the music is much more likely to make it resonate it with your fans than clinical, technical wizardry. But when you have the basics right, and up to certain standard, quantity becomes more important than quality.
You can build it all you want, but they will not come
You know the old saying “Build it, and they will come”? Well, that saying is utterly flawed in today’s music business. Every time I hear someone say if their music is good enough it will succeed, I feel like tearing my hear out, well… If I had any. The simple fact is, if people don’t know about it, how can they listen?
On one hand, musicians try to convince themselves that if the music is good enough, it will find its audience. For this to happen, it would need to become freakishly viral overnight. On the other hand, musicians moan about how the Facebook reach is down. Go figure.
By the nature of it, viral content cannot be planned. What we perceive viral these days has a marketing company with a massive budget behind it. If you want people to come and discover your music, you need to learn how to tell them about it.
It is not about you. It is about the listener
I have mentioned this several time. It is not about you; it is about the listener. Why should they care about your music if you don’t care about them? You asking them to “Check out my music” is a waste of time. You need to build one on one relationships with your fans. In fact, you need to do this with your first 1000 fans. Which leads to my next point.
There are no shortcuts
There are no shortcuts. You need to do the hard work. You need to find exciting ways to promote your music. And you need to do this by adding value to your potential fans. Don’t ask before you give. You need to put in the hard work of promoting and building a fan base. You should spend at least the same amount of time doing this than you do playing and creating the music. In today’s music business, just making music simply isn’t enough.