May 17th, 2009 by Dave Piersall

10 Tips to Help The Music Artist Make it

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What Does it Take To Get Discovered in Chicago?

A songwriter needs to be a lot of things to become well known as an artist and some of those will mean breaking out of your comfort zone.   Liz O’s post today, one of the newest members to the Euphony team, started me thinking about whether an artist can make it in solely in Chicago and if so what would steps would they need to take.   I think Liz had some great points and I do think to really be successful an artist needs to do these things to get discovered.

marketing-plan-picture1.  Research Your Chosen Field

Researching your chosen career field is a must if you want to know what to do, when to do it, how to know if it is working, and what to change if it’s not.   A good place to start is talking to fellow musicians who are where you want to be.  Now you may not know any stars but I am certain you must know a semi successful artist.   This is called modeling and it is a lot better to learn from their mistakes than to make them from scratch yourself.  Working smarter rather than harder is a time tested method to success in any field.  Another place to go for information is Artists House which is a site with all sorts of videos from panels of successful music marketers, musicians, and music executives.  Music Think Tank is another you might try with success.  Really anywhere you can get information that will help you is a good place to be.

business-plan-photo2. Write a Business Plan

This is arguably the very most important step in any career path as without it you have no idea where you are going, how to get there, or why the hell your doing it all in the first place.   I wrote a post a while ago that covers a lot of this you should take a look at call “Marketing Your Music Online”.  What I would suggest is when you get this done let a friend who is known for good business results look it over and tell him or her you want them to follow up on where you are and if you are doing what you set out to.  No better medicine to keep you focused than peer pressure from a close friend who won’t accept your bullshit excuses.  If you never ever waiver from you r plans then you might not need this part but I have not met many than can say that honestly as things happen in life and business that makes us all discouraged at times.

street-team-photo3.  Enlist Some Help

If you have Business associates, fans, good friend, and family that believe in your music be the squeaky wheel and ask them for help.    If you have enough real fans then build a “Street team” to promote your music and artist name.  I wrote a post on this that you will want to read and commit to memory call “How To Get Discovered”.  You will build these people as you go along in your path to success so always be adding people to this lists as that will make you all the better known in the industry.

inner-struggle14. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Knowing where you have strengths and weakness is a very important part of the process but finding people to fill your voids or learning from classes, websites, and books,is even more important as an unattended weakness will kill your shot 9 times out of 10.   One are I had to put my ego aside was admitting that while I am an OK singer me singing my songs was not going to be the best plan to really making it so I enlisted jeff Anthony who is a much better singer than myself.  the same applies to guitar skills, or any area of music as you need the very best people you have access to to sound right.   If you struggle with giving up the riegns ask yourself this question.  “Would I rather play or sing parts myself and not make it or let someone who has the needed skills do it and become  famous”?  That is really what it comes down to as people right or wrong judge a book by it’s cover so make it sound and look great.

artist-starting-out-picture5. Fine Tune Your Songwriting Skills

Fine tuning your songwriting skills is one of the most important things to do as this is your product and the better it is the better your chances of success will be.  Keeping an open mind and letting go of egos is a must when getting better at songwriting.   Getting involved with songwriting groups is a great tool to discovering your weaknesses, and learning methods you can use to adapt your style to be more marketable.  Some things I personally do to fine tune myself  are signing up for Songwriters showcases, and Songwriters guilds like Benjie Hughes has at Backthird Studios. There are many places you can go to get great resources to be your best it is up to you to search them out in your town and state.

dave-neupert-picture6. Networking

A songwriter needs to network in as many areas as they can and organizations like  Chat a Chicago group or musicians who discuss the industry, NARIP , LANM A Los Angeles network group.  Dave Neupert has a great video on this subject at Artists House you should listen to right away

diversity7. Be Diversified

Playing many styles and many different musicians will not only help you get better known but will help you get better acquainted with music styles you may not be comfortable with.  These may be useful in your later songwrinting ventures and help you stay well rounded.  This will also tie into your networking need and allow you to have dual benefits.  Be a sponge and soak in all you can from the artists you play with and use it to your advantage.  Chris Morrow another Euphony Productions writer wrote a great post on this subject a few posts back you should look at again.

promote8. Promote Your Music

Promoting yourself is obvious to all but the correct methods are not always so obvious.   You need a three teir promotion program one that covers these three areas. 1.  The Internet, 2. The Music Venues, 3. The Music Agents and professionals.    If you get well versed at all three and watch out you will be dangerous as they are all really important so important that I have made time that was not there to get back out on a limited basis and start gigging again even though I said I did not have time.  The wife is none too happy as she enjoys seeing me and taking on this last part will surely limit that for us.  In the end it is what is needed to really be successful.  Here are some past posts you can read again that will help you in all three of these areas.  How to build your first music website, Build it and they will come, and How do I get discovered?

empty-bar19.  Pick The Right Venues

Now of course there will always be a place where all artists have to start and that may mean playing some places you don’t want to while paying your dues but after you get past that remember that playing in front of 4 people will not be real effective in promoting your music unless all 4 are record executives which is unlikely.  A lot of whether you have a turn out will depend solely on how well you promote the event too so make the flyers, get on radio talk shows if you can, talk to friends ask them to call their friends, Get your other band mates involved, Put ads in newspapers, what ever it takes to pack the house as a packed house will mean more pay you can demand next time you play at that venue and it will mean more chances to get people into your music so don’t be lazy.

determinination-picture10. Dedication

Ultimately all 9 steps before this one all tie into how dedicated you are to making it and will directly result in what your do and how often you do it.   One way to tie this all in is find a big reason why for you to succeed one that without it you feel like dying.  IE, if you had to sell all your musical gear and quite if you failed at making your career successful I bet you would do all it took.   Make a commitment like this and tell people about it so you can’t wuss out too.   Make your success a MUST!

Until next time I wish you luck in all your musical endeavors my fellow Euphonites,

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