One of the most common questions asked by new music creators is ‘How do I grow my fanbase’? In music, the challenge they face is how to generate what is generally regarded as the most powerful form of marketing, word-of-mouth or “Buzz”? Buzz is essential if an artist is to grow their fan-base.
However, in writing about ‘Buzz’, it became apparent that it’s almost as important to understand why ‘Buzz’ doesn’t happen too.
The reason for this is twofold.
The first is because I’ve worked with new artists for over 20 years. An emerging trend I’ve seen on Reddit is an artist with barely a handful of singles on Spotify, willing to pay for advertising or Digital Marketing services in the belief this will be a catalyst to success.
The second is research by MiDIA Research, who estimate there are now over 14 million music producers, due to the wide availability of ‘creator tools’, such as Pro Logic and the low cost of technology & studio equipment.
As a result, witness the dramatic rise in the number of companies (social media, PR, marketing services, software tools, playlisters, influencers) happy to take money off these new creators. To coin a phrase, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel taking money from these musicians, so eager are they to make a living from the music they’ve created.
Which is why I’m so uneasy about setting up yet another Music School in The Artist Network. There are already thousands of videos and articles informing artists ‘How to be an artist’. The underlying promise of these sites is that if you follow our advice (for a fee) then you have a better chance of ‘growing your fanbase’ and by extension, living the dream of being a successful musician.
They mostly tell artists that to be successful they need to be a Content Factory, generating a seemingly endless stream of music, photos, stories and video. In addition, they must be social media experts. Branding experts. CRM experts. Data analysts. All this in addition to writing & recording.
Which makes me uneasy because, after years of doing this, I know the ONLY way to be a successful musician is to write songs that people want to hear.
Learning how to write songs that people want to hear is a craft. And any craft takes time to learn. Trial and error. Playing to an audience and gauging their reaction. What works. What gets people out of their seats? When do they cheer the loudest?
The internet makes it easier than ever for musicians to find their audience. And yet I suspect millions of creators are frustrated and despondent when they experience their music isn’t growing in the way they hoped. This is when they’re vulnerable to a multitude of services willing to take their money.
So, I want to do things slightly differently.
If you’re a musician then my advice is, learn the craft of songwriting. I want to provide you with advice and articles on how to do this.
However, perhaps you’re like me; love music, play an instrument, produce music, DJ, go to hundreds of gigs, etc? And, due to your love of music you want to work in the music industry? Then read my articles about the music business and hopefully learn how you can work in music and help those musicians who are writing songs that deserve an audience.
I want to teach you:
- How to build your ‘test’ audience so you know if you’ve written a song that resonates.
- How to save money so you can invest BIG into the right songs.
- How to improve as a songwriter to reach an audience and build a career.
- How to maximise every song to sustain a career and live the dream.