Fire, Ready, Aim!
Ahh, musicians. I’m counted among that group. We have a difficult lot in life. Blessed with ability and creativity and ambition. But often, many musicians are also cursed with a lack of linear thinking, strategic rationale, and business acumen.
SO many projects I’ve been asked to get involved with lack a comprehensive strategy. I try to call that out in early meetings with artists where I ask questions like, “what is the commercial goal of this recording project?” or “what marketing initiatives are you planning on the back end of having this album produced?”
So many artists, honestly, haven’t a clue. Even ones that are otherwise smart, engaged people. Even ones that excel in other areas of business. Something about the passion we feel over music causes many people to make decisions erratically and without a core strategy at the center of our efforts in music.
How can we do it differently?
To start, we need to ask ourselves some questions. The most important of which is “what do I want out of music?”
For many, if not most of the people we work with at EMG, the answer to that question is either “to play my music for a living” or “to make some profit out of my passion.” And if either is you, that can inform some strategic principles.
- Everything you put out must be purposeful and professional – no more badly produced demos masquerading as an album. If you can’t afford to have a high-quality record, then put out less songs at a time. Or do some fundraising. But don’t put out anything that’s mediocre.
- Have a concrete goal for all of your initiatives. You want to promote a song to radio? Why? There are some great reasons. And then there are some not-so-great reasons. And then there are some people that do it just because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. You need to know if your planned initiatives make sense. If you don’t have that information, talk to someone with more knowledge. We provide comprehensive assistance with strategic planning and would be happy to assist you.
- Build your program of activities around things that have real profit potential. You want to make money without touring? That’s a tough road to hoe. Not saying it’s impossible, but the vast majority of artists that are successful in this era are playing a lot of gigs, because gigs are where most of the money changes hands! Building your brand to a place where you can successfully tour numerous markets and put butts in seats should be an overarching goal of your project if you want to make real money.
- Begin with the end in mind. What kind of career do you want? Can you find some reference artists that have a similar path and story? Can you learn from their journey? Knowing where you want to go before you start traveling that direction is critical to any business venture. And believe it. This is a business venture.
These are just a few of the things to keep in mind if monetizing your art is one of your commercial goals. If not, and you have more esoteric or lofty creative goals in mind, there are different sets of strategies for you to utilize.
One way or another, though, for you to attain whatever type of success you’re looking for, thinking and planning your projects strategically will make all the difference. It’s ready, aim, fire for a reason. Don’t start spraying bullets without planning for how you can hit your target!
And don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you’re interested in some help along the way.