Sometimes Changing Your Strategy Is The Right Thing To Do
Life is a better teacher. In school, you learn your lesson and then, take a test. In life, you get tested and then, you learn your lesson. Making mistakes and failing is part of learning your lesson. You see, good judgement comes from great experience. Great experience comes from bad judgement.
Why I'm I saying something so obvious to you, friend? Well, I'm afraid I need to change my strategy quite a bit, if I'm going to keep making guitar driven power pop you actually will enjoy. I thought I could do it all, and I thought I had a good strategy. The problem is everyone else out there is competing for your eyes and ears (and hearts). So, I'm getting lost in a sea of content.
Problem #1. Creating A Culture. I don't have time to post to facebook and instagram 8 times a day, still write music, keep up my singing chops, write new songs, record them, and complete the mastering. If you haven't noticed, my blogs have also slowed down. It just takes a lot of time to create content that folks care about. Photography and videos take a lot of planning.
Problem #2. Cashflow. I've spent a lot of money advertising, marketing and getting my music into the hands of Music Industry Professionals. I've also spent a lot of money on vocal lessons, guitar lessons, instrumentation, songwriting manuals, songwriting classes. So far, what goes out is at least a 1000x greater than what comes in.
Problem #3. Legal. Copyrighting and hiring lawyers to protect my intellectual property is very expensive. The good news is once I'm got things covered, I'm covered for life.
Problem #4. Systems & Networks. Purchasing sound systems, recording equipment, including computers and interfaces is very expensive. Plus, all of the plug ins also add up, and you must be a computer IT guy to keep up with it all.
Problem #5. Sales (or fund-raising). Never an easy subject. You don't go to music school to learn how to sell. Every song I write must become an asset that allows cash to come it 24/7, without me having to create it every day.
Problem #6. Team. Business is a team sport. And without having a team, I do all the work myself, and on a part-time schedule at that. I feel like I work all the time, as much as I enjoy music, I don't work nearly as much as the professionals. Teams save time, which is all anyone really owns.
Problem #7 Leadership. As a stand alone musician, leadership is all mine. There aren't any mentors out there teaching anyone how to survive in the new music industry who doesn't charge a small fortune for their knowledge. And sometimes, what you get isn't what you paid for. Refer back to good and bad judgement, above. Even Music Industry Professionals now charge subscription fees for their placement services.
If I've said it once, I said it a million times: the artist is always the last to get paid. I thought by going directly to you, I'd by-pass many problems. But I was wrong. The problems persist.
So, I need a different strategy that actually works. It goes something like this.
Release singles, not albums. It takes too long to write an album. So, I'll write singles, and cobble them together into an EP or album, released on vinyl, when I have enough of an audience to make it viable.
Help other people produce their music. This way, I can keep up my producer chops while getting a little coin on the side.
Build assets. By writing really good songs, I can make assets for film and TV and get some funds while I sleep. That'll be my market.
Build fame slowly. By not rushing to release an album, creating assets, eventually I'll go from stand alone musician to more of a hybrid songwriter/producer. With enough content, plus helping other people out, I can generate an audience using my customers' network rather than having to establish one for myself.
So, there you have it folks. The new plan.