They Come And Go – What’s The Deal?

Posted on August 19, 2010

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I was reading through some old music industry registry books and I had to chuckle at some of the advertisements printed throughout the manuals. Catchy headline phrases like this:

– We’re Still Making history!
– Because a Revolution Never Happened In A Board Room!
– Pitch Your Music Worldwide!
– Your Search Is Over!
– We’re On Your Side!

These are some of the ad titles that I read and I went to the websites of these media giants. Now, mind you, this registry is from 2006, just 4 years ago … what do you think I saw?

One website, that claimed to be the “be-all end-all” of industry insiders hasn’t had a news update posted since 2007.  Two of the studios don’t exist anymore and most of the pages I went to just plain didn’t exist. It’s sad, but it should wake you up to a few realities in the music industry. It’s a business, but it should be a passion.

There are a lot of people who get good creative ideas and build a website and a promise around the single idea. “We have a book of names; we can charge people to send their demos to those names.” Reality: If those names don’t have you in their book, they won’t open your package. End result: no website after 3 years.

That’s one of a dozen stories, but here’s a fact you need to remember. Shit floats, but it gets flushed.

Grab this thought. There’s a river out there that you can clearly see the big ships working on. You want to float in that river! There are a few streams that will get you there, but you can’t just jump in and enjoy the ride. The tide is against you. Here’s what I’m getting at.

If you have an idea that you think is going to get you there, get out and work at it. You are going to fail many times before you find success. If you can’t handle the swim, get out of the water.

Trusting your future to someone online that has a flashy website with empty promises might make you feel successful, but those guys are running a business and if you aren’t bringing them the income they want – why would they do anything that benefits you. It’s a business that is about them. Very few people do it for free, so few – you can’t name more than one. Even the Catholic Church passes a basket around.

You have to spend some time focusing on marketing yourself, one consistent step at a time. One successful play doesn’t mean you can sit on your laurels. It means a door opened and if you swim harder, you might get further up the stream. Even more hard work and you can get yourself into the river.

Have I lost you? Let me give it to you straight.

No one is going to get you there; YOU have to get you there. If there’s a radio station that hasn’t received your demo, even though all the stations you sent it to have rejected it – either clean up the demo, or send it to the stations that don’t have it. Did you try to book every club you can get into, even though the ones you want to play have said no? Then change your set-list, redesign your marketing plan or go play the places that did say yes again.

You have to swim harder! If you just decide to float, like I said, you’ll get flushed.

Web marketing is a great tool and everyone is doing it, but the substance you market has to be real. If you aren’t passionate about it, it will ultimately end up being a dead link to a website that started with business sense, but ended with a resounding thud, as there was no passion to fuel the fire.

Too many artists get the idea that it’s a business you can build with a few chords and some back sweat, but in the long run, it becomes another short lived project that went nowhere. Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Try something new before you become another advertisement on the come-and-go list.

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