The best thing that’s ever happened to the music business is the internet, the laptop, and the cell phone. (See if you can guess where this might be going.) The worst thing that’s ever happened to the music business is the internet, the laptop, and the cellphone. This doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to figure out why. You can reach more people than ever before, far more quickly than ever before. Why, back in the day, we had to…. (insert tedious story here).
That’s right, there’s only one thing more annoying than an old-timer reciting stories of why they had it harder, and that’s a newbie not understanding how good they have it, and how to take advantage of it. Everything old is new again. Yes, hard-copy cd sales have all but disappeared. Streaming revenues are pretty weak, and new formats are still evolving. That means you have to rely on touring to make the bulk of your income. That’s exactly the way it was before the record industry took off, almost 100 years ago. You slogged from hall to hall, making enough to get to the next one. Barely.
That’s the new reality. You need to get people to your shows. Period, as that’s the only way to survive on performing. And until you “make it big”, it may not be enough for a steady income. Does it make sense now why so many of your teachers and musical heroes also teach online lessons? Cash flow. This acoustic strings world is growing rapidly, but it’s still a niche, and you have to understand niche marketing.
Social media can help make you stand out, or render you part of the background noise, it’s your choice. For those looking to be a Youtube sensation, that’s great, but the amount of luck involved in succeeding there is on par with a megabucks lottery score.
Once again, you can’t just look towards your current fans. They’re the only ones following your posts, and word of mouth, as good as it is, can be slow. You need your posts to also speak to the venues you’d like to play, both globally and specifically. You need your posts to identify your brand. That’s a great catchword these days, but it does mean something. Who are you? What do you stand for? Do you or your band play music? Like every other band ever? Did your mother encourage you to grow up to be just like everyone else?
Figure it out. And if you’re having problems, that’s where the P.R. professionals come in and help.