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Why Hasn’t My Band Made It?

Now more than ever, DIY music is on the rise. Every day a new artist is billed as the hottest new act by radio and press. So where are you going wrong?

Most people would have you believe that music isn’t a real industry, and only the huge artists and major record labels make any money out of it. But these people couldn’t be more wrong. The music industry has changed more in the last 5 years than it did in the whole of last century, and there has never been more room for independent artists to build successful careers of their own. But in order to do that, you have to make sure you’re doing things right. It’s time to ask yourself that crucial question. “Why Hasn’t My Band Made It?” Here are some things that most emerging artists are doing WRONG.

Having No Strategy.

You need to have a strategy and schedule for your live shows and releases. Playing twice a month in the same bar is never going to attract or grow a solid audience, and sporadically releasing an EP with no announcement or promotion is going to fall on deaf ears unless you’ve already got yourself a fan base. Map out where and when you want to play, preferably never in the same city within at least 3 months of each other. Give yourself 6 weeks lead time for a release, don’t be a “Okay our EP is done, let’s release it today!” type of band, as this gives you no time to contact radio and blogs for coverage, and builds absolutely NO anticipation for the release.

For more info: Building a Live Audience // A Guide To DIY Music Press 

Presenting Yourselves Poorly.

In amidst all the writing, performing, recording and general musical activity, it’s easy to forget that us humans are fickle things, and if we don’t like how something looks, we are rarely inclined to take any further interest. This is true amongst the music business as well. As an artist, you need to look good. But what is good? You need to have a brand that gives potential listeners a strong idea about what they’re in for. Your colour schemes, wardrobe, fonts, logos, artwork and images all need to come together to form a cohesive style that reflects your music. 

For more info: Creating a Brand

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Using Social Media Wrong.

The average modern human is usually in one of two minds about social media. Either it is a pointless exercise that only works if you’re an internet personality, or its awesome and the best thing ever for connecting people. The truth is somewhere in between. The trick is to use each platform correctly, or you’ll be wasting your time. Facebook is primarily good at advertising. Yes, you have to pay, but if you’re willing to shell out £50 a month to reach an audience of thousands, it can work incredibly well. Twitter and Instagram are great at interacting with other accounts, such as tweeting other bands and tagging festivals and events in your photos. It seems that accounts you tag and mention on Twitter and Instagram are more likely to return the interaction, and more interaction means more reach! However, the most important rule is this. Are you ready? POST GOOD STUFF. All your content needs to be relevant, engaging and high quality.

For More Info: 10 Social Media Tips

Using The Wrong Tools.

There’s a lot of tools currently available to emerging artists, so much so that it can become overwhelming. A million and one different things to join and create accounts for can be very daunting. There’s tools for distribution, royalties, sync, live, tickets, merch, social media, press kits and the list goes on. But the truth is, you don’t actually need loads of tools to manage your career effectively. There are plenty of tools that will claim to be the best and then end up doing nothing for you, but sometimes its hard to tell which ones these are. The only real way is to try the ones that catch your eye and see how it goes. You can always delete your account and move on. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you that you can distribute and publish your music from one place using Kycker, for free. Just saying. 

For More Info: Kycker In A Nutshell!

Not Treating it as a Business.

For most emerging artists, music is still just a hobby. But if you want to eventually make playing music your full time job, you need to treat it like a business from day one. So what exactly does this mean? It means thinking about everything. It means weighing up the pros and cons of every action you take. It means deciding on the course that is most likely to grow and please your audience. If you want to earn money from your music and be successful enough to be a musician full time, treating it as a hobby is a no-no. This means setting a date every week or month that becomes practice day. This means having a process of decision that everything goes through with each member. Its business time, people.

For More info: Making Money From Music

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Relying On Others Too Much.

You want to be a successful artist don’t you? Sure you do. So please, stop relying on everyone around you to do things for you. This can be simply assuming your dad will help you lug your gear from gig to gig, or relying on one member of the band to sort everything out. Share jobs, or elect one member of the band to organise certain things, depending on their personal strengths and availability. But digging a little deeper, its no secret that plenty of people you encounter in this industry are somewhat… less than capable of performing their tasks to the standard required, to put it nicely. This means you will, without a doubt, have to do their jobs for them from time to time. Prepare for this to be the case.

Writing Mediocre Music.

This should go without saying. You can have the best brand, the most effective social media strategies, best team around you, and best business strategy, but if the music isn’t what people want to hear, then what’s the point? You need to make sure that every song you release is 100% as good and accessible to your audience as humanly possible. The bottom line is this: people HAVE to like and listen to your music. If they don’t, then there is utterly no point. This means analysing your audience and cross referencing it with artists that are similar to you, and asking yourselves honestly: “Is this as good as it could be?”

For More Info: 5 Tips For New Songwriters

If you take this advice seriously and start running your music career with purpose, urgency and a businesslike mind, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else. And from there, you can decide which path is best for you as an artist, and the world will be your oyster! Best of luck!

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