Why Aren’t I More Successful As An Artist?

Posted on November 21, 2014 by

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By, Wendy Day

The Question:

I’m an indie/unsigned artist..I’ve been doin’ things for some years now but I have never really found any true success from it, and I need for that to change..I want to take my career to the next level. If you can help in any way, please feel more than free to do so. Thank you.

My Answer:

Hi!! Thanks for reaching out. I’m not sure what walls you are coming up against or what your overall goals are, but I can tell you that the reason most artists don’t experience success (if they’ve put in years of work) are usually one or more of the following:

1. Limited knowledge of HOW to achieve goals such as getting signed to a record deal or building a fan base. 2. Your music isn’t appealing to a large audience or fan base 3. No money to market or promote your music.

All of the above are fixable, fortunately. You can learn how the industry works and how to achieve your goals by reading, networking, and interacting with those who are more successful than you. I have a blog (www.IndustryReport.com) and a book that would be a great start to solving challenge #1: The Knowledge To Succeed: How To Get A Record Deal is available digitally at Amazon ( http://ow.ly/6KKi3 ) and iTunes ( http://ht.ly/6PC0O ) for under ten bucks.

To solve challenge #2, you’d need to build relationships with club and radio DJs, producers, and more successful rappers to get feedback on your music. Now, I’m hesitant to tell you to do this because it’s all opinion. One person might say “put drums in” while another might say “take drums out.” Enough to drive you crazy…. But if you can get feedback from 10-15 people and the majority say the same thing, they may be right. Do not ask friends and family. They’re too close to you. I’d like to point out here that even bad or mediocre music finds fans if it’s marketed and promoted correctly.

Money. The hardest one to fix. This is a costly industry. It takes money to make the music and then it takes money to promote it. So you either need a job or an investor (or both). You need to give potential fans a reason to click on your song and listen to it. There’s just too much other music out here–it’s over saturated. So people (listeners) need a reason to check you out. First they need to be aware of you (to know you even exist) and then they need to have a reason to listen…maybe they relate to the topic of your song, maybe they like your artwork, maybe one of their friend’s mentioned you, maybe they heard it on the radio, maybe they read an article about you and like what you stand for, etc… Point is, SOMETHING has to grab them. Anyway, my point is that all of those ways for them to hear about you cost money and time to market and promote yourself.

And let me remind you that just being talented is not enough. Nor is finding a good connection “to put you on.” If you want to succeed in this business, it will take hard work. You need to build awareness of you and your music from fans who will buy your music, attend your shows, and hopefully even by your merchandise (perhaps a shirt with your logo on it). You need to build fans on the streets IN A REGION (not just your own city) and on the Internet. It takes time, energy, money, hard work, and know-how. But it’s worth it if you’re smart enough to listen, learn, and work hard.

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