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The biggest challenge facing an artist is how to write a song that provokes an emotion within an audience. If that emotion is strong and positive, then your fanbase will grow.
But what next? Well, however talented an artist you may be, one challenge doesn't change, no matter how technology may be shifting :
No artist can work alone.
You may have talent but to be successful you need to work with people. Band mates. Music teachers. Managers. Publishers. Labels. Producers. Marketers. And, of course, your fans.
I've been teaching artists for two decades (see my About section) on how to be successful in the new digital music industry. However, I've come to realise the majority of advice given to artists is WRONG.
Very few artist can do it themselves.
Every 'expert' is telling you to become a Content Factory. Churning out videos, social media posts, photos, artwork, limited edition merchandise, pre-order tickets, mailing lists, SEO and more. You're expected to not only learn and play your instrument but to be an expert in building websites, setting up mailing lists and effectively becoming a digital marketing agency rather than what you want to be - an artist playing music.
It just doesn't feel right, does it?
Artists have one role - to be the best artist they can be and have fun! You have one of the best 'jobs' in the world. Doing what you love and, hopefully, getting paid for it.
For everything else, you need to find the right people to help you.
I've worked with many artists, from festival headliners such as Jamiroquai and The Prodigy, to hundreds of developing acts, and come to realise what an artist needs is a NETWORK. This comprises a core team of experts who passionately believe in your talent - friends, family, manager, lawyer, booking agent, accountant, music supervisor and marketing. If you get the right people on your team then your network will expand. This includes media contacts and most importantly of all, your fan base will grow.
The reality is that if you display the talent in any music genre, people in the music industry will want to work with you. If not, you need to re-appraise your position. Because, the harsh truth is if you struggle to find these people then no amount of social media posting, video diaries, limited editions or the hundred other things 'digital experts' advise you to do will work.
To be a successful artist you need three things:
- A basic understanding of the industry
- An Artist Network
Talent to write songs and perform. However, whatever raw talent you possess can improve. It must be nurtured with coaching, practice, rehearsal, appraisal and encouragement.
A basic understanding of the industry so you know how to maximise your potential. You should know the role of each person in your team, why they're important and what to expect from them.
An artist network comprising your core team who will help you reach your fanbase. In addition your network will include the media, promoters, brands and retailers.
Artists are at the centre of the network but can't work alone.
The Artist Network recognises that every artist is part of a complex and constantly changing industry. By learning, educating, teaching and sharing we can all be more successful in what we do.
We aim to provide as much free information as we can. This will enable artists and people who work with artists with the fundamentals. Armed with this knowledge we hope you can forge better relationships, better face your challenges and be successful.
Online Music Courses
For artists and students who want a more in-depth understanding then we run online courses. These aim to provide more information by using video presentations, real-life examples, downloadable course material and encourage active participation to Learn By Doing.
In creative industries a little knowledge can go a long way. Artists can often be so driven by their desire to be successful the unfortunate result is they're vulnerable to exploitation. By learning more about the music industry you can avoid some of the pitfalls that lie in wait for the unsuspecting.
Or, perhaps you want to work with artists? Maybe you want to work in a record label, a publisher or the live industry? Then our articles and online courses will help you gain a better understanding of the music business.