Indie Music Marketing: Where the Music Industry Went Wrong Part 2: Why Indie Musicians are struggling to sell their music

This is part 2 of the Where the Music Industry Went Wrong series.  If you missed part 1, check it out here: Indie Music Marketing Part 1

Today I continue with my discussion on the three reasons why indie musicians are struggling to market and sell their music and how the music industry has contributed to the problem.  As I shared in the last post, one reason why indie musicians struggle to sell their music is because they don’t know or they have abandoned the real, true value of their music.

Are you a music entrepreneur? To be successful as a indie musician, you need to think like a music entrepreneur. You need to know the problem that your music solves for other people. You need to know the value of your music.  The reason why a lot of indie musicians struggle to sell their music is because most indie musicians don’t have this mindset.

The Music industry has contributed to this problem. The industry has focused too much on the benefits to musicians in selling their music.  What do I mean? You see the lavish lifestyles of musicians and hear about the big recording deals signed by huge artists.  This is promoted by the music industry to be the value of music.  The industry touts that you can make great money and have great fame as a musician.  The hip hop industry has been one of the biggest culprits in doing this. Yes, I am calling out the hip hop industry. We have seen rappers rap and boast about their material possessions, money, and women.   These rappers became successful.  Then, you started to see other rappers who wanted to be successful in the hip hop industry rap about the same thing.  Their logic was: I want to be a successful rap artist so I am going to do what other successful rap artists do and rap about the same things.  I don’t blame these artists for thinking this way.  They saw other rappers who were where they wanted to be and decided to do what they did. What happened? They rapped about the same things, but were not enjoying the same level of success. Why? They didn’t think like music entrepreneurs.  These huge rappers were not successful because they rapped about money, women, and fame.  The content of their rhymes were just features of the songs and not benefits.  They didn’t sell millions of records because of what they rapped about.  There was a deeper reason.  Their music, those lyrics, that content, solved the problems of their fans, record labels, and big corporations.  I’ll discuss this more in tomorrow’s post.

So a trend emerged in rap music that focused on boasting and promoting self-gain.  This created a problem in the music industry and actually hurt unsigned independent rappers who needed to think like entrepreneurs.  When you start to focus on meeting your needs and your problems, when your main reason for making music is to get your financial needs met, you stop thinking like a music entrepreneur.  A music entrepreneur knows and understands that the media doesn’t care about him or her making a lot of money, club owners don’t focus on your needs.  The media, your fans, venue owners, and other industry professionals have their own needs and problems.  A music entrepreneur makes music that solves their problems.

Maybe you are saying, “But Angela I don’t make music for the money.  The content of my music doesn’t focus on promoting self-gain.  I am not a hip hop artist. I’m a singer or a songwriter in a different genre of music”.   Maybe you do believe that music has great value and power to solve problems and change people. That’s great.

Not every indie musician becomes an artist to be rich and live a lavish lifestyle.  You may record and perform music because you simply love it and music helps you express yourself.  You may be a musician simply because you love music.  That’s great.  But, the moment you decide you want to sell your music, is the moment you have to begin to think like a music entrepreneur.  You have to now think about how other people benefit from hearing or buying your music.  You have to think about how your music solves their problems.  You have to become focused on the needs of others and not your needs.

I know that for a lot of you reading this, you already have this mindset.  You know that music is powerful and you know that music is valuable because it solves problems and meets the needs of others. You make music because you love it and you want other people to be uplifted and encouraged by it.  You know this but maybe you are having a problem of getting your music out there to the people so they can benefit from hearing it.  Despite knowing the real value of music, you still have a hard time selling your music. If this is the case, then the reason why you are struggling to sell your music may not be because you don’t know the value of it.  You may be struggling to sell your music because of the two reasons  I will discuss in later posts: you are not properly communicating the value of your music and/or you are not delivering the value of your music:

Next week: What problems does music solve in the lives of others? Learn the REAL value of your music? Discover the needs and problems facing music fans, venue owners, radio stations, media, etc.

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 True Knowledge & Love on 06.13.10 at 12:00 am

This was deep and felt as if I was reading a book about great tips to keep good mind states in this music industry. And I like how you were real about what the music industry does to make artist feel as if they have to rap about living that lavish lifestyle. This was incredible.

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