Music Success Radio: Music Success Tips for Indie Musicians

Have you caught any of the Music Success Radio episodes?
Music Success Radio is a radio show that provides musicians and music entrepreneurs with practical tips on music promotion, marketing and branding.

Tune in to learn free tips that will help you sell more music, get more fans, and more music exposure!

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Action Day: Vision Statement Checklist

Get started writing a vision statement for your music career with this checklist:

  1. Set aside 15 minutes to start writing your vision statement.
  2. Ask yourself where do you want to be in the music industry five years from now
  • What music genre are you in?
  • Are you signed to a major record label? indie record label?
  • How many albums are you selling a year? singles? downloads? ringtones?
  • Are you touring? If so, how many people are coming to your shows? Where are you touring? locally? regionally? nationally? internationally?
  • What income are you making?
  • Who are your fans? age? gender?

3.  Now write down your vision using this format:

______________ (number of years), ____________ (your name/name of your business) will become a successful ___________ (description of your music genre or description of your music business: include if it will be local, regional, national or international) by providing ____________ (description of your products and services) to __________ (description of your fans or customers).

Next week is Music Marketing Week.

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Vision Roadblocks

During Vision Week, I have discussed the benefits of getting a vision for your music career.  I’ve shared how vision gives you direction  for your music career.  It prevents you from wasting time and money.  Vision also helps you increase music sales.  If all of this is true, why do so many music artists and music entrepreneurs fail to create a vision for their music careers? Here are three roadblocks that I’ve seen get in the way of music artists and music entrepreneurs:

3 Roadblocks to Vision:

1) Lack of planning time

Most music artists and music entrepreneurs do not set aside the time to plan their music careers.  They don’t take the time to plan.

I want you to set aside 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes is all you need to think of a vision for your music career.  See Tuesday’s blog post on how to write a vision statement. How to Write a Vision Statement

2) Unbelief

Many music artists and music entrepreneurs truly do not believe that vision is important to their music careers.  They rather spend time in the music studio creating music or working on their music business.  They think the whole vision process is a waste of time. This is not true. I discussed on Monday how vision can save you time and money.  By getting clear on the vision for your music career, you can make quicker decisions on how you are going to market your music and what music you will make.  Vision reveals the information you need to make these important decisions as an artist.

3)  Wrong Focus on Limitations

Your vision is your future.  It is not where you are at today.  Too many artists and music entrepreneurs focus on their starting location and not their destination.  They get stuck seeing what they don’t have and the recording contract they don’t have.  They stop imagining and visualizing what they want because somewhere on their journey, they started doubting whether they could become a successful music artist or entrepreneur.

Your vision is a mental picture of where you are trying to go. It is not where you are today.  Don’t become paralyzed by where you are today.

So how do you overcome doubt? How can you start to dream again? How can you stop focusing on your limitations? Start focusing on where you want to go.  During this stage in building a long-term music career, you envision the career you want to have.  Later, in the upcoming weeks, I will show you how you can examine the weaknesses and limitations you may have. Right now, I just want you to get a clear vision.

The second thing you can do to overcome these vision roadblocks is to surround yourself with a positive group of people who believe in you as an artist or entrepreneur.  Find a group of people who will support you on this journey.  Find other artists who are on the same journey.  You will need a strong support system to help you on your path to success in the music industry.

Tomorrow: Action Day! I will give you a checklist of things you can do to start taking action on all of this information.

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Why Vision is Essential for Marketing Your Music

On Monday, I discussed why vision is the most important factor in achieving long-term success in the music industry and I gave you five reasons why  vision is important for your music career.  On Tuesday, I talked about four action steps you can take to get a vision for your music carer.  If you have not checked out these two blog posts, you can check them out here: How to Get Successful in the Music Industry Faster, A Vision for Your Music Career: A How-to Guide.

Today, I will discuss why having a vision for your music career can help you get your music into the hands of the people who will buy it.  Vision gives you direction as a music artist by providing you with the ability to imagine the type of artist you want to be and the music you want to create.  Your vision of where you want to be 5-10 years from now should include the people most responsible for your success in the music industry, your fans! Vision will help you identify the fans you need to get you where you want to go in the music industry.  Vision can help you create a marketing plan that will identify these ideal fans.

4 Reasons why vision is essential for marketing your music:

1.  Vision helps you pick your ideal music audience

Let me give you an example.  Let’s say my vision is to become a national R&B recording artist with female fans between the ages of 20-25.  This is a great vision because it is specific.  See Tuesday’s blog post for how to write a great vision statement: How to Write a Vision Statement for Your Music Career.

This vision statement identifies my target audience (female fans between the ages of 20-25).  Since my vision is to become a national R&B recording artist, my ideal music audience is female fans located in the United States.  My audience is not females between the ages of 20-25 residing in foreign countries.  My audience is also not limited to the state that I reside in.  Do you see how my vision has clarified my marketing plan? My vision has helped me decide who I am going to market to and what states I am going to market in.  Too many artists want to answer these specific marketing questions without first determining the broader vision of their music career.

2. Vision provides you with a clear marketing plan to reach your ideal music audience.

Back to my example, since I have developed a clear vision of the artist I want to be, a national R&B recording artist with female fans between the ages of 20-25, I can now develop an effective marketing plan to reach my target audience.  I can now ask these questions: where do females between the ages of 20-25 shop? What magazines, newspapers, and books do they read? What television shows do they watch? What type of music do they listen to?  What type of R&B songs do they like and enjoy?  In my example, my vision helped me pick the target audience for my music and it helped me develop a plan to get my music in front of them. Vision can help you do the same for your music career.

3.  Vision helps you increase music sales.

Ok, so we have seen how vision can help you pick the best audience for your music.  Vision also helps you figure out the path you need to take to create the music they enjoy and will want to buy. Once you have identified your ideal audience, you can now figure out what music they are currently buying.  What music artists do they listen to? What music do they like? You should know what kind of music your target audience enjoys and make that music.  Simple, right? It really is.  If you know the demographics of your target audience and you know where you can find them, then now you know exactly how to put your music in front of them. So now you have the right music in front of the right audience and this my friend is where music purchases are made.

4.  Vision helps you create long-term success in the music industry.

Let’s recap. Vision helps you pick the ideal audience for your music.  Vision provides you with a clear marketing plan to get your music in front of the right audience.  So vision gets your music in front of an audience who will buy your music and thus increases your music sales and income.  This leaves us with the final and most important reason for why vision is essential for marketing your music.  Vision helps you create long-term success in the music industry because it helps you establish a long-term relationship with your target audience.  Vision clarifies your marketing plan by establishing the type of artist you are, identifying the ideal audience for the music you make, and revealing how to get your music in front of that ideal audience.  Therefore, vision helps you deliver the type of music your ideal audience wants to hear and wants to buy.  You will develop a long-term relationship with them because you are now consistently giving your audience what they need.

Music artists who have been successful in developing a long-term career in the music industry understand that consistently meeting the needs of their fans is a key to long-term success in the industry; vision can help you achieve that!

A Vision for Your Music Career: A How-to Guide

Yesterday’s blog post discussed how important vision is for achieving long term success in the music industry.  If you missed yesterday’s post, check it out here: How to Get Successful in the Music Industry Faster.

Today I’m going to give you 4 practical, action steps you need to take to start your path to success in the music industry.

Four Action Steps:

1) Think big!

I want you to imagine the type of artist you want to be. Paint a mental picture of the type of music career you want.  Don’t think about your limitations.  Don’t focus on where you’re at now.  Don’t focus on your starting location but focus on your destination.  I don’t want you to think about a lack of start-up money or the lack of industry connections you may have.  Think about where you want to be 5-10 years from now.

2) Be specific! What exactly do you want to see happen? Your vision should be detailed.  Here are some questions to guide your thinking:

If you are a music artist, in 5-10 years:

  • How many albums and/or mixtapes are you releasing each year?
  • How many albums are you selling a year?
  • Are you touring? Where? locally? regionally? nationally? internationally?
  • How many people are coming to your shows?

3) Set a date for completion. Set a deadline.  When are you getting there? When will you see the success that you are envisioning? Your deadline can be 5-10 years from now.  You should set your vision for at least three years into the future.

4) Write it down. Don’t just think about your vision.  Write it down.  Your written vision is going to be your motivation to keep going in the music industry when people tell you to quit.  It will help remind you of why you are doing what you are doing.  It will help you stay true to who you are as an artist and where you want to go.

How to Write Your Vision:

Here is a simple, easy fill in the blank form that you can use to write your own vision statement for your music career in 5 minutes:

______________ (number of years), ____________ (your name/name of your business) will become a successful ___________ (description of your music genre or description of your music business: include if it will be local, regional, national or international) by providing ____________ (description of your products and services) to __________ (description of your fans or customers).

Here’s an example vision statement for a music artist:

Five years from now, Angela Carter, will become a successful national R&B recording artist by providing classic soul music to men and women between the ages of 25-45 who are desperately waiting for the return of real R&B.

Here’s an example of a vision statement if you are a music business owner:

Five years from now, Kingdom Records will become a successful Christian record label by providing production, A&R, and marketing services to its Christian recording artists.

These are just examples to get you started.

Leave me a comment on this blog with your vision statement.

Vision Week: How to Get Successful in the Music Industry Faster

Hear me talk about Vision Week and today\’s blog post: \”How to get Successful in the Music Industry Faster \”

This is Vision Week on the Music Success blog.  During this week we’ll discuss the most important factor in achieving long-term success in the music industry: Vision.

You want to be successful in the music industry.  You say you want to be a successful music artist or music entrepreneur. I have an important question to ask you: what does that success look like to you?

When you see yourself as a successful music artist or music business owner, what do you see? What is your vision?

Why vision is the most important factor in achieving long-term success:

Vision helps you answer ALL of the questions you have as an artist and music entrepreneur: How do I market my music? What clubs should I play in? What record labels should I send my demo to? How should I promote my music? Who should I market my music to? What type of music business should I start?  Figuring out your vision first helps you answer these specific questions.

5 Reasons why you need a vision for your music career:

1) Vision gives you direction.

Have you ever rode in a car with someone who had no clue where they were going? It can be frustrating and stressful, right?  You are in the driver’s seat of your music career. Where are you taking your career? Where is your career going? Vision gives you the ability to know where you are going in your music career.  It makes your goal of becoming a successful artist more attainable.  You will have more focus, less stress and less confusion because you will know the type of artist you need to be and the kind of music you need to create to get the success you want in the music industry.

Vision can help you hand pick a personal success team (i.e. your manager, lawyer, agent) who is best for the career YOU want to have! It can help you assemble a team that can get you where YOU want to go and not where other people want you to go.

2) Vision stops you from wasting time and MONEY!

Let’s go back to our car analogy.  A driver who is lost and has no sense of direction, can waste time and burn gas by driving in circles.  Gas costs money! Not knowing what direction you want your music career to go in, costs too.  It costs time and money.  When you know the end destination for your career, when you have a vision of where you are trying to go, you can determine the best and most direct route to get there, saving you time and money.

3) Vision helps you get success in the music industry faster.

Having a vision for your music career can help you get success faster by giving you a strategy, a route to success. It can help you figure out the type of people you need to get connected with to help you get to where you are trying to go.

4) Vision helps you determine a plan to get to where YOU want to be.

There is a quote that says, if you don’t plan, then someone else will plan for you.  Finding your own personal vision for your career leads you down the path to a life that will be most fulfilling to you.  You will be fulfilling the dreams that you had for yourself and not the dreams that someone else had for you.  You will be happier because you are being the artist that you want to be and that you planned to be.  You are making the music that you wanted to make and living the life you wanted to live.

5) Vision gives you a way to measure your success.

Vision let’s you know how far away you are from success. Back to our driver analogy, if a driver doesn’t know where he is going, how will he know how far away he is from his destination.  Imagine the driver stopping at the nearest gas station and asking the gas station attendant to help him get to where he is trying to go.  The gas station attendant asks the driver, “Where are you trying to go?” The driver responds, “I don’t know, but I’ll know it when I get there.” How can the gas station attendant help the driver if the driver has not taken the time to figure out where he is trying to go? Where are you trying to go in the music industry? How will you know how far away from success you are? Having a clear vision can help you keep track of how far you have to go to success. For example, if my vision is to become a platinum selling recording artist, then I have a measurable way to track my success. I can keep track of how many records I sell.  Is your vision of success in the industry clear and measurable?

What is vision?

Vision is a long-term view or mental picture of the music career that you want to have.  A vision statement for your music career defines and describes where your career is going; it sets the destination.  It states the type of artist you want to become in the future.  It is a forward-looking statement.  It defines what success in the music industry looks like for you and your career.

A vision statement answers these questions:

What will your music career look like 5-10 years from now?

What will you be considered the best at?

What would it look like if you were successful as a music artist or music entrepreneur?

I’m excited to hear what your vision is. Leave me a comment and let me know what your vision is for your music career.

Tomorrow: How to get a vision for your career. Practical tips to help you start defining your success as an artist.

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