“Should You Rely on Others to Make Your Band Successful?”
That is a question I’ve asked myself many times over the last 15 years. But I’ve found the more that an unsigned band or rapper chooses to rely on other people to make them successful, rather than relying on themselves to put in the work, the less successful they become.
As a local band or local rapper, you are in many ways like a new startup company. You have a product you created; your art, your music, your live show. Your goal as this new startup company is to get your product out in the world, and to sell your product so others can enjoy it.
We all know that a new startup company cannot survive if their product is not selling or if it’s not bringing in enough revenue. This is why it is so crucial for you to cultivate and develop a strong fan base. The more fans you have, the more music you will sell, the more Merch you will sell, and the more money you will make when playing live. Every successful band or rapper makes their money because they have a large fan base.
BUT HERE IS THE PROBLEM – Many local artists think that it is everyone else’s job (not their job) to market and sell their product. This is not just an innocent misconception. This type of mindset can really hurt you in the long run. How? Well let’s think about this for a minute…
A new startup company has a product. They convince Home Depot to put their product in their stores. We can all agree here, it is not Home Depot’s job to go out and market this startup company’s product and to drive sales for this company’s product. Home Depot’s role is simply to display and house the product, so that people that the startup company markets to can come into the store and buy it. If the startup company’s product does not sell, it is not home depot’s fault. In fact – Home Depot will probably stop stocking this product if it fails to sell for a long period of time. If this startup company’s product is not selling, then the startup company is the one that needs to market better and drive sales for their own product.
The music industry works in a similar way.
Venues, promoters, record labels, managers, booking agents – all of these people help you as an artist to facilitate the sale of your music, and the sale of your live show. But these entities are not responsible for driving sales or developing your fan base for you.
This is why about 1 in 20 major label artists never sell more than 20,000 records or end up getting dropped from their label. Many acts get signed and assume the label will drive all sales of their album. Just like the Home Depot example, if the start up company (or artist) fails to drive sales and market themselves – then they are doomed to fail.
You are this exciting, innovative, amazing new startup company; and your music, your Art, your live show U your product. You are the only one who can most effectively market, drive sales, and cultivate a diehard fan base for your music. You care about your career and your music more than anybody else in the world because it is your passion, your art, and your career.
So why would you try to rely solely on others to do this work for you?
The sooner you realize this, the better off you will be because you can take control and start to rely on yourself, instead of relying on others to make you successful.