We posted a blog 3 days ago talking about 5 Rules To Follow For DIY Artists. In it we went over some basic guidelines we are going to follow to help keep us going, and we suggest you try them out as well. Today though, I would like to talk a little about the 5th “rule” which was having fun, but taking what you do seriously.
Nothing makes a band or an artist more attractive than showing how much fun they have, but it is even more attractive how serious they take their work by showing how professional they are when dealing with things. If you’re serious about what you do, other people will be serious about what you do. You or your band is a business so treat it like one.
So here are 4 tips to get others to take you seriously as an artist.
1. Gain Knowledge
Knowledge, get it. The way I see it, do everything the right way, get some knowledge to help you out in your career. The internet is the perfect tool if you use it correctly, there are tons of well established blogs out there that give great advice in both creativity and business. Even consider college classes in Music Business, I know I have learned so much in my 2 and a half years at MTSU. Just know this: book knowledge and experience are different so even pick up a few internships to get some real world experience, and if college credit is required then get enrolled. It will take time, but I believe once you build up a lot of knowledge it will help you right from the start.
2. Practice Proper Etiquette
Practicing Proper Etiquette is a big one because it could be a factor that raises your chances to be separated from the crowd. Say you want to get your music published, so you just go ahead and send your full 20 song album to a Publishing company without asking before hand right? Sure, do it that way… if your goal is to get your music thrown away in the trash with the rest. To better your chances of at least getting heard is to practice proper etiquette, and it may be different for each company in each field, so you need to do some research so that they see you put effort into contacting them. Before you even think about sending something to any one, contact them and ask, because it is their business you are reaching out to, and you do not want to intrude.
If you just ask, you can get a proper person to send your music to, if they are accepting, and you should ask how they prefer you to send your music: CD, Digital, or maybe even a link to your SoundCloud. Also, DO NOT SEND YOUR FULL ALBUM, I have heard about people doing this so much, and it is a quick trip to the bottom. These business people do not have time to go through an entire album and will not even try. Just take the effort to choose your best 2-3 songs and if they are longer than 3 minutes, just widdle them down. If they like what you sent them then they will ask for more. Remember your goal is to be taken seriously, so you need to take your music, your business, seriously. You know how people say when you go to an interview for a job, dress in clothes similar to the employees there so the managers can easily imagine you working there, do the same with the package you are sending to publishers, make your Demo look like something that would be on the shelves on a CD retail, or digital store. So spice up the package, get great photos of you or your band, unique artwork, and GET A BIO.
For more great advice go to BMI’s guide to submitting songs
3. Get Your Brand Together
It seems as though the thing to do now as artists is to get a brand, or an image, together and treat it like a business. When you have a brand it will make you unique and help people to identify you. Come up with your image with your lyrics, music, pictures, art, clothing, attitude, and anything you can identify yourself with that will help you stand out. Just look at KISS, they are a big band, and a big… brand. Set up your website and social medias and run each one daily, and make sure you actually use the bio section for a bio.
A bio will tell people who you are, and be sure to have multiple ones to give to different people like one on your social media for fans, end one that is geared towards professionals, and be sure to update them regularly. Read multiple articles on how to write these bios so you can get many different ideas. If you show you are serious enough to establish an image for your music then people will start taking you seriously.
Another thing I have seen many people do is not plan anything. Especially when releasing music, they just kind of… release it with minimal to no marketing, advertising, or hyping people up. Established artists can do this and still get a lot of people purchasing their albums, because they already have a huge fan base, but this will not really work when you’re just starting out. I am guilty of doing this in the past, and I warn you because you will get excited that your music is done, and will release it ASAP, but not many people will buy it which leaves you discouraged because you thought they would. Take the time to set up a game plan, post about your upcoming music on social media sites, talk little bit about it, heck even try to get bloggers to blog about it. Just do more than post one or two photos of you recording saying “recording new music,” I mean that’s fine, but do more than just that if you want to be taken seriously.
Just be sure to plan each step carefully so you are going in the right direction of where you want to be. That way you won’t look up 1,000 steps behind where you need to be and say, “Oh Chet.” Planning will get you farther faster than if you do everything on the fly and end up getting yourself into some trouble. Make sure to plan your album release, shows, tours, websites, social media pages, even plan your songs before you record them.
Do not get me wrong, having fun is something we love doing, but when the time comes, we will put on our metaphorical business suits and ties to be taken seriously.
Thanks again for reading!
Leave comments below if you have any advice for us or others.
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– Kaleb Cage