I want to give you a little mantra you can use in your music marketing that goes like this…
“I will spend 80% of my time producing amazing music, 15% music marketing and then 5% learning music marketing material.”
This is kind of like cutting off my nose to spite my face because I produce a lot of music marketing content myself, but if you spend your whole time eating up all the information it’s very hard to ever get around to actually producing any music of worth.
…and marketing crap music has a name…SPAM!
You need to think of all the online courses, guides and books like shiny objects that are pulling you in all different directions and stick with one method until you make it a success. But the fact remains that if you don’t actually make any music of worth you are not really a musician.
Have you ever been in music marketing information overload?
This morning I approached my computer with excitement after a long weekend away with the idea that I would pump out a bunch of blog posts and start work on my new ebook. But the plan seems to have gone all wonky…
I opened my Twitter client to see that my friend sent me a link to a great article about how to “sing like a rockstar”, and that led to another and then another.
So now I know the theory of killer vocal delivery but I’m no further on with my mission to give you guys the best music marketing info I can muster. 🙁
Note to self, never open Twitter in the morning, it’s a total bloody time suck!
There are a few things that I have learned over the years (but that I sometimes ignore) which have helped me be more productive in my music marketing and in music in general.
– There are only a very small number of things that really need your time. These include making music and marketing music, forget everything else or do it in short bursts of 25 minutes each day.
– Reading music marketing training does not count as work, you have to actually set a timer and start getting something done as well.
– Work in 50 minute bursts of focused activity with a short break in between. This will help you tap into your body’s natural rhythm.
– Don’t read your email until 4 O’clock and set a 30 minute timer for this task. Set your band email account to let people know that you are doing this to be more efficient and will get back to them as soon as you can.
– Give yourself monthly commitments. This can be anything from writing blog posts to calling at least 5 music contacts everyday.
What does an unproductive morning look like for a musician?
1. Read 20 articles on music marketing and music industry news.
2. Scanned Facebook and Twitter for 45 minutes and followed links at random.
3. Worked on the design of the music blog on an element that only the perfectionists would notice.
4. Spent 30 minutes in the music forums.
Now the thing is that none of that stuff is bad and you could be forgiven for thinking that you had gotten your hands very dirty in the music business and made a contribution. But unfortunately that is not the case because there was no focus and no planning.
Now let’s look at a morning to be proud of…
1. Spent a solid 50 minute period working on 2 new blog posts.
2. 10 minute recharge.
3. Spend another 50 minutes editing blog posts from the previous day and posting to the blog.
4. 30 minute recharge.
5. 50 minutes songwriting / recording a video for YouTube to bring traffic to the blog.
6. 10 minute recharge.
7. Added a couple of emails to the newsletter sequence that automatically goes out to the fans.
8. 30 minute recharge.
9. Called 10 venue managers and booked 2 gigs.
10. 10 minute recharge.
11. Spent 50 minutes answering email and learning new music marketing tactics in my focus area.
If you make a commitment like that everyday you will find that your work increases ten fold and then you can spend the rest of the day reading your email or learning new music marketing stuff if you like.
The problems can come when you use that early burst of energy in the morning to just consume material, and then when you get down to doing some actual work you totally forget what you were doing and have no focus.
It’s very hard to start producing great work half way through the day because your body has run out of will power and energy.
To be honest it’s all about focus and you really can achieve more in 4 hours than most people get done in a whole day, if you just shut off all that crap pulling you away from the task at hand.
But this article is sooo important
A lot of times you might even find that you are reading something that seems like it’s going to change your life, and you will tell yourself that you really are making progress with your music career if you just get the hang of the information.
Well…I will let you into a little secret.
You know enough right now to become a professional musician if you just use what you know and make progress each day. We all know what to do, because it’s not rocket science.
So when should you feed your brain?
Now if you have read up to this point you may be thinking that I’m suggesting that you never take the time to learn or plan and that you are always blindly just mashing away at your keyboard. This could not be further from the truth because the mind is kind of like a car, if you are going to run miles and miles you need the right amount of fuel at the right time.
As musicians and music marketeers we need to know what others are saying so that we can form an opinion and add new ideas to our songs and marketing plan.
Here is what I would suggest if you have a full time job:
Find 4 hours a day to work on your music marketing then think of it like this:
– Hour 1 – produce content be it music, blogs or videos.
– Hour 2 – use auto-posting sites like Ping FM, Onlywire, Social Oomph and Tube Mogul to push out your content fast.
– Hour 3 – Edit your new music and blog posts and get it ready for publishing tomorrow.
– Hour 4 – Refuel, use this time to check your email, read blog posts and make notes.
Have a rest…
Another important part of this is that you need to have time each day when you totally turn off from everything and just do something that does not take any brain power at all. Sometimes TV or video games can work. You will not feel guilty now because you will know that you have done great work that day!
I remember when I was making my first album I convinced myself that if I really wanted to make it work I should focus 22 hours a day for the period of the recording and put everything into making it the best thing we ever did. I would spend hours and hours a day just listening to the recordings like some kind of freaky Howard Hughes dude.
But what I did not realize at the time was that a break can actually make things work better and give you more perspective. While on your break you are more likely to think of an amazing new guitar hook or a lyric that is going to resonate deeply with your fans.
If I had just taken a little step back I think I would have made a lot more progress and enjoyed things a lot more.
I now take regular breaks throughout the day and this keeps me focused on the task at hand and my energy levels stay high throughout the day, which is great.
The musical grey zone (A massive problem!)
If you take anything from this article just let it be the fact that you want to avoid spending your whole life eating up all the music marketing goodness without ever making the cake. (Wow I’m churning out the metaphors today like a cow makes milk!)
People think that there is some big secret to this stuff and if they can just learn it everything will be OK and the record labels will take care of them…
THIS IS A MYTH!
I cant’ tell you how many times I’ve spoken with musicians who moan about the following problems:
– I’ve got a job, so I have no time to work on my music career but loads of time to play angry birds four hours a day.
– Music marketing confusion if you try and do everything you will get nowhere, just focus on what you understand.
– I spend 3 hours a day reading every single piece of information and then I feel too confused to do anything just stop it, this is the evil grey zone.
You need to break out of these traps now otherwise you will get to the end of another year and your music ambition will seem even further away because you will tell yourself that you are a failure.
This is one of the main reasons that most people never make it because they never make a commitment to work at it everyday doing important tasks that will have a real impact.
Use what you learn
The first step back for the music marketing junkie is a little bit of focus. If you are working on YouTube to bring hits to your blog at the moment spend your learning time looking for bigger and better ways to become the next YouTube superhero. Then when you hit the computer next morning use what you learn.
If you just follow this simple rule you will suddenly become much more efficient because that time you spend reading now has a purpose.
If you just eat all the information like a greedy pig you will get fatter and fatter and slower and slower until you become a beached whale and will have to settle for a crappy job that will melt your brain.
Let me save your brain guys
Learn once a day in a focused area and become the master of it…SIMPLE!
To finish off this article I would like to share my commitments for this month so you might get inspired to make a few for yourself.
As I said before the worst feeling in the world is getting to the end of the year and thinking that instead of making daily progress and achieving something cool you just played Call of Duty for the whole time and are still working for a boss that you would secretly like to kill.
– Create content that matters and makes a difference.
– Help as many people as possible use their musical talent to find a happier funner life.
– Add to the Twitter and Facebook chatter rather than just spying on that dude I went to high school with.
– Blog everyday.
– Post a podcast everyday.
– Post a YouTube video everyday.
– Add valuable comment to the music marketing community.
This is what I’m doing, now it’s up to you, let me know what your are committed to in the comment box below?
Look forward to hearing from you,