Steps And The Road To Success
By Chris Standring
It's very easy to sit at home and get frustrated
with the apparent lack of forward movement in your music career.
Especially when you know in your heart that you have what it takes
to succeed. It's very easy to get discouraged, for the simple
reason that it seems "you are only as good as your last event".
Musicians and actors are similar in that we like the highs that
our performances give us. We thrive on the exhilaration. It's
like a drug. When it goes away we want it again.
Gearing up to a live event is exciting. We can talk it up to friends
and fans, promote it the best way we know how and enjoy the thrill
of the performance itself. Then it is over and there may be a
lull between events. It can seem like your career is going nowhere.
It's very easy to feel that. However, other people's perception
may be entirely different and probably is.
The music business is all about perception. It is based on hype
and salesmanship ability. I wish it was different but it is not
and will never ever be. If your band is perceived to be doing
well then people will talk. If your band is perceived to be on
the way out then people will also talk. If your band is doing
nothing, nobody will talk! It is therefore extremely important
that you keep the hype factor up!
This is one of the things you need to be focusing on between events.
Sit back and think about what you clearly have achieved so far
in your career. Think about the things that were absolutely in
We are constantly bombarded with new creative marketing ideas,
most of them excellent, inventive and effective. However, the
ideas that you personally will primarily adopt are those
ideas that you are totally comfortable with. These are the things
that you will make a priority. It's too easy to get overwhelmed
with new promotional ideas so we put them off and resort to the
things we know we can do.
I have two words to give you. BABY STEPS.
It's just too damn hard to do every new promotional idea to get
your band to the next level at the same time. Especially
if you don't have a team of people working with you. But you can
start by doing just one thing today.
If you can achieve one successful thing a day to help your music
career on the right path then you are on the right track.
The only way you can get successful as an independent artist is
by letting people know you exist. So ask yourself for example,
"What can I do today to expand my fanbase?" Well, there are infinite
Pick one thing, just one and do it today!
Let's say you want to increase your e-mail database. Think about
the most effective ways you can do that. The most effective ways
to build a database, (but more importantly get those people to
be fans and come to shows), is to personally get to know them.
So start with friends, have them refer their friends, and so on.
Hand out flyers and sample CD's or tapes to everyone you know.
(Make sure you have a good stack in your car.) Grab business cards
of all the people you meet and get their e-mail addresses. Send
them a very personal e-mail asking them if they would be interested
to know about your band.
Be creative. But DO something that you know you can personally
do to expand other people's awareness of you. It takes a good
amount of time but you can help yourself by really being active
Read everything you can about promoting your own shows and do
the things that you are most comfortable doing, the things that
you know you can be effective at. Then, step out and try something
Do one thing a day to help get to where you want to be, and at
the end of each week think about what you have achieved. There
is nothing that fuels drive more than drive itself. And there's
nothing that fuels lethargy more than sitting at home wishing
you were successful and doing little about it!
It can be extremely overwhelming when there seems such a long
way to go. Take it one step at a time. That's all truly successful
people ever did.
| Chris Standring
is the CEO and founder of A&R Online (www.aandronline.com).
He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed to
Ultimate Vibe Recordings. For more info on Chris' recording
career go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com
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