Try some more.
Then try something else.
Your effort will never, ever, ever betray you. And similarly, nine times out of ten — it isn’t your fault.
Journalists might just be too busy covering Kanye’s latest Twitter melt-down, or their inboxes are full after a holiday weekend.
The venues that you’ve been eyeing are booked a year in advance. The fans you’re targeting are too occupied with a major artist release.
None of this is your fault. So, stay the course.
The toughest and hardest part of the music industry, isn’t the art. You can whip out good art, and you can probably do it again and again.
It’s about the perseverance. It’s about rolling with the punches of an unpredictable and often fickle music industry.
Remember: This isn’t a race. It’s a marathon. It’s about who can stay on the treadmill the longest.
I get. It’s hard — it’s hard promoting the same tracks or the same vibes and getting the same result. Of course, learn from your mistakes — refocus and get up again.
We’ve talked about fixing your marketing budgets to focus on the free tactics, we’ve talked about marketing your work in a few hours a week — and this isn’t like those past few pieces.
This is me, as a music industry professional, just telling you that it’s hard. There’s going to be solid work you put out, that’s not going to give you the results that you had in your head.
And that’s okay.
That’s absolutely normal.
Regroup, change your approach — and relish in the small victories that you’ve had thus far. Success are those small wins, stacked on each other, and nothing else.
There’s no one victory — that artist at the Grammy podium, that musician that’s on stage in front of 100,000 people — that’s no one victory. That’s the result of small victories, standing on each other’s shoulders. That’s the result of never giving in — and tweaking and tweaking until you get closer and closer to the vision.
So, let’s keep this one short and sweet…
If you’re feeling stuck. If you’ve hit a roadblock, try this:
- Change Your Pitch.
Change the selling points that you’re using when contacting media. Also — have you been following up appropriately? Maybe your pitch wasn’t personal enough to the writers, and seemed too “copy and paste”?
Or, maybe you’ve had some “wins” you can add in there, before repitching again.
- Tweak Your Content Mix.
Are you posting too much of your music, to where you’re spamming your fans? Or maybe you’re posting too little to where fans forget you’re an artist?
Check out your channels and take note of how you’re presenting your brand.
- Evaluate What You Rushed.
Artists are some of the most intuitive beings on the planet. Nine times out of ten, you know what you rushed, and you know what you need to fix to bring your art where it needs to be. If you’re like most creative types (or busy business types) you put those on the back-burner.
But think back — what did you rush through? Was it the actual product? Did you skimp on the mastering because you wanted it live ASAP?
Or maybe you didn’t properly create a roll-out strategy? Maybe it was too recklessly rolled out and there wasn’t a cohesive release plan? Sit back and think — because there’s likely a little voice (or a few) whispering what you could have improved.
- Maybe it was the wrong track.
I’ve been there way too often. I think a track is the artist’s radio single — I think it’s “the one” that’s going to pop off. However, turns out — it just doesn’t.
A few summers ago, we had an artist that had an incredible single. I loved it — and so did a lot of big industry folks. We even had a few major artists share it on their social channels. However, radio or press just wasn’t getting behind it.
Stubbornly, we just kept pushing — but at the end of the day, it didn’t stick. So, put that on the back burner. We hit media with another track a few months later, and low and behold — it stuck. Folks dug it, and we went on a nice radio run in the South and Southwest US for the summer and fall.
The original track? Well, we ended up getting traction after-all, but it took an unexpected piece to get the DJs and blogger’s attention.
The above are some sure-fire ways to reevaluate. The last one — I can’t stress enough. Instead of beating a track into the ground, or trying to make it stick. Put it aside, and throw your fans something new. Come back to it.
No matter what you do — stay the course, and your effort will never betray you.