Career killing execution mistakes musicians make

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides a list of career killing mistakes many musicians make in his latest article from DiscMakers!

Career killing execution mistakes musicians make

When trying to take their career to the next level, there are common mistakes many musicians make. Keep these missteps in mind and you’ll stay on the path to success.

Execution is the art of getting things done. It involves adopting the right policies to help you close the gap between what you want to achieve and what you deliver. But many musicians fail to get to that next level of their careers. They create master plans to rule the world with ease, but they fall short with seeing these plans through effectively. What an unfortunate waste! As Ralph S. Larsen, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said, “The best-thought-out plans in the world are worthless if you can’t pull them off.” What follows are five mistakes musicians make when executing their master plan.

1. Failure to use reminder marketing techniques and multiple mediums

Many artists send out one marketing communication before their show (e.g. an email two or three weeks before) and expect their fans to remember to show up. The result: they experience poorly-attended shows, which equals unhappy promoters, which equals missed opportunities. Look gang, you’ll get nowhere by believing that you’re at the front of your fans’ minds 24/7. To be successful, you must send out several notices, spaced-out evenly over two to three weeks before your gigs, and use a variety of mediums (postcards, phone calls, face-to-face selling techniques, etc.) to get the job done right!

2. Failure to follow up

It takes a lot more than just one email to that blogger to get a review of your album, or to a booking agent you’ve never met to secure that hot gig. Sometimes it takes calling back at a specific date and time as requested by a certain contact. Tenacity and patience in this regard are extremely important! No follow-up equals no gigs or reviews, which equals zero new fans and sales. That said, after sending off your initial correspondence (email, tweet, or whatever), follow up in a week if the intended receiver has not replied. Repeat this technique or attempt to use another means of communication (phone, letter, etc.) if necessary. Keep notes of your attempts in a spread sheet. And remember to always be nice in your correspondences – the world owes you nothing.

3. Failure to delegate

Many independent artists complain that pursuing a career in music is an overly daunting task and so they focus on looking for a manager to help. But remember that managers get paid a percentage of the money you make, and the last time I studied math, 20 percent of zero was zero. What incentive does a manager have to come on board? You must first learn how to delegate responsibilities across all band members. The drummer can be in charge of booking, the bass player might do all the social media, and the guitarist can be the one that seeks out music placements. If you’re a solo artist and don’t have other members to depend on, then you can enlist your super fans – those passionate fans who are willing to kill for you (everyone has at least one). So for the sake of clarity, to be successful, treat your music career as if it were a company with several departments all working toward a goal.

Click here to view the rest of the article!

Also, check out these other articles recently written by Bobby Borg:

The Musician’s Guide to the Complete Marketing Plan, Part 1

Seven Tips To Getting Sponsors For Your Band




Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on April 2, 2015, in Music Fans, Music Industry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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