I see it on a day to day basis. Soooo many producers are falling into the same trap and being sucked into the same bad patterns. Now this is not an article about false beliefs with music production (EQ, compression and song writing tips etc), this is more for the marketing and real world music industry scenarios. So with that being said, it’s time to shatter some myths! Do any of the following sound like you? Maybe it’s time to change the way you thing about these things…
False Belief 1. “My Followers, Subs & Likes represent how many people will check out my new track…”
This is the worst one of them all. Producers often feel sad that they have 10,000 followers on Soundcloud but their track has 150 plays and its been 24 hours? It’s a reality that you’re going to have to work your butt off to make your dreams come true and get those numbers into the 6 figure area.
Here’s another classic one, “Facebook’s reach is dead, Facebook is sh*t I’m not gonna use it, they’ve got it in for musicians!” You’ve got to remember that these social media platforms aren’t obliged to show your content to all your fans. It’s free remember! Get smart about it, why isn’t it reaching people? Have you tried other types of posts/content and see which one works best? [Short Videos seem to work really well these days] Have you tried creating ads (not boosting posts, they actually don’t that well) Have you tried using snippet videos of your songs instead of Soundcloud or Youtube links?
Don’t just boycott something because it’s not working the way you want it to, give it a chance. Remember a lot of these platforms are over saturated and you’re not the only one trying to get your content to your fans. If you want your follow numbers to reflect your plays, you gotta be active on those platforms and face reality. Its a fact that social media sites only show your posts to a certain percentage of likes. If they didn’t, you news feed would constantly be overcrowded with random things you followed over the years that might not seem ‘relevant’ to you at this point in time…You should always be trying to build your fanbase and trying harder to keep it. Have you heard of the 1000 true fans theory?…. would recommend….
False Belief 2. “It’s time to have a break, my song is popping off at the moment!…”
You’ve just landed your song on a massive youtube channel with 10 Millions subs or just landed your first record deal with a major label! Yus, time to celebrate and take a break! Well… not quite…
Yes it is time to celebrate, you deserve it and yes breaks are important and healthy for you, but don’t just sit around when you see your track reach all these new fans and build up all this attention surrounding your name and music. You don’t wanna be a one hit wonder. You’ve gotta be playing your next move and preparing it as these new eyeballs are on you!
Peoples attention spans are small so once you’ve got their attention keep it that way. Im not saying that once you dropped your new banger, drop another one the next day, that might be a bit too soon, consistency is definitely key so do your research into what other people have done and what has worked for them…I’d suggest you act now, don’t just sit around waiting for it to happen, you’re the one that ultimately decides your future. How soon do you want to be playing Tomorrowland? Or going on tour, collaborating with that dream artist?…
False Belief 3. “I need a label to get my music on Spotify & iTunes…”
False! There’s these wonderful things that are called digital distributers who will upload your track to these big digital stores/streaming websites.How does it work? You sign up to a website like; Distrokid, Tunecore, CDBaby, Label Engine etc. Each has their cost system, whether you are to pay and upfront free to distribute your music or whether they take a cut from your earnings or you pay a subscription etc
So once you’ve uploaded your music and album art to their website, they send it of on your behalf to the stores to be released within a day to a week and then around 2-3 months later your royalties start coming in from people downloading/streaming your music.
False Belief 4. “I need a lot of expensive gear to make good music…”
It can be quite inspiring to see a producer in their studio filled with acoustic padding, massive speakers and analog gear. But the truth is what a lot of this gear does is only just inspires the artist and makes their life easier. Yes, a lot of it does make their music better but, Priorities! I personally have tried to downsize the amount of gear I need to make music over the years so Im able to take ‘the studio’ wherever i may need it. Since you never know when inspiration might strike!
If you are looking to upgrade your set up, look into upgrading your computer to handle more plugins, effects and process everything better. Secondly, invest in good headphones. Those two are essential! Then let your skills do the rest! Research your craft and keep learning about your DAW and production tips and that will turn you into a better producer much faster than a brand new synth that you have no idea how to use properly but it looks cool…
False Belief 5. “Blogs/Promotes reply Quickly to all emails…”
Perspective! Have you realised how many emails and demos these guys get on a daily basis? Massive amounts. Heres the truth on what could have happened.
- Sometimes they just don’t have time to reply.
- They are just not a fan of your music
- They don’t want to communicate with you cause you weren’t recommended by some one they trust (this industry is a lot of ‘who you know’ rather than ‘what you know’ sadly…)
- They just didn’t get your email (try a follow up, but don’t spam them)
- It takes time to reply than they’d rather spend on something else
- Or, they are awesome and reply within 2 days saying if they’re keen on your music or not.
You got to be self aware and ask yourself if your music is good enough for this channel or blog. A lot of the people who have release tracks with them have be producing for such a long time and have probably built a relationship with the top dog who runs the channel. So you know what you need to do?
Work on your music and start building relationships with important heads in the industry. You’ve got to put in that work!
False Belief 6. “Everything should be Free. After all it’s only music…”
“Instagram should show everything I post to all of my fans, after all its my fans” “I’ll just torrent this one song or sample pack or DAW” “I should have more minutes on Soundcloud why am I capped” “Skrillex makes heaps of money, its hardly gonna make a difference if I torrent his album“
So does that mean you should play that big upcoming gig for free, the one where you’re paying for managers/roadcrew/lightingteam/busdriver/catering/soundteam? Or maybe help produce someone else album for free and spend months of your own time on it?I get it, 1 person seems so small in the grand scheme of things, but its not just one person, you’re not the only one having these thoughts.
I also understand that there are people who cant afford, but there are also plenty of free packs if you want some 😉 plugins, versions of DAW’s available. Then we you do have the money to get the thing you want it makes it that much, much more rewarding!
False Belief 7. “Earplugs? Nah, my ears are fine…”
Yeah your ears are fine now, but your ears degrade over time due to LOUD music. You’ve got to learn to protect your most valuable asset! Your ears are your career. Tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) is a killer. Grimes has even had to cancel shows because the ringing in her ears got to the point where she couldn’t sleep.
Please protect your ears, those Dj Booths can get loud! And so can your mix down sessions. If you’re working on new music, try on average to keep the level where you could have a conversation with someone sitting in the same room and not shout at them…
False Belief 8. “A Soundcloud/Spotify upload will do…”
It’s a very well known fact that producers just don’t wan’t to put in the effort and market their music. They believe marketing is something that bigger companies do if they have a product to sell and music isn’t like that “its natural im not trying to sell anything.” Well, it’s time to start looking at your music career as your business.
You need to go the extra mile to get your name out there and your music in front of as many people as possible! Facebook ads, youtube music promoters, blog promoters, repost chains, collaborations, flyers for shows, calling in favours to share your tracks… the list goes on.
False Belief 9. “All producers that ‘sell out’ are evil…”
These producers have finally gotten to a point in their career where they are able to collaborate with big brands, or they decide to change their focus on their music and their OG fans are angry. Remember, these guys have gotta eat. Some do it for the bigger audience that will hear their music, some do it cause they believe in the brand.
And then some do it cause they need a bit of cash to help invest in their music some more. Although genuine is genuine and it’s pretty easy to see those who are just doing it for a pay check…
False Belief 10. “I Don’t need to Master this before sending it to….”
First impressions are so essential in the music industry! Sure, back in the day you would send a demo track/recording to the label or A&R and then fingers crossed!
But now, it’s almost effortless to do a quick little master on your track before you send it to the manager, A&R, label, or even upload to Soundcloud as a teaser, you want to put your track in the best possible state before making an impression.
[BONUS] Starting Twitter Beef with Deadmau5 will get you famous.
Well to be fair it might get you a little limelight, but not in a good way.
Calling people out on Social Media? Well you better have a damm good reason to. thats all Im gonna say…Only a few a survived taking shots at Joel on twitter…