I wanted to kick off a series of guest posts on Evolving Music by taking a look at a mindset adaption that I truly feel is needed in today’s new music economy. The mental state that I see most artists that I speak with, read about or work with is the one that is looking for someone to take them from point A to point B because they are talented.
This approach can pose a real problem towards growing a business in today’s industry.
As a musician you need to compose a great sense of music/work/life balance. What this means is that your creative and artistic side needs to be nurtured and come first. Without hit songs there is no opportunity to advance in this business.
The next step is utilizing your available time to the best of your availability. We all want time to relax, kick back a few drinks or whatever vice/habits/daily rituals you have. The objective is to balance this out with actual work that is going to progress your music career. This includes playing out live, building local contacts, updating web properties, creating products, leveraging social networking sites, talking with fans and soaking in an education on technology and business.
This is where the mindset of an entrepreneur kicks in.
Think about it. Think about the brands and companies that you emulate. Their CEO’s and figure heads all work their asses of to accomplish a goal which is to essentially grow their company. Their focus is on many things – not just looking for the one investor who will dump in a bunch of money and let the entrepreneur cash out.
Assemble A Team
The next step in this mindset is to begin building and assembling a team to help you in the areas that you may be weak in or have no interest in. The cool thing is that there are a ton of web properties that can help you, and almost become a team member.
Think about MobBase. They are a web service that allows you to have an iPhone application. They act as a developer, hosting company and partner to push your music onto 40 million iPhones. Although they have branded themselves as a service to musicians, they are really a member of your team.
Other members may include graphic designers, marketers, booking agents, financial people and so on. These team members are there to support you and your efforts in growing your vision. There is not one single person that can handle and grow your entire business, but one you understand that to have a career with any type of longevity, you actually need a business.
Some Hard Ass Work
Your music/work/life balance is not an easy mental state to just sit on the couch and figure out. It’s something that requires a ton of time and effort. The artists that I see making the biggest investment in their careers are the ones that take responsibility for their entire career.
We profiled Rhymefest a few days ago over on GYRS. The guy has created a wealth of good music. This is where it starts. Now it’s all about awareness and monetization. He has crafted a pay-what-you want mixtape. He’s blogging. He’s on Twitter connecting with fans. He is using Facebook to connect with a different audience. He is playing live shows. He is reaching out to popular sites and providing quality conversations for their audience.
In short, he is taking responsibility for his success and his career. That is just one example of the entrepreneur mindset for the musician.
Over the next few weeks we will be exploring marketing and business ideas for your music career in this little guest writing feature. Big shout out to MixMatchMusic for letting me hang out over here and check out the video I shot with MixMatchMusic’s co-founder, Alan Khalfin, about iPhone apps, marketing and design. It came out really cool.
Till next time.
This post was written by Greg Rollett, a music marketing and digital entrepreneur from Orlando, FL. He is an advocate of the New Music Economy and has an awesome community of entrepreneurial minded musicians at Label 2.0. Follow him on Twitter, @g_ro to chat about the music game.
photo credit: Chris-Håvard Berge