04 Mar 2016
14. You Need Buzz to Create Buzz
Buzz: The age old chicken and the egg problem. How can we get buzz if we need buzz to get everyones attention.
If only we played bigger shows then we would have more fans but we need fans to play bigger shows.
If only we had more sales we would have more money and we could invest it into more promotion to create sales.
If only we had a deal then more people would take us seriously but we need people to take us seriously to get a deal.
If only we had a manager then we could achieve more but we need to achieve more to get a manager
These are questions i tackled myself once and i hear it often amongst new artists. In most of these cases there is nothing the artist is doing wrong, they are working hard, pushing, creating, promoting.
The problem lies in their mindset:
They see success as a destination.
They think to get a deal is the end goal or to have a certain amount of fans or to have a certain amount of income. They think once you get to this stage everything will be easier and life will be ok, they will never have any more problems or worries. hmm….
The thing is deals bring with it a whole new set of problems:
for one they don’t last forever, fans and income go up and down depending on market forces. One minute you are top of the roster the next you are out of fashion, nothing lasts forever. Of course most of you should know nothing lasts forever so it’s important to regular assess your situation so that you are not caught out but unforeseen circumstances. You have to continue to enhance your position as an artist or you will fall behind your competition.
Secondly, as Notorious Big said “Mo money, mo problems.”. The greater your position, the greater your responsibility, the more you are being watched, judged and scrutinised. The greater you are the more people want what you have.
How do you deal with this? by being resilient and building a strong platform. The trees that grow slowest have the strongest roots to sustain the storms that come around. Building a strong platform of fans will allow you to negotiate through the deals of the music industry with the most ease. It won’t matter if you do or don’t get a deal, if you are or aren’t dropped from your label as your strong fanbase and artistic quality will carry you through.
Build as much as you can with the resources around you.
Many of you will be reading this and still thinking what is wrong with goals. There is nothing wrong with goals but again we treat them like destinations. The Chickens goal is to create the egg the eggs goal is to be a chicken but lets throw an extra dimension into this: Evolution
There was a time before the chicken and egg existed. There was a time before you existed. How did you get to where you are today? Evolution. You weren’t always great at music, you didn’t always have a Facebook page with some fans on it. You got better, your music become more popular. If you continue your music will be even better and even more popular. You grow.
So lets reframe goals and success. Goals are more about direction, they identify a need for growth but it’s the growth that is the success. If your music continues to improve and get more popular then you are winning. Success is about progression.
Just to finish of. Growth isn’t constant. Sometimes it’s a few steps forward a couple of steps back but if you continue to adapt and evolve to your situation things will improve. You will never be fully in control of your situation because the world is too complex (ill save that chat for another day) but generally quality work will pay off over a long time despite unforeseen circumstances.
oh and back to the Buzz word. Its great to have but its like fire. If you have quality fuel (good music) that oxygen loves (fans) and a point of ignition (a release date) then you can start to control your fire i.e buzz.