Steps and the Road to Success
By Chris Standring
very easy to sit at home and get frustrated with the apparent
lack of forward movement in your music career. Especially
when you know in your heart that you have what it takes
to succeed. It's very easy to get discouraged, for the simple
reason that it seems "you are only as good as your
and actors are similar in that we like the highs that our
performances give us. We thrive on the exhilaration. It's
like a drug. When it goes away we want it again.
up to a live event is exciting. We can talk it up to friends
and fans, promote it the best way we know how and enjoy
the thrill of the performance itself. Then it is over and
there may be a lull between events. It can seem like your
career is going nowhere. It's very easy to feel that. However,
other people's perception may be entirely different and
music business is all about perception. It is based on hype
and salesmanship ability. I wish it was different but it
is not and will never ever be. If your band is perceived
to be doing well then people will talk. If your band is
perceived to be on the way out then people will also talk.
If your band is doing nothing, nobody will talk! It is therefore
extremely important that you keep the hype factor up!
is one of the things you need to be focusing on between
events. Sit back and think about what you clearly have achieved
so far in your career. Think about the things that were
absolutely in your control.
are constantly bombarded with new creative marketing ideas,
most of them excellent, inventive and effective. However,
the ideas that you personally will primarily adopt are those
ideas that you are totally comfortable with. These are the
things that you will make a priority. It's too easy to get
overwhelmed with new promotional ideas so we put them off
and resort to the things we know we can do.
have two words to give you. BABY STEPS.
just too damn hard to do every new promotional idea to get
your band to the next level at the same time. Especially
if you don't have a team of people working with you. But
you can start by doing just one thing today.
you can achieve one successful thing a day to help your
music career on the right path then you are on the right
only way you can get successful as an independent artist
is by letting people know you exist. So ask yourself for
example, "What can I do today to expand my fanbase?"
Well, there are infinite possibilities.
one thing, just one and do it today!
say you want to increase your e-mail database. Think about
the most effective ways you can do that. The most effective
ways to build a database, (but more importantly get those
people to be fans and come to shows), is to personally get
to know them. So start with friends, have them refer their
friends, and so on. Hand out flyers and sample CD's or tapes
to everyone you know. (Make sure you have a good stack in
your car.) Grab business cards of all the people you meet
and get their e-mail addresses. Send them a very personal
e-mail asking them if they would be interested to know about
creative. But DO something that you know you can personally
do to expand other people's awareness of you. It takes a
good amount of time but you can help yourself by really
being active and productive.
everything you can about promoting your own shows and do
the things that you are most comfortable doing, the things
that you know you can be effective at. Then, step out and
try something new.
one thing a day to help get to where you want to be, and
at the end of each week think about what you have achieved.
There is nothing that fuels drive more than drive itself.
And there's nothing that fuels lethargy more than sitting
at home wishing you were successful and doing little about
can be extremely overwhelming when there seems such a long
way to go. Take it one step at a time. That's all truly
successful people ever did.
Standring is the CEO and founder of A&R Online (www.aandronline.com).
He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed
to Mesa/Bluemoon Records. The music is marketed at NAC and
Urban AC radio. For more info on Chris' recording career
go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com