Wait, what? Since when does popularity pay the bills?
Well, I couldn’t tell you, because I refused to play the popularity game, even in high school. Granted, I was a bit of a weird kid (which means I’m probably still pretty weird; why do you listen to me again?).
Anyway, maybe audience – and not popularity – is a better way of thinking about it.
If there are a lot of people that follow and like you, you’ll probably be able to sell more goods too. Serves to reason, right?
This discussion is based on a James Moore article (link below). What’s interesting is that when I really started to think about it, I realized that James is discussing a model very similar to content marketing.
Content marketing is where you build your audience, over time, and earn their trust through regular, value-adding content (blog posts, podcast episodes, infographics, videos, etc.).
As you build towards critical mass – however you define that – you have the opportunity to sell to that audience, because they already trust and like you.
In effect, I think that’s what James is talking about too. Music is probably harder in some ways compared to other industries, but if you focus on building your audience rather than selling – at least initially – you’ll be in a better position to earn more later. This approach definitely requires long-term thinking though.
What do you think? Is popularity really the new currency in music?
In this episode, you will discover:
- Why money isn’t a good metric by which to gauge your music career success early on.
- Why James believes you should build your audience first before selling anything.
- Why I think musicians need to convert one fan at a time.
- Why I think the model James discusses in his article is similar to content marketing.
- Why some companies choose to lose money on some of the products and services they sell.
- Why James suggests building your brand instead of focusing on sales.
- Why as artists we aren’t entitled to financial success just for making something.
- Why popularity requires long-term thinking.
- Why musicians need to be partnering up and working with others.
- Why James and I believe that paid social advertising is improtant.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Why Unsigned Musicians Should Worry About Popularity, Not Money
- James Moore of Independent Music Promotions Reveals What Artists Need to Know to Create Success in the Music Industry
- Leave a message in response to this podcast episode
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Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.