As artists, we are naturally overly critical of our work. No one wants to release something out to the world that is less than perfection. But the fact of the matter is that your “perfect” may never even be attainable. Taking action is imperative in moving your career forward.
Guest Post by Dave Kusek, Founder & CEO of The New Artist Model
Every single day you’re improving as a musician and as a writer, so there’s always something else you’ll be able to develop if you hold on to that song for another day, another week, or another month. As you can see, the cycle can be endless.
Aside from just your creative judgement, there are time and budget constraints to deal with. That song could sound perfect if you just save up for 6 months to go into a studio and hire an awesome producer. A music video could be incredible if you could afford to buy an awesome video camera, light set, and hire a photographer.
In the past, this is how the industry worked. Record labels spent big bucks and months making a track perfect before it was released the the world. But indie musicians today are living in a completely different environment. You don’t always have access to top recording gear, and if every musician today waited until they could afford studio time before putting out their first song, they would never get started.
There comes a point where you just need to push the button and put your music out there. That being said, you shouldn’t release a song you whipped together in a few minutes or a recording you’re really unhappy with. The point is to get them as you as you can with the tools and skills you have available and then send it out.
Remember this: A song in your pocket can’t help you. A song out in the world could be growing your fan base, engaging your audience, providing you with valuable feedback and insight, and above all, making you money. In other words, it’s building up a momentum.
Apart from that, a song out in the market gives you the amazing opportunity to learn and improve. This is the key to the whole strategy. You will learn more from your audience’s reaction to a song then you will in hours of self-critiquing. Ask your fans what they think, poll them, listen to what they say, read the comments on YouTube, and check out your analytics to see how many people bought, listened, and downloaded.
Some indie artists have even abandoned the “album cycle” all together. Instead they release single tracks more frequently, giving them more opportunities to get feedback from their fans. It’s all about testing what resonates with your audience. The more you put out, the more you’ll understand what your fans love in terms of both your music and your promotional efforts.
If you’re not ready to officially release the song to the world, you can test on a smaller scale at your gigs. This method is extremely popular among DJs working on perfecting a mix. Play a song you’re working on live and take the time to gauge their reaction. What gets them dancing or bopping their heads? What keeps them captivated and when do they lose interest and go back to their drinks or conversations? You can get so much information from a crowd. If the vibe or reaction isn’t what you were looking for, or it didn’t sound right played loud, try reworking a few sections.
As you can see, it’s all about actively building momentum in your music career and using that momentum to grow your fanbase. In the New Artist Model online music business program we work on building up that momentum and turning your art into a career. You can get even more tips and strategies that could help you take your music career to the next level in this free ebook.