Long term planning and careful preparation goes a long way toward achieving success in music. Erin Frankenheimer, Manager, Entertainment Relations at TuneCore looks at three guideposts to help artists navigate the music industry's choppy waters.
Most independent artists know that success doesn’t happen overnight. They see that thoughtful planning and preparation, doing the hard work and treating people with respect pay dividends. As a helpful reminder, I’ve put together three simple rules for artists to follow to stay in the right mindset and focused on achieving their goals.
Timing is Everything
A solid plan must be built for every project you put out. But the most critical element of all is time: successful artists give themselves enough time to get a release out without stressing. There are more than 250,000 artists using our platform for distribution, promotion and revenue and we see that when they rush things they do themselves a disservice.
A new single, EP or album is something that you’ve worked really hard on, so take extra time to make sure everything goes live across stores and streaming platforms seamlessly. This kind of planning allows you to focus on other support for a release, like publicity and a release show. It’s also good practice to make sure your work is registered with a performing rights organization (PRO) and that you have a partner to ensure you get all of your publishing royalties
Follow the Golden Rule
Maybe the most important lesson for any artist: how you treat people really does matter. Early in your career you may not have what it takes to impress a big agent, A&R person or somebody in radio. However, if you work hard and treat those around you well, you will stay top of mind while earning the respect of others in the industry. When your talent and hard work takes you to the tipping point, all that goodwill can put you over the top.
If the doors don’t open up right away, patience and hard work might get you through later. Stay on your grind and know that nothing is beneath you. Get out there, distribute music, make your own merch and handle your business for a minute before getting a team in place.
Industry power-players are likely to remember somebody who works hard and exhibits the right attitude and work ethic. Eventually, someone might turn around and say, “You know what, she’s been trying for this forever and I think she’s in the right place now. She’s someone I know is going to show up on time, do what she promised and be professional.”
Build Your Network
There are college students sitting in class right now who don't realize that the people to the left and the right of them may be in their lives for the next 40 years. Your classmates could end up being important colleagues, kingmakers or gatekeepers down the road. Start early and figure out who your allies are going to be.
At the same time, if you’re not already part of an established music scene, get involved immediately. From the very beginning of your career, being part of a solid music or arts community can be incredibly valuable. Where you are right now doesn’t matter. I’ve been lucky to be a part of strong music industry communities in Los Angeles and New Orleans, and they have brought richness and value to my career.
Hard work, thoughtful execution of your projects and treating people with respect can make all the difference. I hope these rules are helpful -- though they are simple, it can be easy to forget how much following them can pay off on the road to music business success.
Before joining TuneCore, Erin Frankenheimer Burns co-created and hosted two late night radio shows for Entercom New Orleans, focusing on new music discovery, worked as an artist manager, and was the Director of Youth Programs for The Tipitina’s Foundation. She was previously VP of A&R at Amazing Radio, and worked for Live Nation as the Marketing Manager for Louisiana and Mississippi.