Beyond Myspace Music (Part I)

This article details the importance of marketing your career beyond just Myspace Music. Aspiring artists/musicians/performers/producers/etc. you are well advised to take note.

myspace

Myspace is not the equivalent of internet marketing.

Reality: Myspace is only one component of an effective internet marketing campaign.

Do not believe the hype. Myspace cannot single-handedly skyrocket you to stardom.

Frustrated, you may be thinking: so why is he telling me this?

Reality: Because I want you to succeed.

I know enough about marketing to inform you with a high degree of certainty that Myspace – as great a tool as it is – by itself is not enough to successfully market your music career. While Myspace can aid in a broader overall marketing campaign to get your career the attention it deserves, ultimately it’s going to take much more than a Myspace page to generate enough buzz around your music to build a sustainable career.

Educate Yourself

If I had not taken my music career seriously enough to equip myself with knowledge about the various forces that can affect an individual’s success in the music industry then I wouldn’t have come to the realization that the aforementioned popular Myspace myth is false. My base of knowledge allows me to make an educated re-assessment of any misguided beliefs I have. For the past ten to twelve months I have absorbed a humongous wealth of information combined from study in the areas of marketing, public relations, international business, internet business, and the commercial music industry.

Reality: There is no shortcut to superstardom.

The Myspace Myth

The reason that the Myspace myth appeals to so many of you is because you don’t want to stop clinging to the belief that at your fingertips you have a simple, foolproof method of achieving all of your wildest dreams of superstardom.

Unfortunately the real world doesn’t work like that. If you dream big (like I do) then you have to realize that success of this magnitude requires patience, dedication, a bit of creativity, and careful planning on your part. Even overnight success doesn’t happen overnight so you can bet that superstardom surely does not.

The good news is if you are passionate with just a dash of talent sprinkled in for good measure then you have what it takes to establish a profitable and lasting career in the music business.

Warning:

It is vital that you not underestimate the dedication it takes to makes this possible. If you underestimate the high level of commitment needed you are guaranteed to face obstacles further ahead on the road to success that will discourage you enough to call it quits on your music career.

Careers in the Music Biz

Myth: You have to be a solo artist or a member of a band to make money and have a fulfilling career in the music industry.

Reality: The possibilities for a career in the music business are actually a lot more vast than people tend to realize.

For every recording artist in the limelight there are graphic artists, stylists, songwriters, composers/arrangers, session musicians, tour musicians, booking agents, managers, A&R people, public relations people, marketers, music journalists, event planners, concert promoters, backup singers, and more. The multiple areas of employment in the music business open opportunities up to people with a wide range of talents. No matter what your specific skill set and interests are there is probably at least one position perfect for you in the music industry.

The world is teeming with individuals who are passionate about music and would no doubt love a line of work where they can feel connected in some way to the process of music creation and be a part of the excitement involved in that creative atmosphere.

All of you deserve a chance at this kind of happiness and fulfillment. If that is what you truly want then bust a move to make it happen. Take it from Mr. West when he says, “shoot for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.” ^_^

Even if you shoot for superstardom and don’t quite reach that, don’t be discouraged. Even without mega stardom you are sure to enjoy having a successful music career–one that offers flexibility and benefits– a lot more than the 9 to 5 alternative. Music as a lifestyle, a passion and a career? My dream come true!

Dream Big and Plan Carefully

Do yourself a favor and avoid the regrets that haunt you when you don’t take a real shot at your dreams. R&B/soul singer Jazmine Sullivan dreams big and look where she’s at: she was nominated for five Grammy awards this year. Listen to the inspirational song “Dream big” from her debut album Fearless if you want to be motivated by a successful artist who is talented and down-to-earth. Jazmine has been paying her dues in the industry for a while now, working behind the scenes songwriting and doing backup vocals alongside mega artist and producer/songwriter Missy Elliott and American Idol winner Fantasia just to name a few.

jazmine_sullivan_album_cover

What’s holding you back from going after your goals in life? It’s OK to be a dreamer but goal-setting is crucial.

Why?

Because “goals are dreams with deadlines” (Diana Scharf Hunt). Being aware of your goals is the first step towards planning appropriately for them. You can’t expect to get somewhere without a plan for how to get yourself there. If you just leave it up to chance then you are essentially relinquishing control of this aspect of your life. I don’t know about you but I would rather not leave something that is such a big deal to me purely up to chance. It is within your power to take control of your career and your future in the music business. You just have to do it and stop making excuses.

Hard Work Pays Off

The extensive amount of work that goes into sustaining a successful music career means that having one is a lot less glamorous than the media makes it seem, but ultimately it can be very rewarding. Who wouldn’t want to spend their working hours doing something they love with people they enjoy working with in a creative and professional environment where you feel inspired, respected, and appreciated?

Success is attainable but it is contingent upon your willingness to pursue your goals fearlessly. Setbacks are inevitable but they can be overcome if you make a habit out of taking valuable lessons from your bad experiences and using this knowledge to pursue a wiser, more informed path towards reaching your goals.

Fame is Difficult to Attain

The many misconceptions floating around about Myspace have influenced scores of unsigned artists and musicians to believe falsely that getting the world notice your music career is a relatively simple process. Set up a profile, upload a few good tracks, add a gazillion friends, and BAM! – you’re famous with legions of clamoring fans and record labels are beating down your door to sign you to multimillion dollar deals.

If it’s that simple then why hasn’t that approach worked for you yet?

tila

I hate shattering this rosy image for you but it is completely unrealistic. Don’t get me wrong: there are artists and celebrities who have gone on to major success based on their popularity on Myspace (Tila Tequila anyone?), but you cannot count on being one of those exceptions to the rule. Just think about it rationally–if someone else already pioneered gaining mass fame off the strength of Myspace popularity alone, what do you think the chances are that you’ll be able to replicate someone else’s trailblazing success? The general public doesn’t want to see another Myspace phenomenon, they already have one (or two, or however few of these kinds of success stories they can stomach). The novelty of this particular route to stardom has already worn off.

Marketing Your Career the Right Way

It is in your best interest to develop a more thoughtful strategy for achieving your career goals. Instead of relying solely on Myspace to build career awareness you’re much better off using multiple online tools to promote your music. This increases the chances of people discovering you. Some of these people may be interested in what you have to offer but not everyone who happens across your music will like it. That’s OK though because there are plenty who will and you should do your best to make yourself easy to find and available to those interested people. You have a much better chance of attracting attention in the music business if, for instance, you have a Facebook page, a Myspace page, a ReverbNation profile, and a last.fm profile than you if you have only a Myspace profile. To put this point in business terms: you need to diversify your portfolio.

Below I listed some helpful resources to get you started. If you take the time to read them and put what you learn into practice you will be well on your way to building public awareness online for your music career. Diligence is key.

Stay tuned in the next few days for part II of this Myspace Music article. I’ll share more tips and resources for making the most of Myspace’s marketing potential. Until then, cheers to your success! ^_^

Recommended resources:

Is Myspace all that? A Guide to Marketing Your Music on Myspace (evolvor.com)

25 Tools for the Independent Musician (mashable.com)

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