On your mark… get set… slow down! (By Kenny Love)
“…if the major mechanics of your music “business”
have not been properly set up, they will come back to bite
you in either or both sides of your gluteus maximus.”
It never seems to stop! Independent recording artists, more excited than Jackie Chan in a dojo, after receiving their newly manufactured CDs, rush to failure more often than success.
In preparing to promote most new artists, invariably, I discover that they have not taken care of most of the vital upfront business that needs to be taken care of.
For one thing, most haven’t a clue on how to go about having their CDs’ information display on audio software, such as RealPlayer, Windows Media and traditional CD players.
Another thing, is that most are also clueless on how to have their selected radio singles encoded for the Billboard radio network, obviously, one of the most noted and leading radio charts.
Even further, while most are vaguely aware of SoundScan and have a barcode, this is where their awareness ends regarding retail, as they are unaware that they must also complete a Title Addition application for SoundScan in order to officially document their music at SS.
Lordy, lordy, lordy…somebody bring me a 40! Ounce, that is…
There’s a relatively familiar saying in the traditional business world that goes, “If you don’t take care of your business, your business won’t take care of you.”
I believe that statement says it all and, repeatedly, from what I see almost daily.
While it can be excited to get a CD in the mail to a station of press contact, and obtain an immediate feeling of success, if the major mechanics of your music “business” have not been properly set up and maintained,I can assure you that they will come back to bite you in either or both sides of your gluteus maximus. Ouch!
Traditionally, artists abhor business for business sake. However you should realize that:
* Even if you sell only one CD, you have both constituted and executed “business.”
* If you have ever sold one copy of your CD at CD Baby, Amazon, or via consigning it to your neighborhood music store, you have performed a bout of “business.”
* If you are selling your CD at your gigs, all together now, class…you are a fully functional “business.”
However, in my repeated experiences, aside from artists usually not having appropriated funds or a budget for consistent promotion, they seem surprised when they cannot acquire the same positive and successful results as another fellow Indie artist.
Yet, I can support the fact that, aside from money, the difference, almost always, comes down to the level of business knowledge and action taken to affect it, prior to beginning promotion and sending CDs all over the planet.
In fact, having plenty of money can even become a detriment if the business knowledge is not available to support the funding. On the other hand, business knowledge combined with proper funding can take an artist through the musical stratosphere, in terms of exposure, popularity and sales results.
Bottom line…do yourself a favor and restrain the desire to rush your success to ultimate failure through eliminating shortcuts. Starting “from the ground up,” so to speak, will give you a much wider viewpoint that can easily guide you to consistent music success.
Editor’s Note: Kenny Love is president of MuBiz.com, a multi-facet music organization for independent musicians, which includes radio promotion, media publicity and a number of additional administrative services.