Even if you've already checked out these 10 most read articles on the Sonicbids blog last week, doesn't the fact that they made a super-cool, ultra-exclusive list warrant another look? We thought so!
This article originally appeared on Haulix.
Every aspiring professional knows they need to practice in order to improve their skills, but those destined for a lasting career recognize early on that the journey towards perfection with your art is one that never truly comes to an end. There's always room for improvement, whether you're trying to be the best artist or the best publicist, and practicing your art on a regular basis is key to further developing your skills.
But what does that mean exactly?
It's a pretty well-known fact that touring is incredibly expensive. Even if your entire band sleeps in the van every night and survives on a diet of nuts and Top Ramen (not recommended), the cost of gas alone can be completely debilitating. And that's only if everything goes smoothly – there are always emergencies that can come up, such as van breakdowns, gear malfunctions, or medical emergencies. All of these problems will require money to solve.
However, touring is necessary for almost every artist or band that wants to grow their audience outside of their hometown (thus resulting in more album and merch sales). If your tour goes well, you'll be able to offset the costs through ticket and merch sales at your shows and hopefully have made more money than you spent by the time you get home. The reality of the situation, though, is that most bands end up losing money on tour the first few times they hit the road, and even established acts sometimes have trouble staying in the green.
The marketing industry loves taking very basic practices and putting fancy yet unnecessary buzzwords behind them. Those terms make it seem like if you aren't in marketing, it's too complicated for you to do on your own. This is a very dangerous trap to get caught in, especially for indie and DIY artists.
However, there is one marketing term that I can dig, and it's one that all musicians should adhere to. The term is "permission marketing," which we briefly discussed here. Permission marketing – a term coined by entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin – is essentially an anti-spam/interruption messaging philosophy, which is very important for musicians to understand.
We've all but literally shoved it down your throats: if you want to stay relevant, you simply have to stay on top of social media and music streaming. The young musician in the 21st century can no longer be ignorant about how his or her rapid growth may happen, the infinite lines of communication available, and the vice-like hold that digitization has on the music industry. But maybe you've gone years not paying attention to specific data and analytics, and you've just accepted that you need to be on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube (and so on) to get somewhere, without specifically considering how each service is growing in its own way. There's no need to stay in the dark, though.
Next Big Sound, which provides online music analytics, recently came out with a comprehensive report on the massive growth music has seen in social media and streaming services in just the past six months. Compared to growth last year, the numbers are earth-shattering (and continue to skyrocket). But what's even more interesting is how the various services are growing in unique ways, benefiting different kinds of artists and genres to different degrees.
It's time for you to have even more information at your disposal, so you can make better informed decisions about which online avenues are the best to focus on. While we provide the breakdown of the key takeaway points below, we strongly recommend you check out the complete report here.