Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
August 28, 2006
Names, Numbers & Big Breaks
"Bob, I have a band with hot players and great songs. But we need to get to the next level. Please give me the name and number of someone who can give us a break and help us move ahead."
Hmm ... How am I supposed to respond? "Oh, you need to get to the next level? Then call Joe at 555 ..." The e-mail writer didn't even tell me what type of music he played, much less try to establish a relationship with me before making this plea for help.
Two things are wrong with this e-mail request. First, when music people say, "I just need my big break" or "If I could only be discovered by someone," they're putting control of their career in someone else's hands. I don't believe success is determined by something outside of yourself. With the independent-minded attitude I advocate, success is directed from within.
So if you're waiting to be "discovered," you may wait a long time. Take control and push forward on your own to create great music and reach more fans.
That said, I do agree that it can be beneficial to have fans who are in a position to help you reach even more fans. For instance, when a disc jockey, music editor or booking agent "discovers" your music and really enjoys it, sure, they can do things to boost your notoriety. And that's a great thing.
But those specific key people are unique to each artist, and they usually appear organically throughout the natural process of an artist pursuing his or her career (although you can take reasonable steps to make those connections happen quicker).
The agent that can help Punk Band A will be of no use to Country Singer B. Understand? So begging for "a name and a number" doesn't make sense unless it's targeted.
Bottom line: Make sure your career is inner directed and controlled by you. And keep your eyes open for the natural key contacts that are a good "match" for you and your music.
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What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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