Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

April 21, 2009

The Key to Creative Success & Fulfillment

There's a two-word phrase I've been using a lot in recent years. The words have a pretty profound meaning behind them -- and they have everything to do with achieving creative success and fulfillment.

But I've discovered a surprising thing about them: These words are often misunderstood by many people.

Here they are: "serve others."

And here's an example of I how used them in a recent ezine:

"There's no better way to create your own prosperity than to engage yourself in something you are passionate about -- and that serves others in the process."

Sounds simple enough. But the disconnect comes when people think about "service" in one of two ways:

1) They think that being of service to others only takes place when you are raising money for charity or working in a soup kitchen. Wrong. Doing charity work is certainly admirable and is one great example of serving. But it's only one aspect of a much larger picture.

2) Another misguided notion is that "serving others" means you are subservient -- meaning you have to be submissive, compliant and obedient to authority. Nope. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Being of service to others is often one of the most self-empowering things you can do.

The kind of service I talk about takes place when you focus on the benefit that your talents deliver to people who are attracted to it. It takes center stage when you are driven more by the need to make people feel good via your music and creativity than you are to gain fame and fortune.

Having this attitude turns marketing into a completely new endeavor. It's not just about you and your needs. It becomes more about your audience and how you can spread your feel-good vibe to more and more people.

Dexter Bryant Jr. gets this. Here's part of an email he sent me last week:

I couldn't agree with you more, Bob!

The first time I read a Jay Conrad Levinson's Guerrilla Marketing book (about 10 months ago) my eyes were opened to new possibilities. My research since then, including reading your excellent Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, teaches me time and time again the value of engaging oneself with one's passions while also serving others.

It is the best life mantra I could ever want. I can't think of a better way to live a happy and fulfilling life than this. The gratification received from serving others is an unbelievable feeling in and of itself, but to be able to do that while pursuing your passions is amazing.

The connection between these two things for me is the ingredient to happiness in life. I have always been the type of person who was unwilling to accept an average 9-to-5 life doing work I wasn't interested in.

Discovering guerrilla marketing has truly changed my life. I never have to worry about a 9-to-5 or about retirement because I'll never tire of helping others and engaging my deepest passions.

A big thanks to Dexter for reminding us all of the keys to success and fulfillment!


Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookIf you don't own it yet, check out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:28 PM   7 comments


At Apr 22, 2009, 6:35:00 AM, Anonymous Chris Beckett said...

It's very true that when you stop thinking in terms of 'me and them',and 'how can I get what I want from them' the whole process of getting out there to spread your ideas, music, products becomes MUCH more enjoyable!

At Apr 22, 2009, 8:57:00 AM, Anonymous Steve Chatterton said...

It's a great idea. I've had the idea for a while that the only way to make a living making music is to forget about making money & put all your efforts into making the music. Sort of a "do what you love & the money will follow" approach. The tricky part is forgetting about the money.

At Apr 22, 2009, 9:49:00 AM, Blogger Will said...

I'm really enjoying teaching guitarists online with free youtube guitar lessons. Once you find your passion and provide service to others, the next big hurdle is monetizing that. I can vouch that doing free lessons for years does not create wealth without a specific plan to obtain it. As with power of attraction concepts you need to take action in the area of 'conversion' as well - in other words a reason to buy.

At Apr 22, 2009, 7:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you know, I love to share everything I learn with whoever will sit still long enough. I also work for a cleaning service as a vacant apartment cleaner so am very familiar with serving others and love doing so.
As a by product of helping musicians/bands, I'm developing my love of online research. As an apartment cleaner, I've learned how to find the best apartment, how to clean one completely and what to use that's family and pet friendly as well as effective. Those skills I'll be incorporating into a new blog I'm setting up giving cleaning and apartment finding advice. So, it all is a learning experience. Which is why so many businesses/colleges also inquire into a person's charitable activities as part of the process of employment/enrollment. As well as gaining a larger perspective on life and learning, you're not a whole person w/o giving a little of yourself time to time.

At Apr 23, 2009, 4:22:00 PM, Blogger DbryJ said...

Bob your words have inspired me time and time again. Thank you so much for including me in this great post. I always take your advice to heart because you are such a generous person and your willingness to help others is evident in everything you do. Someday I'll have the pleasure of meeting you face-to-face. Until then, I take pride in having written something worthy enough for you to quote ^_^

Long live guerilla marketing!!

Dexter Bryant Jr (DbryJ)
DbryJ Music

At Apr 24, 2009, 4:25:00 PM, Anonymous said...

I have used this concept to increase my productivity in two ways.
Firstly, instead of purely focussing on my original set and ambitions as a recording artist,I have a parallel business serving the wedding market as a harpist and singer. This is hard work, from practicing tricky new material and requests to keeping the brides happy! It not only pays the bills, but keeps me humble: dedicated to providing the best service.
Secondly, I try to keep all new contacts I make in Microsoft Outlook with brief notes.When opportunities arise, I always seek to offer information or support freely. This policy has certainly paid back dividends.

At Dec 7, 2009, 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

This is so true! I see so many bands and musicians trying to promote themselves just by saying "hey, check out my myspace", and it doesn't work like that.

The key is to be helpful to people and engage the community. Instead of saying "hey, check out my myspace", they should be commenting on other myspaces of similar bands with links back, or talking to people about doing what they love.

Making friends is much more effective than any "in your face" tactics!


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