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Advice > Articles > Career Killing Mistakes That Will Lose You Fans And Money

Career Killing Mistakes That Will Lose You Fans And Money

Copyright © 2014 By Bobby Borg 




Lack of Direction: Many artists pursue a career in music without having precisely a clear idea of where they want to end up. In other words, they are not quite clear exactly what they are chasing. Am I rock artist or am I a rock/jazz/quasi latin/rap/country artist? Am I songwriter or am I a band member? Do I want a clean cut image or a bad girl image? If you don’t believe in something, you can fall for anything. Lack of direction, equals lost opportunity, which equals a loss of fans and income. Like MapQuest, if you want clear directions to get to a destination, you have to have the destination in mind. 





Failure To Think “Outside In” Many “artists” create in a bubble (i.e., inside out)—they write music to satisfy themselves and pump out into the world with hopes that everyone will love it, without understanding the marketplace and identifying a market need. This can be devastating! No uniqueness, equals no fans, equals no income. Of course one must always be careful to maintain their true artistic integrity, but you have to be aware of what going on in the world and where the world is going if you want to be successful.

You must find a competitive advantage and position yourself uniquely in the market. 





Failure to Recognize Weaknesses: Many artists are quick to write a list of their internal strengths (musicianship, finances, good looks), but fail to acknowledge their weaknesses (weak vocal ability, lack of songwriting skills, and even their age). It is important for artists to get real, recognize their weaknesses, and do something to turn these weaknesses into strengths—and/or to even re-think their career direction). A false sense of reality, equals no fans, which equals no money. This is important. Enough said! 





Failure To Show Appreciation: Many artist fail to exercise the “attitude of gratitude.” They ask their fans to help spread the word, but fail to give extra special attention to that super fan (e.g., VIP passes to a show, a thank-you on the record, etc.). This is a deadly sin! No appreciation, equals disappointed fans, which eventually equals loss of income. 





Failure To Utilize Reminder Marketing Techniques and Multiple Mediums: Many artists send out one marketing communication before their show (an email two or three weeks before), and expect their fans to remember to show up. But in the crowded marketplace, believing that you are at the top of everyone’s mind, equals forgetful fans, which equals loss of income. Be sure to utilize a variety of mediums (postcards, a phone call, face to face selling) spaced-out evenly over three weeks before your gigs. 



Failure To Follow-up: It takes a lot more than just one email to that blogger or booker to review of your music or book you a gig. Sometimes it even takes calling back at a specific date and time as requested by a certain contact. This is important! No follow-up, equals no gigs/reviews, equals no new fans, which equals no income down the line. Be sure to stay on top of your game and follow-up, but just don’t be a pain in the ass. 





Failure To Utilize A Marketing Mix of Strategies (offline and online): Many musicians utilize Internet marketing and fail to understand that there are literally eight other categories (Publicity, advertising, face to face selling, word of mouth marketing, guerrilla street marketing, radio promotion, sponsorships, sales promotions, and direct marketing). Why cook sauce using no more than salt (how about some Bay Leaves, onions, and garlic)? Mix it up a little and capture your audience in other, less crowded, places. While it is true that we live in a digital world, off-line marketing also has a place! 


Failure To Be Social on Social Media: Many artists forget to practice the same etiquette that exists offline, online. They invite me to gigs in New York, when I live in LA. They send me messages that say, “Yo check out my song.” And they friend request me without having a profile picture (they use that creepy default head). In order to get the fans that you want and eventually make the money you want to earn, be social on social networks. 


Failure To Sell: Many artists feel that sales is sleazy. Thus, they fail to tell people that their merch table exists, and their T-shirts are on sale. But no information, equals no fan interaction with your products and services, which equals no income. So be sure to plug your sales between songs at your next gig. You’ll be glad you did! Enough said! 


Failure To Promote The Benefits: Promotion is the process of informing your target audience about the feature and benefits of your products and services with the intention of increasing awareness and making sales. A feature is what a product is and a benefit is what the product does for the customer. The latter, a benefit, is the most important. Thus, be sure to tell your target customer why they should buy (i.e., what is in it for them). You’ll not only increase your awareness you’ll also make more sales!





Failure To Project a Consistent Brand: Many artists fail to understand that literally everything—their name, logo, slogan, mascot, attitude, and associations—affect the image that fans will form in their own minds. If there in any confusion that is created (e.g., the title of the record or song doesn’t match the beliefs of the band, the color and fonts of the website don’t convey the identity of the band), the fans might get confused and not know what to think. It is difficult to believe in something that is not clearly defined. This is a no-no. Confusion, equals disengaged fans, equals lack of money. 





Failure To Get “Real” Feedback: Many artists fail to get feedback from their target audience, and fail to act on the data that they receive. In other words, they seek confirmatory information from their Moms, girlfriends, Dads, Boyfriends, and others (i.e., the closest three or four people in their camp), and fail to get representative data from a wide number of people. It’s true that your audience isn’t always right, but if 100 people aren’t happy with your record’s mix, there is a good chance that your mix needs work. 





Failure to Measure Your Marketing: Many artists repeat the same promotional strategies over and over without clearly knowing what is, and what is not, working. In other words, they have no systems in place to determine whether the Social Media ads they’ve placed, or the postcards they’ve handed out, are really working. A simple question like “How did you hear about us” when communicating with fans can provide valuable data that can save you a great deal of time and money. Don’t throw god money, after bad. Measure your marketing. 



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