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By Tim Sweeney
Beware! The following may initially upset and frustrate you
but you need to read this all the way through!
Motivation. Where did it go? What? What do you mean? I spent
all this time recording a new CD, manufacturing it and now
playing shows. Just because itís not selling the way that I
want it to Iím not upset about it. Am I?
When you seem to lose your motivation for your music or your
art it becomes a confusing time. As artists we become
everything from frustrated and rattled by it to a state of
mind where we are unmotivated and depressed. But where did it
come from? You spent days and weeks writing songs and fine
tuning them to capture the experiences and elements of life
that have impacted you enough that you had to express them.
Once you had them down the way you wanted them, you decided
they had to be recorded in the studio so you could put out a
new CD for others to hear them. After all, these songs are
much better than your previous material. (Sounds familiar?)
Then you made a decision to save money from your day job,
borrow from friends or family or even pre-sell CDs to pay for
the studio and manufacturing of your new CDs. Then after
months of hard work and frustration in the studio, at work and
with the manufacturer, your new CDs arrived. Boxes of them.
You gave some out to your family and friends or sold them a
few of the initial copies. You sent out an emailer to your
mailing list and said check out my new CD on my site and come
buy one. Maybe a few did but not hundreds. Then you put them
on other music sites that sell CDs. It should have sold
hundreds or thousands of copies. After all they claim to have
thousands or even millions of customers. But again that didnít
seem to work either. But thatís okay, you just need to play a
CD release party and hit your mailing list again and send an
invitation to the various press people about the show and
hundreds of people will show up! However that didnít work the
way it was supposed to either because most of the initial
1,000 CDs are still sitting there on your floor.
The next step you tried was to hire a radio promoter or
publicist (who really arenít and who donít care about CD
sales). You paid them thousands of dollars to get you college
or low ranking commercial stations to play your CD for a few
weeks in cities and states where you canít even travel to play
shows or for 2-3 sentence write ups in publications that
didnít generate any new fans at your site or at shows. And now
you are becoming unmotivated and frustrated because after they
ďsupposedlyĒ did their job, you still didnít sell hundreds of
CDs. Even after more shows in our hometown and more promotion
to your mailing list you donít seem to be selling very much!
If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone! This is
what I hear from almost every artist that contacts me and
wants me to help them. How do I fix this scenario so the
artists become more successful? I work with them on the
1. This is your passion.
As artists the first thing we have to do is stop taking the
rejection we receive as something personal. Instead of
learning from what we are not doing to effectively tell people
about the messages in our songs, we see them not paying
attention or not wanting to hear our music as a personal
attack. This includes the media not wanting to write about us
or our upcoming shows or play our songs on the radio to people
not coming to shows or even if they do, not wanting to buy
your CD afterwards. The first step in solving the problems
mentioned here is to stop doing what you are doing.
Throw away your press kit and one sheet that ďsupposedĒ
publicists and radio promotion people think is right (but only
signifies you as a non-priority that people can ignore) and
create an Artist Profile. One that talks about who you are as
an artist and what your music is about. Two, use whatís in
your Artist Profile at shows. Donít play the same shows as
before, give people you. 45 minutes of music is not going to
motivate people to buy CDs. Learn to interact with them
before, during and after your shows.
2. Reconnect with the reasons why you wrote the songs.
What inspired you to work that crappy day job and save money
to record these songs in the first place! What motivated you
to keep going when it looked like you wouldnít get the project
done? Where did that go? Nowhere. Itís still inside of you!
Just waiting for you to bring it out.
3. To reactivate your passion and inspire you to stop
sitting around and making the same mistakes, we must change
You will now focus only on the things that will get people to
shows, get you exposure in your home city and generate sales.
First, a new specific marketing plan that will focus on how to
double your fan base that actually comes to shows. Second, a
small list of daily actions you can take with the limited time
you have to promote your music. For example, researching the
media in your home city and what are they writing about or
what they are playing on the radio these days. Who is drawing
most of the music fans in town to their shows and how are they
doing it? You must focus on the things that will work right
now. Mailing CDs around the country where you canít put them
in stores, play shows or wonít get enough attention that it
will generate any online sales either isnít.
4. Interrupt your pattern.
If you canít think of new ideas sitting at home then do what
successful people do, leave. Go to the gym (another place you
promised to go to); go outside, to a coffeehouse, the park or
go play golf instead. Change your environment and you will
begin to remember what inspired you to take this path.
5. Understand that this is your passion. Not others.
You must communicate it to people whether in person or in
writing. Who cares what other people think is right or wrong
for you. Be bold and passionate. You wanted to influence
people with your music and change them, do it by showing that
same passion everyday! Hand out CD samplers every week so you
can meet new people and let them know what you are doing. Play
shows in new places.
The passion you have for your music is still in you! You just
to find it again. Hereís two ways you can find it right now.
One, my two audio books, Guide To Releasing Independent
Records Part 2 (which is NOT the same as the first one) will
give you new promotion and marketing ideas you can use in the
next few minutes. It will also help you write your first draft
of an Artist Profile and help you create the materials you
need to talk about your music. My other new audio book,
Understanding Who You Are As An Artist (which seems to be
everyoneís favorite), will give you specific ideas of what you
need to do to more effectively communicate your passion to
people and get yourself remotivated when you are frustrated or
depressed. Both of these audio books are designed for you to
be able to take the ideas and work with them immediately. You
can order them through this link: http://www.TSAMusic.com/products.asp
The second way I can help you is directly. The books will help
you get going again and will be a great source of ideas you
can listen to again and again, but sometimes you need someone
who has been through it to help you create a specific plan. A
plan that you can actually do and write the material with you
and help you accomplish the things you want to do so you can
sell the first 1,000 CDs and start to influence people in your
home town like you wanted to. I have helped and continue to
help thousands of artists in these very areas and help them
get on the path they need to sell more CDs and accomplish what
they want with their music. Call me at 951-303-9506 or mail me
your CD and promo material.
Include a note or a copy of this email in it. I will be happy
to review your CD and promo material and let you know how I
can help you. If you are looking for some new strategies right
now that can kick start your sales, get more people on your
mailing list and your upcoming shows, learn more ways of
selling your CDs, order a copy of my new audio book, Tim
Sweeneyís Guide To Releasing Independent Records Part 2
through my website.
Tim's book available at his site:
About Tim Sweeney:
Over the last 20 years he has helped several major labels
(Columbia, Epic, MCA, Universal, Warner Bros., Capitol,
Mercury, Polygram, Revolution, Hollywood (and their
sub-labels), and well known independent labels (Restless,
Metal Blade, Enigma, Accretions, etc.) develop the careers of
some of their most promising and successful artists of all
on a past article topic below to read