As an artist, your goal is to make the world a better place by sharing your talents. But, in a sea of seemingly endless competition, it can be difficult to get the recognition you deserve. Today’s tips are for those of you ready for the spotlight. We will cover a few ways to get recognized, market yourself, and run your business.
First and foremost, you have to be prepared to turn your hobby or desired career into a business. One way to do this is by making sure that you have a professional way to accept payments. Implementing new invoicing software is quick and easy, and you give your customers the convenience of paying online. Plus, you’ll be able to better balance your books by scheduling recurring invoices and knowing when your clients have seen how much they owe (and when you expect payment!).
Find a gimmick.
Your creative gimmick is much like a business niche. When you have one, you’ll attract fans that like your style. Some of the most famous bands in history, including Kiss, have established a gimmick, which is part of their identity or what Paul Stanley calls an identity calling card.
Understand marketing and promotion.
While you will ideally wind up with a business manager that can handle most of your marketing, you are on your own in the early days. Get to know how to utilize social media, websites, and other opportunities to share your brand. Even if you don’t have graphic design experience, some online banner makers are easy to use, meaning you can quickly and easily put together a display for your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or other site. Banners are great because they can be edited, changed, and customized – you can even add a video to some.
If you want to be discovered, you have to be discoverable. This means putting yourself out there in places you might not normally consider. Many great artists got their big break in the most unexpected places. According to Flavorwire, Sid Vicious was found working at a store that sold provocative clothing, and Iggy Pop was discovered playing drums in Chicago’s blues bar scene. Don’t be shy about booking gigs at small venues, dive bars, or local music festivals. You never know when the right ear will catch wind of your sound.
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Ask for feedback.
This one is scary, but if you want to appeal to a broad audience, you have to ask for feedback. You may not always like what people have to say, and there is nothing wrong with sticking to your own style. However, if you’re trying to be mainstream, you have to listen to your fans just as businesses listen to their customers.
Work in the industry.
Another great tip is to take a job in the industry you wish to work in. Want to be a country music artist? Work where artists shop, relax, or play. Interested in classical music? Surround yourself with a more refined audience, perhaps as a museum docent. There are plenty of opportunities to work in the music industry, and, if you have other skills, such as photography, you may be able to capture local shows and gigs for other up-and-coming artists.
Not every musician or artist will be discovered. But, you can give yourself a leg up on the other creatives vying for a place in the spotlight. It takes work, and it is not all music and creativity. Sometimes, you have to position yourself for success by looking at your work as a business. If you can get through the stuff you don’t want to do, you’ll be that much closer to having laid the groundwork for a future on stage and in the airwaves.