I’ve been in the music business for over 20 years. In those 20 years, this business of music has changed in many ways, primarily in the area of technology. Recording equipment has become more affordable and more “user-friendly”, while information technology (most notably, the Internet) has made this world much smaller, allowing independent artists to market themselves all over the world with very little effort. Let’s face it: the days of “trying to get signed” to be successful in music are pretty much over.
With that being said, I have discovered that there is one thing that has not changed. It’s been a hard pill for me to swallow, but the older I get, the more I realize how true this statement is: It’s not about you! Whether you’re a singer/ songwriter playing in clubs or an established artist performing before screaming crowds in stadiums, it’s still not about you.
I meet artists all the time (many of them Christian artists, unfortunately) who just don’t seem to get this concept. When people come to your concert or your club show, they aren’t there to see you. They come to be entertained. The same thing goes for those who buy your merchandise, download your music, and sign up for your email newsletter… they want to be entertained. That makes what you do about them, NOT YOU!
Sorry about the cold shower, artists, but when you think about it, you know it’s true. You may be thinking, “Well, you don’t know MY fans!” Yes… I do. The reason that they became “your fans” is because THEY like your music. THEY like the way your music makes THEM feel. Believe me… if your music didn’t do anything for THEM, THEY wouldn’t listen to it.
So why am I saying all of this? Why, to make you a better artist, of course! When you can wrap your mind around the idea that what you do is more about THEM than it is about YOU, it completely changes the way you think and the way you market yourself as an artist. It might even change the way you create your art!
So… bottom line: Don’t be tempted to think it’s all about you. It’s not about you. Set your own ego aside, and give the people what they want. You won’t regret it, and neither will they!