indie marketing and going it alone

Within the industry it is often incredibly difficult to get your work out there. As a result many people after a certain undefined period of time tend to abandon their hopes and move on.
However this can very much be avoided by focusing more on their approach to marketing.

Its often stated with the rise of “superstar Dj’s” and the likes of paris hilton entering the industry that marketing is more important than ever. as such the ways with which smaller indie labels and even down to the individual artist market themselves has not only evolved but is also potentially the most important part of their work now, (alongside the actual creation side of their work).

most indie labels have developed refined strategies to overcome their immediate disadvantage in the industry by either being very selective with the works they do put out. or by having a certain aspect that they focus on doing incredibly well.
Two such labels i’ve come into contact which do this well are Gravitas Recordings in Austin Texas, and Kinesen Recordings in Lugano Switzerland.

For Gravitas their route to success marketing wise was to not only put out works which bucked the current trends in their chosen scene, but also to market themselves as not only friendly people (which they are mind you), and to really engage with their fans whether this be through social media or even at shows by being present and engaging in conversation with them. (we’re all people after all.)

Kinesen’s success in marketing has come through a slightly different route. Whilst they are selective and aim to put out only the best works they possibly can, they’ve also been active as a solid cohesive unit promoting each others work where ever possible and thus by virtue of this, ┬áspreading their songs to more and more people. This concurrently with their focus on not only being nice people but also on ensuring that they are constantly striving for bigger and better things has lead them to arguably begin to grow at an impressive rate utilising both social media and various audio hosting websites (e.g.: soundcloud).

Some of the key things to take form their marketing techniques is: the passion they both employ; both groups of people are incredibly dedicated to their craft. they aggressively market themselves to their fan base by any means necessary because they believe in the product they are offering.
Finally, they are nice people; one of the hardest things for artists to get around is that the idea of the tortured soul who cannot identify with others is all well and good, but it doesn’t translate to people wanting to work with you (unless by some short miracle you make music that is undeniably amazing and you as an individual are merely secondary to it.) this means being friendly, courteous as well as just being open to suggestions. how often do you go home from a club after meeting a dj and remember just how awesome they were as a person? (whilst not to be taken as cynicism, that was also subconscious marketing on their part, without them even knowing it no less [!] ).

In short as an individual the best way to market is to get on social media and promote yourself with a smile, but also to focus on being friendly and taking any opportunity (within reason) that is handed to you. be passionate, get involved. lift speakers after a club night and help out if you have to. eventually you’ll be noticed. if not… you’ll at least have awesome memories and make some friends doing it.


Creative Media and Working in the Industry

Within the audio industry i feel that there are many clear delineation’s of what it takes to make a change, not only for yourself but in the industry in general. In exploring this you would need to touch on many different topics.

Primarily the most important one in my opinion is entrepreneurship.
The key to success in any environment is the will to succeed, and this follows on from my previous post about the desire to finish projects and perfectionism. without the spirit to stand by your product or services and push them out into the public view you can never achieve any lasting ‘success’ or recognition for what makes you unique.
in that sense being an entrepreneur about all you do is vital to what you do. be willing to take a chance and make ideas a reality.

Following on from this and something which is indeed of great consideration to anyone entering the industry is the nature of the work. Just as you wouldn’t prepare to move house without securing a place to move too, so too shouldn’t someone aim to enter the industry without realising the intermittent nature of the work.
you may or may not have work form time to time and this is something which people indeed struggle with. you are your own boss and manager quite often.
with that in mind taking on jobs which you may not agree with creatively may have to occur. this in itself is neither a setback nor an issue however as you as an individual decided to enter the industry. in other words, any opportunity to shine is an opportunity nonetheless; provided it doesn’t conflict with your set of values. (‘don’t play for free’).

With this in mind the topic of pay is central. and something which will be apparent to anyone in the industry would be the disparaging levels of pay between people. the only key difference is how willing you are to get through that. As many people begin by working for almost nothing and slowly work their way upwards, it isn’t without risk in its initial stages.
However, with enough passion and dedication and a desire to not see yourself be undervalued one can easily bridge this gap. however time is an important factor. one does not simply go from $50 jobs to $1000 jobs over night. (or you can, but its rare).

Another key thing to take into account would be how many hours you will work. most people expect to work long hours and this can definately be expected, however dont believe that it will be hours working a mundane job. you entered the industry to do something you love and as such you should be focused on the output rather than how long it takes. try to be excellent and the time will breeze by.

Finally something important to any profession is to stay updated. personally i enjoy keeping a routine of websites i visit to keep up to date on topics. this aids with learning but also with being able to identify trends and helps you to stay somewhat ahead of the curve. You never stop learning as an individual.

This being all well and good you need to work out where you want to work. some people are drawn to studios, some live sound rigs. but for every facet of the industry you have somewhere different to work and that need only be exciting. after all you can only really do what you love.

The Hunt for Perfection

Sometimes i feel as though when we create music we aim to create the most perfect expression of our minds.
we hone those skills we learn on the journey until it is something which is passable as close to perfection. this is done with the full knowledge that it will never be nor can ever be perfect.

Its this hunt for perfection i find hard within my own music. how to make it an exact replication of the feelings and emotions i am trying to convey in a song. but its also something you need to move past in order to actually complete work.
its all well and good spending a year on a single track. but if you never finish then you haven’t achieved what you set out to.

Missing Connections

So i missed my lecture today.
I am going to chalk it up to a combo of it was extremely cold last night and i stayed up way later than i should have working on a track.

in essence it is a missed connection. i view this concept as when you fail to achieve something you intended to do. but you only did so because you were doing something you hold equally important.
its not a negative thing. its merely like a momentary gap in a circuit and in the grand scheme of things provided you are productive each day then somethings are forgivable.
As a mentor of mine once said “do one thing well each day and you will see and reap the rewards”.

anyway enough thoughts from me.
i should get back to the studio and study what i missed and keep working.

General musical musings

So i have begun this website. mostly as a means to allow myself to have a focal point creatively from which people can connect with me and the various internet platforms i have. Also as a way for people to see and hear what i am about and doing.

But also its a way for me to get my thoughts about the audio industry down.
what will i post? probably relevant articles i find interesting as well as my own discoveries.

i think the only blog i’ve ever had before was a tumblr and that wasn’t very productive.
however as with all new endeavours we shall see how this goes.

so to kick this blog off i’ll post the track i am most proud of at the moment.