When we listen to our favorite musicians, we tend to think of them they are just that – artists. Yet, little is known what it’s like to be one today.
The truth is, to succeed in the music business today, artists need to learn the new skills and do the things they would never do in the past.
It's true that the Internet has allowed artists to connect with their fans in an intimate manner and made it much easier to make their music heard. However, there is one more question that needs to be answered. How easy is it for an artist to get rewarded for their music today and what is required of them apart from just being a creator?
You have probably heard people say of the music business today, "It is a lot easier to make your music heard now than it was back in the 90s, but it is much harder to get paid for it."
In the streaming era, artists are compelled to sell music online for pennies or get other jobs to make a living while dabbling in music.
Maybe, this is not the case for each and every artist, but it is most certainly the case for most. The financial struggles are just one part of the artist’s life though.
Being an artist today requires from much more than just making and performing music.
The musician has to know how to sell music online, how to promote the music and their brand, as well as arrange business deals, speak that language, market their music in the current digital era.
You have to be an all-in-one music professional with deep knowledge of business strategies on marketing music to the 21st century fans.
Regardless of the genre, any artist today has to be multi-faceted.
So the key skill every artist needs to master today is how to handle multiple roles artists are nudged to embrace to forward their music business in an effective way.
Role 1: The Musician
This one is obvious, isn’t it? Whether you are a vocalist or play an instrument, developing this craft for any musician is essential to progressing your music career. This aspect of being an artist gets overlooked surprisingly often.
Studio tricks and advanced sound technologies allow artists to cut corners where talent lacks.
But over time, this will be exposed. Especially during live shows. True artists understand this. They constantly polish their skills, further their music education, practice, and strive for progress in innovating their sound.
Role 2: The Performer
Performing aspect does not apply to all artists. A certain subset of creators would only sell music online or digitally, without ever performing it live.
Yet, the artists who do perform live must always focus on becoming better performers. Not only in the way they play their songs but also in putting together unforgettable shows.
The best artists in the world are constantly trying to find ways to innovate their live performances since concerts are a very sufficient income stream and another point of music monetization for artists.
Role 3: The Entrepreneur
Whether we would like it or not, all artists have to be entrepreneurs if they want to sell their music successfully.
You as an artist create a product, just like any business does. Your music and merch are your product, your performances and tutoring sessions or beat-writing sessions or DJing parties, etc. are your services.
What do you do after your product has been created? You sell it! That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with the strategies of marketing your music to increase sales.
Of course, some artists are innately great entrepreneurs. Others are not.
Most artists have to learn how to promote their music as they have no business education and even the slightest idea of how to do that. Similarly, artists have to either learn how to run their music business (learn about music distribution, promotion, public relationship, and marketing tools) or they hire a manager to take care of the business aspects while they deliver the music.
Music is a business, and it has always been a business. The question is… Who is your music business owner and who is going to manage your music sales?
Role 4: The Marketer
Marketing is no doubt an incredibly important aspect of every artist’s career. Social media and various music platforms have allowed artists to market their music to their fans easily. It no longer requires hundreds of thousands of dollars to pull this off. It's enough for the artist to understand some fundamental aspects of how to market and sell music online. This knowledge is power.
This is especially true for independent artists who handle their own marketing and music distribution. Artists must now make an investment into understanding marketing to successfully build their music careers.
Role 5: The Public Figure
Artists are public figures today. Fans respect the opinions of the artists they admire. In fact, many fans actually want to hear what artists have to say when it comes to hot topics such as politics, current social issues. The stances you take, the brands you partner with, the statements you make – all this has a massive impact on your followers and your career.
Clearly, being an artist goes far beyond music creation. It is a hard work of managing multiple roles while still finding time to create unforgettable music masterpieces. For all the fans out there, let this be a reason to continue to support the artists you love. And if you are an artist – don’t worry, you can do it!
To learn how Show4me has simplified all of the above processes for artists to fulfil multiple roles with ease, click here.