Have you ever submitted your music to radio stations or websites, but found they’re not even responding to you? Do you want to collaborate with bigger name musicians but are finding it hard to get them to notice you? Are you finding it hard to build up a loyal fanbase?
Well today I’m going to show you how to turn all of these things around using one simple strategy:
Music business compounding.
In the music business there are things which will move you forward faster than the average musician. This is one of those key things, a key concept if you will. So be sure to read this guide till the end and apply what you learn.
What Is The Music Business Compounding Concept
First of all, let me state what I mean by compounding. If this initial part isn’t 100% clear read on, I’ll give examples so you’ll get it by the end.
Compounding is a music business concept which allows musicians of any level to work their way up the pecking order.
In the music business, we want to start out by taking small steps forward and building on that success each time. As you build on your previous efforts, you’ll be able to reach higher as time goes on. Your new efforts are placed on top of the results on your previous ones, making your results grow bigger and bigger as they go along.
The problem is, most musicians come in the game and instantly expect big things to happen to them. They’ll approach the biggest radio stations and try to get their songs played on them. Or they’ll approach the biggest musicians in their genre and ask for collaborations.
The problem with this is that these people don’t know who you are. Furthermore, they get lots of these kind of requests every week, so they naturally have to filter them out and keep focusing on the bigger players in the game. This leads to a lot of a rejection and the feeling that you haven’t got what it takes.
Music business compounding however is a much better way for you to get started. Let’s say for example that there are five levels of musicians out there. You’re at level 1, the big musicians are at level 5. Don’t instantly start trying to collaborate with level 5 musician, instead collaborate with other level 1 musicians and move up from there. I’ll show you exactly how to do this in a below chapter.
For now though, let’s look at the three things which you can compound to get better results over time:
- The quality of collaborations you get.
- How much media coverage you get.
- The growth of your fanbase.
Let’s look at how to move up the ladder with each of these; be sure to take note.
Build Your Way Up To Bigger Music Collaborations
As I briefly touched on above, instead of trying to collaborate with the biggest musicians in your genre right away, you should instead aim to work with those musicians who are on the same level as you. These people will be more open to working with you as you probably have similar goals. You may each have a small fanbase, but if you share your music with their fans and they do the same with yours, you can both add new people to your fanbase in a relatively short amount of time.
Now let’s say you’re a ‘level 1 musician’ and so are they. The biggest musicians in your genre are level 5. If you work with say ten other level 1 musician, each time your promoting them to your audience and them promoting you to theirs, soon you’ll have gotten exposure from the fanbases of ten other musicians. A percentage of them will have gone on to sign up to your mailing list and socials sites, and will now also be your fans. In fact, you may now have more fans that all the others you worked with as you’ve dipped into all of their fanbases.
Not only will you now have more fans, but you’ll also be gaining a reputation as someone who’s worth collaborating with. Other people of your level have done this, so it must be beneficial right? While the level 5 musicians probably won’t be ready to collaborate with you at this stage, chances are the level 2 ones will. You’re the go to person at that level, and chances are (if you make good music) you’ll at least be considered a level 2 musician now yourself.
At this stage, you’ll want to repeat the process, working with a bunch of level 2 musicians. And guess what, as you do that you’ll start getting on the raider of level 3 ones.
This is a rinse and repeat process; keep building your way up with your collaborations until you get as far as you can. If you’ve a lot of talent, it’s not unlikely you’ll be seen as someone it’ll be worth even the biggest musicians in your genre want to work with. After all, you will have built up street cred, and that can be a strong draw for record labels and popular musicians who have lost touch with the more grass roots fanbase they initially built up.
Don’t underestimate how powerful this strategy is. It takes a lot of work, but that just means not a lot of other people will do this. If you do, you’ll find it a lot easier to stand out from the crowd.
Build Up A Bigger Fanbase With The Help Of Previous Fans
When you’re starting out, it’s hard to build up your fanbase. Most fans are obtained as they randomly come across your music. Yes they might share an update or song of yours personally, but it’s not going to cause that many more (if any) additional people come across your music.
While one fan usually doesn’t make much difference, a big group of them can be a very powerful thing. For example, let’s say you’ve got a mailing list of 1000 fans. If you have a new single out and run a competition for people to win it (and they have to share the news about your single to get more entries), that’s going to cause a decent amount of people sharing your music which will in turn drive new people to your music. At this stage, it’s a lot easier to get new fans than it is when you’re first starting out. You won’t have this list, and you’ll find it hard to build up traction for your competition.
So knowing this, the aim is to now build up your fanbase through compounding. The best way to do this is to get people onto your email newsletter. Then each time you have something new to share with fans, you can let you mailing list know first.
Let’s say you have a email list of even 50 people. When you’ve something new you can email them all. If you’ve an interactive list, you could get around 25 of those subscribers instantly doing what you requested of them. As time goes on you’ll collect more subscribers and can send more people were you want (to a new single, to a new video, to a collaboration or gig etc) with each email you send out.
If you send them to blog posts with social sharing buttons, you’ll naturally get more shares on each post which will mean more new people will find out about you. If you send them to place people can buy your music, you’ll make more sales (as long as your material is good and you market it well of course).
Get More Media Coverage Through Compounding
Compounding media opportunities works much the same way as compounding for collaborations does so I won’t make this section long. In short, you’ll want to focus on getting on the smaller websites and radio stations before you aim for the bigger ones. Build up a few website appearances, get played on a few community and pirate radio stations, and build up your music CV.
Once you have a few achievements under your belt, you’ll be able to use that list as proof to people in the above level that you are someone they’ll do well to take notice of. Use these to get the level 2 opportunities, then rinse and repeat moving up levels each time.
It’s all about building up a buzz gradually and making it hard for the gate keepers in the level above to ignore you. Then as you work with one or two people in the level above, others in that level are going to be more willing to work with you too.
Compounding is a super powerful concept that you should really be using in your music career. It’s often a waste of time to go for the biggest opportunities straight away, but going the slower but more steady route like this will make it more likely you’ll one day get there.
Have you used this compounding method in your music career before? If so let us know in what way and what kind of results you’ve seen.