Artists nowadays come a dime and dozen, the exclusivity is no longer part of the mystique. Technology replaced skillful talent causing an influx of individuals flooding the entertainment business with the idea that it is a get-rich-fast scheme and that they can achieve fame and fortune without the need of putting forth any real effort.
The big misconception too many have is believing that they can simply skip and by pass the path and process of creating a successful business (being an artist is a "business") unless you simply just do it for fun or as a hobby. However, if you think about making millions of dollars in becoming an international superstar, the protocol and requirements are the same as for any business -- creating a quality product, proper marketing and promotions, nurturing business relationships and hiring appropriate and professional expertise for the tasks needed because you doing it yourself won't cut it. If you are not a professional graphic designer, web developer, writer, accountant, etc. Why would you think that you can do the job in a highly competitive industry. If you are unable to get a job within those business entities due to lack of qualifications and experience what makes you think you would a better job over someone that has been doing it for many years?
We have compiled some of the top most common mistakes and misconception 90% of "aspiring" artist make and which you can attribute to them never hit the market.
1. Not Willing To Invest Into Themselves
A music career is no different than any other business that requires a solid plan, finances and execution. However, 90% of "aspiring artists" have this idea that fortune and fame comes for free or with minimal investment or sacrifice. It is unclear why that myth is so prevelant but many artists are not realistic of their ask to give ratio.
Putting reality back into perspective, artists want to compete with the Drake's, Nicki Minaj's, etc but why would they think that they are capable of doing this by only presenting a song that has not even been professionally produced and packaged to sell to music professionals that suppose to be the investors?
It is similar to going into a bank requesting a million dollar loan but having bad credit, no colleteral and/or a financial history that can back up your million dollar request if you don't have that you simply won't get the loan until you provide what's necessary.
A big misconception is that success happens overnight which simply doesn't happen. There may be one or two stories here and there but that is like winning the lottery everything else requires hard work, sacrifices and investment to create the best product possible to convince people that you are worth admiring. If you don't want to sacrifice your club, vacation or whatever leisure money to put it back into your career it will show to your audience and they will treat your career just as you do as it is a hobby.
Marketing a product requires resources such as promoting in various cities, having promotional products to complement your campaign, radio and club play requires relationships that do not come cheap if you do not have them. No major radio station plays an unknown artist, no major record label or music executive will invest into artists that have not been consistent in doing shows. If you only exist on social media and only perform at home for your family and your mirror, you can email your MP3's until you are blue in the face. You will need to have a marketing budget, a budget to build your brand and image. Photoshoots, promotional materials, travel expenses, you will have to pay to play when you don't have the back story or numbers to back you up that you are worth taking a chance on. Every single person has the "If I am only given an chance" plea but to your surprise there are artists that you will compete with that are not afraid to save their money to ensure they can get the best product possible by paying for professional studio time, paying for beats, etc.
2. Spam not Promotions
Marketing & Promotions are strategic initiatives that act upon educated information whether it is social media, traditional, street promotions, etc. You have to understand the science of your campaign. You have to consistently study, analyze, and research the progress of your work and make changes accordingly.
Going on people's pages and plastering your Youtube video, Soundcloud or Spinrilla mixtape link asking them to listen WILL blacklist you quicker than you upload your music. The only thing you will accomplish is pissing people off, you will create disdain for you and your efforts. People don't want to be bothered it feels just like Pan handlers asking for a dollar making them feel uncomfortable but yet majority practice this behavior. If you do - STOP NOW!
You don't see Rick Ross or Lil Wayne plastering every page with the same old intrusive comments to listen to your music. NOBODY will go out and put forth the effort to listen to you unless you become a conversation piece because of your work. We receive countless request and MP3's of artists but we do not even bother to listen or even look at them because their requests are all the same and are viewed as "We Want FREE stuff" but they don't even have the proper bio's, press kits, packaging. We are even at the point where we no longer accept submissions at all unless they come via reputable channels.
3. Bad Packaging
You are an artist, you want people to buy your music, support you and to recognize your gifts - Then give them something to feel good about in purchasing you and your product. It is very puzzling how people can even think to put out less than mediocre products that they haven't spent a dime for but expect the next person to pay you full price or even with the time.
Just look around you when you buy anything -- Soda, food, electronics or just anything that's in a store. All of it has packaging done to entice you. Companies spend lots of money to create packaging to say "Wow this looks like something worth buying, I should buy it"! Everything is geared to resonate the image that everything is top notch and that you should buy them over the other.
If your excuse is that you do not have the money or resources then either you have to find a way besides the illegal means to finance it otherwise you may not be ready to start your "business".
4. Work Ethic
Every single artist will try and convince you that this is their "calling" or their "dream" but for many their action simply do not reflect that. If that is suppose to be what you want to do for the rest of your life than you need to act like it. If you have to work to finance your dream than you better put your foot in it, save your money so you can invest in that career to build it to support you.
And even then after you work your 8 hours you will have to put another 8 into your dream and go harder. But if you believe that this is secondary or you only put in 50% don't expect to get more back. You get what you put in!
But just being at home on social media is not working as an artist you need to be doing shows, network, and build on your brand until you get to where you are trying to go.
5. Lack of Knowledge
Any profession requires a skill and training especially if you plan on making a lot of money. Lawyers, doctors, football players, designers, etc all spent years learning their craft by going to school, getting certifications and just work life experience but more so the time to learn it the right way.
The entertainment business is no different. You have business professionals that work at labels that are hired according to their experience and skillset whether it be at Def Jam or at iHeartRadio the people that work there are there because of their resume. In order for you to get into the same space you will need to be experienced as well.
However, many believe that they can simply do the job without ever have done it -- EVER!
What you read and see is NOT what happens, there are a lot of trade secrets, there are many people with different skills and experiences to make these companies work. So in order for you to get where you want to go you have to treat it as you are trying to get a job somewhere.
Do you have the experience? have done this work before? why do you think you can do that job when you never did it?