John Legend Concert at SAIT in Calgary on June 24, 2014

Hey guys! This week’s post was written by personal development expert Maveen Kaura of Discover Your Life Today.

Maveen is in my mastermind group, and has contributed a lot of great ideas to the site. He also adds a lot of value to my life in general.

Though I don’t know much about John Legend myself, I hear the concert was quite good. Read on! – David

John Legend Concert at SAIT in Calgary on June 24, 2014An announcement is made over the speakers. “Five minutes before John Legend is on stage”. The atmosphere is very exciting. People are enjoying a few cocktails and wine before the concert starts.

My wife and I make our way to our seats. We can really feel the energy of the auditorium as the crowd waits for the lights to dim. A few seconds later the lights go down and the crowd starts cheering.

Three violinist, one cello and guitar player come out on stage. The lights dim some more and now the spotlight is on the musicians. They concert starts with them playing very soft mood-setting music.

A few moments later, the lights go out. They come back on and John Legend is on stage. The crowd is now electric. He sits at the piano and starts with, “I was sent here for you! We were made to love, we were made to love! You were sent for me too, we were made to love, we were made to love!”

Wow! What a powerful voice and lyrics to start the concert off with!

John Legend continues singing and playing piano for two hours. He goes through his discography one song at a time performing songs like, ‘Who Do We Think We Are’, ‘Used To Love U’, ‘Ordinary People’, ‘Let’s Get Lifted’, ‘Save Room’, ‘You & I’ and ‘All Of Me’ to name a few.

He tells his story about being at a job doing desk work. How he starting off playing the 5:30pm show at the Living Room in New York. He was excited when only a handful of people would show up.

He talks about touring with Usher and Kanye West. John would play piano for Kanye and have the chance to sing one song at every performance. He talked about his grandmother and her influence on him and his music. He talked about being on Jimmy Fallon and performing his version of a Bruce Springsteen song. A year later, Bruce asked John if he would perform as he was being honoured at an event. When the Boss asks you, how can you say NO?

The All of Me Tour was amazing for all the people who attended. For those who decided to stay home all I can say is get tickets next time. This was the first time John Legend had come to Calgary, Alberta and sold out.

The night was intimate and interactive just as you would expect from the artist and the venue. The emotion of his music is love, hurt and relationships. Everyone can relate to his music. It was amazing to see and hear the crowd singing along, cheering, and holding hands with each other.

If you do not listen to John Legend because you are not a fan of his music or if you do listen to him because you are a fan of his music, one thing is for sure; you should appreciate the art of performance and what he does on stage with a piano and his voice.

For this concert review this is Maveen Kaura signing off from my floor seat Row K seat 53 at the John Legend concert.

Setting Goals as a Musician

Setting Goals as a MusicianSetting goals involves a bit of concrete thinking. For right-brained musicians that are always exercising their creative muscle, this may prove to be a bit of a fish-out-of-water experience.

But there is an advantage to being highly creative, even as it pertains to goal-setting. If you can vividly imagine what you want your future to look like, you should be able to put your daydreams into words that mean something to you.

In essence, setting goals should be no different for you than for anyone else. But if you want to set goals that actually matter to you, you’re going to have to take some time to focus.

Why is Setting Goals so Important?

In general, goal-setting isn’t something you learn in school; it’s something you learn in books. Some of the best information, incidentally, is in books.

You can think of goal-setting as the secret everyone knows, but nobody does. Most experts says that only two to five percent of people actually write down their goals!

Do you want to gain an edge over your competition? Write your goals down!

If you actually write your goals down, your chances of achieving them skyrocket.

Have you ever written out the lyrics to a song before a show so you would later remember them onstage? Whether you know it or not, that probably played a huge part in you recalling them.

Steps to Follow in Creating Your Goals

I have seen a lot of “this is why your goals don’t work, and this is what you should do instead” type material out there. When it comes right down to it, I don’t think it matters how you phrase your goals.

If you’re not willing to put some work behind your vision in the first place, the details won’t matter! If your goals motivate you, you know you’ve done it right.

I find personal development expert Brian Tracy’s statement far more encouraging and intriguing: you will always accomplish 80% of what you have written down. I have found this thinking to be spot-on, as it is always reflected in the completion of my to-do lists.

So, here are three simple steps to follow in creating your goals:

  1. Write down your goals. You already know how strongly I feel about this. Some people say to use blue ink on white paper, while others recommend red ink on yellow paper. I don’t care which you choose, but please make sure to use pen and paper and not a keyboard and monitor.
  2. Put a deadline on your goals. Goals without a deadline are just hallucinations. Be sure to create a reasonable time-frame for the completion of your objectives.
  3. Make sure your goals are quantifiable. In other words, “make lots of money” is just a statement. “Make $80,000 a year working in my passion” is a goal.

Conclusion

Some creative people fear that their goals are wrong. This fear is usually connected to a lack of self-worth.

If you don’t feel that you are deserving of accomplishing your goals, you probably won’t.

If you feel unworthy of your goals, you will fear being mocked and ridiculed by others.

Here’s a simple way to know if your goals are genuine: they came from inside you. If they sound too good to be true, you’ve hit upon the sweet spot.

Don’t forget; if your goals aren’t from you, they won’t motivate you. Pleasing others should be the furthest thing from your mind, as achieving your desires will prove just as valuable to you as the people you care about.

As for the self-worth issue, let it play itself out. Don’t try to fix it.

You are worthy of your goals whether you know it or not, so write them down, and tell your brain too.

The Difference between Music Distribution and Music Marketing… and why that's important

The Difference between Music Distribution and Music Marketing... and why that's importantIs there really any difference between music distribution and music marketing?

There is, and if you are a musician with any kind of ambition, you need to know the difference!

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Music Distribution

In general, musicians aren’t heavily involved in the world of music distribution. They can send their CD off to a service like CD Baby or TuneCore, choose what digital stores and streaming sites they want their music to be catalogued in, and then wait for their release to show up in those stores. Most of the heavy lifting is done on their behalf.

It takes a bit of time and a bit of money to do this, but there’s very little effort involved. You don’t have to negotiate and cut your own deals with individual outlets (can you imagine?). Moreover, there’s nothing saying that you could cut a good deal let alone any kind of deal with those companies.

If you want to seek out your own opportunities, you might take a more entrepreneurial approach to distribution. I will get to that a little later, but first, let’s explore what music marketing refers to.

Music Marketing

In some ways, music marketing actually depends on distribution. Your music needs to be delivered to various physical locations and online apps and stores before it can be streamed, purchased, and listened to.

Once your music is available through your chosen outlets, you still need to deliver it to your fans. If they don’t know that your new album can be found in stores or on their favorite streaming site, they’re probably not going to go looking for it unprompted.

What do you do? Simple. This is when you would post to your social networks and send out an email campaign to your fans. This process can still be thought of as a form of distribution, but in essence, it’s also where marketing begins.

If distribution is the mostly hands-off process of getting your music into stores and outlets, marketing is the mostly hands-on process of promoting and exposing your music to the world. In other words, it requires effort.

So, where does the confusion come from?

The Confusion

The difference between music distribution and music marketing can be confusingMusicians sometimes see music distribution and music marketing as being one and the same or interchangeable.

When the internet and e-commerce were still new, getting your music online was kind of a big deal. Some albums saw immediate traction because people were looking for new music, and there was still novelty attached to purchasing it online.

But we have to be realistic. That doesn’t really happen on the same scale anymore.

There’s so much noise to cut through, and so much competition out there. Musicians can’t just put their music online and wait for the sales to drive a dump truck full of cash through their rehearsal space.

That’s why marketing is important. Without marketing, your fans (and your prospective fans) wouldn’t know anything about your music.

A Proposed Solution

A proposed solution to the music distribution and music marketing confusionI don’t think it’s a bad thing to see music distribution and music marketing as being part of a unified whole.

If you’re ready to have your music distributed, it means that your latest album is recorded, mixed, mastered, pressed, and shrink wrapped. Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate!

But this isn’t the time to crack open the beers, fire up the BBQ and hang out on the porch for the rest of the year. No, you are sitting on a massive opportunity that will never come around again.

Once your CDs are out the door and off to the distribution company, you can start moving them further down the music release conveyor belt (figuratively speaking).

For example:

  • You could take a photo of your shiny new CDs and post it to Instagram and Facebook (whet your fans’ appetite!).
  • You could begin to tease your fans with sound clips, videos, lyrics, and song titles (if you do this, don’t just make it a one-time occurrence; do it many times leading up to the release of your CD).
  • You could go to some of your favorite coffeehouses and shops in town and see if they would be willing to sell your CDs on consignment (this would be an example of an entrepreneurial approach).

And so on.

Bonus: What To Do Next

So you’ve sent your music off to the distribution company. You’ve teased the release of your new album. You’ve hosted a successful CD release party and you’ve already sold dozens of digital copies and several physical copies of your release. What next?

Keep marketing!

If you stop now, you will kill the momentum you’ve built up. Ideally, the marketing of your CD should begin months in advance of it being released (preferably six to 12 months), and continue for months after its release (some bands tour on the same release for 12 to 24 months).

Think of it as a campaign. It starts the moment you start writing new music, and it ends the moment you post the last bit of media from your promotional tour (not when you play the last note on tour).

If you’re going to run a campaign, you’re going to need a plan. You’re going to need to set goals and see your marketing initiative through to completion.

How do you do that? That’s another subject for another time. But don’t worry, there’s more to come.

So, if you want to know how to run a successful music release campaign, make sure to sign up for our newsletter. We want to keep in touch with you and let you know when new articles become available. The sign-up form is in the sidebar on the right hand side. Thanks!