Show the World What You’re About as an Artist

Show the World What You’re About as an Artist

In a recent interview with Mindvalley’s CEO Vishen Lakhiani, entrepreneur Marie Forleo revealed that she didn’t find success until she found a way to express her various passions and interests.

(Marie Forleo, by the way, is someone I would describe as the ideal woman – beautiful, ambitious, passionate, and fun.)

This flies in the face of what I said earlier about finding your niche. But creative minds can accept contradicting principles. So, just go with it.

Anyway, what Forleo said was a bit of an “aha” moment for me. I’ve served various artists through the years with Music Entrepreneur HQ, no doubt, but in the mix of people I’ve had the opportunity to help are also executives, professors, entrepreneurs, and more.

Music is just one facet of me, even though my involvement has been extensive (performance, songwriting, composing, producing, teaching, and more) and in a way, it’s become terribly narrow and over-focused. I’ve outgrown it.

I’ve spent just as much time honing my skills in marketing, entrepreneurship, writing, podcasting, communication, artwork, web and graphic design, and personal development.

And in terms of interests? Forget about it. I have a passion for food, travel, comedy, Japan, video games, movies, and even politics, which was a recent discovery. Honestly, I could go on…

So, when will these various passions and interests find their expression? Beginning now. Because you don’t get all of David Andrew Wiebe when music is the only topic of conversation. And that’s not fair to me or to you.

I will continue to use Music Entrepreneur HQ as my stomping grounds. But who knows how it will evolve moving forward? Maybe I will use David Andrew, which I’ve put a lot more time and effort into building out in the last two years. Maybe it will be something else.

I don’t think Music Entrepreneur HQ is going anywhere. It’s still going to be a big part of my hustle.

But I want my various passions and strengths to find their expression. And maybe success as I’ve imagined isn’t possible until I do just that…

How will you express your various passions?

Being Hyper Focused on Your Niche as an Artist

Being Hyper Focused on Your Niche as an Artist

I remember sitting at a songwriter’s workshop, listening to the presenter share about how she had interest in a variety of musical styles, and was even capable of playing just about anything.

“But identifying my niche,” she said, “helped me create an identity. My fans knew what to expect when I came out with a new release, instead of being thrown off by my latest flight of fancy.”

She stuck to her guns and went onto play the big stages a few years later. And her success continues to this day.

Now, this might sound like “okay, I need to stick to one genre for the rest of my life.”

That’s not what I’m saying.

What I’m saying is that you need to know what your identity is. Your identity will inform your musical choices.

Look at the late David Bowie. He didn’t stick to one musical genre. He would create new personalities every few years and concept albums around them. That was the norm for Bowie. It’s what you came to expect of him.

So, we can play multiple genres. But we need to be smart and calculated about it.

Even a band like Van Halen went through some massive changes through the decades, especially as different singers started fronting the band. Yes, it was still Van Halen, but it was different enough that it ended up alienating some fans. And that is a risk you take when changes occur.

As a Van Halen fan, though, regardless of preference, I can honestly say I still listened to everything. Because the essence of the band was mostly preserved through the years.

When you’re getting started, you want to become known for one thing. It’s incredibly difficult to try to become known for multiple things. Once you’ve built your reputation, there will be an opportunity to diversify. But if you can be finely targeted in the early stages, you will experience more early success.

When you’re getting started, you want to become known for one thing. Click To Tweet
Get Their Attention First & Then Share Your Music

Get Their Attention First & Then Share Your Music

I recently got to interview The Police’s former manager, Miles Copeland, and that conversation is going to stick with me for a long time to come.

One of my biggest takeaways from that interview is simply this:

Trying to get people to listen to your music is an uphill battle. First, you’ve got to grab their attention!

Trying to get people to listen to your music is an uphill battle. First, you’ve got to grab their attention! Click To Tweet

Think of Lady Gaga and all her early day antics.

Her talent isn’t in question. Lady Gaga is classically trained. She’s a great pianist and singer. She probably has other talents I don’t even know about.

The point is that by treating every occasion like Halloween, she got our attention. We’re all drawn to the bizarre, even if some of us don’t stick around to watch the whole train wreck.

And I’m not saying Gaga is a train wreck. I’m saying that only a portion of the people who come to check out the freakshow are going to stick around. Not everyone will be your fan. But some will, and those people will become your advocates long-term.

So, we need to be thinking about what we can do to grab people’s attention.

Slipknot has the masks, Marilyn Manson has a knack for the grotesque, KISS has the makeup…

And while these are more extreme examples than anything, what they have in common is that they’re successful by practically anyone’s standards. They got our attention, then delivered music that matched their esthetic.

You don’t necessarily need to go to the same lengths to get noticed. But chances are you will need to do something. Because you need to get feet in the door. Once you’ve gotten people to listen to your music, the battle is as good as won. Getting to that point is the hard part.

So, go back to your identity. Your brand. What are you about? Why do you do what you do? And within that context, how can you grab people’s attention? What would it look like to be the extreme version of yourself?

Get 50/50 Charity Raffle Tickets

Get 50/50 Charity Raffle Tickets

50-50 charity raffleWe invite you to participate in the 50/50 Draw!

We are raising $1,100 for a good cause. $550 will go to support an organization called Sahakarini, which supports the education of underprivileged children in South America. The other $550 will go to a randomly selected winner!

Throughout their lifetime, my father and my grandparents supported an organization called Sahakarini. My father died in a motorcycle crash when I was 13, a loss that has had a far-reaching impact on our family. In many ways, we are still grieving. My grandpa passed about 10 years ago of a heart attack. My grandma passed this year of liver cancer.

I asked myself what I could do to cause healing in my family. And the answer became obvious when I took on a yearlong leadership program. I could create a legacy by raising funds for my family’s favorite organization – Sahakarini.

So, we’d be honored to have you participate, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Again, you have the chance to win $550!

Sold Out! 0 Tickets Remaining! Here are the Results…

Our winner was randomly selected on the eve of November 19, 2021. Congratulations to David H and thanks to everyone for participating!

Our November 2021 Donations to Sahakarini

Sahakarini donation for November 2021

Sahakarini donation for November 2021

Our February 2022 Donations to Sahakarini

Sahakarini donation February 2022

Climbing Your Way Out of Obscurity as an Artist

Climbing Your Way Out of Obscurity as an Artist

Nobody would know the best guitarist in the world if they didn’t network and market themselves.

It seems unfair. It seems unjust.

And yet, the part that’s often overlooked by artists is just how fun marketing can be.

I get that you’d rather hand it off to someone else. Hope they know what your music is about. Pray that they know the best way to promote it.

But most of the time, it doesn’t work out that way. Just ask John Oszajca.

The best person to promote your music is you! Because you know what it’s about, why it matters, who you were influenced by, and all the subtleties that make your music what it is.

So often, we rely on others (like reviewers) to weave a word picture so beautiful and so clear that it makes the job of marketing our music a triviality.

And sometimes that happens, but it’s quite unrealistic to expect it.

See, the person most qualified, the person most in tune with who you are and what your music is about is you. And that makes you the best person to describe, explain, share, and promote your music.

Yes, hopefully you will collect quotes and testimonials, get played on the most prominent of radio stations and playlists, get booked at the premier music venues in your town, and so on. And hopefully you’ll remember to put all that back into your marketing engine to generate a fresh bundle of opportunity.

But it’s got to start with you. You’ve got to be your biggest fan. And that’s the toughest job you have, to keep your energy, stay ignited, and bring it with you everywhere you go.

I remember when I would sit around a dinner table with friends sneaking in a sentence about how great I was ever so often, provoking laughter in the process.

It’s not about being arrogant. It’s about realizing that being down of yourself is mostly a losing formula, unless the specific type of emo or shoegaze act, you’re a part of requires it of you. And then it’s just about playing a part like an actor plays a role.

You’ve still got to be your biggest cheerleader though!

Figuring out what you’re about is sometimes the hard part. But there’s still plenty of time to discover that in this guide.

Once you’ve uncovered your identity, marketing gets so much easier. Because your identity informs your marketing!

Your identity informs your marketing. Click To Tweet

Figuring out who you’re appealing to, where they like to hang out online, what blogs they read, throwing your hooks in the water to grab their attention – that’s the fun part, and anyone can learn to do it!

So, make friends with marketing. Your marketing hat looks good on you.