Musicians: Stop FISHing

by | May 3, 2021 | Uncategorized

Have you ever been fishing?

It has often been described as calming. Peaceful. Enjoyable. But rarely exciting.

Which doesn’t mean fishing can’t be exciting. It can be.

But unless the fish are in a generous mood the day you make your way to the pond, river, lake, or ocean, fishing is mostly a game of casting, waiting, moving, casting, waiting, moving… with the occasional nibble or bite.

The tug of war that ensues when a fish is finally on the line is usually the only exciting part. Hours of casting, waiting, moving, for the occasional two minutes of excitement.

And this is what musicians often end up doing in their marketing efforts. They spend all their time FISHing instead of jumping headlong into the heart of the storm.

Let me explain…

F is for Sales Funnels

Everybody and their dog are teaching sales funnels now. Even I talk about them, because I know that a lot of musicians have set themselves up with sales funnels and they need support promoting them, tweaking them, and generating sales from them.

I’m not saying that sales funnels don’t work. But the sales funnel itself isn’t the solution. This is where a lot of creatives get stuck. Because they don’t realize that for a sales funnel to work, they’ve got to be constantly filling their funnel with prospects using the following methods:

Everything talked about in Russell Brunson’s Traffic Secrets (affiliate link), basically…

But that’s just filling your funnel with prospects. Just because you have a funnel set up doesn’t meant it’s automatically going be effective. You’ve got to get your ad creative right, so people click on the ad.

Once they’re on your landing page, you’ve got to have an irresistible offer waiting for them. If you get them passed that point, you’ve still got to convince them that they have a big enough problem to open their wallet for it, and that’s going to be contingent on your copy and video sales letter.

Bottom line – you’ve got to become a full-time, professional digital marketer to do this right.

Again, I’m not saying don’t go in this direction. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

I is for Instagram

To cut to the jugular, likes and comments aren’t going to make one bit of difference in your music career.

Initiating direct messages could advance your music career, but only if you’re building quality connections.

So, the main difference makers with Instagram are:

  • Gaining a better understanding of who your audience is, following them, and connecting with them
  • Creating Instagram Stories and ads
  • Getting people to click on the link in your profile

I don’t see much utility in Instagram beyond these three actions.

To elaborate…

Staying in touch with your audience is certainly a good idea, though Instagram isn’t the only place you can do this.

Instagram Stories are more effective than I would have initially assumed, but effectiveness still depends on whether you can get users to take a profitable action from having watched your Stories.

I admit that advertising on Instagram can be quite powerful if you know what you’re doing, but that’s a big if.

And then we’re left with the final option of getting people to click on the link in your profile, which is kind of a crapshoot if I’m being honest.

S is for Spotify

I’m honestly perplexed by this one, because Spotify isn’t that awesome.

The only thing I can see is that musicians are paying undue attention to the big Spotify success stories, and selectively ignoring the masses who don’t even make $100 per month from streaming.

And algorithm exploits aren’t anything new. They exist until marketers ruin them, and then they are promptly dealt with and removed by the platforms.

So, you have delusions of grandeur if you think your current Spotify tactics are going to work forever (if they are even working for you right now).

The only real way to build your music career, and to play to thousands of people, and earn a steady income from music, and get approached by labels, is if you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into building a fan base that gives a damn about you and your music.

If you have a fan base, and you’re taking care of them, the streams should take care of themselves.

H is for Hope

Hope is not a bad thing. But people sometimes mistake it for faith.

Faith is future based. It’s the belief that something that has never happened before, can happen.

Hope is mostly just wishing. Wishing it could be better. Wishing it turns out well. Wishing good things are going to occur just because.

Oftentimes, there is nothing undergirding the hope. No legwork to assure what is hoped for is a possible future.

If you think that setting up a sales funnel, trying to become an Instagram influencer, and exploiting Spotify algorithms is somehow going to make you a star, all you’ve got is hope. If you’re reading Traffic Secrets and implementing the steps, then it’s built on faith. An exhausted, weary faith, but faith, nonetheless.

True, lasting success will be built on the back of – sing with me if you know the tune – pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into building a fan base that’s invested in you and your music.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, am I saying don’t engage in any of these activities? Don’t take advantage of the tools and platforms available? Don’t take a chance on yourself?

No, of course not. Tools are tools, and in large part, the results comes down to how you use them.

Many musicians have created success using the above. But you can’t conflate building sales funnels, becoming an Instagram influencer, getting streams on Spotify, or hoping that you’ll get somewhere employing these tactics, with getting everything you want in life.

Trust me when I say there are lame funnels, influencers who make no money, “long-tail” musicians who get lots of streams but can’t even pay their rent with royalties, and dreams that fell apart at the seams because of hope and no action.

But that’s just one man’s opinion.

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