So many of our fans are aspiring musicians so I thought I write a blog entry about what it’s really about.
Many people enjoy music as a hobby or recreation. There are so many different levels of wanting to pursue it as a profession. For me, it has always been what I want to do as a career.
I got two masters degrees in music (purely excessive for someone who wants to be a rock musician), although I did learn how to orchestrate which allowed Symfinity as everyone knows it to exist!
At any rate, it’s nothing that pays the bills currently, however I can definitely see it get to that point in the future regardless of any label, or management deals that may come along.
The first major truth that you must know, is that your band is a business. If you ever want widespread success, you will have to treat it like one. Because of this, you can’t just be a musician. As I have discovered, you have to be a manager, producer, marketer, friend, role-model, counselor, and many other things. Needless to say, that isn’t for everyone. Many bands out there think that just by playing good music, they will be famous. That’s not true since if no one hears it, no one hears it.
So many bands and musicians I’ve seen struggle with their local music scene (especially in big cities) and myself included, will book shows, tell everyone they know and hope people will show up. There is only a small amount of success that comes from this due to a number of factors:
1. In New York or Los Angeles, too much competition.
2. In NYC in particular, people come and go so frequently that it is hard to maintain a local fan base since it disperses and ceases to be local.
3. Your friends are not your fans (although you can be friends with your fans and that’s awesome!). And it’s not because you suck or anything. This is just statistics. I know that if we play a show in front of random people, we can expect maybe 10% of them to become fans. Your friends aren’t any different and you can expect 90% of them to never take interest in what you do (depressing, I know). If you add in factors from no. 1 and 2, you can see this is a real problem!
There is good news however. That 10% of the world is out there and waiting. You just have to find them and get them to interact with you in a human way. You could spend hours following people on social media, or handing out fliers (fliers don’t work, by the way!) just driving up your number counts, getting the occasional listener that becomes a fan. But it’s not efficient. You could invest in Facebook ads, and other promo materials, but I must warn you, this sets you up for a skin deep relationship with the few people that like your music.
Without going into great detail, I’m going to sum up what you need to do in one sentence: You need to interact and be as human as you can be. Don’t promote your music, but do put yourself out there. People aren’t that stupid and they know a band when they see one so there is no need to push your music with spammy links to your Youtube and Bandcamp pages. The only people you should ever send these links to are YOUR FANS who you know want them! :) So find your fans, and talk to them, because they happen to think that you are awesome and a fan that has a connection to your band is worth 100 that just clicked like on a facebook ad they saw, listened once and promptly forgot that you exist.
Any band or artist that has this figured out, will have at least some degree of success. They will in the very least have fans that support them and regularly listen to their music and talk about how their band is their favorite band. It may not pay bills, but it definitely makes you feel good and it will save the sanity of any struggling artist. So do yourself a favor: Be human, be social, be likeable. If your music is also likable, you will have fans for life :)
These are just the basics, but 99% of bands probably overlook this so it’s relevance is above everything else!
I may write more about this at a later date if there is interest!
Many thanks to our awesome fans!
-Seann @ symfinity