IIt’s easy to tell when you’re doing things right. Your audiences are happy. The manager is happy. You sell a decent amount of CDs each night. Everyone in the band gets along great. You are on top of the world.
It’s important to realize that sometimes we get so caught up in the creative side of things that we fail to see the small telltale signs of trouble brewing. Then one day we look up and realize that something is dreadfully wrong. And all too often, the damage has been done and it is difficult if not impossible to undo it.
So here is a list of things to watch out for. Some items you’ll just want to keep your mental radar on, while others can best be measured with actual statistics. Be careful not to dismiss these and blame them on the economy or the political climate or some other scapegoat. Do your due diligence and get to the root of any challenges that you’re having and make the necessary changes or adjustments.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Vinny Ribas’ article called “25 Things To Watch For That Can Derail Your Music Career,” which you can find here.
- Your name is showing up less in the press. Are you doing things to generate publicity? Have you played any benefits that the press would cover lately? Are you sending out story ideas and/or press releases? Are you resting on your laurels?
- Your audiences seem to be thinning out earlier in the evening. Are you losing energy and interest as the night wears on? Are you pacing your best songs properly? Are you giving your fans a reason to stay for another set or till the end of the night?
- You’re getting bored with your set list. Have you been learning new material? Have you tried rearranging your sets lists? Is your material challenging you?
- Fewer people are signing up for your mailing list. Are you reaching the same audience repeatedly? Are you offering enough incentive for them to join? Are you sending out regular newsletters that your fans can forward to friends?
Image credit: Weheartit.com
- Phone calls are not being returned; emails are not replied to. Have you lost the ‘personal touch?’ Are you trying too hard by calling or emailing too often? Have you visited and patronized the venues during off hours to show your support and build relationships with the management?
- You’re getting less help from your friends or street team. Have you shown your appreciation on an ongoing basis? Do you overwork them or expect too much? Is there still anything in it for them?
- You miss opportunities that you should have known about. Are you keeping up on current events? Are you on top of what is happening in your community? Are you organized enough?
- You’re selling fewer tickets or fewer fans are coming to your shows. Have you been marketing yourself constantly? Do you give your fans a reason to return over and over again? Are your ticket prices too high? Are you playing venues that your largest fan demographic feels comfortable in? Have you been diligent in sending out newsletters?
- There is less buzz about you on the Internet. Are you as active on the social networks as you should be? Are you building relationships with your fans? Do you have ‘share’ buttons so people can share your web pages with their friends?
- You’re getting either bad CD reviews or none at all. Did you pick the absolute very best songs for the project, even if you didn’t write them? Did you change producers? Did you skimp on the production for the sake of the budget?
- You’re not selling many CDs or downloads online. Do you have an enticing website? Are your CDs and single-song downloads available on the major online retailers like CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.com? Are you driving traffic from your social networks and your website to where fans can easily buy your music? Is the ‘music’ button on your website placed where it can be seen immediately when your page is pulled up?
The bottom line is it is vital that you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening with your career and everything that affects it. Don’t get so wrapped up in writing, rehearsing and performing that you miss the important things that are happening all around you. Left unattended, small challenges can easily snowball into major catastrophes that may be impossible to overcome!
© 2011 Vinny Ribas for IndieConnectMagazine, read the entire list at this location.