I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is, there’s no silver bullet. The good news is, you’re unique as an artist.
Your music career depends on a bunch of factors. Naming them all takes too much time. To give you an idea, there are your music style, your lifestyle, the number of musicians if you’re in a band or group, your gender, and your geographic location.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear path for an artist. I listened to a lot of stories over the years. At the radio station, telling these unique stories made our shows interesting.
Were there similarities? Of course!
But no story was the same. Take Ed Sheeran for example. Do you know how many artists are busking the world? Why did he succeed while others didn’t?
Some call it luck. Others call it destiny. But all he did was working his butt off and using the opportunities he had. So he ended up being one of the most popular and influential songwriters of the 2010s.
By the way, working hard and taking opportunities is a pattern you’ll find everywhere if you care to look deeper into things. You have to make leaps of faith though, and that’s where many people struggle.
And since it’s so different for you than most other artists, it’s hard to find common ground. Some musicians swear on streaming, others on live shows, still others claim sync licensing is the sh-t. And this list goes on and on and on…
Aside from that, you also are the sole person who can do your job as an artist. There’s no one else out there. Bottom line is, you can’t pay someone to do your job for you because they don’t know your fans like you do.
If you hire someone, they don’t have the same connection to your fans like you do. I’m a big fan of outsourcing work to others that I’m overqualified for or that others are (much) better in than I am. So you can hire a team or a person that helps you. They can guide you on your mission to what lays in front of you.
But in the end, it’s your decision what to do. You are the fuel that runs the engine. And there’s no other alternative for your engine.
You’re kinda alone in this.
I don’t think this comes as a shock to you. It’s nothing new. No big surprise. I like to read stuff like this to be assured that even though I’m alone in this, I’m not alone. There are people out there who have similar journeys, who have similar struggles, who have similar solutions. I can help them, they can help me.
It’s not about having your whole career path laid out in front of you and following a step-by-step guide to success. Rather see it as milestones. And for every milestone, you can research a solution that fits your needs (and gives you step-by-step solutions). Be it a Spotify release campaign, having your latest production mixed and mastered, or building a mailing list for your fans.
You are the limiting factor of your music career. If you don’t move your lovely butt, nothing will happen.
So… what’s your next milestone?