Success in the Music Business Requires Strategy

If you are an artist, musician, producer, singer, songwriter, manager or producer you need to keep two things in mind to be successful. Strategy and tactics. Strategy is the destination and tactics are the moves you make to get to your destination. The secrets of an effective strategy are the tactics. The most successful music acts that I’ve seen have had some sort of strategy that guided them to the success.

Recently, while listening to Janet Jackson’s latest release, 20 Y.O., I noticed the tactics that Janet, “Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty” uses as part of her chart topping strategy.

1.) Have at least two radio friendly cross-over singles

2.) Have at least two club friendly singles

3.) Have a couple of slow Jams

4.) Provide personal / political interlude’s

Janet Jackson publicity tactics are as follows;

1.) Take provocative pictures for magazines

2.) Conduct limited interviews and provide few details of her personal life. Thus leaving the press to speculate and gossip which generates awareness for Ms. Jackson’s Brand.

Any recording artist or music business professional can utilize the same tactics and strategy as the major music stars. The secret is to first, define your strategy then determine your tactics. As a music producer in the mid 1990’s I recorded a group that had a great strategy. This group booked a recording session with me to record a demo for them.

The demo was to showcase their ability to play live at Night Clubs. In our three hour session, we recorded and mixed a cover of “Before I You Go” by Blackstreet. After recording the demo, the group sent their demo to club managers across the U.S. Their tactic was to use the demo to be heard and their strategy was to play live in Night Clubs. The last time I spoke with them they were making a living by playing cover songs in Night Clubs all over the U.S.

The thing that impresses me most about successful artist in music business is how they apply their tactics to make their strategy successful.

Strategy has always separated the music legends from the one hit wonders. In the 1940’s through the mid 1980’s one of the tactics often used by recording artists to get airplay was to make radio friendly hits. By the mid 1980’s recording artist were making MTV friendly music video’s.

Just as successful artists in the past recorded radio and video friendly singles, today’s recording artists must include tactics to get noticed on the Internet. As an artist you should ask yourself the following questions;

1.) Do I have a YouTube friendly single?

2.) Do I have a compelling Myspace presence?

3.) Does my story / bio endear me to fans?

Outlining your tactics will help you develop a solid strategy. Having a solid strategy will bring you that much closer to success in the music business.

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