Let me give you a hand. Here are mistakes most artists make. They’re not necessarily the worst/most important, but I do see them all too often. I’ve told you them now though so I better not catch you making one!
10 Mistakes (Most) Artists Make:
1. Run late
I don’t think I’ve met many artists that run on time or, God forbid, early! We all run late sometimes, but some people take the piss. There are several possibilities when you’re late, you could
a) Miss out on opportunities- Cameoing in a well-known mate’s vid? Sorry, cameraman’s gone home and the shoot’s wrapped up
b) You make a bad impression- Meeting with someone who wants to manage you and you’re an hour late? What a great impression you’re making
c) Lose money- Late for studio time you’ve booked? Less time for you then.
You get my drift… It’s not just with meetings etc. – even deadlines and release dates!
2. Move too fast
No, I don’t mean they walk at the speed of light. I mean they come up with an idea, build a hype using social media before they’ve even properly thought about it and realised it’s either not a good idea or not possible. A lot of the time I find artists need to slow down and think. Also, you shouldn’t be publicising ideas until things are in place for them to happen- someone will nick ’em and do it before you!
Also, if you do something ACE in the studio, plan its release so you have time to build a hype.
3. Get too close to fans
Engage with your fans and yeah, talk to ’em- they are the ones supporting your career after all. However, do not let them invade your life, do not flirt with them to increase their loyalty, do not sleep with them etc. they are just there to love your music and bring the money in. You need to have a personal relationship with them to get them to interact, but don’t cross the line.
4. Not take advantage of their social outreach
So you’ve got all these followers, but how are you using them? Has each and every one of them heard your music? Have your even built a relationship with each and every last one of them? Do it.
5. Not having a mailing list
So what do you do once you’ve spoken to all these followers and shown them your music? You keep them updated.
6. Think they’re invincible
You’re not okay. You’re just not. I don’t care how many views you have on YouTube or how many followers you have on Twitter, it doesn’t give you the right to be an ass to everybody and turn down opportunities ’cause you think you’re too good for them or refuse to pay ’cause you should get it free. Once someone wanted me to take care of their social media for £25 a month- you may be an aritst, but I am not that desperate.
7. Make everything about them
Okay, it IS about you, but when I look at an artist I look for “What can I do? How can I benefit from this person?” not, “I wonder what they think of this, this and this…” This ties in a little with my artist bio post.
8. Try and do too much at once
So you want to do you, but at the same time you’re trying to make mainstream music? Target and own one sub-market first, then cross markets and eventually you’ll catch ’em all if you do it well. For example, if I was a rapper I might target the UK rap fans first, but then I may cross over and work with singers to get more of a mainstream buzz.
9. Rely on other people too much
No one is gonna bring you through. You have to do that. Media companies will bail just before your video shoot, people will forget to write your press release. You know what I say? Learn to do it all yourself. Rebekah Buffong is a good example of an artist with a business mind.
10. Be Inconvenient
Someone tweeted me the other day to tell me to subscribe to their YouTube, but did they tweet me the link? No, they wrote down their username. Do you know how long that is for me? Did I subscribe? No I did not. They do the same with mixtapes making them long to download. Check out my mixtape dont’s here.
Okay that’s 10. The last thing I’ll say is don’t do this either. Pretty sure there will be a Part 2 to this because they make a lot more… watch out!
In the meantime, avoid these mistakes.