I have been reading a lot about the issues in the music industry and how difficult it is for musicians to make money, the select few are making a fortune and the rest are making very little (apparently).
I have also discovered a lot about the issues in the education system in Australia and how people are going into education debt studying courses that only 5% of the students will ever complete with an average education debt of $24,000.
What do these two issues have in common?
Most of the discussion is about money.
The issues are around the few people making heaps of money and everyone else making very little or no money at all.
What I have discovered is a very important aspect that may change the game for anyone wanting to be involved in music or in education.
The strange paradox is that concentrating on money doesn’t make money. In fact the more you look at money issues and try to ‘make it’ the less likely you are to get somewhere. Why?
People do not buy your desire to make money.
What people pay for is something that ‘they’ want, something that solves their problems or that provides a service that they see as valuable. The more you concentrate on the dollars the less time you spend on the most important part of the equation – people.
I was asked recently by a musician, ‘How do I get my music out there?’
I very quickly discovered that the problem in this is the word MY, My Music. While you want people to like your music, like your Facebook page and buy your music and merchandise because it is your music it doesn’t really interest most people. They are busy with their own issues, life, kids, money and work.
The solution is to turn your music into their music.
So how does music become someone else’s music, how does a song become something that someone wants.
Believe it or not, you are living proof of how music works. Think of an important time in your life, graduation, first kiss, a wedding, a party or a school social. Think about songs or a song that reminds you of those great memories.
Just as importantly think of sad times and the songs that are associated with those times.
At a 50th birthday gig I played at recently, the birthday girl was so excited that the first set of songs was her life story. Nearly every song meant something as it had a memory connected to important times in her life.
Why do people like older songs, because songs are connected to our memories?
Once a song is associated with an experience or a memory, then it becomes something that people can relate to and becomes something that means something to them.
Can you name the song played on the last ever show of Seinfeld?
A song is the connection between you and your audience, but until you make it a personal connection, connecting with a song and an experience you will struggle to find people that will connect with your music.
To be successful you need to be aware of the business aspects, but you need to be more aware of the needs of your clients, your fans.
Put the effort into being a part of their experiences and you will build a lifelong relationship.
Go out into the real world, meet real people and become a part of their experiences. It’s a lot of fun.