Tips for musicians in the 21st century

Today we’re going to talk about what it takes to be a musician in the 21st century.

There are so many things that have changed, so many advantages, that you have right now, that you didn’t even have last year. And we’re going to get into all of that.

My name is Rick Barker, host of the Music Industry Blueprint Podcast, former manager of superstar Taylor Swift and I’m excited that you are here. […]

Link to Rick’s YouTube channel

Right now is a great opportunity to get your music and your personality in front of a lot of people. Why? Because right now they’re sitting in front of their computers and their sitting in front of their phones. The distractions have been eliminated. You’re not competing against the major artists right now with their concerts. You’re not at gigs all the time so you can get better at your songwriting and things like that. We’re going to talk about some of the things you should be working on right now.

But the competition for their attention is going to be pretty high right now. And what mean by that is; all of the sudden major label artists are doing Instagram Lives and Facebook Lives , so while that’s happening, if you haven’t been doing it for a while, Now is a really good time to focus on your music.
Now is a real good time to focus on getting your songs right.

I run a lot of Facebook ads and Instagram ads. And when I do that, my dm’s get loaded with artists and you would not believe the poor quality of music that is being sent my way with people saying: “I need a manager, can you help me get a record deal…”

I don’t know what it is. It’s like people think just because they learned how to make a beat or they bought a beat and they sang over it, that they’re all of a sudden ready for a career. That’s just like the first step. And that doesn’t mean that you’re ready or not ready or can’t get ready. What I mean is like, be very careful what you’re putting out into the marketplace right now as far as your music goes. Take time to get it right. Because EVERYONE is submitting music right now.

Make sure that right now, as an artist in the 21st century, that when people find you, your socials, your website looks pro. What I mean is that if I was looking at someone signed to a major label, somebody famous that you know and yourself, could they tell the difference, if they didn’t know who either of you were? Who the major label artist is and who’s the independent artist? They should not be able to tell right now, because you have the same exact tools that they have.

So make sure that you’re using a quality website service. Matter of fact, I’ll give you a link to bandzoogle. Blow, I highly recommend them on the music side. Make sure that your pictures and your bios [ are on point]. I had a guy the other day, he comes up in my Instagram live and it’s funny, because he thinks he knows the answers to everything. He’s that guy. Everytime somebody asked me a question, he’d like to be the first one to answer and his answers are wrong half the time. And it’s just funny so we’re all kind of laughing and I feel bad for the dude. But I said: “You know what, let me just go to your Instagram page and your website. This is what the world can see..”

An I went on and the very first thing, his thumbnail was a picture of him kind of grabbing up on his crotch. I’m like, okay, that’s real professional, yes, I’m a label, I want to work with THAT guy. And then the other one was him flipping somebody off. The one that was really funny is, I asked him, I said: “You know, I got a course that can help you fix all this stuff. Why haven’t you picked it up, it’s only like 97 bucks. He’s like, “Bro, I ain’t got no money”. And I’m like, then why do you have nine pictures on your Instagram where you are flashing all this cash, if you have no money? I said, you’re not even being a real person. So the story that I want to share with you there is Be Real.

You know, let us know that you’re a musician, not a model.

I don’t need fancy pictures of you in a fancy car, for me to want to relate to your music. I got to be able to relate to you and your music. So that’s what I really want you to focus on, right now, is that the fans need to get to know you. They need to get to know your heart, your spirit, your music, why you do the things that you do. THAT’S what they’re going to connect to, that’s what they’re going to relate to.

Stop putting up those fake fronts, okay? People see right through it today, so let’s not be that person.

Another thing as a musician today, do not buy fake likes and fake followers. We see right through that. When all your engagement are fist pump emojis and flames and “lit”, and you see it’s the same guy that’s left nine messages, we know that you’ve gone out and bought engagement.

We want to see what your real engagement is like. Sometimes you get caught up on the numbers. I don’t care how many followers someone has, I care how much engagement they’re getting. And if you got 30 followers and 25 people left a comment, that’s huge. That may not be huge to you, because you’re like, well I only have 30 followers… No, 25 of those 30 engaged with you. That’s massive, if you look at the percentages.

Too often musicians today are getting caught up in the vanity numbers, I guess is the best way for me to say that. You’re more concerned on how it looks, if you don’t have many followers. Well, if you want followers, show up every day on the socials. If you want followers, start putting content out and running Instagram ads and Facebook ads.

To that, we’re going to have another video soon on how to do that. And by the time you’re watching this, it may already be out. So look for that.

But as a business sometimes you’re going to have to invest a little cash. Right now it may be a tough time for you to feel like you want to do that, but honestly right now I’m investing in things that are going to help me sustain in my business, if this thing lasts for a long time.

Think about it, if you have a chance to invest 100 bucks to learn something, that’s going to make you 1000 dollars in the short term?! That’s something you might want to look at right now. I know that’s how I’m looking at it for my business.

If you want to know how to utilize social media right now, to start this relationship process, cause maybe you didn’t think about it that much before. It’s like the person who starts a diet the day after they get diagnosed with diabetes. That’s how I see things happening right now. It’s that we always meant to eat better, we always meant to work out or meant to be healthier. And now, all of a sudden, it’s real.

Well that’s what this time is right now. This is a real time, so all those things that we’ve put off, now you got the time to get them done. But I really want to make sure, that you do that for me.

Links to trainings

But most important right now, about being a musician in the 21st century, is that anyone can put music out into the world. Quality is expected. What’s going to make you different, what I think is going to make you different, is going to be the relationship that you set out to make with your fans in the first place. That’s what’s going to make a difference. Don’t keep secrets, let them know when you’re having bad days […], don’t hide things today. We all see what’s happening […].

I appreciate you guys being here, I appreciate you taking the time to learn these things. If you know someone who could benefit from this, please share.

Just remember, we’re all going through this right now, so you want to show up being a part of the solution and not part of the problem.

I talk to you in the next video.

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