As I have been overhauling my site I have been revisiting a lot of posts and moments from the past. A highlight was interviewing Seth Godin. During the 2-part interview, Seth and I re-visited his music lessons blog post from now 11 years ago.
Music is social. Music is current and everchanging. And most of all, music requires musicians. The winners in the music business of tomorrow are individuals and organizations that create communities, connect people, spread ideas and act as the hub of the wheel… indispensable and well-compensated. – Seth Godin (from a post in 2008!)
It is now tomorrow and this quote is still relevant. The main question I still ask you after all of this time dear readers is how are you going to create communities, connect people, spread ideas and act as the hub of the wheel?
Here are 5 lessons you will learn from watching this video…
LESSON #1: The First Ten = The Secret of the New Marketing
The First TEN, everyone has 10 people in the world. If you play for them and they walk away you need to change your music, but if those 10 bring 10 more friends tomorrow now you can amplify what you are doing.
Nobody (Not even me) can change the world for you if those first 10 don’t think you are amazing.
Too many folks are spending their life savings yelling louder their boring stuff. – Seth Godin
LESSON #2: Deliver With Authenticity And Passion
This doesn’t mean KISS makeup or an OK GO video. It means are you delivering something with enough authenticity and passion that people demand you do it again for their friends.
If the answer to that is no then you’ve got to improve what you are making.
There’s never ever, ever been a better time to be an independent artist than right now…. Ever.
If you are going to go into this angry that you don’t get royalties from Spotify, angry that people are sharing your music go do something else for a living.
It just doesn’t pay to be angry every day when you are trying to do your art.
The internet is radio but without having to bribe the program managers. The internet is radio for ideas including music.
LESSON #3: The Problem is Not Piracy, it’s Obscurity
Ponder This Q: If Everyone Knows Your Song Do You Make More Money or Less Money Than if Noone Knows Your Song?
If you are serious about your art the answer is I want everyone to know my song, because if everyone knows my song my heart will be happy because that’s why I made the song and my pocket will be happy because if everyone knows my song, someone’s gonna show up and say “come do a live gig”, “sign this guitar”, “endorse this mouthwash.”
As Seth’s friend Tim O’Reilly says: The problem is not piracy, it’s obscurity.
If you can solve the obscurity problem, you don’t have to worry about the money, it will take care of itself.
The fact is the internet has made everything so small it doesn’t matter where you make your music (in the world).
Because you are not going to go to lunch with someone who’s going to change everything for you anyway.
LESSON #4: Remarkable = Worth Making a Remark About
Q: What entity has the most potential in the music industry to promote a new disruptive and successful licensing model?
A: Your Friends. That’s the answer to any question.
If advertising doesn’t work, what does? I don’t get to decide whether your music is good. The market does.
LESSON #5: The Chances That Clive Davis is Going to Call You Up And Say “You’re my next” Are Zero
The chances that Clive Davis is going to call you up and say” you’re my next are zero.
There’s no next Clive Davis. That game is over. Stop waiting for the phone.
What you need as a musician is something to stand on so you can spread your next idea.
More video highlights:
How do you go from 1 fan to 2 and beyond?
There’s no better form of direct marketing than standing on a street corner and playing because if you can get people to put money in the basket you’re onto something… If you can discover ways you can do your work that gets more money in the basket, if you can deal with the rejection of the person walking right past you as you are standing outside in the rain playing for free, you will figure out how to take your art in ways that get people to notice.
The internet is way more brutal than a street corner because, on the internet, everyone’s anonymous, everyone’s invisible, and they can say nasty things.
So… take your guitar or your flute and work your way up.