At what point is a musician doing too much business and not enough music? Is this even possible?  A topic that constantly comes up is that if you're a musician, you want to focus on the music and not deal with the business that goes with it. I hear so many musicians say that they don't want to be doing social media, writing blogs, creating Twitter lists, posting videos...  they want to be writing songs, recording, performing, honing their craft... I read one comment from a musician on a blog recently saying "musicians should worry about improving their craft and creating great music and that the rest will come naturally. If people don't create amazing music, then what's the point trying to blog about it...?" Sounds like what a lot of musicians would like to be focusing on! Problem is that you can have all the talent in the world but if no one knows about you then who cares? It's like the musician who doesn't want to give up any publishing on their songs to a publisher, but in the meantime does nothing to work their catalog themselves. They end up making 100% of nothing instead of 50% of something...

Truth is how many people spend every waking minute writing songs, playing an instrument, singing, performing, recording, touring...? I find it hard to believe that there is not even 30mins in the day to do some social media, some e-mails, etc... These days there are so many apps that allow you to do all you need from your iPhone that there really is no excuse (check out this great example of a viral video that puts Apps to good use). Snapping a shot in the studio with one sentence and posting it to your Facebook, taking a picture of the crowd from the stage and getting people to tag themselves, sending a Tweet out to your fans to meet up when on tour, blogging about each place you visit, video blogging, videos of sound check, the writing process, lyrics, the recording process, etc, etc, etc...

Social Media Logos

Most people find it hard to know where to begin. When it comes to content you don't have to always make posts that are directly related to your music. In fact, it would be in your interest to blog about things that interest you. If you like fashion, art, traveling, base jumping, Twister, Scrabble, Super Mario Bros, Finger Puppets, Opera, Climbing, whatever it might be, blog about it! This allows people to have a better idea of who you are and relate to you.

There is endless content on topics that interest you and you can link to them in your posts. If there is a video you find interesting, share it with your fans. Web 2.0 is all about two way communication. To be able to have that type of communication is one of the most valuable tools that exists in the new music industry today.

One of the most followed celebrities on Facebook is Vin Diesel, because he actually posts things about himself, real things, things non- related to his career, photos at his birthday party, hanging with his dog, etc...

Work your craft, hone your skills, become the best you can be, get out and play, learn from mistakes,... but do the business too! The reality is, that as an artist you're an entrepreneur and a business owner! If you can't invest time into to all aspects of your own career then no one will!

Aaron Bethune

www.playitloudmusic.com