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How to Get the Music Career Results You Want

by Bob Baker

Human communication is a crazy thing. You tell somebody something with the intention of getting a certain response ... and the person reacts in a completely unpredictable manner, sometimes with disastrous results. Let's examine this topic and see how we can apply the lessons learned to promoting and selling your independent music.

You've had this happen to you at one time or another: You make a funny comment to someone (like telling your cousin how much she sounds like Britney Spears). Instead of laughter, you get an angry, hostile reaction. (And who could blame your cousin?)

"How could they react that way?" you ask. "My intention was to make them laugh (and poke fun at the pop teen idol at the same time). How dare she misinterpret what I meant to do!" A lot of folks place the blame on the individual who responds so radically.

Now switch to a musician who sits down to write a cover letter he'll use to drum up media exposure. He knows his band is awesome and the new CD kicks butt. So he gets to work writing about the band's accomplishments, the awards they've won, where they've played, etc.

The letters and press kits go out. Weeks pass by. No editors or writers respond.

"What's wrong with these people?" he cries. "I gave them all the reasons I have a good band, but none of these jerks is calling me!" He knew what his intention was. Why wasn't his vision becoming reality?

This musician had made the mistake of not separating INTENT from RESULTS.

Intent is what you WANT or HOPE will happen. Results are WHAT HAPPENS. When it comes to communicating, your intent doesn't matter. Results are the only thing you should be focusing on.

If you aren't getting the results you want, do a little research and try a different approach. Even if you think your new bio and band photo are the hottest things since Ricky Martin's buns ... if they ain't gettin' the results you want and need ... figure out what's wrong and change it!

As a creative person, you are very focused on your art. You're dedicated. Your brain percolates with dozens of ways to approach your current musical project. You nurture and refine your talent. In other words, you are very focused on ... YOU.

That's great for music and art ... but not for marketing, promoting and selling your talents.

Our musician friend above, like many successful marketers, might eventually discover that sending letters that pitch specific story ideas get the most response from editors. If you have a good idea for a music article on a current event or topic, and if you do some the editor's work by digging up information sources, you'll most likely find a lot more media doors opening.

Of course, that would mean the cover letter would have to focus primarily on the editor and publication receiving it ... NOT on the band itself.

So don't get too attached to your intent, or get too angry when people don't react as much and as quickly as you want. The only thing that matters are RESULTS. Focus on them and you may end up getting a lot more of what you want.


Bob Baker is the author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," "Unleash the Artist Within" and "Branding Yourself Online." He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that have been delivering marketing tips and inspirational messages to music people of all kinds since 1995. Get your FREE subscription to Bob's e-zine by visiting http://TheBuzzFactor.com today.

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