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It’s possible that if you’ve been writing songs for years but have little success to show for it, you’re making errors in properly communicating with your target audience. In other words, your songs could be fine — the errors might be happening once you’ve finished writing.
The potential strength of online promotion may actually be contributing to the problems you’re experiencing building an audience base, in the sense that the internet turns your music into shrapnel: you blast it out in every direction, where billions of people could potentially hear it, but no one is targeted.
And because no one is targeted, it’s difficult or even impossible to build a community of people who really love what you’re doing.
And that’s just one potential problem. If you are producing and recording your own music, you may be missing your target audience by making errors in areas such as instrumental choice, tempo and performance style. This means that when you finally get something you want people to hear, the prospective audience doesn’t hear your song as something that’s resonating with them.
Proper targeting of an audience is going to be easier if you are in a position to get professional assistance. Producers, managers, and other industry personnel have the experience and expertise to make your music attractive to the target.
If you’re starting out, you’ll likely be doing it yourself, and you absolutely need to get the targeting right. Here are some things to think about as you polish your music and get it ready for recording:
- Listen to lots of contemporary examples in your chosen genre. Get a sense of what it sounds like, what’s successful, and the kinds of things being written about.
- Fine-tune your message. Some song topics naturally fall within the purview of certain genres, but not necessarily others. A bluegrass tune about a natural disaster just doesn’t feel right somehow. And a 60-year-old singing about being jilted at an all-night college party will likely also miss your target audience.
- Think of ways to push (in subtle ways) the boundaries usually defined by your genre. In other words, if you’re only rehashing the normal offerings of your chosen musical style, it will be hard to build on your audience base. Including innovations in sound, material, instrumentation, etc., can make your music attractive to people who might otherwise give it a miss.
- Research producers who work in your genre. You may not be in a position to pursue them, but you may find out that they’ve done interviews and workshops that can be found online. You may get some important guidance from those sites.
- Perform live. Live performance is the best way to increase an audience for your music, and the best way to get important feedback. You get to know when they’re really into something you’re doing, and when their attention is wandering.
Written by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.
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