Realistic Music Careers 101: Maintaining the Momentum
COLUMN: Hardship spurs many people to work diligently to fulfill their goals and stride closer to their dreams. The struggle becomes a daily battle, complete with minor skirmishes and obstacles, as well as the succulence of victory. Those victories add up and when they do, they create momentum. Momentum is precious and needs to be maintained by persistent, consistent creative artistic output; these small victories are not resting places. Unfortunately, they are often regarded as such. Output slows and the artist seems to fall asleep.Â When they wake up, the momentum has vanished and they’re left with stagnation and complacency.
Momentum creates a sense of accomplishment and provides a source of inspiration. Whether it’s a feature of your band in a big magazine, a solid tour booked and scheduled, a song featured on a TV show–anything that positively effects your marketingâ€”it’s supplemental. It cannot take the place of your diligent daily output, though it can provide additional fuel to fire up your creativity and dedication.
And we are off
When a wave of momentum begins to build, ride it. Don’t stand there and let it wash over you. Now is the time to work harder. People often think that the event or events causing the momentum will automatically net new sales and new opportunities. This is partially right. A spike in any kind of promotion will hike sales, but only for that moment. By not exploiting that momentum, you will only get a single result. Instead, take action: exploit new opportunities resulting from the new momentum to fuel more promotion, more sales and more marketing.
Don't think that the results of this single momentum-inspiring promotional event will stick around forever. Use it for the moment; ride its momentum to create new opportunities. That is realistic and mature planning.
When it's going good, make it better.
Be creative. Did you get a big story or interview printed in a large scale publication? Then add it to every bookmarking website you can find, such as Mixx, Reddit, Digg, and a number of other sites where you can push the article out for maximum exposure. Blog about it, send it out to other publications and grab some sound bytes for your promo pack, your website and your marketing materials.
Did you have a TV or broadcast appearance? Can you get segments up on all the video sites or send out links to your fans? Can you use these segments to push other TV or broadcasting groups for more potential appearances or interviews? Folks, this is not rocket science. Think about what has just occurred to help your momentum and then think about the small steps you can take to exploit that momentum and look to continue it beyond the single action or occurrence.
Keep the momentum while you are moving to guarantee additional motion and momentum. It’s like Physics for Artists. â€œAn artist in motion stays in motion.â€ â€œAn artist at rest stays at rest, especially if there were chemicals involved.â€ Losing motion or slacking off on what you are doing while momentum is still occurring may not show a direct effect now, but will hurt you in the long run.
While things are going well, push to continue to make them better.
Plan that the momentum is not going to last because it won’t.
Reinforce and secure your momentum to sustain it for a little longer than just the action or event that is giving you momentum.
Advertise, share, push and create your ideas to make more people become aware of what other people already know about your music and your business.
Research what other people have done and how they were effective and what lead them to other opportunities or other actions that allowed for more momentum and then do those things too.
These are basic, but admittedly vague, ideas on the concept of maintaining and exploiting your momentum. Every situation that pushes or creates momentum is different, but the basic concept about trying to keep it moving, as well as creating more, is the same. Research different options of how you can plan, exploit and maximize the momentum that has been created. Then, formulate and implement ways you can sustain and grow the momentum.
The equation comes down to four steps for every situation.
Research how others have made the most of a given situation, action or occurrence that created good momentum. Look at the ways that you can best exploit and create a similar path to making it last.
Organize a plan before you start it. Figure out who you are going to contact, how you are going to do it and the methods you are going to implement in order to make things move forward.
Execute with consistency. Don't try a blow out of one day. Make sure you are doing things everyday to build uniformity, consistency and support of what brought you into the limelight. Hopefully, this will keep you there a wee bit longer.
Repeat and repeat and repeat. Momentum and the things that create momentum will climax and then either lessen or disappear entirely. Using consistency, repetition and continued, diligent efforts will build the foundation momentum requires to last. Always remember that it is about the long term. A one time blast is great for that one time moment, but that will not help you a few months down the line. Look to the long term, and work to reinforce your sustainability and your effectiveness down the line.
Do not get lazy or complacent. This is not the time, the economy or the industry to rest on your laurels. It is the time to use the momentum you have gained to responsibly and actively grow more of it to bring your promotions, marketing and, most importantly, sales to a whole new level.
Watch out for Loren Weisman's book â€œThe Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Businessâ€ coming soon.