Now the REAL work begins?

Posted: Jun 12, 2009

Blog, Marketing Your Music


Last week, after my show in Sherman Oaks, CA, a fellow musician I know and respect came up to say hi and casually dropped a bomb on me.  He said something that made me go… “Huh?”… And now I can’t seem to get his sentence out of my head.

With a chuckle he said, “Now that your CD finished and released to the world, the REAL work begins.”

I was a little perplexed, because the gang and I have been *working* on this project for a few years now.  From initial concept in 2006 to finished product last month, it’s been a non-stop thrill ride for the ages:

  • 3 solid months in the recording studio (all total)
  • 2,000 hours spent in front of the computer
  • 150 hours on the phone
  • 13,000 miles on the car (meetings, studio sessions, rehearsals, gigs, etc.)
  • 39 visits to Taco Bell
  • 2 hard drives filled to capacity

Not to mention several spiral notebooks and a whole pack of #2 pencils for notes, now worn down to the erasers.

And NOW the work begins?  I couldn’t believe it.  As if I’ve been cutting muffins for the last 32 months and now’s the time to get serious.

Then it dawned on me.  The number one problem I see time and time again with my musician friends is:

  • Creating music comes naturally
  • Marketing, self-promotion and business do not

In fact, many talented artists I know flat out refuse to do more than the bare minimum amount of marketing.  They simply make the best records they can and *hope* the world finds out how awesome they are.  Their marketing consists of email after email saying “Buy my CD!  Come to my show!”

Of course, it makes perfect sense to me now that my friend would call it *work*.  He avoids the business stuff like the plague, thinking that being salesy is going to prevent him from being a cool musician anymore.  I imagine if he considered it fun — even pleasurable — I might have gotten a different response out of him that night.

Marketing isn’t about high-pressure sales and making your numbers — it’s simply about finding people who love what you do and want to come along for the ride.  It’s just making new friends and fostering those relationships.

Plus, if I’ve learned anything in this life it’s that making a job *fun* sure does make it seem *easier*.

So, taking a cue from Snow White, I’m whistling while I work.  And it’s so fun I thought I’d bring you along.  So here’s what I’m slaving away on:

  1. – To go along with the new CD, we’ve totally revamped the website.  And we’ve gotten some glowing reviews already.  Did you see it yet?
  2. Now working with Ariel Publicity – the infamous “Cyber PR” company is now on board, helping me make more friends on the internet through the maze of social networks, blogs, and podcasts.
  3. Twitter.  I’m captivated.  Sucked into the Vortex.  It’s bad.  As if I wasn’t already glued to the cell phone already — now I’m checking in with my Twitter friends every spare moment I get.  Keeping up with the Joneses in 140 characters or less.  I’m @nickdaugherty if you want to be friends.
  4. Booking gigs for the summer.  We’re planning to play all over the southwest this summer and fall.  So if you’re in L.A., San Diego, Phoenix, Vegas, San Francisco, or anywhere in between, I’m looking for recommendations on the best places to play.
  5. “Movin’ Higher” was the #1 song on a few weeks ago thanks to all of you who voted for it.  Supposedly, it has been played on national radio, although I haven’t gotten confirmation yet.

Finally, I can announce that “Movin’ Higher”has now been officially released on iTunes!  We’re all rejoicing here, but of course, now the real work begins. 🙂

With a sea of new CDs released every week on iTunes, it’s important to rise above the fold if you want to get noticed.  That being said, it’s super important that people rally behind the music they love on iTunes.  Reviewing a CD is free and takes about 3 minutes to do.  Give it 1-5 stars and type out a few sentences about what you think.

So here’s my appeal.  If you’ve heard the album and liked it, please take a second and leave a review for me at iTunes.  The world is much more likely to give it a fighting chance if they know you like it.

Here’s the link:  Movin’ Higher by Nick Daugherty :: iTunes

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