The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition features an all-new introduction, along with plenty of new tools, resources, and up-to-date strategies and mental models to help you grow and impact a fan base and make a living from your passion.
The hardcover edition of the book just came out, so to commemorate this occasion, David reads the updated introduction in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.
- 01:20 – The introduction to The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition
- 01:55 – David’s lowest moment in music
- 05:39 – Digital marketing
- 09:36 – Personal development and mindset
- 10:44 – The business of music
- 12:00 – The three ingredients to success in music
- 12:59 – Closing thoughts
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Sign Up for Koji – the Best Link in Bio for Musicians
- The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition by David Andrew Wiebe
- Music by ItsWatR
- Content Marketing Musician
Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.
Today, I’ll be sharing the introduction to my latest book, The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition. The hardcover edition of the book just came out, and I’m really excited about that. You can always get your copy at MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/Code2022.
So, if you’re ready to discover the critical importance of marketing, mindset, and business in building a music career, let’s get into it.
All-New Introduction to The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition
If I had understood the value of marketing, mindset, and the business of music, I know I wouldn’t have struggled the way I did, especially in the first decade or so of my music career.
The people closest to me knew my work ethic. They knew I was serious about making music my life. They knew I was talented and had the chops to back my passion.
But like most artists, I ended up struggling in obscurity. I couldn’t sell enough music or book enough paying gigs to make a living.
Merch? Forget it! I didn’t have the financial outlay to put my logo on a shirt. I was barely keeping pace with expenses related to my home, where the fridge and furnace broke down every three years.
I figured there would always be more time to figure it all out. I believed in my heart that one day I would grow into the Rock Stars I loved and admired.
It took many years for me to discover that I would only ever grow into a better version of myself, not into someone else I looked up to.
As it turns out, comparison is almost thoroughly unhelpful, especially when comparing one’s bloopers to another’s highlight reels.
If you have any hope of being happy in this life, I can tell you from deep personal experience that it’s not going to come from comparison.
But I digress. Back to the crappy fridge, broken ass furnace, and the mountain of bills I couldn’t possibly climb my way out of.
(By the way, this is not some kind of sob story or B.S. backstory – all this really happened.)
Unfortunately, things kept turning from bad to worse for me. And it all culminated in a hellish six months beginning in January 2011.
Because my former roommates and best friends had all moved out, I had to bring in new tenants. And the roommate I ended up with was one of the messiest, loudest, and most messed up guys I’d ever met (last I heard, he ended up in jail).
He was convinced that his only two options in life were to get a job on the oil rigs or become a stripper. He complained that he didn’t want to go to the rigs, so you can see where things went from there.
As you may recall, 2011 was shortly after the global economic meltdown, so my investments had mostly tanked. I was starting to feel the crunch financially and was running out of options.
So, all I could do was sell my soul to five poorly paying jobs. I had to work mornings, days, evenings, and weekends. I endured long commutes. Sometimes I had to fight for healthy working conditions and the money I was owed.
No one cared that I was going through hell. Not their problem. All the while, I hoped and prayed these jobs would lead somewhere… Somehow, I kept the hope alive.
At the time, the only music in my life was the local singer-songwriter open mic night on Tuesdays and the occasional rehearsal or gig.
And I would happily go just to get away from my roommate and the mess he was making at my once beautiful home, knowing full well that it would not be in a better state when I got back, nor would I have the time or energy to clean up.
For a while, I soldiered on undeterred. I believed if I persevered, I’d find a way.
But I finally broke down. I was carrying a bag full of bricks, and the unbreakable back of Atlas started to falter with the addition of a single straw.
One Sunday, after church, I ended up sobbing in my blue Toyota RAV4 with two flat tires in front of an Italian restaurant. I felt exhausted, defeated, and humiliated. My spirit was crushed. In that moment, you could not have convinced me that there was anything left worth living for.
I managed to refinance my home and stay afloat for a while…
But I kept getting myself into financial trouble, to where I ended up having to sell my home, my office, my studio – my everything – in 2012.
None of that had to happen.
But you don’t know what you don’t know.
And I didn’t have a clue what I didn’t know…
This book represents an opportunity for you to discover what you don’t know. But it’s going to require some looking.
I get it.
You didn’t go to school (if you did go to school at all) to become a digital marketer.
You went to school to become a musician. And music is your passion.
School may well have equipped you with essential artistic and musical skills like sightreading, composition, music theory, and technique.
But did you leave school knowing how to build a website, market yourself on social media, create viral content, or use advertising to boost your reach?
If you did, it probably wasn’t because of the courses you took. It’s because you taught yourself.
I understand that marketing can be a pain point for a musician. Trying to learn the ins and outs of it can feel like a full-time job unto itself.
But to me, offloading all of it onto a marketing company – who will surely charge you an arm and a leg to stay on their difficult to cancel retainer – is unwise. To add insult to injury, they will try to convince you that developing yourself is a waste of time and to not buy video courses. Absolutely absurd.
Becoming a digital marketer is what it looks like to be a successful musician these days. It’s about the only way to protect yourself against new cultural expectations around public health and safety and who knows what else the political elite have planned for us.
I get that you want to spend most of your time on your passion. But I would posit that trying to run from responsibility and turning a blind eye to marketing is going to end up costing you more. The best person to market your music is you.
Realizing five, 10, or even 20 years down the line that you should have heeded these words is bound to be the most agonizing experience of all, even compared to what I went through in 2011.
Even Rick Barker, former manager of Taylor Swift, has musicians raise their hands at conferences and events and say:
“I am a musician, and I am a digital marketer.”
Yes, you are.
Those with the keys to digital marketing can open the doors to every outcome and possibility imaginable – even those that seem well beyond reach.
Inscribe that on your mind.
But if you would, I want you to pledge one more thing before you move on:
“I am a music entrepreneur.”
Because you are! And it’s empowering to create yourself that way. Let it sink in.
When I first started documenting and sharing my journey as a musician, and I would bring up the topic of personal development, my readers would say things like:
“I don’t need any of that rah-rah crap.”
“I’m not clear on how this is self-help stuff going to help me.”
“Mindset is B.S.”
And our skepticism as musicians is well earned. The couch to big screen dream continues to be hawked by shills and charlatans exploiting what is at the very core of our desires – to belong, to matter, to have an impact on our fans, to make a living doing what we love to do, to make a difference in the world.
But when it comes to personal development, our skepticism is misdirected.
Fortunately, the conversation is starting to change. I’m even seeing other musician coaches teaching personal development, which is validating.
Having come this far in my work with artists, though, I now understand that it’s all about how the conversation is framed.
That’s exactly why I’ve left the fluff out of this book. There is no room for confusion. I’m a straight shooter.
What I want you to see by the end of this book is simply this:
Mindset is responsible for at least 80% of your success. The other 20% is what we typically obsess over – doing, doing, and more doing.
The term “music business” is made up of two terms – “music,” and “business.”
So, anyone who says “business isn’t important to artists” doesn’t realize that without business, they’re only left with music. And that’s called a hobby.
From navigating 360 Deals to accessing all revenue sources available to you, if you’re not engaging in the business of music, you’re going to have some rude awakenings on your personal path. It’s like going into a dark basement full of nails sticking out from the floorboards and hoping you won’t step on any of them as you make your way from one side to the other.
But more importantly, there is great power in creating yourself as a business.
I have sometimes shared the story of booking an artist showcase at Starbucks and later being asked “how did you book a show here?”
When I approached the Starbucks manager, I presented my business card, shared a bit about what the music industry tech startup was about, and she was more than happy to oblige.
The fact that I was part of a business engaged in event planning is mostly inconsequential.
The point that you need to get is businesses do business with other businesses.
Forming collaborative agreements, partnerships, and corporate sponsorships all comes from putting yourself in their shoes and identifying what a mutually beneficial proposition would look like.
Business savvy can be developed. But we must be willing to engage in it.
Marketing, mindset, business.
These may not be terms of endearment. But they do represent a “missing” in the careers of artists who do not progress, experience breakthrough, or succeed in their desired capacity.
If you’re reading this now, I’m going to speculate that you’ve done a lot of your homework already – you’ve read blog posts and books, listened to podcasts, watched videos, maybe even taken some courses.
This book will fill in the cracks – the missing pieces.
Because frankly, there is a missing in the resources available too. And if you’ve been piecing together a hodgepodge of tools from different authors and creators, you’re going to need to connect the dots, and that’s a Herculean effort if there ever was one. Curation is an in-depth, ongoing process, and it’s much harder than in looks.
This is the part that’s often not appreciated by artists who say, “I don’t want a book.”
A book may not be what you want. But it’s what you need.
So, let this book fill in the gaps.
This is The Music Entrepreneur Code.
I always love being able to share my latest book with you. But did you know that we also have courses to help you with digital marketing, mindset, and the business of music? We had to build it out on an entirely new platform because of all the things we wanted to build out for you to get results in your music career. This is my invitation to you to check out ContentMarketingMusician.com for powerful, next-level resources to grow your audience, impact your fans, make an income from your passion, and more. That’s Content Marketing Musician .com.
This has been episode 264 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.
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