This post originally appeared on David Andrew Wiebe.
Looking to become a music entrepreneur? There are a few different models that work. But the most well-worn path is encapsulated in what follows – the Music Entrepreneur Triangle. Understand this and you will have cleared a path for your ultimate success.
For famous music entrepreneurs like Dr. Dre, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and others, it all started with their music. Music is the foundation on which all other opportunities were layered on top.
The temptation might be to diversify too early, diluting your focus on the work that matters most. But this hinders progress. You’ve got to become known for something first and prioritize this above all else.
What many don’t understand is the goal of the work, which is to elevate your celebrity status. And it’s much easier to become known for one thing than it is to become known for many things, which is where identifying what’s unique about you and focusing on that makes the greatest difference.What many don’t understand is the goal of the work, which is to elevate your celebrity status. Click To Tweet
We’ll be exploring what it means to be a celebrity in this context and why that matters in a moment.
Chiefly, to become known, you must work, and you must become known for your work.To become known, you must work, and you must become known for your work. Click To Tweet
People love to point to what they assume to be exceptions, like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian. The commonality that is often overlooked is how in both cases, sex tapes were used either intentionally, or unwittingly, to solidify their celebrity status. Make no mistake – the sex tape was the work. That is one way to become famous, yes, but is it the most desirable? If fame is your only desire, then perhaps it is. But dovetailing that into a music career is another matter entirely.
While Hilton may have had a brief stint as a singer, everyone knew she wasn’t destined to be the next rising star in music. Failing in such a public way doesn’t leave a lot of room for a comeback. And in case you think I missed it, neither Hilton nor Kardashian are music entrepreneurs specifically, though they are indeed entrepreneurial.
To beat a dead horse, the goal of your work is to become known. Becoming known will swing the doors of opportunity wide open.Becoming known will swing the doors of opportunity wide open. Click To Tweet
Becoming consumed with income too early is a mistake and may prevent you from doing everything you can do to grow your notoriety. Working on your passion on nights and weekends is the furthest thing from glamorous, but it’s what’s required here. A foundation of financial solvency empowers one to continue to do the work that matters most to them. An earning is made 9 – 5, a killing is made on evenings and weekends.
But let’s be clear about one thing – you don’t need to be an A-list celeb to command the opportunities or attention you desire (and you may not desire much attention at all). There are over eight billion people on this green earth. You want to be known, most of all, by the audience you want to attract, and 1,000 true fans is enough.
On your way to becoming a celebrity is the wrong time to discern who your art is for, however. You should have had at least an inkling of who your audience is before even beginning the work. Only then does the axiom “ready, fire, aim” make any sense. Otherwise, it’s futility in a fail basket.
Your work contributes to your celebrity status, but in many cases it’s not enough. You need to seek out every opportunity to be interviewed, spotlighted, profiled, or reviewed. Pitch weekly if not daily.
And if you’re taking it seriously, don’t become too reliant on bloggers, podcasters, journalists, or anyone else to cover you. Take on writing press releases, guest posts, articles, and columns for blogs, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and more, online, and off. Move with urgency.
Starting your own brand of headphones, or fragrances, or clothing lines becomes possible and far more viable once you’ve established the other two sides of the music entrepreneur triangle – work and celebrity status.
Now that you’ve achieved a degree of fame, it’s not important that you focus on being known for one thing anymore. Most people will continue to remember you most for one or two things, no matter where you take your career from here. You’re ready to go forth and try your hand at other ventures, which can sometimes take off rapidly thanks to your celebrity status.
I won’t beat around the bush. Being a celebrity has its perks. A lot of money will flow your way merely for doing what you’re told to do when you’re told to do it. You’d think that’s not a game you could grow tired of… but it is.
Importantly, when do you get to work on whatever you want? When you’ve achieved celebrity status. Tattoo that on your mind, and remember, even then, that mishaps do occur. And mistakes are lambasted more critically in the public eye than in the privacy of your grassroots fan base. In business dealings, best take your advice from people who know what they’re talking about. Poor decisions can ruin your career.