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By Cheryl Hodge
What Does "Success" Mean in the Music Biz; and How Do I Get It?
I recently answered a question on Songstuff, and I wanted to share this with you. I used to ask myself the same question daily. In my twenties I was feeling overwhelmed on a daily basis.
Does one have to be a “fast talker"? Smooth? Perhaps it helps. I've seen it happen. If I were a fast talker I probably would have been successful long before this. Fast talkers; movers & shakers always seem to get the carrot before the other horses.
How To Be Successful In The Music Biz
The Songstuff member posed the question 'how to be successful in the music biz?'; and I thought, “What do you determine 'success' to mean?" Success is in the eye of the beholder. I make a decent living from music, but I'm not rich. However, that's still a success story; since I'm surviving nicely doing something I love, thank you very much!
To begin with; if you ain't got a product, you ain't got a chance. It isn't like some great producer from Sony is gonna walk by your apartment, hear your music; be duly impressed and ring your doorbell, offering you a contract to sign. This is the age of the Independent Artist. Most artists have their own home studio. Mine is Protools; and I LOVE it... I'm just finishing up my next CD, right now.
It's taken a while to get great exposure (I'm old, now); and I have garnered some fans, but people really need to do a check-in when they start hoping that being a musician will equal becoming famous.
Because this is the digital age, I know of very few rich and famous folks in the field of music other than a handful of lucky pop artists (like Katy Perry, Michael Buble, and Adele),... SORRY. Your chances of 'making it' (i.e., being both rich and famous), are unfortunately, less than your chances of being kidnapped. You can check those figures; I'm not exagerrating.
I'm happy, though. Here are some of my "minor" wins (yes; in my book, a nomination is a "win"):
- 2012: Nominated for Best Roots & Blues Artist, Kootenay Music Awards; top 10 Latin Beat Mag.
- 2011: Nominated for Best Blues Song, Hollywood Music In Media Awards; top 10 Latin Beat Mag.
- 2010: Nominated for Best Jazz Song, Hollywood Music In Media Awards; top 10 Latin Beat Mag.
- 2009: Featured Artist; Coast to Coast AM with George Noory
Steps You Can Take Online To Be Successful In The Music Industry
How do I do it?
I wake up every morning and immediately go to the internet. I make tons of connections.
I use ONE source (Reverbnation.com) to send ONE daily message to most of my sites (Facebook, twitter, etc.), simultaneously. Takes a whopping 5 minutes. Then I check emails and immediately get back to the important ones (bookings, etc.)
I market (and update) thru the following sites:
- My own 2 websites
- Reverbnation (I do daily postings; mail-outs and enter contests from there)
- Facebook (5,500 followers)
- CD Baby (check sales; this aggregator sells to about 20 others; including iTunes)
- Songstuff.com (I check in a few times a week, here)
Just to maintain, I spend about 2 hours a day on the web. You see, it's all about killing several birds with one stone (apologies to the Audobon society!)
I'm not rich, or famous (not like many of you are dreaming of), but I make a great living, performing, writing, composing, arranging, recording, and selling my C.D.s and books, and I wouldn't trade that for the world! Success? Mission, accomplished!
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About Cheryl Hodge
Cheryl Hodge has been in the music and songwriting business for well over 30 years; recording on several labels; among them Atco Records (Raindogs, 1990), and has released 4 CDs of her own; on her own label: Jazzboulevard.com Records.
She has performed her music for the last 10 years with noted jazz guitarist John Stowell (amongst many others), and they are about to release a CD of co-written originals. She has been private instructor to many; including the gifted Paula Cole. She is also the author of "A Singer's Guide to the Well-Trained and Powerful Voice", and is a published vocal arranger.
Cheryl is currently the head of the vocal dept. at Nelson, BC's: Selkirk College Music Program. There, she teaches Songwriting and Advanced Songwriting, Business of Music, Arranging and Vocals.
She continues to write and produce her original materials, and has just released "Cheryl Hodge: Original Article" - a compilation of her favourites.
Cheryl Hodge On The Internet
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