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Hiring professionals or DIY

Or why bad marketing is worse than its absence


Your ‘advice’ is completely out of context for the average bedroom producer. Not everyone has money to waste on douche bags calling themselves graphic designers. When in truth you can learn all these things & have thousands on dollars left in your pocket.

From the comment to the previous post by Dude

I totally understand your feelings and where it comes from. In general, I’m up for a “Do-It-Yourself” idea too. For example, in the Artist manager blog I advised being a manager for yourself rather than hire one. And I’m really glad you shared your opinion because I’m sure you are not alone in this thinking. I bet there are more producers think alike, and this is exactly why I’d like to discuss this topic deeper.

And before we’ll move forward, let’s clarify the meaning of the “average bedroom producer”. If you make music just to share it with the close people and don’t have any bigger ambitions, then you certainly no need extra investments. You probably don’t even need a mastering! And that’s totally fine as long as you enjoy it. However if you do have ambitions and goals in music as a career, I suggest you consider the following.

Music, marketing, and management are the three main pillars that altogether can help you reach a success in the music business. It’s very important to understand that this mechanism works properly only when all pieces are aligned together and functioning on top of their performance.

If your music is not great, good marketing won’t help to get loyal followers
If you don’t know how to market your music, you may end up being known to a hundred people only
If you don’t have a proper management, you’ll probably miss the big picture

Now, why I’m telling you all this stuff and how it’s connected to the “DIY vs pay to professionals” topic? Here comes the most crucial part: bad music, marketing, or management is worse than its absence.

If you release several tracks in a row with low-quality mastering, most likely you’ll get a reputation of an amateurish producer among both industry specialists like labels and other artists, and listeners. Labels won’t listen to your demos, DJs won’t play your tracks.

If cover artwork of your release looks really cheap and homemade, people won’t even listen to this release in stores because the internet is mostly a visual media. And the same applies to your logo, press shots, website, and pretty much everything that reflects you as a music producer.

I advise treating to music like a business and invest in what that makes your product better. It might be quite expensive, but I believe a reputation worth much more than that.

Besides, hiring professionals for doing some certain things might be actually cheaper than learning how to do it yourself. Even if it’s “free” in terms of money, learning costs you time. And time is the most valuable resource in the Universe.

Imagine that your music career is a bridge, and music, marketing, and management are the building blocks its made of. If you don’t have enough of these building blocks, you won’t be able to build a long enough bridge to reach the other side. And that’s fine, you simply stay where you are. But if you build a bridge from bad, or weak components, you’ll fall down in the middle of the path. And falling down from the bridge isn’t cool, you know. On cover image: Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo by Davide Ragusa.

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2016   Advice   Marketing

This post is a part of the “Advice” series. I’m happy to advise on such topics as music production, sound design, performance, management, marketing, and career advice in the music industry and beyond. Send me your questions, too.