1.) Nothing is EVER the fans fault: If you’re not selling music, sell something else. If nobody comes to your shows, make sure more people know about them. If everyone in town knows you have a show, stop sucking.
2.) You can’t sell digital music: If you put a price on it, they’ll steal it. The person that buys it is a person that genuinely wants to contribute to your success, but is only a small percentage of your fan base. CD’s can be sold because they are a tangible object and people can relate an emotion or an experience to a CD. Same with vinyl, t-shirts, stickers, or the bumper on the band tour van. It’s worth something to people. A computer file isn’t.
3.) You are always presenting and representing: You should have an elevator pitch about your band or business memorized at all times, CD’s and stickers in your backpack or laptop bag, you should always listen to anyone who wants to speak to you, and you should always be kind, friendly, and responsive. You may not know who you’re talking to and you never know what people may become. You should also have a proper EPK and hard copy press kit, photos, music, past press features, and schedule in the arsenal.
4.) Your success is your responsibility: Don’t expect things to just happen. You know how all those big stars got those lucky breaks, when they just happened to be playing a show at a shitty bar where a top A&R rep was having a drink? That only happened because that band decided to take a gig at a shitty bar at six o’clock on a Wednesday night. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Your career is a path, and you don’t get to one checkpoint without reaching the one behind it first.
5.) Be Humble: Every band has a list of other bands that suck. Tear that list up right now. Every single musician out there has achieved SOMETHING or you wouldn’t know about them. Chances are, the bands you’re hating on have achieved something you haven’t. So talk less and observe more. Network. Think of Nickelback; as much as they suck, they’ve sold exponentially more records than you have. They didn’t buy all those albums themselves.