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Top Snippets - 115 – Growth Hacking for Musicians Part 1
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Is it possible to forego certain steps to achieve success in music? Is it imperative that you pay your dues to get to where you want to go?
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I explore what growth hacking is and how it could apply to the music industry.
Podcast Highlights:

* 00:14 – What is a growth hacker?
* 00:23 – The norm in the music industry
* 01:00 – Why the music industry can’t be growth hacked
* 01:20 – What if you want to be signed to a label?
* 01:42 – Growth hacking in the music industry requires a different way of looking at things
* 02:18 – Independent success is what’s available to all of us
* 02:29 – Monetization opportunities many musicians aren’t taking advantage of
* 03:17 – What a growth hacker in the music industry looks like
* 03:47 – An overview of what I’ll be covering in this series
* 04:15 – Can you do it all yourself?
* 05:24 – It’s about what you do know that you can do well consistently
* 06:50 – Concluding thoughts

Transcription:
A growth hacker describes someone who only cares about one thing – growth.
Today, it gets talked about quite a bit in the internet business world, but not in the music world.
In the music industry, typically, people talk about working hard and paying their dues, spending countless hours making phone calls, making a 10-year commitment to their eventual success and so on.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who worked their way to the top. And, I don’t mean to take away anything from the efforts they put in to get to where they are. You and I will need to adopt a similar work ethic if we intend to create that level of success too.
When I think of bands like KISS, they were essentially music entrepreneurs. They experienced a lot of hardship early on, and they weren’t promised success, but they just kept going until they found it. That took persistence and resilience to achieve.
So, why can’t we growth hack the music industry?
Well, it’s mostly because of the gatekeepers that exist – namely record labels. Music for the masses is still a big business, though it certainly has its failings. And, the music business is what it is because people continue to consume Top 40 hits at a ferocious rate. Those with the most visibility tend to be the winners.
But what if you want to be signed to a label?
In that case, you need to play their game. There’s no sense in cursing the darkness. If a label contract is what you want, then so be it. Go after it with gusto.
And, to be fair, there are more independent labels out there than ever. So, if you’re not attached to the idea of working with a major label, then your chances of achieving your goal just went up.
But the fact that there are gatekeepers in the industry doesn’t need to stop you from growth hacking in music. If a startup or internet business can do it, certainly you and I can too. All it requires is a different way of looking at things.
Getting signed to a label is the traditional model of success. And yet, even if you do get to sign on the dotted line, you aren’t assured fame and fortune. You can just as easily get chewed up and spat out. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to keep 10 to 15% of your total revenue.
Ironically, if you achieve independent success and build a significant following and fan base, labels may begin approaching you and not the other way around.
Label or no label, independent success is what’s available to all of us. But it may require that we create our own revenue ecosystem along the way.
Does that sound complicated? Well, it doesn’t have to be.