Thank God for November 5th! It's the most important day every four years. The day after we have selected our President and the most significant day for music artists. This is the day that you can measure your music career by. The day when you have to start reaching out to your fans and bring them together away from the emotions and rhetoric of politics to refocus on what is good in their lives, what they need to remember, what they need to address and what you can both do to make the community you live in better.
Even if you don't view your music or art as something that is message driven but merely entertaining, it is important for you to remind your fans of the importance of taking a break and getting away from their problems, even for a short period of time.
November 5th is a day when you begin to realize that change does not come from a newly elected person in Washington every four years but from within you.
This is the time when you need to reach out to those that are happy and get them to take action instead of celebrating and hoping everything will magically get better. This is the time when you need to reach out to those who are unhappy and really listen to them as to why they are. Challenge them to not sit there and complain but to change what they don't like for the betterment of others. In essence, I want you to reach out to your fans and the new fans in your future and get them to realize that instead of waiting around for change to come from Washington, it's time for real change to come from within and the simple actions they can take. It's time to make the messages in your songs and the reasons why you got into music or art come to life instead of just singing or writing about it!
Now, you may be wondering, can politics, in general, affect your fan base in a negative way?
The answer is definitely, yes. Many artists are taking the dangerous position of dividing their fan base instead of uniting them. They are seeing a growing number of their fans either remove themselves from their mailing list or stop coming to shows and supporting them because they have sent out political endorsements for one person or one side on different issues.
While we would hope that election times would bring people together to discuss the issues and collectively move ahead, it usually only stirs emotional reactions to make people fight against each other for different personal reasons. Sadly, when artists get involved by sending emails to their lists pushing one side or person over another, their fans feel they are now being used or critized if they don't agree.
This is not to say you can't promote things that would improve the community or city where you and your fans live or tell them how they can get involved in making it a better place for everyone. When the emailer is about something positive or how the change can help your fans in the city where they live, people will respond in a more positive manner and even want to get involved.
Music artists should be community builders. We should bring people together not divide them.
Remember that a true artist is not measured by the lyrics in their songs, the words on the page, or the images on the screen, but by the change for the better they bring about! Now is the time. Let's see what kind of change you can bring about in others. If you need help in getting started, call me at 951-303-9506 or email me.
Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."
Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".