Lessons From The Academy Awards For Musicians

First of all, Thanks to everyone who has been emailing me about the Academy Awards. Little did I know that so many of you watch it that closely to spot me talking with the bleacher crowd from the red carpet!

The red carpet contains great lessons for music artists. It's the area where you can see who are the "real movers" in Hollywood. Let me give some examples.

On the left side, you have all of your various television and magazine reporters and photographers. The celebrities who know how the game is played walk as slowly as possible talking to every person they can from the television interviewers, to posing every possible way for the paparazzi, to making sure to talk with every celebrity. They made sure that everyone knew they were there and they all got what they needed.

On the right side, the masters of the film business (my brothers Mike and Pat included) made sure that the walk down the red carpet was purposely focused on socializing and networking with everyone they haven't seen or worked with in awhile. In essence, to make sure that "in sight is in mind."

How are these examples important to you? Too often artists rush to send out generic show announcements that their fans feel are just advertisements they don't have to respond to instead of emails that express the importance of the event and why they need them there. They send out press releases to the media that don't contain what they need to write an interesting story. Basically, too many artists rush through the promotion of their shows and music and don't give their potential fans or the media time to get to know them!

Slow down and come up with a customized promotion for the fans you really want to come to your next show. Research your media people and send them the materials they need to be able to promote you. Networking with your fans and the media is key to getting what you want in your career! Take the time to do it correctly.

Film and television celebrities are building careers that will last decades, so should you.

Testing Your Fan Base

With the above lessons in mind, it's time to "test your fan base." By this I mean to start asking the fans on your mailing list to respond to the emails you are sending them.

In today's Internet culture we find that the people on our mailing list don't "unsubscribe" like they used to when they don't want to get our email anymore. Now, they just let you keep emailing them show announcements and newsletters that they view as advertisements they don't have to respond to. Eventually, they change their email addresses without telling you and your emails come back as delivery failures.

It's now time to "test your list." Today, write a new email about an upcoming show or something important and ask them to let you know if they can come or not. Start making a new list of the people who responded and call it your "active list" of fans. Include in this list the people who come to your shows and have bought CDs from you!

You can continue to send general email announcements to the people sitting on the list if you want to but send a separate more personal email to the people on your new "active list." To jumpstart your career or to move it to a new level, you need to know who you can count on. It's time to build a new fan base of people who want to support you versus being disappointed by the lack of response to hundreds of emails.

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".

Tim Sweeney