Why Categorizing Your Music Is Bad

The other day I watched a music artist introduce himself to all the people at a
party in the hope of making new fans for his mailing list and to come to his
shows. While the people he met were initially interested when he introduced
himself as a musician, almost everyone became disinterested in him when he tried
to describe what kind of music he played.

When faced with the question he answered using industry terms and genres you and I
understand but the average person wouldn't. He described his music as Triple A
with Alternative and Americana influences in it. Naturally, people began to ask what
does that mean. Realizing that they weren't understanding what he was saying,
he immediately resorted to comparing himself to two artists he thought most people
would know. An even bigger mistake!

Some people thought he was like an artist from the 1970's they had been
reminded of on infomercials. Others told him that they either didn't like one
of the artists he referenced, they hated hearing that artist's songs on the
radio all the time or even why would he want to sound like those guys. Someone even
asked him why he didn't create his own music!

Ironically he was doing what everyone else in the room was doing to get the other
people disinterested in them! As I talk about in Chapter 1 of my new book, "Getting
What You Want Out Of Life", when someone introduces or categorizes themselves by
their day job, the other person will decide if they want to listen to them any more.
In essence, letting someone judge you based upon what you do for a living versus
what value you can offer them. (Keep in mind that the person who is throwing the
party wanted everyone to meet because of the "value" each of them have to him).

So the point is, to interest new fans you have to focus on the messages and ideas
you are talking about in your songs. Let people know the value of your music and how
they are going to benefit by listening to your songs or by coming to your shows.

My new book, "Getting What You Want Out Of Life" and the music artist's
favorite, "Understanding Who You Are As An Artist" will give you great ideas of how
you can win over new fans in conversations and change how people will see your
music. You can order them through my web site, www.tsamusic.com or call me at
951-303-9506 to order over the phone.

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

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