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9 Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Anywhere

9 Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Anywhere

Most bands start off as hobbies, out of passion. Usually, bands consist of younger people, either teenagers or young adults. In the beginning, it tends to go really well. Band members are relaxed and there are no big issues. Additionally, they don’t really have any expectations and, in this atmosphere, they are able to improve themselves individually and as a band.

However, after some time has passed and you’ve had a couple of shows and maybe even released an album of your own, you start to realize that you are standing in one place and that there is no real progress with the whole band.

This is where a lot of them get stuck and can’t move forward; in some cases, they even fall apart because of the frustration caused by the lack of progress. On the other hand, if you overcome these issues, you will be able to grow both as individual musicians and as a band even further, and maybe even achieve some real success.

Music is an amazing thing and succeeding as a band is worth trying. So, let’s see what the reasons for your stagnation might be and what you should look to improve.

1. Lack of motivation

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    As I mentioned before, most bands are formed out of young members that have a great passion for music. This passion fuels them to work hard and they are motivated to take on whatever comes their way. Additionally, when you get into it, everything is new and you have a constant feeling like something amazing is happening. Even when bad things happen, you see them as useful experiences that can help you in the future, and they can.

    However, now, you might have opened some new chapters in life and you have other responsibilities as well. You cannot focus all of your efforts on your band and, suddenly, people stop being motivated and they start forgetting about your music. If you want to create new music which will be fun for people to listen, you need to think about it constantly.

    Additionally, you have to practice as well. If you are currently stuck in a rut, ideas might start rolling in while you play your instrument. You cannot simply come to rehearsals and think about your band and music only then. To be a great band, you need to invest yourselves in it as much as possible.

    2. You don’t deliver your music as well as you should

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      In the early stages, you probably had a lot of people come up to you and say “hey you played well!” but this doesn’t mean that you’ve done your job. Chances are that those people though you sounded decent, but considering that you are a new, young band, they didn’t expect any better.

      However, as you grow older, people will start to expect that your performance keeps getting better and better. You will get bigger crowds on your shows and there will be more of “those people” that like to stand at back and listen to everything you are playing and say “Aha! He made a mistake there.”

      If you are going to spread a good word about your band, you need to simply destroy each show, no matter how big or small it might be. When you sound perfect on stage, people will recognize it and they will tell others how great you sounded and this might spark their curiosity to look you up online or come to your show next time.

      Since we are talking about your online presence, let’s get to the next step.

      3. Your band doesn’t have an online presence

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        Besides the fact that the most important things about being successful as a band are to deliver great live performances and create amazing music people will enjoy listening to, it is also important that you harness more potential fans through other efforts like promoting your band online. We live in a digital age where people want to find everything online, and this includes music as well.

        A band needs to be active all the time, even when it’s not. In between your shows and during them, you can post various updated online and promote your band. It’s essential to have a website and social media pages. It may seem like something you are not supposed to do, but trust me, if you want to become a famous musician, you too will have to think about the little things like investing in good hosting, hiring someone to design a decent website and working on your branding.

        Only collectors buy CDs today and you cannot rely on them. Instead, you need to make yourselves available online, provide information about your band, show where they can download your songs, post pictures from your recent gigs or rehearsals, etc. In music, marketing is as important as being a good band.

        Your social media and your website are basically free marketing channels and, if you invest some time in managing them, you might open up many opportunities ahead of you.

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        4. Not doing any real band management

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          In the beginning, you all loved playing shows so much that you played all of them. Although this is cool, it might not lead you to become more successful. It’s true what I said that a well-played show might lead to more fans or even some managers approaching you, but you need to play at a show where there are valuable crowds that might find value in what you do. Playing random gigs wherever you get the chance has never brought anything to anyone and you need to stop doing them.

          Trying to play as many shows as possible is not the answer. The better way to is to actually put in effort into getting some better gigs at festivals or try to get a spot as an opening band for some more popular groups.

          In music, it’s all about networking and creating valuable connections with important people who can get you somewhere. Don’t swim against the tide and play the game if you want to achieve something.

          5. Bad stage performance

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            A lot of bands feel like they only have to play well live and do nothing else to leave an impression on the crowd. Well, they are wrong, and if you think like this, you are also wrong. Music is entertainment after all, and you need to, well, entertain people!

            Give them a night to remember, play with passion and find your own style. Nobody wants to watch a couple of senior citizens going on the stage and looking at their instruments during the whole show.

            Move on the stage, jump around, engage the crowd, talk to them directly, and create a connection on each of your shows. Music is supposed to be fun and people come out to shows to have a great time and not analyze how you play (at least most of them). There are a lot of bands who aren’t so good at making music, but they deliver amazing performance and the crowds respond to that.

            In the end, they don’t even care if they didn’t play so well, as long as they had fun.

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            6. No image of your own

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              The image is actually very important for a band. It’s a huge part of your brand. Like it or not, most people will usually check out a band because they look interesting to them. You should look to create an image of your own and adjust it to the type of music you are playing and the audience that listens to this kind of music.

              This can easily be the first step towards attracting someone, and if your music is good, you will gain loyal fans that will support you anywhere. Your image should be consistent with your music and express the things you are trying to say with your music. This will make it easier for people to know what you are all about.

              When a band has no image, it won’t be memorable and fans will quickly forget about you. Additionally, record labels want memorability and they want bands that have a potential to stay known for a while. They pay a lot of attention on how a certain band is perceived with the crowd and, if they see potential, they will go for it.

              7. Bad communication between band members

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                For a band to function properly, there must be good communication between members. A band that communicates well both verbally and musically can create better music, have better relationships, look more appealing, and become a better band overall. Everybody needs to be on the same page and this is how you will achieve your goals over time.

                A band is like a relationship, only here you have more than one partner. Everything that has been left unsaid can cause serious problems in the long run. If someone is not doing their job, others need to let that person know what he or she is doing wrong. There is no room for hard feelings here, as you all must put the well-being of the band first.

                When you listen to each other and create an atmosphere of mutual understandings, you will truly work together on creating unique music which is a product of all band members. This is the key for memorable and ground-breaking music not a lot of bands out there have.

                8. Expecting a lot without investing anything

                We all dream big and hope that someday, we will get a record deal where everything will be taken care of and the only thing you need to focus on is playing. Every band would love to get there, but you must work hard and put in a lot of effort, time, energy, and money, if you are ever to reach that goal. I cannot count how many times my band mates and I had gigs on our own expense and traveled so many miles to end up losing money.

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                If a show is worth it, pay your own expenses to get there, as it will pay off in the long run. Make your own band material such as CDs, t-shirts, flyers, posters, etc. Don’t be scared to invest in your band on your own and spend some of your own money. Nobody likes bands that act like stars and want everything served to them on a silver platter. Even those bands that are famous get a bad reputation for acting cocky.

                If you are too busy with other things in life, consider hiring a manager who will establish important connections and set up gigs for you. This might seem easy, but it’s really not and only people who tried doing this on their own know what I’m talking about.

                9. Lack of professionalism

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                  You might think “well that band plays thrash metal, they don’t care about anything, they just drink and go crazy on stage.” This is not true. Although some bands may appear that way on stage, the reality could be quite different. Stage performances are one thing but the behavior off stage could be quite different.

                  Bands which are not respectful of managers, promoters, crowds, and other bands cannot expect to make it. For example, you should always look to prepare yourself before the show and get on the stage as quickly as you can and when you are done playing, get off the stage as fast as you can without breaking your time on stage.

                  Never trash other bands online or in real life, no matter how bad they might be. You are not accomplishing anything by doing this; you’re only hurting your reputation. The audience is there to decide who they like, not you, and although sometimes it might feel bad to see that some band has a lot more attention than you, it should only serve as a motivating factor.

                  Have a professional attitude and look to work on yourselves instead of focusing on other musicians or other relevant people in the music world.

                  In the end, it’s important that you all set your expectations low, but dream big. Always look on the bright side and focus on the good things that happened. It’s tough for bands out there, no matter what genre we are talking about and, sometimes, even if you play your cards right, you won’t get what you deserve.

                  Still, even if you don’t achieve the glory you dreamed of having, a band can be a great hobby that can get you a decent amount of money and amazing experiences and friendships for life. Rock on!

                  Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/picjumbo-com-55570/ via pexels.com

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                  Aleksandar Ilic

                  Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                  11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                  11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                  Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

                  Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

                  “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

                  While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

                  The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

                  What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

                  The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

                  1. Cloud Computing

                  “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

                  There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

                  This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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                  2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

                  Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

                  Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

                  his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

                  3. Data Management

                  All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

                  We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

                  However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

                  4. Scheduling

                  Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

                  An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

                  5. Financial Skills

                  These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

                  While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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                  6. Research Skills

                  These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

                  Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

                  So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

                  If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

                  If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

                  7. Marketing Skills

                  While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

                  Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

                  While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

                  8. Network Security Specialist

                  Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

                  So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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                  9. Communication Skills

                  At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

                  Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

                  10. Computer Programming

                  I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

                  11. Graphic Design

                  As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

                  Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

                  That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

                  Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

                  You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

                  Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

                  Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

                  Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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                  This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

                  You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

                  But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

                  Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

                  In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

                  Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

                  And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

                  The Bottom Line

                  We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

                  We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

                  We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

                  As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

                  More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

                  Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
                  [2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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