What Does it Mean to be a Successful Artist?
We hear it all the time, ' I want to be a successful artist'. But what does that really mean? The problem with this question is there is no one size fits all answer. Success is different to each individual. Maybe releasing a single on Spotify and Apple Music qualifies as being a successful musician to you, or maybe its getting that record deal with Sony or Warner. There is no right or wrong answer here, but in order to know whether you are a successful artist you have identify what that means to you.
Let's discuss having a successful release. So you've put in the hard work, you've created the track, uploaded it to your distributor and now its out there for the world to hear. You'll have people asking you ' Are you happy with the response of your new release?' ' Was your release date successful?'. The definition of Success is ' The accomplishment of an aim or purpose'. The key to knowing if you have had a successful release , is to ensure you have measurable outcomes. You should be able to tell instantly whether your release was successful or not by looking at what your aim or purpose of this release was compared to your data.
Now not to sound like your GCSE English teacher, but using methods like SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based) Analysis can be really helpful in making sure you are making measurable, realistic and honest goals. Examples of these are: I will get 5000 Streams in the first week. This is great because you have been specific with what you want, given numerical data and given your self a realistic and time based goal to refer back to, to be able to qualify If you this release has been successful based on the goals you set yourself at the start of this project. To clarify, these are tips to help you have a clear understanding of your aims and purpose, this is not to say if you hit 4999 streams this is unsuccessful. Ensure you have 5 aims to qualify whether you have created a successful campaign and even if you only manage to achieve 3 of those, it's up to you whether you decide this is successful.
Success can come in many shapes and forms, just by networking and getting your music to the right Radio DJ's, Producers or press companies is a great achievement. The industry is made up of so many different sectors and its important as an artist you use those to the best of you ability. Get out there, network, build relationships with other industry professionals and creatives and these people can count towards you becoming that successful artist. Anything that is contributing to your growth and helping you to achieve your ultimate career or personal goal is a form of success. Please remember that it is also not going to be as simple as A,B,C. There is going to be highs and lows throughout your journey but being more in control of your success and having a clear understanding of what this means is going to be important to your progression.
One thing we can say which will bring you success within the music industry. Build. You're. Contacts. You never know who can help you bring your goals forward and help you to create that success you are craving. Always make sure you are replying to fans, industry professionals and other creatives. One way you are going to be successful is if you look after those who support you. Engaging and giving back to those around you who are contributing to your success is invaluable and can really help to set you apart from the other thousands of people trying to become a successful artist in the music industry.
To summerise, to become a successful artist, set your goals, clear aspirations and know what you are going to do to ensure you achieve them and make them successful. Success doesn't mean you have to be on Forbes 30 under 30, take it slow, be honest and realistic and do something everyday that contributes towards your success and end aim or purpose. Make sure you are networking constant and building relationships with those within the industry but also your fans and listeners. Lastly make sure you are having fun and have a great network around you. As Ed Sheehan once said 'Success is nothing if you have no one left to share it with' .