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TEM Blog

The Entrepreneurial Musician Blog by Andrew Hitz featuring articles on being an entrepreneur in the music business. Show notes for The Entrepreneurial Musician Podcast.

Filtering by Tag: The Purple Cow

The Will To Execute

Andrew Hitz

"I don't think there is a shortage of remarkable ideas. I think your business has plenty of opportunities to do great things.  Nope, what's missing isn't the ideas. It's the will to execute them."
—Seth Godin from The Purple Cow

This is especially true in the music business and in the arts in general. Artists are by definition creative people. We produce creative ideas for a living.

You have plenty of great ideas, many of them quite creative. The problem is so does your competition.

Execution is the name of the game.

It is infinitely harder to get your great idea for a chamber group booked for concerts than it is to come up with the group in the first place.

It is a lot harder to write a book than it is to come up with a good idea for one.

It is much easier to think of a great idea for a website than it is to actually build it.

If you are wondering why you are not having the same amount of success as your competition the answer is almost certainly execution. The X's and O's but also the will to execute.

Show Notes for Episode 34: A Conversation with Lance LaDuke on Marketing

Andrew Hitz

Listen via:

For Episode 34 I welcome back my partner at Pedal Note Media, Lance LaDuke.

Lance is fresh off of an appearance as a Thought Leader at "Marketing Chamber Music: A Savvy Strategy for Success", an event arranged by David Cutler as a part of the Chamber Music America Conference in New York City.

Lance has some really great ideas about marketing and shares with us a bunch of groups that he thinks are really doing the arts marketing thing well. It's a list that really made me think!

Topics Covered:

  • Using a business model canvas to hone your product and determine exactly what problem you are going to solve for whom
  • If 99% of people are going in one direction with their marketing that you should be going in the other direction
  • How marketing is everything (and everything is marketing)
  • Why you or your product need to be remarkable in the literal sense
  • Why you must be incredible before you ramp up your marketing
  • Why only competing on price to make a name for yourself is a losing game
  • Why how you are perceived is reality
  • Why you shouldn’t assume that anyone cares that you can do something better than it has already been done
  • The importance of finding someone who is having success in your corner of the music business and figure out how they’re doing everything they’re doing 



Favorite Quote from the Interview:

  • "Marketing is everything and everything is marketing. Everything you do should be with an eye towards it."

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Produced by Austin Boyer and Buddy Deshler of FredBrass

Don't Follow the Leader

Andrew Hitz

"The reason it's so hard to follow the leader is this: The leader is the leader because he did something remarkable. And that remarkable thing is now taken. It's no longer remarkable when you do it." 
—Seth Godin from The Purple Cow

I would say a full 95% of all musicians I speak with who are struggling to gain traction within their corner of the music business are following the leader. This is a fool's errand.

The brilliant Seth Godin talks about marketing aspirin in his book The Purple Cow. (Bear with couldn't be any more relevant.)

He asks the reader to imagine how easy it must have been to be the first person to market aspirin. It's cheap, easy to try, and solves a problem for just about every person alive. That copy writes itself.

Next he points out there over 100 kinds of aspirin in some form or other currently being sold. He then asks "Do you think it's still fun to be a marketer of aspirin?"

The answer is of course it isn't. That's a nightmare. Where do you even begin?

So the question you have to ask yourself is this:

Is what I am offering the music business (and therefor the world in general) the first aspirin or the 93rd aspirin?

It is also important to note that the manufacturer of each of those 100+ versions of aspirin can easily articulate how their version is different than the rest. Doo you know why that doesn't matter? If I had never taken aspirin in my life and was looking for a brand, do you think I would take the time to listen to 100 different manufacturers explain to me how each one is unique?

The answer is no. None of us would ever do that.

So if your woodwind quintet or your resume for a college teaching position are not obviously unique to your target audience with no explanation (since you won't have the opportunity to give that explanation anyways), you are most likely on a fool's errand.

So don't follow the leader. Be remarkable and lead yourself.