09-10-2017 / by MusicDigi
So what is the biggest factor in determining if someone will buy something? Do you know? If you’re trying to sell something (tickets, cd’s, downloads, etc.) then it might be a good question to ask.
The answer is confidence. People need to feel confident in what they are purchasing and the entity that they’re purchasing it from. How confident are people in you or your band? Are they confident that you’re going to deliver them a good time at your show? Are they confident that your new music is going to be worth their money?
Confidence is built over time. Confidence is built with consistency. This is why you won’t get rich in this business over night. You must build confidence over time. You need to have your hand on the pulse of your audience’s confidence level.
Oh – and by the way, this is also the single greatest factor in getting signed. It is extremely costly for record companies to sign the wrong act. A&R reps don’t survive many bad signings. People’s jobs and careers are on the line. Nobody with any future in this business is going to put their ass on the line for an artist that they have 75% confidence in. You need to deliver 100% confidence.
It isn’t easy to build confidence. That’s why so few have meaningful and profitable careers as recording artists. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s much easier to destroy confidence than it is to build it.
So how do you destroy confidence?
There are a lot of ways to destroy confidence. Let’s explore some of them. The first one I’ll address is hubris. This is what happens when your ego starts to find evidence to confirm what it’s suspected all along – that you are God’s chosen one. You and your band were sent down by God to bring the human race to ecstasy. You can do no wrong. A lot of artists fall into this trap very quickly.
This poses several potential problems. First of all, it will cause other people to resent you. You might not worry about this too much, at least not until you’re playing a really important gig and the sound guy is the one who resents your attitude. Have fun with that one.
Another way that this issue might manifest itself would be that the singer in your band decides that he can drink a bottle of Jack Daniels before the show. Have fun with that one too.
What usually happens though is that artists just get careless. Careless mistakes can be very difficult to overcome. One sloppy performance at the wrong time can destroy a lot of momentum. Everything that you do is important. There are no do-overs. Don’t be careless, and don’t play with people who are careless. Carelessness kills the confidence that people have in you. This will ruin the structure of your business as an artist.
How else can I destroy the confidence of the general public? Glad you asked. How about promising one thing and delivering another? You might decide that you’re sick of playing all of your usual songs and you want to play jazz-fusion all night. You’d better make sure that the people who go to this show know that they’re getting jazz-fusion, because if they drove 30 minutes and paid $15 to come see you play their favorite song from your last album, then they’ll probably never come to another show again. Congratulations! You’ve just destroyed their confidence.
You can throw your audience curveballs if you like, just be aware of what you’re doing and be in touch with what your goals are and how your actions fit into this. Perhaps you want to train your audience to expect the unexpected and to be on their toes. This can work – just make sure you’re in tune with what people expect from you. Don’t disappoint people. People don’t enjoy spending money for disappointment. They’re not likely to repeat that mistake. What it really boils down to is how you make people feel. That is ultimately what people are paying for and what you need them to have confidence in. They need to have confidence that you’re going to make them feel good.
Be on the ball. Put in the work. Expect this to take time. Earn the confidence of your audience. Learn about common mistakes and avoid them. Deliver with consistency and you will be rewarded.