I touched on this in yesterday’s post, but wanted to elaborate on when I claimed that premature expansion was dangerous. As a new artist/band, the variety of areas available to pursue often feels unbearable. Here are just a few possible priorities:
- Writing music
- Creating Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bandcamp profiles
- Holding consistent Twitter conversations
- Designing merchandise
- Configuring Facebook apps
- Booking shows
- Designing logos, artwork, etc.
- Filming music videos
- Booking photo shoots
- Determining image
A common mistake is when a new artist tries to do all of these things at once. This “horizontal” approach leaves you dabbling in each area, without seeing or feeling a true sense of arrival.
The alternative to the horizontal approach is, as you may have guessed, a vertical approach. With the vertical mindset, you begin by identifying the core areas you want to focus on. Once identified, create a thorough plan – both long and short term – for each area, and then devote all of your time to executing that plan, while consistently adjusting, learning and improving. [It’s important to note that the key to all of this is a combination of patience and focus. It might take a year before you are successful enough in one area to pursue the next.]
As you begin to see results in these first few areas, you can then stack a new piece onto that, and focus fanatically on the success of that specific layer. As this unfolds, you will find yourself making a large splash in each field, rather than dipping your toe in the water and seeing if anyone notices a ripple.