Common Questions From The 4 Pillars of Your Christian Music Success

4 Pillars eBook-1Here are some of the most common questions and comments we get from The 4 Pillars of Your Christian Music Success Worksheet we give you when you sign up for our email list (see the right column of this website). And here are the answers we usually give:

Should I go ahead and start singing in churches or wait until I have my album done before starting?

You should always start.  The quicker you can get started the closer you come to fulfilling some of your goals in music and ministry.  You should contact local churches and begin setting up special music.  Doing this has tons of benefits.
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Advice for a Singer/Songwriter With Big Dreams

Christian-MusicHere’s an email I received today:

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on your blog and have had the revelation I’m not alone in my feeling the call to Christian music and the need to work a 9-5 job and the struggle to get to the goal. So, I’ll assume you know my story pretty much then because I’m sure you guys have heard it over and over…however, I’m ready to know what I need to do to get there. Unfortunately, since its Christian Music for years I thought God would just “open the door” and I would just get discovered. However, I’m realizing differently that it may take me networking and getting out there. I’ve been writing and singing for nearly 15 years, been in and out of band, struggled, cried and learned from my 9-5 experience and I’m ready to move forward! I’m wanting to be a singer/songwriter and hear all the time from friends and strangers I should pursue this…and I’ve dreamt of being in the industry for over a decade. Ive reviewed your 6 things to know, and NO DOUBT, this is what im made to do. How do I get myself out there? Send demos? I’ve tried mailing, tweeting, and Facebooking my stuff to all kinds of artists. – Justin B.

I thought it would be helpful for you to read my response to Justin.  Maybe you’re in a similar place.  Here is my response: Continue reading

Doing Music Full Time For God

Guitar-LessonThis week I received an email from a reader of our website that reflects really well the kind of sentiment we get all of the time.  She is a young singer/songwriter with a passion for God and a passion for music.  Here is a snippet of her email to us…

I feel like i am called to serve God and use the gifts he has given me in music and singing. This is scary because it involves such risk and faith! i want to be an artist who’s known for being real, honest and transparent about life and living and what it really means to seek godly living. I have 1000 questions I’m sure, but I suppose other than continuing to lead worship at my church, play small local shows, should I be working on making my own album and just trying to market it independently? I have an old EP that was really a rushed project that doesn’t truly showcase my voice or the true potential of my songs. What is the intelligent route here?  I am aware that I may never make much doing this but my heart screams to do this for God Full time and I am ready to do what it takes, but am In need of guidance. Whatever advice you have would be respected and treasured. – Eryn Crews

Thank you, Eryn, for being vulnerable enough with us to express how you really feel.  And, thank you for your question.  It is one we get most often from other readers. Continue reading

How To Handle Troubles and Trials

“We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory. That glory is much greater than the troubles.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ICB) 

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect (fully developed/mature) and complete (fullness/wholeness), lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4 (NKJV) 

For me, personally, this is a revelation for today. So much so, that I wanted to share it so that I could go back and reference my thoughts. And, maybe one day one of my children or grandchildren could read this and it may help them through a problem or trial they are facing.

These scriptures are a good reminder about the best response to a problem, trouble or trial.

First of all, let’s define what a problem is.  My son’s first question to me, when I read today’s reading in “Jesus Calling for Kids” to him this morning, was ‘do you mean like a math problem?’. And, that’s a great question, because it allowed me to further define what God meant by a ‘problem’.

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How To Be a Successful Artist Manager in Christian Music – The Final Interview with Mike Smith (Part 3 of 3)

In this video, our talk with Mike Smith ends with an exciting announcement.  He tells me all about his new online course!

I’ve personally gone through the course myself – once in person (several years ago) and just recently online.  And, I highly recommend it for anyone looking to sharpen their skills on the music business.  Are you ready to take the next step?

Learn more about Mike Smith’s Christian Music Artist Management Course.  

Mike has been in artist management for over 30 years in both the Country and Christian music industries having worked with such artists like Salvador, Chonda Pierce, Brad Stine and Go Fish.

 

How To Be a Successful Artist Manager in Christian Music – An Interview with Mike Smith (Part 2 of 3)

I’m really excited to share with you part 2 of my 3 part interview with artist manager, Mike Smith.  In this part, he shares about the artist management conference he started almost a decade ago and what he learned from that.  You will want to take some notes from him today.  This episode is packed with helpful information if you’re at all serious about becoming an artist manager OR managing your own career in Christian music.

After you’re finished, I encourage you to watch more and join in the conversation with Mike Smith.

Our third video should be ready in a few days.  It’s the final part of our interview where Mike shares how you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about artist management.

How To Be a Successful Artist Manager in Christian Music – An Interview with Mike Smith (Part 1 of 3)

One of the most common questions I get asked by Indie artists is “When do I need a manager?” OR “Can you recommend a good manager for me?”

Recently, I had a chance to interview one of the finest artist managers in the Christian music industry today – Mike Smith.  It was so good, I decided to break it up into 3 videos.

Some of the Christian artists, authors and comedians on Mike Smith’s roster include: Salvador, Jaci Velasquez, Go Fish, Yancy, Brad Stine, Chonda Pierce, Michael Neale and Denver & The Mile High Orchestra.

Malcolm Gladwell determines in his popular book, Outliers, that it takes 10,000 hours of experience and practice for someone to become an expert in anything. Mike Smith has far exceeded that number and he is indeed an expert in his field.

In this first interview, Mike shares the most important piece of advice he gives to anyone looking to become a great Christian entertainer.

If you like what you’re hearing in this video, I highly encourage you to check out more of the things Mike Smith has to share with you!

Why Spotify is a Valuable Marketing Tool for Music Makers

For those of you that think Spotify hurts your downloads of music, think again!

The latest information research I’ve seen actually shows that Spotify users are 2x as likely to download music than a non-Spotify user. This is supported by what we know about human nature. If we get a chance to sample something, we are probably more likely to buy it than if we don’t.

It’s the same reason retailers used to be afraid of the affect Columbia House and BMG Record Club back in the 80′s and 90′s.  When, if fact, those record clubs helped to expose hundreds of thousands of music fans to new music.  They added value to the music industry as a marketing tool – more-so than a revenue generator.

I believe Spotify is here to stay. It’s a successful model for making new fans and exposing people to your music.  The marketing benefits far outweigh the risk of losing sales.

The Balancing Act of Art vs. Work

Recently, a sweet independent artist arrived at my house for a co-write.  This young, talented girl, had just come from work.  As we began to talk about this phase of her life, she burst into tears.  I’ve been there!

For so many writers, musicians, and artists, it takes a while to get up and running.  While there is an undeniable call on your life for music, there are also undeniable phone calls from bill collectors.  Most of us need to take a 9-5 job in order to pay for the bills, and give us the financial ability to do what we love to d  music.

The toughest job I had ever had was working in a factory, third shift.  There were more broken and hurting people there than any church I’ve ever set foot in. After moving to Nashville, I did an unpaid internship at a record company.  I worked evenings at a cable company just to pay rent. My first official job was selling instrumental music. No matter how hard I tried not to, I would often find myself kneeling on my chair or humming a line for a new song I was writing. Every week during our sales review,my boss  threatened to fire me. While technically I had a degree in music business, I still had a hard time connecting with the left side of my brain.  Somehow, I always made time to do what I loved, although it took me several years to get paid enough to make a living at it.

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