By James Pew

There are exceptions to every rule but chances are you are not one of them. People who are the exceptions seem to fall into success because of a number of special factors (luck being a big one). It sometimes requires little or no planning for their success to manifest simply because they are exceptions.

The world is wired on planning. If you are one of the exceptions, you already know it because you have already defied the odds and had a major break in music industry exposure. For the rest of the non-exceptional world (most likely you) there are certain cultural, communications and economic mindsets that are really important for an independent artist (most likely you) to adopt.

The core mindset that I feel is essential is to make sure you approach the communications side of your brand (your band) with the same level of artistry and innovation that you put into the music. The medium of Marketing (Public Relations; all filed under Communications) requires creativity, innovation and artistry. The artistry of your brand must transcend the objects you create and the products you sell. The brand must be cool for me to be a fan of you.

You need more than people who like your music and appreciate your artistry. You need Super Fans. It has to be cool and fun to be a super fan of you. Your brand has to flow out from the music you make. It must be a fascinating world that fans can immerse into.

I want to listen to your music because its exceptionally awesome (you went above and beyond and created something that transcends present culture), I want to join your fan participation initiatives (contests etc.) because they are easy, fun and cool, and usually end with some kind of awesome reward. I want to watch your videos because the visuals make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I want to go to your shows because they sound amazing, are always different, you always do something unexpected and creative and highly entertaining, and I keep going to the shows because you always leave me wanting more.

When I’m at your shows I buy merchandise simply because the design on the t-shirts are amazing and the copy is thought provoking – and I will be the coolest hipster of all time when everyone sees I’m one of the first people to wear your limited edition collectors item band T-shirt.

You always have new merchandise including new t-shirt designs at every show…one of the reasons I go to your shows is to buy all the new collectible merchandise you are selling. The shit is so cool and funny and its the best feeling in the world to constantly be rewarded by you with creative objects and experiences extending from your brand.

Constantly put out awesome music and make your shows legendary.

This doesn’t have to mean you have sold out. When you make your albums, if your preference is to lock the doors of the studio for 3 months cut off from society while you craft your master piece then cool. Do your thing. You do not have to think about economics, public relations, business, laundry, house parties, or Duran Duran. Create your music the way a true non-sell out does by simply doing it your way.

Aim to create exceptionally awesome music; because very good music isn’t good enough anymore. And never forget…BE LEGENDARY!!!

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