I’ve said this before, but I think it’s so important that I’ll say it again: the fact that you had fun recording a song does not guarantee the fact that anyone else will have fun listening to it.
Here’s what that means. In every aspect of this whole independent/self-released musician thing you have to be constantly aware of how you are being perceived from an outsider. This means that when you’re writing and recording a song, you have to be able to step back and listen to it with “new ear” and try to think “is this actually a good song?”. This means that you have take a look at your website and say “does this look like I care about presenting myself well to my fans?”.
Basically, try to put yourself in the shoes of someone stumbling onto your music for the first time. What do they see and hear?
- Is this song actually interesting or am I just having fun making weird sounds with my instrument?
- I really love this part of the song, but because of that have a stayed in a certain section too long?
- Does the way I use Facebook and Twitter convey professionalism and consistency to the people who follow me?
- Is the information on my various websites up to date?
- How hard is it for someone who discovers my music to get to a place where they can buy/download it?
- Am I promoting myself well or am I being too aggressive and annoying?
Being able to objectively answer the above questions is a very important skill to have. Once you’re honest with yourself about this stuff you’ll not only improve the music you make but also your professionalism, retention of fans, and the amount of meaningful relationships you have.
In the comments below, please share with everyone some other questions you ask yourself during the whole writing/recording/releasing/promoting process?