If you're a musician, what is the number one, most important thing you will do for your music career today? No, not tweet or Facebook or blog or engage in a debate whether the internet is good or bad or contact the press - it is working on your music.
Wait..what...huh? But what about your digital marketing strategy and building your fanbase and designing your merch and all those other things on your to-do list? They matter, absolutely. But remember WHY you're doing them - you're doing them because of your music, and if you don't have the music, then you can social network your little heart out, and you'll just have lots of online friends - which is not the same thing as having a music career.
What counts as "good" music is a subjective thing, so the point isn't to worry about quantifying whether you're making "good" music or not. Instead, focus on your attitude and commitment to your music. Where does working on your music - practicing, writing new material - rank on your list of things to do? If your music is taking a backseat to the other things you're doing in hopes of getting your music out there, you're putting the cart before the horse. To succeed at all of the marketing and promotion stuff, you need a good product. Don't ever lose sight of the fact that in the music industry, our whole business depends on fans connecting with the music - or with fans getting every bit as excited about your music as you did about all the music that led you here in the first place. There's business and there's art - but when your business IS art, never underestimate how much the creative matters.
If you're a musician, today's industry demands that you wear many different hats, but don't forget what your most important one is.
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