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**Concept of creating and maintaining Momentum**

Do you remember the first time you entered a gym? What was that experience like for you? Do you remember seeing the super inflated and muscular bodybuilder reaching for the 100-pound dumbbells like they were feathers?

You watch in awe as you see him crush his reps. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and gasp at your scrawny figure. Human nature says “I want to be lifting that kind of weight!” Heck, you think to yourself “I better crank things up in terms of weight cause I don’t want to be embarrassed if someone looks at me”.

You reach for the heavier weight confident that you can manage and well lets just say the embarrasment you were hoping to avoid seemed to come and kick you in the ass anyways.

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Overnight Success Myth

In music, we often hear the phrase overnight success and think that these types of stories actually happen in real life. The fact is with our weightlifting example, that body builder has been putting in work, day in and day out. What seems like something that occured overnight was actually the accumulated efforts and commitment to getting stronger… And maybe a steroid or two… Kidding of course!

With that said we often look at others success and tend to not see the years of hard work and the discipline, it took to get them to the spot they’re in. Going to the gym for the first time is very hard but the fact that you decided to go is the first step on your long journey. No different than with releaseing your first single or doing your first performance, you are building the foundations for your future success.

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The True Power of Momentum

One factor that is extrememly important is your ability to develop and maintain momentum!

People hear the word and I believe that they understand what it means but many don’t understand its true power and the discipline it takes to leverage momentum to your advantage.

In this post, we want to teach you the things that kill momentum so you can avoid them but we also want to teach you haow to gain momentum and use it to help you become one of those “Overnight Successes” everyone talks about.

Lets get started shall we!

What Kills Your Momentum:

Not having a plan:

We can not stress this enough. If you do not plan you are plannning to fail. If your career is important to you then you should work to gain as much control over the things that happen. Having a plan allows you to focus on whats important now and keep you on track.

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Following others or what you see on TV does not count as a plan. Especially for your individual situation because for each artist, circumstances and certain intracacies will always be different. Create a plan that is unique for your situation and this will help you with generating and keeping momentum.

Not Understanding The Life Cycle of Your Music:

Ever notice how Apple will release a new phone right as you are getting used to the one you just got? They create a ton of hype around the new model and people line up for miles just to get their hands on it. Apple isn’t the only company to roll out their products in this fashion and the methodology they are applying relates to the “Product Life Cycle”

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It’s a simple concept that our friends over at Heroic Academy call the “Record Life Cycle” because we can apply the same methods to our music as well.

In their amazing ebook “The Soundcloud Bible” they go into detail about how to create momentum through the Record Life Cycle. When we introduce new products you will have your early adopters and raving fans like those who line up for iPhones wanting to be the first to get their hands on the new release.

Then you enter into the growth phase as others start to come on board. Where artists lose momentum is by getting near the end of the growth phase and entering into maturity with no new content to release. Remember how we mentioned Apple hitting you with a new model when you are just getting used to the one you have?

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As an artist, you need to plan and be prepared for that sweet spot inbetween the growth and maturity phase so that you can start marketing a new release and leverage the momentum from the previous release!

Pretty cool concept huh?

I was blown away when I read this and the other amazing tips in “The Soundcloud Bible”. The information was so easy to understand and actionable which is important. I highly recomend you check it out if you haven’t as I personally gained a new outlook on how to market my music.

Lack of Content and Consistency:

Falling off the face of the earth does nothing for you at this stage in your career unless you are engaging in a serious rebrand and planning to ensure that it never happens again. The more planning you can do the better of you will be.

It’s key to try and get 3-4 projects ahead if possible so that you can keep the creative juices flowing while still focusing on the business and marketing elements. The best way to do this is by setting up your release schedule. This is so important as it will be the foundation for your social media calander and any other supporting content that you intend to release.

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Heres another hint… When you get a couple of projects ahead of you also create more freely because you have less pressure on your shoulders to put something out. You have a buffer meaning that you dont rush things and put out subpar work. This is so important because it allows you to shorten your learning curve on what works and what doesnt meanwhile developing a system so you can streamline your processes and witness repeat success.

Comparing Yourself To Other Artists At or Near Your Level:

As we just mentioned comparing yourself to others is certainly a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is important to be a sponge and learn as much as you can from others.

However on the other hand this can take away from your true potential if you are focused on the wrong things. If another artists success pisses you off then you are not focused on the right thing.

Instead look to see what they are doing that is working and how you can adapt this for your own situation. Further more do not think about other artists as competition rather look at them as coopetition. Yes, corny I get it but listen…

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Networking and collaborations are huge in the music industry and fuel momentum more than just focusing on your own platform. The sooner you learn to leverage your own connections and create winéwin situations for all parties involved the better off you will be.

Comparing Yourself To Famous Artists (Kendrick & j.cole ghost strategy):

The other side of this is focusing on superstar artists. We see the likes of Kendrick Lamar who puts out a project then disappears but is able to maintain a shit ton of momentum from this. Or even the likes of J. Cole who was able to tour off one project for 2 years which is crazy when you think about it.

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News flash though, you are not J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar! You as an indepentent and unknown artist do not have this luxury. In todays short attention span society if you are not at the front of peoples minds you will be forgotten. Even with how all the algorithms on marketing platforms work, disappearing will only hurt your brand.

If you think you are above this, realize that even bigger artists need to stay front of mind because if they disappear they too will sucome to the loss of momentum. Some larger artists can`t even get away with the disappearing act or else they too will fall out of favor. Which leads me to the next point…

Perception of Your Music and Your Brand:

Understanding how people precieve your brand and music is very important when it comes to momentum. one wrong move and you could lose traction. This also helps you to gauge what you should be producing, how often you should be producing it and who you should be connecting with.

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Another important aspect of perception is trying to control what people tend to think of you. Do not get me wrong, it is impossible to control what everyone thinks and from person to person that narrative will change. However, the goal is to try and steer people in the direction you want them too. The only way to do this is through the content you are putting out and how you brand yourself through this content. As you can see, content is king and is in direct correlation with your ability to generate momentum.

Thinking That Your Close Friends and Family are Real Fans:

This doesnt necessarily kill momentum as much as it just keeps your wheels spinning. Friends and family are great and do not discredit their role in your future fan base but you need to get true raving fans that most likely have never met you. This can be streamlined through processes and the steps you take to obtain new fans online, offline, at shows etc.

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Friends and family may support you even when your trash which is great but there is something to be said for being told you suck and that you need to get better. This honestly will help your career more than you know. Welcome feedback good or bad and act on it if it makes sense.

Wrapping It Up

Momentum is something that you as an artist should always be fighting to achieve and maintain. If you’re not getting better you are getting worse and you need to make sure that you are front of mind to your fans.

Without a solid plan this can be difficult but when you have established a plan the momentum will start to turn in your favor. Get momentum on your side with the tips we suggested and dont look back!

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