I’ve been coaching musicians for over a decade, helping them get started in the business of music licensing. I’ve worked with thousands of musicians during this time and I’ve cultivated a really good sense of what holds most musicians back from moving forward.
Although everyone has a different story and different background, there are overlapping similarities in the majority of musicians I work with, in terms of the challenges and obstacles they face and what seems to be preventing artists from moving forward.
The overwhelming thing that seems to be holding most artists back that I work with is what I call “paralysis by analysis”, with also a bit of procrastination mixed in. In fact, I would say these two things are closely related. We often procrastinate or fail to take action because we feel like we don’t have enough information to start moving forward. It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of “I’ll take action when…”. I’ll take action when I better understand the business. I’ll take action when I have x number of songs completed. I’ll take action in the winter when I have more down time. And so on.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s good to prepare and educate yourself to a certain extent before embarking on a new business venture like music licensing. But in my experience, the majority of artists I work with seem to be overthinking things and are getting hung up on relatively insignificant details.
As an example, I frequently coach artists who are enrolled in my member site, HTLYM Premium. One of the questions I typically ask artists I work with is how often they pitch their music, or how many leads they’ve submitted to in the past 30 to 60 days. You’d be surprised how many artists say they either haven’t pitched their music anywhere or they’ve only pitched their music to a handful of places.
Now to be fair, a lot of artists say they’re waiting to speak with me prior to pitching their music because they want to be well informed prior to reaching out to people in the industry. Fair enough. But you don’t need to have ALL the answers or know everything there is to know about licensing before you get started. The most important thing is that you start. A lot of things involved with music licensing you can learn along the way, as different situations and opportunities arise.
One of the best educations you can get in the music licensing space is to be actively engaged with people in the industry. By regularly pitching your music and cultivating relationships with people who work in sync licensing, you’ll get a sense of what kind of music is in demand, how best to reach out and submit your music, the different types of licensing deals that are standard and so much more. All of the resources and courses my team and I have put together in HTLYM Premium are based on our collective experience of working in the industry. We figured out how the business works by taking action.
Again, don’t go in completely blind. It’s good to have a general understanding of how the business works before you put you and your music out there. The reason I’ve created HTLYM Premium and all the resources we offer is so that you’ll have the knowledge and information to move forward confidently. But, don’t get stuck in the “paralysis by analysis” mindset. Once you have a decent grasp on how the business works, start taking action!