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Motown’s Secrets of Success – DIY Style

Posted in Articles, Back to the Woodshed! | 5 Comments »

Motown’s Secrets of Success – DIY Style
by Carla Lynne Hall

MOTOWN.jpg

Berry Gordy, the founder and CEO of legendary Motown Records developed a simple plan in the early days of his record company:

“I broke down my whole operation into three functions: Create, Make, Sell. I felt any business had to do that. Create something, Make something and then Sell it. Using this phrase as a slogan kept my thinking in focus.”

The Create phase was writing, producing, and recording. The Make phase was manufacturing and pressing of the records. The Sell phase involved placing records with distributors, getting airplay, marketing and advertising. After implementing this plan, distribution difficulties made him add,

“It had become very clear to me that my Create, Make and Sell slogan had to be revised. We had to now focus more on one thing: getting our money – collecting. Because I felt that Create and Make were pretty close to the same thing, I dropped the make and changed the slogan to Create, Sell and COLLECT.”

While the specific methods have changed since Berry Gordy ran Motown, the requirements for being a successful, recession-proof musician have not changed. If you’d like to increase your musical income, review this list to see where you can make improvements or additions to your current music marketing strategy:


Create:

Write killer songs
Have a great live show
Develop an identifiable image

Sell:
Set realistic and tangible sales goals for your music
Perform/tour as much as possible
Contact the media on a regular basis
Go to music business networking events
Find paying gigs in non-traditional venues
Have a band blog with a solid domain name
Maintain and build your mailing list
Have CDs and merchandise at all shows
Sell your CDs on your website(s)
Sell your CDs on online retailers such as CDBaby.com and Amazon.com
Open for bigger acts traveling through your town
Always have an upcoming gig to promote
Hand out flyers all the time

Collect:
Evaluate your results each month
Have a designated person at shows to sell CDs
Hire a competent accountant to help with your taxes


5 Responses to “Motown’s Secrets of Success – DIY Style”

  1. Cedric Says:

    Ah, the elusive obvious.
    Keep ’em coming, I never miss a word you write!

  2. Carla Says:

    Aww, thanks, Cedric! Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  3. CharLena Says:

    You’re right this can translate to almost any business. Thank you for including Berry Gordy’s business plan.

  4. Carla Says:

    Thanks, CharLena – you are so right about that. Good point!

  5. Motown’s Secrets of Success: DIY Style – Guest Blog « The Hit Music Academy Says:

    […] http://rockstarlifelessons.com/410/motowns-secret-of-success-diy-style/ […]

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