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<title>5 tips for musicians </title>
A guy writing a book asked me for 5 tips for musicians, today. Here are the 5 I gave off the top of my head:
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<li>
<strong>Turn off your computer</strong>. Improve that unfinished song, without distractions. We're drowning in a world of mouse-clickers. <strong>Stand apart from the pack by doing the focused work of improving your skills</strong>. The key that unlocks the door to success is not online, it's in you.
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<strong>Whatever excites you, go do it</strong>. Whatever scares you, go do it. <strong>Whatever drains you or bores you, stop doing it immediately!</strong> Find someone else who loves it, instead.
</li><li>
<strong>Meet 3 new people each week who might help you</strong>. “Do It Yourself” doesn't mean do it ALL yourself. You need help. There are people who love booking gigs, love promoting, love building websites. Put a few hours a week into finding them. <strong>Let them help you</strong>. Email strangers, and suggest a phone call or lunch. Almost everyone says yes.
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<strong>Keep in touch</strong> with people. The best connections always happen right after a recent contact. It's always the person you talked to yesterday who will get you a gig or introduce you to a key contact, because you're at the forefront of their mind. Just <strong>put aside 30 minutes every few days</strong> to call people who matter to you, and say hello. Send them something you think they'd like, whether a link, an article, a trinket, or a pizza.
</li><li>
Bring out your weird side. What's great about the long tail is that there can be infinite niches. Be (and trumpet yourself as) <strong>the best at your tiny sharply-defined niche</strong>. Better to be the world's leading songwriter of songs about seaweed, than yet-another normal-but-good rock band or folksinger.
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<img src="http://sivers.org/images/practicing.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/118648098/" />