Include Vs. Exclude

Often as artists we wonder why we don't get the response we want to our music, books, or films. The answer may simply be that we are "excluding" our potential fans and the media versus "including" them.

For example, music fans and the media are often discouraged from listening to a new artist by the biography the artist wrote. While thousands of artists are still using the outdated press kit formats of the past, the first place where they lose new fans is when they reference their music as a cross between artist A and artist B. Obviously if the potential fan doesn't like either artist A or B, they won't be interested in hearing that artist's music! The same is true with the rest of the biography when the artist tries to hype themselves by where they have performed or with whom or even what "awards" they have won.

When you focus on yourself or how great you are or allow yourself to be "justified" by an award (the judgment is really of the organization that gave it), you are "excluding" what is the bond between your music or art and your audience.

There is a great misbelief that you should not explain your art. I believe in a world of constant distractions, it is better to explain or "educate" your audience than "hoping" they get it. When you explain or educate them about the messages in your music, book, film or any other kind of art, you are including your fans and showing them the common experiences of life you both share.

So the next time you do a book reading, change it to a discussion group about the topics in your book. When you are interviewed about your film, explain what the value will be for those that see it. Think how many more books and DVDs you will sell them!

Instead of accidentally excluding the fans and the media, "include" them into what is valuable about your art so they can "educate" others!

To learn more ways to generate and influence new fans and sell more CDs, books or DVDs, order copies of my books, "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records, Part 2" and "Understanding Who You Are As An Artist". Both are available at or

Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."

Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".

Tim Sweeney

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