By TOCHUKWU YOUNG UMEZULIKE*
In whatever field or career you find yourself in, NEVER stop promoting yourself. Never shy away at any chance to tell people about you, what you are good at, the services or goods you offer/provide and what makes you good at it. Don’t forget that nobody can blow your trumpet better than you.
Sometimes not everyone will respond, reply, give you feedback or even acknowledge they saw or read your message(s) or mail but don’t let that stop or dissuade you. Remember “if you don’t try the answer will always be NO.” So never relent but while you are at it be courteous, respectful or humble if needed. Infact act the fool if it’s required to garner the attention you need. Also know when to push, be aggressive or when to take the soft pedal and meek approach.
Don’t ever allow one No or non response or bad experience stop you from reaching out to people. Everybody isn’t the same, while some will always find reasons or excuses to say no to you, some would genuinely love to help but sometimes several constraints stand in the way of it. Don’t assume every no is coming from a hater or that nobody wants you to progress or achieve your aim. Because someone says/said NO to you doesn’t mean it won’t end in your favour. The NO may be to push you to where/what you deserve or to propel or lead you to the rightful place you should be. There’s no harm or shame in hyping your capabilities or letting people know about what you do, it’s called marketing 101.
So at every point in life don’t ever be afraid to pursue your goals or passion. Because it didn’t work for the hundreds or millions before you doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. And just because nobody has done it before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Don’t let the lack of enthusiasm or excitement from others dampen your resolve or make your interest wane. At times people will sound bored, unimpressed or uninterested simply because the idea or the plan is coming from you whom they see as beneath them or not on the same status, level, category or class with them. Or because the plan/idea isn’t their brainchild. All fingers aren’t equal but that doesn’t mean one finger is more or less important that the others. Same way we all have our spots, corners and niches that we were/are meant to occupy and make our own. Some people will never see anything good about you simply because for no reason they don’t like you, how you dress, your hairstyle, how you talk, your accent, the way you walk or your confidence. There will always be a reason why people won’t like you but all you need is to give them one reason or excuse to like/love you and one person to like/love you or just believe in you.
Marketing and promotion is the one thing everyone or brand needs constantly and no matter how many people or firms you hire to handle your PR, marketing or promo, nobody can hype you better than you can hype yourself. You are your best ambassador so at every given opportunity or chance always promote yourself like it is your last chance to do so. For an artiste the first step is making good music, it’s the number one magic requirement. Forget hype, marketing, promotion, having relationships etc if the music is not good it won’t amount to much over time. Making a great song is your first step in the door, your intro. Once you do that, it’s like a strong magnet, everything else is attracted to it. All the other bits and parts just fall in line to compliment great music. A lot of people will contest this and, I am not trying to say that promotions, marketing, branding, building relationships etc don’t have a hand in pushing/propelling an artiste but bluntly put, if you make a great song, it magnetizes other things around it and makes everything else a tad easier. If you have a weak/wack song, no amount of marketing or relationships will attract the public towards the song. In the short run maybe, but long term it will die an unnatural death and radio/airplays will fizzle out even before it begun.
Relationships & marketing might help put your song in the spotlight or in front of an audience, but no amount of finances or funding will keep an audience interested for long if the song isn’t good enough.
As an artiste, there will be a lot of obstacles in your path but determination, perseverance, confidence in your abilities and believing in yourself will always go a long way. So before you approach anyone to listen to your music or give you their opinion on your music or works, you have to bear three (3) things in mind.
1. do you want to really hear their honest opinion or do you want them to pretend?
2. If it’s not what you expected or not favourable will you accept it in good faith or would you call the person a hater?
3. Do you take criticism well?
As a creative it’s one thing to create in your zone, but it takes guts to open yourself up to criticism from people you sometimes know, those you don’t know, have never met and some you will never even meet. You have to be prepared to take in whatever you get from people and be able to take what you need and discard those you don’t. Be discerning enough to know the opinions, views or pieces of advice given constructively and those given out of spite or a sense of entitlement. While some will genuinely wish you well and want to see you do great, some will be low key jealous or envious and will never want others to progress or succeed just because it isn’t them getting the accolades.
Ultimately never allow the opinions of others make you abandon your dreams or things you are passionate about. When you hear NO or sense dissent go back and repackage or rebrand or simply try another method or style but NEVER say never.
*TOCHUKWU YOUNG UMEZULIKE aka Toks Asher Young is a Nigerian celebrity talent manager and entertainment entrepreneur.He writes from his wealth of over 12years of experience in the Nigerian music industry. He specializes in nurturing and managing budding talents. An emerging Poet, He loves travelling, making friends, networking and building new connections. He is a staunch believer in Nigerian and African musical talents and fierce promoter of good music . He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org