I have spent the last 17 years of my life in the music industry, attempting to turn my talents, hard work, and skills into my full-time income and career. I have always had a passion for helping those in need, as well as performing. About 3 years ago I had a massive music career failure, and was working at the local Fire Department. I found out I really enjoyed helping my community and being in public safety, almost as much as I enjoyed music. I decided to reevaluate and change my trajectory. How could I be a more successful and well known, while helping others in my community? I found the right people who were willing to have a similar vision and wanted a new start. Thus, was born Fire Line; we wrote an album, and our first gig was a benefit concert we held for a fallen police officer. We hit the ground running with a partnership agreement with Mt. Carmel Veteran’s Service Center next, and since then we have had the honor of performing, and having our originals broadcast all over the nation. Here are 5 reasons to involve your community:
“Your purpose in life is to use your gifts and talents to help other people. Your journey in life teaches you how to do that.”— Tom Krause
When diving into your community, networking opportunities will be endless. Rather than the usual way of performing at local bars, clubs, and venues to try to get signed with endless competition, you will have the help of your community and all of their resources to back you. When you perform for a charitable event, you can leverage all of those individuals there to help you with future bookings, perhaps even gain some private or corporate bookings. The idea here is give a little back, and get a large return later.
Increased Visibility and Branding
Just getting your name out there can do wonders for artists and bands. To the fans and the customers, community involvement shows that you are using your talents to make an immediate difference in their lives. An added benefit is when performing for a community event or a fundraiser, there are more opportunities to get on local radio stations, and news stations to promote the event, as well as having media coverage on the event while you are performing. You can use all of these on your social media, or websites later on.
Create Social Impact
When a local police officer was injured in the line of duty, he needed money, resources, and many other things to support not only him, but his entire family. Fire Line stepped in and hosted a benefit concert with our fellow local bands. We created some much needed camaraderie amo the local music scene, but we also created a social impact on our community. We showed our town, specifically our local law enforcement agencies that we appreciate their daily sacrifice and we care about them. You can do this with your band or as an artist with any agency or community event that you believe in, then try and get other artists to join you. You are not just creating an awesome opportunity for musicians to network, but also to create a social impact that keeps giving back.
Purpose is what gives life meaning, similarly to music if we write and create with purpose we have a better energy and more fulfilling music. For example it's one thing to get out a guitar and sing a tune for a few people at a local club who may or may not be interested in what you are doing. It is an entirely different experience to perform for your own community, for military who sacrifice everything, for children fighting disease, for those who are less fortunate than we are. You have an engaged audience, you have a purpose and that will drive you to perform at a higher level.
Setting Yourself Apart
Take a look around you, how many bands and artists do you know? How many of those are in the lucky percentile that perform for a living? If you research it you will find that most bands build from an ideology of “making it big” in other words becoming rich and famous. Some can make this happen, but it is their drive and the people around them that help them to be successful. Try coming from the mindset of “ I am going to use my talent to help as many people as possible.” This sets you apart, because you are no longer trying so hard to make it as a musician, and instead your focus is shifted on creating a positive impact on the lives of many others around you. When you do this you will be recognized by your community, and with any luck you will become more successful than you could have ever done with the standard indie music business model.