The first hit album, the sell-out tour, the explosive growth of your fan base. These indicators all point to you arriving at what we call the ‘Supercharge Stage’ of your music career. In the fourth installment of the ‘Artist Development Stages’ video series we cover what the ‘Supercharge Stage’ means and common pitfalls.
0:06 – Stepping on the gas
0:29 – Massive fan growth
0:46 – Your first hit album
1:40 – Achieving sell-out tours
2:03 – Growing your team (techs, tour managers, merch person)
3:00 – Common issues
3:48 – Pitfalls
The Supercharge Stage is all about stepping on the gas. You’ve got your solid foundation in terms of your music, your songs, your live shows, your fans. And now it’s a case of stepping on the gas. Really applying yourself. Intensively working on your career as a musician.
This stage is normally demonstrated because you start to see massive fan growth. This is when you start to see mass adoption, people coming to your music, buying your albums, buying tickets for your shows. It is also the time you probably have your first hit album.
When I talk about hit albums I’m always conscious here that for a lot of artists when you say ‘hit album’ they think that means a million copies. Depending on what style of music you are involved in that is maybe not necessarily the case. I’ve seen artists have incredibly successful careers and a hit album in their market is 10,000 copies throughout the course of their career, or even 5,000 copies because they have other revenue streams or they are releasing albums once a year, at a more rapid rate. It really depends.
I’ve worked with artists in the classical world, the jazz world, the rock world, even in dance music. I’ve seen it this supercharge stage being applied to different genres.
The other thing you’ll start to notice here is that you are going to start to get your first sell-out tours. In the Refine Stage you’ll start to have sell-out shows but in the Supercharge Stage you’re going to see an entire tour sell-out. That’s when you know that you are at this stage, that you are getting mastery of this stage.
Another by-product of this is growth of your team. At Refine you may have an agent, manager and attorney. At the Supercharge Stage you are likely to have a tour manager, guitar tech, drum tech and merchandise person. I’ve seen artists that do really, really well at this stage because as well as building their fan base they are also able to build a great team around them that are around for years and years. These people can make life on the road much more enjoyable because there is a camaraderie with a team that you don’t always get in the early stages when you are a lone wolf.
Most of the issues I see are either when an artist is between the Validate and Refine stages or the Refine and Supercharge stage. I have entire courses on the live side on how to take your live career from one stage to the next.
I’ll tell you about that in some future videos.
So to recap:
You’ve started Exploring. You’ve Validated your market. You have Refined it, you’re getting much slicker with your shows and songs. And then you get your first hit at the Supercharge stage. At this point I see a number of artists just moving back to a previous stage because they are not prepared or they haven’t done the earlier stages well and have rocky foundations.
If you missed the first video in the series you can find them here: