Just because all the experts on the new music industry, online music marketing and ‘direct to fan’ all say the same thing about how you need to promote your music – that doesn’t mean that you have to do it all exactly the way that we all recommend.

The most significant thing that an aspiring artist needs to understand is that they have to follow these steps:

1. Have some AWESOME material – great songs, well produced and a sense of where you fit in; and

2. A vision of your art. This will be manifested in artwork, photos, stage show etc; and

3. A grasp of how the internet, mobile and traditional media can be harnesed to spread the message at a previously unavailable rate.

Although we state that you should build a fanbase by having a certain kind of website, several social network profiles and build an email list of fans as you navigate your way to the succes you are aiming for – you don’t have to do it that way.

Take the bits of that approach that work for you.

Have you heard of ‘The Weeknd’?

I hadn’t until this week, and I am not sure if there are people behind the scenes – although my sources tell me that his efforts are his own without a manager or label involved…..yet.

A solo R&B performer / producer from Toronto, he recorded a 9 track album / mixtape and launched a site, a YouTube channel, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, SoundCloud and Tumbler at the end of February – 4 months ago.

Yes, Drake tweeted his link a month or so in (a friend, or a player in the game – who knows?), but it has gone mental!

50,000 fans on Facebook, the same on Twitter, millions of YouTube views and every record label in the world desperately trying to sign him.

So, no long measured campaign to gain attention. In this case, a blast across all the hottest platforms, plus some luck maybe.

But, mainly, great music that fits exactly into the niche that he aimed for – the images used in the videos (stills to track) fit the dirty sexy mood of the music and lyrics – the site is minimal and there’s a note of sleaze and mystery throughout.

Learn from this.

Be great at what you do and present it with skill and thought. Learn the tricks and tips that we suggest but use them in your own way.

Check out The Weeknd here.

On YouTube here.

And here’s a video.