Be First

  1. What is the name of the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? You might know, you might not, but you’ll probably recognise the name, Charles Lindbergh.
  2. What is the name of the second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean?

Mmm, not so easy.

It was a guy called Bert Hinkler. Now Bert flew faster, higher, and consumed less fuel than Lindbergh. He was the better pilot, but have you heard of him?

Speak by Benny Sutton
Speak by Benny Sutton

Who is credited as the first black breakthrough act played heavily on MTV? Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. That’s no surprise! But who was second black act on regular rotation on MTV? No one knows, no one cares.

Why then, do most musicians take the Hinkler route when promoting themselves, despite the superiority of the Lindbergh approach? There can only be one winner and Lindbergh had already won before Hinkler even took off.

Let's assume that you really do write better songs than Ed Sheeran. Perhaps you are funkier than Bruno Mars. Maybe you do shred guitar better than Slash? But do you really think you can knock them off the top spot by meeting them head on?

Unfortunately, when you are doing battle with the big boys (and the marketing machines behind them) you must accept that they are better financed and already established. Otherwise, your music marketing strategy is flawed from the outset.

You might think that cream always rises to the top, and because your music is so much better than everybody else’s you will automatically succeed in the music business. It doesn’t work like that.

Much better to accept reality and develop a music marketing strategy that gives you the greatest odds of success.


You will not beat the leaders at their own game when they have already won

The next law tells you how to turn that around.