True success as a musician comes not only from talent and hard work, but also from the confidence to promote yourself and your music. Even if you’re an introvert, don’t let fear hold you back. Embrace discomfort, face your fears, and know that you can handle it. In this episode, Brie Noble welcomes Ariane Paras from Olympia Coaching to discuss the importance of mindset in becoming a profitable musician. They explore ways for introverted musicians to effectively promote their music by addressing the fears that restrict us and the uncomfortable actions required to achieve success. Ariane also discusses the music industry and the unique challenges that introverted musicians may face and how to overcome them. Tune in now and learn how to promote your music with more confidence!
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How Introverted Musicians Can Boost Their Confidence And Promote Their Music With Ariane Paras
I am excited to be here with Ariane from Olympia Coaching. On this show, we talk a lot about making money from music and being profitable, but we also know that the mindset behind what we do is so related to profitability. If you’re thinking, “You’re going to talk about mindset and you’re going to move on to the next episode,” not so fast.
It’s important because I have found in my career, and I know we’ll talk about this with Ariane, that mindset is so much of what makes us profitable musicians. We need to have confidence and we need to have dealt with all the fears that are holding us back. We need to do things that are uncomfortable and know that we can handle it. All those things are important for becoming a profitable musician.
With that being said, I’m excited to get into this with Ariane. We’re going to talk too about some of the things that come up when we are introverts. I am not an introvert, so I’m excited to talk about this because I know a lot of the students that I work with are. Before we do that, I’d love to know your background, Ariane. How did you get involved in the music business and how did you get started with this coaching program that you have now?
Thank you, Bree, for having me here on your show. I appreciate it. I started my career in the music business after graduating from university. I’ve always wanted to work in music. As with many of us, music was my first love and my big passion. I moved to London to work in the music industry. I worked in the industry for about fifteen years, then relocated to Barcelona, where I ended up booking artists for a 5,000-capacity venue. I was booking all the electronic music artists every weekend for this venue, which was fantastic until it wasn’t anymore as I was growing older. I had started my own path in personal development for my interest and curiosity and my own sake. That was also related to my spiritual path.
What I was learning was life-changing for me. All these concepts where I’m standing now feel very integrated. At the time, it felt very new to me with the fact that I create my own reality. My thoughts are at the root of everything and my beliefs. I get to change myself if I want to experience a different reality. I found that so fascinating and incredible. Also, my job in the music industry was as a booker in this venue, which was so fulfilling and fun. I loved it because I was able to book any artist that I wanted. I got to give a lot of artists the chance to play in Barcelona for the first time.
That was very fulfilling, but it came to a point where it wasn’t fulfilling for me anymore when I was on my journey. It wasn’t meaningful anymore. I wanted to do something that mattered more to me with the time that I had left on this earth. I wanted to help artists in a more direct way and people from the music industry by helping them be the best that they can be and achieve their potential and dreams. This is why I retrained as a coach and created my business to support people doing that, exactly like you do as well.
I’ve talked about how our thoughts create our feelings, our actions, and our results. As you said, it’s become an integrated part of the way that I think now. It’s hard to realize there are people that don’t have this piece of information, which now seems like my worldview. Before that, it can completely change the way that you think because you feel like you are a victim of your circumstances and you don’t have any chance to change that. Why do you think that so many people don’t have that outlook on the world?
We are full of programming and conditioning. In a way, it’s not our fault, depending on how we were raised. Even coaching, I know coaching is quite big in the US. It’s not so big in Europe. We don’t even have that mindset so much here in Europe. I’m French. I know that in France, we complain a lot all the time. French people complain. It’s easy to get into that victim mindset, let go of your power, blame, and complain and feel like you are not in control when you are. It’s so much more empowering to take responsibility and to realize, “There are so many things I can do within myself and how my transformation is going to create those different results.”
I don’t know why. We all are at different stages on our journey and for personal growth journey. That’s the right timing for everyone as well. For some reason, it is going to happen. This information is going to come to us when it’s the right time. Also, it’s our responsibility to get that information, to read those books, to listen to those podcasts, and to empower ourselves. It’s up to us. I know that sometimes it feels easier to stay stuck in the victim mindset. It feels easier but it’s not easier.
We do have to do the work. There’s that whole saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Sometimes the teacher is some friend of yours mentioning that they read a particular book or you stumble upon a podcast or something, and you fall down this rabbit hole. You’re like, “There’s this whole world of self-development.” It’s true. You do have to be ready to accept it, but how have you seen this affect an artist’s ability to make income, become profitable, and pursue this as a career? I know that I’ve certainly dealt with plenty of artists with the mindset that, “You can’t make money from music. Why should I even try?” and things like that.
Mindset is at the root of everything. What you believe is possible for you and what you believe about the music industry. It’s at the root of everything. It starts with, first of all, how you see the world and how you see the music industry. If you subscribe to that idea of the poor artist mentality or whatever, then that’s what you’re going to create. You’re not going to free yourself from that box. I know this is your specialty, to show artists all these different ways they can make money. It starts with believing in yourself. It starts with allowing yourself and giving yourself permission to even be on that path. I know I’ve worked with a lot of clients who have a day job. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
They’ve been doing music all their lives on the side. One of the things I work with some of my clients on is helping them own their artist identity. Even though they’ve been doing music for ages, they shy away from even presenting themselves in that way or claiming that because they maybe haven’t made a lot of income from their music. They feel like an imposter. The first step is also to declare it and to own your choice and owning your identity as an artist.
That’s good because I see some artists try to do branding such that their artist brand is so different from their personal name or anything that nobody knows that it’s them. They think, “I want my music to stand alone. I want to do this online under a totally different name. If I can’t make it that way, then my music isn’t good enough.”
My personal feeling is you need to have a personal brand nowadays, people need to know who you are, and you need to connect with people on a personal level and all that, which you can’t do when your brand is totally disconnected from who you are as a person. A lot of artists want to be like, “I don’t even want to tell my family and friends that I’m doing this because I don’t want them to judge me.” Do you experience a lot of that?
This is why it’s so important that they work on their fears. If you have this fear of judgment, fear of failure, all those things, first of all, it’s completely normal because what you’re doing is brave. It’s courageous. This is why it’s so important for you to work on those fears. If you’re shy about presenting yourself as an artist, even to your own loved ones, then how are you going to promote yourself in a big way to the world? I agree about creating this connection with your audience in this day and age with the type of social media that we consume. It’s a lot. It’s very personable, and we want to see the real person behind the music. Unfortunately, the music doesn’t speak for itself.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for anyone who has a business. You can be great at what you do, but if you don’t market, promote, do all those business things, and create relationships and networks, you are not going to get to where you want to be. If things are not working out exactly how you want now, don’t make that mean something about your music or yourself because it’s not the best music in the world that gets the most heard. Music taste is so subjective, anyway. It’s not about the quality of the music. It is about the quality of music, but it’s not just about that. You also have to be careful about not making your results mean something about your music and then, therefore, giving you a good reason to stay stuck or to even give up.You can be great at what you do, but if you don't market and promote and create relationships and network, you're not going to get to where you want to be. Click To Tweet
It is definitely not just about the music and not being attached to that result, saying, “I can change this result, but I need to change my thoughts about how I approach it and all of that. It will follow.” That’s a good segue into talking about promotion because the average artist shies away, doesn’t love promotion, and wants someone to come in and do it for them. It’s probably even more difficult for someone who’s an introvert. I know you mentioned we work with some people in this area. What are the unique issues that introverts face as artists and how can they overcome them?
For a lot of musician introverts, the ideal scenario is to be holed up in your home studio, playing your music, and let that be enough. The idea of showing up on social media or networking is terrifying. I’m half of an introvert. I’m an extroverted introvert. I don’t know if there’s an official name for that. I totally relate, for example, with this discomfort of showing up on camera doing a live, even a show like this. You have to find ways that work for you. At the end of the day, there’s not one way to do things. You have to find what works for you. Maybe you are a good writer, so maybe you can write blog posts for a music publication and get your name out there that way.
Maybe you can do Instagram live with someone else where the interview is not you shooting a video, but it’s more of an exchange with another artist, let’s say. There’s also software you can use. For example, Reels where it can be a storytelling thing. You are bringing people on a journey. You don’t even have to talk to the camera if you don’t want to. You can write captions. You can make things creatively and use your creativity and your personality to make content that works for you.
With networking, for example, if you do go to a music event, which we recommend that you network and meet other musicians and people in the industry, networking doesn’t mean you go to an event, you have to be the life of the party, you have to make people laugh, and you have to talk to everyone. All you need to do is be there, be yourself, talk to even a couple of people that you feel would be good to meet, and then build those relationships from there slowly.
Those are some good tips. I love the idea of getting on live with someone else. It’s true for anybody that does something new. Easing into it is helpful and doing it with somebody else. I know the first episode that I did, I felt good that at least there was someone else there with me when I was interviewing. I knew that it was my job to direct the conversation, but still, I knew I didn’t have to be talking the whole time. That made it easier to start way back in 2015 when I started the show. That’s a good tip.
Maybe bring another musician friend with you to an event if you need to. Maybe you both target a few people that you want to meet and then you do it together. You have a wingman, a wing person, or whatever to help you out. That could be a way to do it. I know that getting on video can be a little bit daunting, especially for introverts. You mentioned a few tips on that, but do you have any more tips as far as how to help them? I’ve seen so many artists be paralyzed by fear when it comes to making social media content with video.
Make it easy for yourself. You have to ask yourself, “What would be a little baby step that I’m willing to take, even if it’s uncomfortable?” You do have to lean into the discomfort but do it in a way to ease yourself in. What would be a first baby step? Maybe it’s you putting your phone on a tripod and jamming with your instrument, pretending there’s no one there, pretending there’s not a camera looking, shooting some content, and then taking a bit of that.
You don’t have to do something that makes you feel like you want to throw up, but you have to start somewhere. The thing is, it’s like everything. It gets easier with practice. There’s no way around this. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get, and the more used you are to doing it. It’s a practice and a skill, and like every skill, it can be learned.
At some point, we’d never been on stage before and we had to step on stage for the first time. We’ve all been through that, but it’s been so long for some of us because we’ve been performing on stage for so long. This is a new stage and we have to go through that again. We don’t remember what that was like to feel totally green and uncomfortable.
When we say face the fear, really face the fear, which means ask yourself what you are worried about. What are you scared about? You can even write this on a piece of paper. “I’m scared that I will feel judged. I’m scared that people might think whatever.” Put those fears on paper and then you can look at them from a distance. You start to put them in perspective and start to ask yourself how true those fears are. Our brain is a story-making machine, and most of the things or stories that our brains make are complete BS.
You have to get real with your own thoughts and realize what is complete story making. What is a complete lie? What is real? For the things that feel more real, then ask yourself what you can do to diminish the consequences if this were to happen. If this worst-case scenario that you think is probable or if it were to happen, what would you do next? How would you bounce back from that? It’s having a conversation with your fear. Part of you that is scared and worried, give it what it needs. This part of you is worried or scared for a reason because no one wants to feel like an outcast. No one wants to feel judged. It comes from those very basic needs to feel loved and to feel like you belong.This part of you that is worried or scared has a reason: no one wants to feel like an outcast; no one wants to feel judged. It comes from those very basic needs to feel loved and like you belong. Click To Tweet
Ask this part of you what it is afraid of. What does this part of you need to hear? You then get to access this other part of you, which is the wise, empowered, confident part of you that’s also within you. You get to talk from that part of you to the other part of you. I don’t know if that makes sense, but we are made of all these different parts and they all need to be acknowledged, seen, and heard. It’s like giving yourself the reassurance that you need.
All of us have a confident part of ourselves that we are able to usually mentor or coach other people, but we have a hard time seeing our own issues or coaching ourselves. What you’re saying is to bring that part out and coach yourself. There’s a lot of what you said that I like. I tell artists to go down that worst-case scenario thing. Sometimes the fear is even blocking us from seeing what that worst-case scenario would be. We feel this generalized fear around it. Have we ever diagnosed what we think is going to happen for real? If I put myself out there on video, what’s the worst thing I think could happen? I’d get a hater. I’d get a negative comment, whatever.
You go beyond that. What would I do? As you said, “What would I do about that or where would that go? Where would that lead?” Let’s say twenty people unfollowed me because they believed that person that I was a terrible artist or whatever. Twenty people unfollowed me. They probably weren’t very good fans anyway. You keep going down that and realizing that that worst-case thing isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. The other thing that you are getting at that is important is not to have shame around having that fear. Our nature is to try to protect ourselves. We have that fight or flight.
It makes sense that we have that fear because we are doing something uncomfortable, hard, and maybe something we’ve never done before or that we feel like we have these ideas of what might happen if we do it, and so we’re immediately trying to run away from it in our mind. That’s a natural inclination based on our humanity. We need to be okay with that, but then also these are the tools I need to use to train myself that this isn’t something that I should be running away against. It’s not so scary.
You will only teach yourself that by doing it. Once you do it and you realize, “I’m alive. I survived,” you can do it again. You can take bigger and bigger steps. You can put yourself out there in a bigger way, one step at a time. You’re building that sense of confidence and trust. You are weakening the fears by taking that action. Realize also what amazing things could happen because I’m putting myself out there in that way. You should think about the fears and the worst-case scenario, but also, what is the best-case scenario? What is that allowing me to do when I take that step? Who am I becoming when I take that step? What does that mean about me?
Not only does it start to give you FOMO, like, “If I don’t do this thing, look what I’m going to miss out on,” but also, like you said, “I can become this badass. I have this path in order to become this badass.” I look at other people and they’re on video all the time. It looks so easy for them and desires to be like them, and then we see, “There is a path to even become that. I could be that too.”
You’d be surprised. You get to look back on your journey and realize how far you’ve come. That’s also beautiful.
What advice do you have for artists that maybe are employing some of this and feel like they’re trying hard but they’re not having the kind of success in their career that they want?
As we know, a career in music is not a straightforward, easy path. It has lots of highs and lows. There are moments when things seem to be working out. There’s stagnation or it can even feel like you’re going backward. First of all, it’s to accept that everything is cyclical. In nature, we have summer, spring, and winter. We have different cycles. It’s the same with your life and your career. It’s normal. The first thing to realize is that it’s okay and it’s normal. You might get to those places where it feels a little bit like, “What’s happening?”
First of all, when you get into that mindset of, “There’s nothing wrong with me experiencing this right now,” it lessens that anxiety around it. What if this was a normal part of this journey? Also, on the hero’s journey, there are difficulties along the path. There’s also help along the path. You can also get support and hire help. All these moments of difficulty can be exit points. This is where you choose like, “Am I going to exit, give up, or keep going?”
If you keep going, that also means you become a new person with each difficulty that you overcome. When things don’t work out, it’s always interesting to see what you make it mean. If you have a show gets canceled or you are not being signed by this manager or this agent that you wanted representation from, what do you make that mean about yourself, your value, and your future? As human beings, we are very quick to predict the future. It’s as if we knew. Stay aware and see whether you make that mean anything about yourself or about what it means for you in the music industry in the future.
You have no idea what can happen in the future. You have no idea where the next opportunity will come from and when. I find it helpful to zoom out and see it from a bigger perspective. If you realize, “Music is such a huge part of who I am in my essence. Therefore, I’m always going to make music,” if you see that you are always going to create music in one way or another, what’s happening to you now mean in the grand scheme of things? I always find that helpful when I zoom out and realize, “This is a blip in the journey, but if I look at the big picture and my career as a whole, it doesn’t mean much.”
The big picture is always helpful. The other thing is reminding them like, “What if you were to quit? Are you going to stop making music? I know your soul is fed by making music, so if you were to stop making music, how would that affect your life?” Most musicians would be like, “I don’t think I’m going to stop, or I might stop for a little bit.” I know for me, I had this time period when I had my first daughter when I thought, “I’m not doing music anymore. Now I’m a mom.” That lasted for six weeks.
It was like, “I can’t do music. I have to do it in some way.” Sometimes you need a little sabbatical or a little time off. You’re burnt out. You’ve been pedaling hard and you feel like you’re still in first gear or whatever, and not going very fast. Sometimes you need to get off, recalibrate, let yourself rest for a bit, and then get back on and you can pedal a lot faster instead of pedaling in first gear forever and white-knuckling it and all that. That’s some good advice that you gave. It is thinking about it in the big picture. There’s been so many ups and downs in my career and a lot of the artists that I’ve interviewed.
It’s totally okay if you decide to step back for a little bit to ease the pressure and maybe to focus on a different creative project or a different part of your life, knowing that you will come back refreshed with a different perspective. With mindset, it’s important to stay aware of where your focus is. We do have a negativity bias. As humans, we tend to fixate on what is not working and on the negative much more than we do on the positive. Especially in those moments, you have to stay aware and see, “Am I fixating on what’s not working? Am I focusing on the problem here, or am I focusing on a possible solution? Am I focusing on my progress even though I’m not where I want to be right now?”It's okay if you decide to step back for a little bit and maybe to focus on a different part of your life. You can then come back refreshed with a different perspective. Click To Tweet
Still, there’s been progress. Every day you take action, there’s progress. Are you focusing on your resources and what’s possible for you and what is in your control? What is in your control is how you experience the situation. Your emotions, your expectations, your ability to change your focus, and your perspective is in your control. There’s always a way to make those tricky moments easier on yourself and to pick yourself back up. Maybe it is stepping back or maybe it’s also, “What do I need to do to feel better about this, about myself? What are things that work for me to pick myself back up and to get back on the horse and stay committed?” With music, even if you want to run away from it as an artist, you can’t.
It’s who you are. It’s a vital part of your well-being, happiness, and fulfillment. With those types of careers, it’s not like you make a decision once. In a way, you recommit to it sometimes. You have to recommit to doing the inner and outer work. It’s like a relationship. Ideally, if you are married, for example, you don’t stay married because there’s a piece of paper that has been signed. Ideally, you choose the person every day and you work through the problem. It’s the same with your music career. How can you choose your music career again and again and recommit and work through the issues?
Also, knowing what motivates you. I always say that one of the important reasons to have fans is to remind you why it’s important not to quit. If there are people, even if there are 30 or 100 of them, whatever, we never have as many as we want, but we have to remember that the ones we have are going to be bummed out if we stop making music. They’re waiting around going, “When are you going to put out your next song?” You have to remember who those people are and that they exist. Even if there are not as many as you want, there are some. Focus on those people and create something for yourself where you can remind yourself how much those people care.
Maybe they’ve responded to some of your emails and you’ve got those saved in a folder. Maybe they’ve put comments on your social media that you can go back and look at or save in a document or something like that. Sometimes we need to remember the impact that we’re making outside of ourselves. It isn’t totally about ourselves. We have to feel fulfilled and all that. We also have to remember that there are other people out there that are being impacted by what we’re doing and that we’re doing it for them too.
You should totally save those comments and any person that writes to you to tell you how you helped them through a rough patch they had in their lives because the lyrics of your songs talk about that topic. You should keep track of those comments and keep them in a document. Maybe you will look at it, maybe not, but knowing that it’s there, it’s like remembering. Sometimes we forget.
It’s like how your work is important, remembering that it has a real impact on the world, and also remembering your why. This is back to basics. Remember your why. Why are you even on this artistic path? Why is it important to you? What is your purpose? Why are you even doing this in the first place? What makes the journey worth it?
This has been so good. Thank you so much for delving into these subjects that are the underlying things that help us make income become profitable as a musician. Where can people find you online so they can continue this conversation?
They can check my website, OlympiaCoaching.com. I’ve got some free resources on there, lots of content, and some coaching programs to support artists with all that mindset stuff and to help them find clarity and direction and feel more confident so that they can achieve their goals. Also, on Instagram, the same thing, @OlympiaCoaching. I do offer free consultation, so if you’re interested in those topics or if what we chatted about here resonates, then feel free to book a consultation with me. I would love to hear from you and to get to know you more.
Thank you so much, Ariane. This has been good. It’s been a great conversation that we haven’t had in a while on this show. I’m glad that we covered these subjects. I hope our readers reach out and connect with you. Thank you so much for all of your knowledge and expertise in sharing it with our readers.
You’re very welcome. Thank you.
About Ariane Paras
Ariane is a life & career coach and founder of Olympia Coaching. She supports artists and music professionals so they find clarity, direction and confidence, and overcome what holds them back. With 15 years experience in the music business, she helps her clients reach their potential, feel fulfilled and get to the next level.