There are certain steps you must take in an attempt to become a successful Independent musician. Throughout all of my researching that I have done from a personal level with my own music; I Have gathered some important steps that I persoanlly believe are the building blocks of becoming a successful independent musician.
A writer should always take into acount that people wasnt to be able to feel the passion in the words that are delivered in the music. Trying to be Motivational, Exciting, Passionate, often Cinematic, and giving off a memorable message are some key points in making an album that could live on to become a classic. Within the first 30 seconds of a song, a listener usually has made a judgement based on whether or not it is going to bring their mind to another place within themselves. Remember that you were also a fan of other’s music or maybe you still are, so you are going to want to try and remain humble. The radio stations and TV channels are always playing music that is usually leading people into becoming numb to daily problems. Many artists try to sound similar to their favorite artists rather than making an attempt to create something entirely original within their music and themselves. Most Hip-Hop artists and rappers these days are “spitting” words of a fabricated life to gain the approval of the masses; wherein, they have only tried to buy in to an already filled roster of people who will make the music that a label will tell them to make, and not be true to themselves; they do this all for money. Being underground or a newly arising artist does not mean that it is okay to slack off in areas such as Sound Engineers, Quality Sound, and Quality Mixing and Mastering. Never let an amazing song go to waste by allowing it to be poorly mixed and mastered.
Music Videos to go along with your music is not a necessity; but instead, they will allow you to reach an even larger fanbase with the proper usage of keywords and tags. Also, you can have a not so high quality music video, but as long as you have a good visual message to go along with the song then you can still very well get a good chance at that video becoming popular. You should always try to put some type of story to go along with your video. This will ensure that you can get the message more efficiently seen and heard that you are trying to send to listeners. You also have to promote your videos. Ask friends and fans to assist you in promotion by sharing it as well. If you are surrounded by people who will not assist you in promoting then you need to find new friends because those people are not supporting you and are probably too busy trying to look better than you instead of being a helpful hand in the ever growing independent musician community’s needs to work together. Be imaginative and creative with your videos. Be unique, be yourself, and try to find the people that will succumb to your particular music niche. Use Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, Reverbnation, PureVolume, SoundCloud, SoundClick, Number1Music, Myspace, Youtube, Google+, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, WordPress, Instagram, and many other networking sites to get your music out there as far as you can on your own, and you should begin looking for promotional packages, that are within your price range, to pay a little here and there to gain some extra exposure.
You are trying to not only sell yourself as a musician, but you are going to be trying to sell merchandise as well. If you have a logo or any name that could become your Brand Name on top of the name that you claim as a performer or performers, you should incorporate that into merchandise. You are your brand. You are selling yourself to these people in a way that is unlike the dirty things you read in the magazines and newspapers. You want them to buy you. So sell yourself with confidence, class, inspiration, or whatever you want to send as your message. If you take the proper steps and put in the leg work then you can be great. Don’t expect to just be seen somehow and jump on the cash train by a recording label. You must know how to Market you Brand. If you do not know what types of people will like your music, you should ask for peer reviews and maybe try to afford some paid reviews or ask what other artists people listen to that also listen to your music. You could try to partner up with a Non-Profit organization for a worthy cause and show peolpe that you are not just trying to get a few bucks in a parking lot selling your mix tape, so to say. If you do not have a strategy when it comes to becoming a larger entity in the music world, then you may possibly be letting yourself down becuase you have yet to gr4asp the concept that people will not necessarily know you until you show them through a strategized Promotional and Marketing campaign with a good knowlegable angle to approach a higher level of the music Industry. Your Brand is what you stand for and how you will be viewed by the public. Imagine as though you are always going to be looked at by the actions you do in real life.
Try to have a team or at least a few people that want to see you succeed. These people will be the ones who will help you promote when they can. You can also pay people to do these things, and I would definitely suggest working with some independent promoting websites. It never hurts to put a little money down by betting on yourself. Don’t expect it to happen over night. Gaining fanbases, Sponsors, and a good following can come naturally in some cases, but they could also take a little while. Try to have a Manager, Entertainment Lawyer, and an accountant when the time comes for you to need thos people as a part of your team.
Just getting out there and getting some gigs will not be enough in most cases to do much career enhancements. If you spend hundreds of dollars or more of recording, mixing, mastering, and all of those other aspects then you should be willing to invest money into promotional marketing as well. I know I keep mentioning this, and I would like it to be known that it is genuinely true. You need to have flyers made for your shows, promote online on ALL social media and ask that it be shared by your fans, friends, and family. Be interactive with your fans to a degree so you can find out what they may like to see. An effective marketing plan includes: Press, Radio Promotion, Video Promotion, E-Blast Implementation to a large potential fan base, Shows and Tours, Online Promo, Press Kits that are filled with everything you have done so far to make you appeasing to venues and events in which you may wish to perform. Performing a couple shows and sending out a bulletin on Twitter or Facebook twice a week about your project is not an effective marketing plan at all. Be smart about your future. This is your future we are talking about after all. Your Brand, your business, your music, your passion. No one has anything to lose from you not giving it your all except you.
Whenever showcasing, you should always try to assist in your part of drawing your crowd and creating a personal bond with your followers. Bring back up CDs, Demo Cds, Flyers, Merchandise for purchase by fans, and always try to hear what the crowd has to say. Though you may not like all feedback, you should try and remain humble and use their remarks as reference for future performances. Talk to the crowd a bit and be yourself. It doesnt matter how many people are there to see you perform. Whether its an empty house or a packed Venue, you should always give it your heart and soul every time! Be professional and always arrive early to accomodate for any Engineers or Managers that you may need to speak with concerning your performance. Being late shows a lack of motivation and can hurt your chances of performing with a venue again due to causing them more inconveniences than you helped them make in profit. Do not ever be afraid to perform some free shows becauase you will likely find many new fans at these events. Be rehearsed and plan your performance out strategically, and you can have even more confidence that nothing can go wrong in the duration of your performance. If something electrical goes wrong, don’t freak out; but instead, use that time to tell people where to find you online so they can keep up with you and your music if they enjoy what they hear. Hold the microphone correctly and try to do a sound check prior to the venue opening, so you may be able to get a feel for the way that a “House” Sound Engineer has everything set up. Befriend the in house Sound Engineers and don’t piss them off. One last thing on that subject, do not allow anybody who does not compliment your performance to be involved in your actual performance because they may cause unwanted hysteria with the owners, fans, etc.
Trademark your Stage Name. Create a business ID and Get a tax ID number to make your brand an actual business legitimately. Try to copyright your music and have rights to any music that you are selling. Do not use stolen instrumentals from the internet because they may have copyrights on their music and will most definitely sue you. Register your music the proper way with the U.S Copyright Office using either form PA or SR. Log on to www.Copyright.Gov. A music business plan is compiled of Goals, Mission, Marketing Strategy, Target Niche Market, Revenue, Assessing Competition, Attempting to break even at least, figuring your Potential Expected Sales, and having a Management Team. This is a business and you will be expected to be a professional and speak to people with respect and manners. Get your Merchandise ready. Try to befriend people in fields of Film, Finance, Video Game Production, Radio Stations and Podcasters, Fashion, Web and Graphic Design, and any Organizations that would be potentially willing to have you be seen as a friend of the organization; Non-Profit Organizations are amazing to try to work with, and if you try to help with fund raisers or start one yourself then you may be seen as an asset to some.
If you’re going to give your music away, Try to have other content or merchandise that’s part of your brand that can be sold. Be helpful with customer service. Don’t keep staying in the same circles. Branch out and don’t be afraid to try and make new connections. You are not abandoning anyone. You are becoming an enterprise.
Try to get radio air play if you can obtain it. Try to get as much information about you, your music, and your brand out there on the searchable internet as you can. If they search your Artist name on google or youtube and can’t find you then you need to start thinking a little bigger and consider stepping up your game by becoming your own financial music promotion sponsor. Oh sure, this may mean you have to spend a little more, but can you really put a price on your own future? If you believe in yourself and what you can become then I believe you will be able to find investors or sponsors, to help fund your promotions and marketing campaigns. If you are alone in your music world, then I suggest you lift yourself up, become your own motivator, and get out there and hustle to get to where you want to be. Just know that you can always find a helpful hand with MuzicNotez.com whenever you are able to take a chance on yourself.
Written by Robby “RejeKt” McKey
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