If you’re trying to carve out a career in music, we hope these 3 tips for independent artists will help you out on your journey.
If you’re a new and independent artist entering the music industry playing field…
It’s important for you to recognize where you’ll need to invest your time and focus your energy.
Whilst making mistakes is definitely okay and to be expected when you’re first starting out…
As a collective, we can definitely learn from each other!
And especially from the past errors of other successful independent artists so that new artists don’t make the same old mistakes.
Although not every independent artist who has managed to establish their place in the industry will talk about what went wrong in their career, we can learn as much from failures as we can from success!
By observing those who have managed to carve out a career in music, we can take note of where they may have failed…
And correcting those mistakes for ourselves can become the first major milestone towards getting ahead and making progress in a life-long music career.
However, where possible, it’s necessary not to waste any time chasing avenues that aren’t going to lead anywhere!
This is why we’ve put together these top 3 tips for if you’re a new, up-and-coming independent artist looking to increase your chance for success…
“In reality, you have a better chance at making money as an independent artist than you do if you were “discovered” by a major music label.”
So here they are, Indiy’s 3 top tips for independent artists (which we discovered from looking at mistakes new artists make) so that hopefully you yourself can avoid them:
Getting started in the music business can be difficult, and usually, the number one reason why independent artists fail is that they don’t take the time to learn how the music industry works.
But when it comes to the business side of things…
It’s easy to get trapped by basic things!
You’ve got to always keep in mind that nothing happens overnight, and that goes for making it in the music industry.
Be realistic about the industry – This is the music industry, it is hard work and downright difficult (like all industries) but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle it!
You need to be prepared to stick with it for the long haul, sometimes 10 to 20 years, maybe more!
Understand that The Big Three control the vast majority of the music market.
Some artists move to smaller independent labels or opt to self-publish as a way to gain control over their own work and career – this way you’re more in control of your music and for the most part much of the decision-making processes.
You will need to decide between an independent music career and a major record label. Something that might be obvious but we’re gonna say it anyway is that you can’t pay people from labels to meet with you, that’s not how you get a record deal.
“It isn’t what you know but who you know,” is especially true when it comes to the music industry.
The same applies everywhere else…if it was possible to just go and hire a radio promoter to get you spun on the radio everyone would be doing it!
So the number one area where most people seem to bump their heads is by not learning how the industry works, understand it’s a business, and you will be rejected, so be prepared for a bumpy road!
Learn everything you can about it and don’t lose passion for the most important thing, the music.
While some people struggle to make decisions, some people do get what they want from life and as an artist of the digital era, you are now more in control of your destiny and your music career more than ever.
You can decide where you’re going and what happens with your music, especially because of music streaming platforms such as Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music where you can sell your music and receive a steady stream of royalties – click here to understand more about music royalties.
Most artists are not natural salesmen but like with decision-making…
Nobody has more than 24 hours per day so it’s important to plan out how you spend that time.
Don’t try to listen to everyone who’s giving you advice…
Just because someone is in your ear giving you advice, it doesn’t necessarily mean that person always knows best.
For example, someone on your social media feed might say “oh you should get your video on YouTube or MTV” then someone else might tell you “Well you should get radio play” or “You need to hang out at this networking event”…
Everyone’s got tips for independent artists, right?
Especially if you’re new to the game!?
What we mean to tell you, is that when it’s coming from someone who has already succeeded in doing something with themselves in the music industry, then yes! You should absolutely go ahead and listen!
But to just listen to everyone would be a bad idea because there are a million different paths to succeed in this music industry business.
Sure, when you don’t know stuff from experience, it means you have to rely on advice from others.
But stay focused on what you know to be the best thing for you!
All these tips for independent artists are great but You need to have a plan and you need to follow that plan, stay motivated, stay in your own lane, and on your own path, and you can build your way up to fame!
When cultivating a career in music, cash can be hard to come by.
But when it does finally begin to roll in, it’s critical that you take the time to reinvest at least a portion of the funds back into your career.
It has become difficult to reach people on social media without investing some money into advertising, this is especially true for Facebook.
Instead of taking a record label’s money (which of course you’ll have to return every single borrowed penny of)…
The whole reason you’re doing this is to build that career, doing what you love so that you can support yourself.
And not only yourself right? Because once it really takes off, but you’ll also be able to support your family or your friends and make surplus income.
Now, remember, if you get lazy when the money starts to come in, it’s going to end whatever cycle you’re in.
In terms of working on your project, you need to keep going even when you’ve achieved more money than you’ve ever seen in your lifetime!
If you haven’t yet made enough to pay for studio time, at least hire a good mixing engineer to do some real post-production of your sound.
In the beginning, many musicians usually make very little money while writing an album or promoting a show in comparison to the amount of work they put in.
The spare change in their pockets can’t even pay for new equipment or time in a proper studio.
Nevertheless, when the first cash payment or royalty cheque comes through, don’t start blowing that money off on celebrations.
Say you’re doing a show and it’s bringing in a good steady income, be savvy, save the money…
Maybe even set a little aside each month for yourself to be able to hire a videographer to capture you some time!
And then use the footage to create yourself a YouTube account & music page?
But whatever you do, don’t pay to play any shows for “exposure”.
It’s important not to fall for common scams, like paying for exposure or getting a list of music industry “insider” contact names and numbers.
There are a lot of ways to get cheated out of money in the music industry, but if you’re careful, you can minimize your risk of getting fleeced.
Click here to read Perform Wireless’ Top 14 Smartest Investments To Advance Your Music Career for some good ideas of ways you can invest money back into your music business.
At Indiy, we believe independent artists should have complete ownership of their content.
We are an online music marketplace for musicians – the place to buy and sell your music services.
Check us out by visiting our home page, or just click here to be taken there and search for whatever it is you need for your music today!
Or if you have something to offer…
Good Luck on your music journey ✌️
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Andrea graduated from Roehampton University and The BRIT School, whose globally recognized alumni include Adele, Katy B, Ella Eyre, FKA Twigs, Jessie J, Leona Lewis, Katie Melua, Kate Nash and the Rizzle Kicks. She takes her love of the arts and entertainment industry to provide useful information to upcoming musicians, helping them navigate the industry and avoid making costly mistakes. She actively mentors our current contributors. Andrea has qualifications in Content Marketing and also manages our collaborative playlists for independent artists