Are you desperately searching for how to achieve long-term success as an independent music artist? You’re not alone.
- you already know how to write, record, and produce high-quality, original music
- you want to pursue your music career as an independent music artist without a label
- you’re ready to put in the work and see results
Now, let’s get into it.
1. Prioritize Networking
Anyone who’s anyone knows that it’s about who you know more than who you are or what you can do.
And when we say sometimes, we mean more often than not.
When it comes to your priorities, networking should be up there with writing original music.
Join music collaboration websites.
Not sure where to start? Check out the best sites for finding creatives:
These sites allow independent music artists like you to collaborate with the big and small names that can put you on the map.
Connecting with reliable colleagues early on can be a real game-changer down the line. So, take the time to meet and foster positive professional relationships with:
- music producers
- audio engineers
Reach out in person and online.
In addition to networking through music collaboration sites like these, you should also reach out in person and directly online. Join Facebook Groups for musicians in your genre, attend local events, and be intentional about who you spend your time with.
Remember this: a good network can do much more for you than a good song.
Pro tip: say thank you.
You’d be surprised how much leverage a thank you message (whether digital or physical) can give you.
Kindness, appreciation, and recognition where it’s due are great traits to have when networking.
Any successful artist didn’t get to that point alone—and you won’t either. So, remember to give thanks when you can.
2. Take Charge of Your Social Media Accounts
Unless you live under a rock, you know that social media is the best way for you to get out there.
So, now your high-priority to-do list should look like this:
- write and record great music
- prioritize networking
- run social media accounts
Once you can afford it, hiring a professional to run your social media accounts is a great idea. But as a rising independent music artist, we’d bet that a social media manager isn’t in your budget just yet.
So, you’re going to need to do the job yourself. Here’s how.
Decide which social media platforms to focus on.
Ideally, you’ll have an account for every social media platform.
However, managing one social media account is a lot of work. So, start small.
Then, work your way up. Choose at least 2-3 of these social media platforms to focus on:
Post quality content consistently.
Once you’ve decided which account (or accounts) you’ll focus on growing, you need to know the best marketing tactics for gaining a following.
We recommend boosting your social media accounts with professional services like Musicvertising’s YouTube promotion.
But, the number one way to gain followers and fans is to post great content on a regular basis.
Great content offers at least one of these three things:
And by “regular basis,” we mean at least 2-3 times throughout the week—not three times on Saturday.
When it comes to running a successful social media marketing campaign, consistency is key. Posting once on Wednesdays and Fridays is a much better strategy than posting eight times on the last week of the month when you realize you forgot to manage your socials.
3. Establish a Brand Image
When you first thought of becoming a successful independent music artist, you probably imagined yourself on stage with adoring fans in the crowd.
Of course, that image is nice—and it might even be realistic. But, being an independent music artist is about a lot more than just performing and writing music. You’re building a business.
Luckily, there’s tons of advice out there for how to get a small business up and running. But the biggest game-changer for you is to build your brand from the ground up.
What is your brand? It’s your image, your voice, your vibe. Your brand extends from what you sound like and how you dress to what you stand for and the ideas you promote in your music.
So, figure out who you are on stage. What version of you are you going to sell?
Take this advice: do some research on branding and marketing. You are selling a product. That product is your image and your music, and you need to learn how to market it effectively.
4. Become Your Own Manager
If you want to be a successful independent music artist, you need to learn how to be your own music manager.
Think of everything a professional music manager might do for you, then prioritize those tasks.
Being a great music artist is about much more than just making great music. You also need to:
- create (and stick to) a strict schedule
- establish a daily routine
- create a weekly, monthly, and yearly budget
- set realistic goals with solid metrics
- hold yourself accountable
5. Protect Yourself Legally
Every successful independent music artist knows that there are plenty of people out there who want to make a profit off of you—and leave you with nothing but crumbs.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Get a good lawyer.
Never sign a contract unless you know every detail. And trust us when we say it’s sometimes impossible to understand a contract without a good lawyer.
As soon as you can afford it, get a good lawyer. Do not cut corners when it comes to your legal rights.
And we hope this goes without saying but hire an experienced entertainment attorney—not a divorce lawyer.
Register and trademark your art.
Copyright exists to protect artists like you, so copyright and trademark your work as soon as possible.
Copywriting your music is optional, but it shouldn’t be. Go to the US Copyright Office’s website, and register your work because it could save you a lot of money later on.
You should also trademark your artist name and logo when you can.
In Conclusion: Here’s How to Become a Successful Independent Music Artist
Need a quick summary of everything you just read? Here’s how to become a successful independent music artist:
- Build your network in-person and online
- Promote yourself through active social media accounts
- Market yourself like a professional brand
- Manage yourself like a real music manager would
- Protect your legal rights with copyrights, trademarks, and a good lawyer
Next to making great music, these strategies will help you transform from a small unknown artist to a successful household name.
And if you need some help getting there, don’t be afraid to ask your friends at Musicvertising for professional promotional packages for your Spotify and YouTube accounts. We even offer Playlist Placement services for independent music artists like you.