Being an independent artist is not easy. You have to handle most of the work yourself, and usually, pay for everything out of your own pocket. However, this also means that you can fully express your artistic vision and won’t be forced into engagements.
This is a great option for those who want to be artists for a living without becoming a commodity. This is also a good option for those who feel like they might have an audience already and don’t need to have a machine behind them, allowing them to bypass the middlemen and get better percentages. But to get there, you have to have a clear roadmap and strategy. Let’s take a look at a few strategies independent artists can use to become successful.
This is probably one of the most important skills you’ll need to master as a new independent artist. And, unfortunately, this is an aspect many neglect. The music business is very much about who you know, and the more people you know, the more opportunities you might open yourself up to. Also, you never know who the right connection could be. It could be a shop or restaurant owner that would like you to perform at a certain event or a student friend of yours that wants you to perform at a party. These are all the types of interactions that could allow you to get the little bit of initial traction that you need. If you’re good enough, word will start to spread about you. The rest is about you being consistent with your efforts and cultivating your audience.
Start from the Bottom
If you want to make yourself known, you will have to be ready to work yourself up from the bottom, even if it means busking. You’d be surprised at how many major artists either started or were discovered while busking. Also, there’s the chance that you could end up on YouTube, and people love discovering obscure talent online. If you look on YouTube, there are plenty of videos of buskers getting millions of views, and if your talent is exceptional, you will get some attention. The best outcome here will be organic and inexpensive.
Work with the Right People
You also have to make sure that you have the right people in your corner. You will need to find yourself an accountant, a manager, a lawyer, and a road manager. The road manager will be essential for organizing logistics on the ground while the manager will be finding gigs and other opportunities for you. Working with a booking agency will also help.
Subsequently, you need to have good staff with you in the studio. Some artists will regularly rotate their sound engineers, but it’s also good to have a relationship with someone who understands your vision and wants to work with you. You want them to like your music too. This way they’ll be more involved in the project and will make more inspired recommendations.
It would also be a good time to start looking at studios. If you want something that will be easy to book and will have everything you need to start recording, we suggest you explore Pirate.com. They have studios in some of the world’s greatest cities, like their Hamburg recording studio or those in New York and Los Angeles. They offer affordable rates and give you a lot of free space to work. This is a great place for any indie act or group.
Hire Someone for Promotion
It would also be a good idea if you hired someone instead of trying to handle all the promotion yourself. Yes, you can interact with your fans on social media, but it would be better if you concentrated on the musical side and let a professional team work on the rest. You can hire someone to manage your social media for you; however, make sure that they sound in-character so that the voice can stay on brand. And, while much of the marketing is done online nowadays, you can’t neglect other traditional options. A professional could help you purchase media space, for instance, or help you gauge if the price would be worth it in terms of exposure.
Give and You Shall Receive
Giving material for free is also one of the best ways to get an audience. Even if it’s a free EP, know that it could pay back in the end. Just because the project was free, doesn’t mean that you can’t make money with it on the back end with performances or licensing, for instance.
These are all strategies that you can use to market yourself as an independent act and thrive in the industry without the backing of a major label. Understand that it’s still a business at the end of the day, and you’ll have to treat it as such if you want to be able to make a living from your art.