Note: Scroll down to see the best advice music business influencers Christine Infanger and Chris Rockett have to give for musicians.
And that’s it for now. I hope the Independent Musician’s Survival Guide has given you a good introduction on how you should be operating your music career. Other then a lack of talent, one of the biggest reasons musicians fail is because they don’t know how to act in certain situations.
We’re not taught how to navigate the music industry in school. And even when learning through trial and error, it’s easy to get things wrong, but think you’re doing things right because you’re seeing small results. But who’s to say you wouldn’t see better results by going down a proven path instead?
I hope we’ve given you a lot to think about in this guide, and have helped you see your music career in a different way.
Now that you have a good idea on how you should approach a number of situations in the music industry, other then perfecting your talent, the next stage is to learn how to effectively market your music. As you’ll remember from the above section entitled “The Importance of Marketing Your Music,” if you don’t market your music enough and correctly, it’s practically impossible to get known and make money from your music career.
Marketing is the process of raising awareness of your music; if no one knows about it, how are they going to go on to buy it and tell their friends about how great it is?
If you want to learn how to effectively market your music, check out the IMA Music Business Academy. This is a course that has been set up by myself, Shaun Letang, and is one that has helped hundreds of musicians take their music career to the next level.
Once again, I hope this book has helped you realize what it takes to hold your own as an independent musician. Believe it or not, if you’ve fully read through this guide, you now have a much better understanding of what it takes to succeed in the music industry than the majority of musicians out there. Now it’s just up to you to put into practice what you’ve learned.
If you enjoyed this book, please leave a review and let other people know this book is worth picking up. This will not only help others see this book is worth getting, but you’ll also be doing me a favor and encouraging me to get more helpful information out there for you and others to use.
For more great music industry advice, check out my website Music Industry How To. Here you will see a bunch of useful guides and tools that will help music industry figures of all sorts. I look forward to our next encounter.
The IMA Music Business Academy.
Music Industry How To.
Bonus: ‘My Best Advice for The Independent Musician Is…’
As a bonus section for you, I decided to get some additional advice from other respected music bloggers and advisers. Given the lead ‘My Best Advice For The Independent Musician Is…‘ here is what they came up with.
Christine Infanger at Thirty Roses:
Treat your music career with the same amount of seriousness you would any other career path. Were you to embark on a career in law, accounting, finance, management, or marketing, it would never occur to you to flippant about your job. The thing to remember is this; your job as a musician involves each of the things previously mentioned – law, accounting, finance, management, and marketing. While it isn’t necessary to have degrees in each, or any of those things to achieve success in the music industry, it is necessary to stay abreast of how each of them impacts your career. Working as a solo artist or within the structure of a band, working with a manager or not, it’s imperative to the success and longevity of your career to understand that you have to do a few things to actually be a professional musician.
Always remember how much you love music, this will make the business “stuff” that you’d rather not deal with more tolerable. As much as you may not want to address finding a publicist, looking for managers, or talking to booking agents, these are the people who are going to help you more than anyone. Of course you’d rather be writing, recording, or performing, but without the business types and their expertise, you’re not getting out of the garage or the local pub. Learn from professionals and their experience. Learn how to take constructive criticism and use it to improve and grow artistically. Remember, you’re paying people for their experience and professional opinions. While you may think that an electronic glockenspiel with a train whistle solo is exactly what your track needs, the producer you’re working with can probably draw from his fifteen year career to guide you in a different direction. Don’t take it as a personal affront; try to approach it from a different angle and see what you can come up with.
Also remember, you have to spend money. Whether it’s a manager, a PR agent, a publicist, or marketing do not expect to get by without spending any money on assistance.
So many artists spend thousands of dollars on gear, studio time, a producer (if not several), and an engineer (if not several) to make a record. Then a rather funny thing happens; they refuse to spend any money promoting it.
Does it matter how good your record is if it sits in a bunch on boxes in your drummer’s garage? Does it matter who you got to master your album if no one is downloading it? Of course not!
If artists aren’t going to invest the money in properly promoting the record, it’s pointless to even record it.
Hiring a PR firm, marketing agent, or assembling some other kind of promotional team is essential.
While there is certainly a degree of promotion that artists can (and should) do themselves, they can’t do everything themselves and need to have a proper team in place to handle radio, social media, and set up tour support the way that only people who specialize in such things will know how to do.
The internet and its myriad of social networking sites allow artists constant access to their fans. While many think this can be a hindrance, it’s also a wonderful tool. Not only does it allow artists the opportunity to interact with fans whenever they have a spare moment, it also lets them ask fans directly for assistance if needed.
While this interaction may be more difficult for solo artists, sending Facebook messages, tweets on Twitter, or messages on any other social media site, fans love interacting with artists they love.
A quick note to your fans will go a long way and they will remember that for a long time to come. In a band setting, each member can devote a few minutes each day to replying to messages. Solo artists can do this as well; they just won’t reply to as many people.
People always promote music, usually unwittingly. If a person gets a reply from an artist, especially an up and coming artist, they’ll be very eager to help that artist when they need a favor.
It takes little effort for fans to send “Retweets” about upcoming gigs, casting calls for video shoots, share Facebook posts about host cities for house concerts, moderate your message board, or help you set up a street team.
Fans are often more than happy to help out your band if you show them a bit of interaction and all you have to pay them with is an advance copy of your latest record and the occasional guest list spot when you’re in their city.
The key to success in any industry is networking and utilizing the people and resources available to achieve the best results possible. In music this seems to be especially true and it’s very fortunate that there are resources available all around.
Always remember, the more solid the business foundation, the longer your music career will be, and take full advantage of those willing to help you.
By Christine Infanger at Thirty Roses (@norabarnacle).
Chris Rockett at Music Marketing Classroom:
First ask yourself: Who would like your music the best?
Then find out who has already built an audience of those type of people.
Finally work out how you can convince the people with an audience to spread the word about what you’re doing.
A package of free music works well, or offering a commission on your music sales.
You’re looking for people who run popular blogs, interesting websites, YouTube video producers, Facebook pages and cool Twitter folk.
Basically go where the hits are and then divert them to a page where you can collect contact details and follow up with these new fans.
It will still take a massive amount of effort though, so get ready for a fight.
And anyone who tells your otherwise is DRUNK!
Ask yourself every day…
What have I done today to connect with people who would be into my music?
And what have I done to be cool to the fans who are already on my list?
By Chris Rockett, founder of Music Marketing Classroom.
Educate yourself about what it takes to get where you want to go. Study successful people, as success leaves clues. Get a mentor that will inspire and motivate you.”
For more great music industry and music business advice, check out Music Industry How To. Make sure you sign up as a free member to get access to all the guides and our exclusive music business newsletter.
If you’re ready to learn the business and marketing side of things, check out the IMA Music Business Academy.