If you sit around waiting for your music career to boom, it’s likely not going to happen. You have to step up your game and make it happen. As a struggling independent artist, you have your back on the wall. It will take your resources and resolve to break into the limelight.
Even with a big budget, a successful music career does not happen overnight. You’ll need to know where to direct your investment and have a large reservoir of patience. For a fact, it’s easy to waste cash in the music industry.
You don’t need to have a fat wallet to pursue a successful music career. What you need is to be able to direct your resources in the right direction and get results. The truth is that your resources as an independent artist are limited.
It’s a common sight to see independent artists focusing on short-term satisfaction rather than long-term benefits. The point is that if you are concerned about where your meager resources should be channeled, you are better than most upcoming indie artists out there.
In this piece, we’ll identify areas where you should direct your resources with the highest return on investment;
There’s no harm in taking out that badass producer or DJ for a drink or dinner. It’s about knowledge transfer by picking their brains and getting to know them better.
Through networking, you are expanding your access to the right people in the industry. Don’t forget that it’s not only what you know that matters; who you know helps a great deal.
In today’s music industry, you have to be more intentional about who you are as a brand. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are a brand. Through branding, you are making it easy for your potential fans to reach you.
More so, branding helps you build a relationship with your fans, a key element in your long-term success as an independent artist.
3. Photography and Videography
Making good music isn’t enough anymore; you need to work on your visual content. There’s a need for you to invest in high-quality photos and videos to engage your audience.
While smartphone cameras are doing a good job, you need to build a good rapport with the best photographers and videographers around you. Prioritize investing in the best service you can afford.
4. Social Media Marketing
One of the most significant issues you’ll face as an independent artist will be in the area of marketing. This problem can be surmounted through social media marketing. According to Rolling Stone’s Tim Ingham, social media is the future of the music industry.
Social media has proven to be one of the most effective medium of marketing for musicians. Of course, it’s not free, neither is it free. You have to invest in creating the right content and promoting it. There’s a tough learning curve; that’s why you might need to secure the service of an expert social media promoter.
5. Build an Email List
You might not even have to spend a dime on this one, but it’ll take your time and patience. All it’ll take is to remove the paywall to your music in exchange for an email address. Of course, it does not have to appear obvious.
People love free stuff, and this is the advantage you have to exploit. Don’t dangle just a single track, but an entire album, and you’ll see people giving out their contact details.
6. Hire a Music Strategist
Don’t be in haste to hire a music publicist. It’ll amount to a waste of resources. It’s best to work with a publicist when you have considerable followership.
However, you can hire a music mentor who can serve as a strategist. This person can develop a plan that works for you, your music, and a slim budget. A strategist can help you achieve long-term results by helping to shape your career.
7. Music Touring
A good percentage of artists make a good income from ticket sales than even their physical albums. However, there’s a cost that comes with touring. To get the most out of touring, you need to invest in the proper infrastructure.
The investment will range from transportation, merchandise, musical gear, advertising and music promotion, and booking agent.
8. Studio Space
You can’t get anywhere fast if you still rely on your garage as your recording studio. It’s time to get out of the garage and work in the right environment that allows you to be creative.
There’s no way you won’t sound better with a studio ambiance and equipment. While rates might be different, you can get between $30 to $100/hour. It might seem like a considerable investment, but it’s worth it.
Whatever you do, don’t spend a considerable chunk of your resource on publicity or radio promotion until you have a large fanbase. The mistake most independent artists make is flushing all of their resources into advertisement and promotion.
Through these eight areas, you are assured of a high return on investment in the long term.