Independent artists’ definition does not translate to taking up every responsibility all by yourself. A time will come when you’ll need to leverage other people’s skills, network, and experience to exponent your career. These people may already be in your network, and they may even be entirely new. Team building for independent artists should be on your focus once you record considerable growth.
Before you begin your team-building efforts, have it at the back of your mind to settle for people ready to grow and grind with you. This blog piece is not for you if you are starting out as an indie artist. This is intended for indie artists who have recorded considerable growth and success independently.
However, you can only select the best team if you’ve tried your hands at these tasks and learning firsthand how they all work. There’s no golden rule as to when you can build a team, but you will know when it’s time. These are the people you’ll need and why;
1. Music Marketer/Marketing Strategist/Social Media Manager
One of the critical roles you’ll have to fill concerns your music promotion. Regardless of the nomenclature, you give it; music marketer, marketing strategist, or even digital marketer, this is a role that helps your music reach the unreached.
It will take your music marketer’s brilliance, skills, experience, and network to formulate a marketing strategy that brings you closer to your goals.
We now live in a period where most music marketing is done on the internet. That means your music marketer should understand social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and leveraging available tools.
Most importantly, develop the marketing strategy as a team and review periodically.
2. Music Producer
Don’t be so comfortable with jumping from one studio to another. The time has come (or will come) when you have to settle for your music producer. The music creation process cannot be carried out without a music producer.
That’s why you need to settle for a music producer that understands your goals and the sound you intend to create. The in-house producer should be creative and technically sound to make sense of the music you’ve written.
You have a vision, and that’s what the producers make of your music. The producer should understand all styles and possess the skills needed to inject flow, energy, and flow into the music.
Find a music producer that aligns with your vision and caters to your music style.
3. Graphic Designer
The bulk of marketing will require content, and that’s where a graphic designer comes in. You will need cover arts, logos and visual content for your social media.
While you can always settle for any graphic designer, it’s not ideal for your brand image. While you’ve relied on Canva for your graphics need (no harm in that), you have to let a professional handle your branding.
Your graphics designer’s job is to utilize visual elements that create an emotional connection between your brand and your fans.
Cultivate and embrace consistency in your branding. This is what differentiates professionals from amateurs. Please go through Grammy-winning artists’ social media pages; you’ll notice the oneness of their branding.
PS: All thanks to the gig economy, you don’t necessarily have to hire a full-time graphic designer. There are freelance platforms to hire the services of a professional graphics designer.
The job of a photographer as a member of your team is similar to that of a graphics designer. It’s all about creating visual content that will be used for marketing purposes on your artists’ website, social media, album art, EPK, and flyers.
You need to stay fresh and active on social media with visual content, part of which is giving your audience a look into the backend. That’s why you should schedule photoshoots with your team photographer.
Let the photographer capture your studio sessions, live performances and other music creation process.
5. Mixing and Mastering Engineer
You are a player in the big leagues now, and it should reflect the quality of your work. The mixing and mastering engineer’s job is to fine-tune your sound to commercial standards. Music producers can handle mixing and mastering, but if you can afford it, you’ll know it’s worth it.
It’s not fair on you to have written and recorded good music that sounds mediocre. For any song to realize its full potential, it has to go through professional mixing and mastering.
However, you need to understand the basics for you to get the most out of your mixing and mastering engineer. This will enable you to communicate your expectations and get the sound right.
6. Attorney/Legal Counsel
There’s the legal side of music, and it can be messy without the proper guidance. This concerns copyright, signing contracts and reviewing agreements. You cannot walk into an agreement blindly as an indie artist; this will haunt you for a long time.
You don’t have to add to the horror stories of artists getting screwed over due to their failure to check things through with an attorney. While lawyers are expensive, they will save you more in the long term.
Get to understand issues surrounding contracts, copyrighting, hiring songwriters, and more. Then you’ll know when always to bring your music attorney into the picture.
Building a team is proof that you are taking your career seriously as an indie artist.
The key to further growth is putting together a team of top people to help you in tasks that eat up the time needed to focus on your craft. It could also fill the gap for skills you don’t currently possess.
Team building for independent artists is about focusing on your strengths and allowing others to fill in the gap.