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  • Kaitlyn Nicole

Music Industry Tips for Indie Artists

music industry success home studio recording indie artist
photo cred: Unison Studios via Soundrooms.Tumblr

Success doesn't come easy in the Music Industry, but there are some things you can learn that can make trying to "make it" just a little less stressful. Indie music is bigger than it has ever been before. Less and less artists are caring if they get signed at a major label and rather be in control of their own careers. As someone who has a lot of experience with music business and the behind-the-scenes of the industry, these are the tips and tricks I've learned that make your musical journey on your own just a little more smooth. All of this advice has come from highly experienced people in the industry.

Tip #1 - Learn to Take Criticism

One of the most important things when it comes to being an artist is that you have to be able to take criticism. I'm going to be completely honest with you - professionals in the industry aren't going to beat around the bush to not hurt your feelings. If they don't like something about you or your music, they're going to tell it to you straight. Even though it can be hard to do, you have to be able to just say, "Okay, thank you for your feedback". It is not productive to get upset, be rude to the professional, or to slow down your career because you're scared of rejection. Everyone faces rejection and we have to learn from it and move on. Once you're able to swallow your pride and take critical feedback without being insulted, it can become on of the most important things when it comes to improving your music and your artistry. In fact, you should be purposely asking for criticism more often. Although you're allowed to disagree with what some may say, learn what others think about your sound, take their words and use it to better yourself.

Tip #2 - Network

Knowing others in the industry is crucial when it comes to success. Don't be afraid to talk to people and make friends! Get yourself out there and mingle with whoever you can that could help you get higher up in your career. If you're ever in an environment where there's important industry workers, make your name heard and known. You might find someone who is willing to help you. Send your music to blogs, radio stations, influencers and indie labels to help market yourself. Chat with these companies if you can and leave a good impression because they will remember you and want to help you again in the future. Get to know other musicians and talk to each other about your experiences. Heck, do a collaboration on a song together if you want. If you have the time, do an internship at a PR agency, label, management company, marketing agency or music blog and gain experience around other industry professionals. Impress them with your hard work ethic and participate in everything you can to make a name for yourself.

Tip #3 - Never Stop Creating

You can't be a musician without music. Whether you're a singer-songwriter, producer or instrumentalist - never stop making your art. The most successful artists are ones who are constantly coming up with new songs. Even if they're songs that no one will ever hear, you're getting yourself in the groove of being a full time artist. Some musicians will write a hundred songs within a year, and only 15 of them will make it on their upcoming album. You have to get all the mediocre songs out to be able to pick out the masterpieces that you want people to hear. So write and practice as much as you can!

Tip #4 - Perform Live as Often as Possible

Performing live doesn't only help you gain experience, but it builds your fanbase. Even if you only play at local coffee shops and bars, you should perform as much as your time allows. Do a setlist that consists of both covers and originals and make sure you tell the crowd when you're going to play your own song. Repeat your name at the beginning and end of your set. If you impress anyone with your talent, they'll for sure be looking you up later on to find their favorite song you played for them. Don't be afraid to also have business cards on hand that have your name and Spotify QR code to make it easier for the crowd to find you.

Tip #5 - Build Your Social Media Presence

Social media is incredibly important now-a-days. It could be the key to your success and you just don't know it yet. You need to be on every social media platform possible. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and so on. Post as much as you can and as often as you can, and don't forget to use hashtags! Make sure your photos and videos are high quality, professional and aesthetically pleasing. Show off your personality and your music to the best of your ability. If you're lucky, a video of you singing your original song will go viral and give your music career the boost that you needed.

Tip #6 - Spread Your Music Everywhere

Make sure your original music is available everywhere it could possibly be. Once you've filed your song with the copyright office and registered with a PRO (Performing Rights Organization), sign up for Distrokid and get your song distributed to all of the important streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Pandora, iHeartRadio and so much more as well as social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. This way no matter where listeners get their music, they will be able to find you and listen to you. This goes hand in hand with your social media presence. Post singing videos everywhere, even if they're just covers. Make your voice heard and show off!

Tip #7 - Be Yourself

Last, but certainly not least, is be 100% completely and authentically yourself. Listeners and labels want to find something new and unique, not something that already exists. Don't try to be just like your favorite artist. It's okay to be inspired by someone in your music, but it's not okay to be a copycat. Find things about yourself and your music that is unlike anyone else and write them down. What makes your song more special that the thousands of other songs that released today? Take what's different about you and flaunt it like it's nobody's business. Being yourself is the best way to grab people's attention and gain new followers.

Have any other tips and tricks for success you'd like to share?

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