It’s a great time for independent artists to be successful in the industry with more and more indie artists breaking into the charts. How can you make yourself stand out?
Here are some tips and advice for unsigned acts.
Your fans are one of the most important parts of your music career and are crucial to your success as a independent artist. To grow your fan base you will have to keep in constant contact with your listeners online AND in person.
You should be playing gigs and shows often at many different venues and locations. Having a successful live show is an excellent way to sustain fans and make lots of new ones. The audience should remember you and making a great impression on stage is key.
Online interaction with fans is also a must. You should keep your social media profiles updated as often as possible. Post your gigs, shows and appearances but also regularly post interesting, exciting and even sometimes funny content to your Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Interact with your followers and fans when they mention you and thank them if they promote or compliment your music!
A massive trend at the moment online is vlogging. Giving your fans a look into your everyday life can help them to relate to you on a more personal level. Having a popular vlog on platforms such as YouTube is a great way to help launch a independent music career. So grab your phone or camera and show your face!
Know your strengths
You should be focusing on your musical strengths. Sure, you can write a song and get it released on various distribution sites but there are also many other ways to push your career forward and maybe even earn some money whilst doing it.
If you are particularly good live and on stage you could try and secure a regular spot at a local venue. Having a regular slot at a venue helps build a larger fan base by putting you in front of new people every week or month. Plus it earns you extra funds for your career!
If you are more of the creative type, why not try filming and editing your own music videos? Be original and make them stand out. Who Knows? If they are really good they may go viral!
Build a brand
Get yourself a logo or graphic that will stand-out and pop across your promotional materials, website and social media. You could even have merchandise printed such as T-shirts, mugs and posters. If you know how to use software such as Photoshop you could do this yourself, if not its probably best to have someone who is experienced do the work.
Having a solid brand identity can help your brand awareness. Your logo should be instantly recognisable and people should be able to associate it with you. If your branding and logos look good people will be more willing to buy your t-shirts etc when they are browsing your merchandise.
Don’t rely on a record label
Just because you sign with a record label doesn’t mean you are going become the next Sam Smith. You still need to put in a lot of work, no one will do it all for you! Major labels don’t know all the secrets of the music industry and signing to a record label may not even be a good idea.
There have been many artists that have been signed by major record labels that have been dropped before they even release anything. Remember that. Times have changed. Nowadays, major labels rarely sign a musician unless they have had a successful independent career so you should do your own thing and don’t just focus on signing a big-money deal.
Streaming is important
Streaming has become the most popular way for consumers to listen to music. Major labels are making lots of money everyday from streaming websites so you should seriously consider getting your content onto one of these sites!
There are some artists out there that have reservations about putting there music on streaming platforms. As an independent or unsigned artist trying to get known, getting your music on a playlist on platforms such as Apple Music or Spotify can seriously help boost your popularity. It is also a great (and free) way to get your music heard by new listeners.
Focus on your goals
You shouldn’t have a Plan B. This might sound controversial but it can distract you from your main goal. It may also make you start doubting your plan is going to work!
If you are truly passionate about a career in music you will have to work very hard for it. Often, people that are successful in life take risks. People in your life may be wealthy or have a nice, shiny new car which can tempt you to go for a job or career that you really don’t want. You shouldn’t give up on your dream, as long as you keep focused and follow your passion you will be happy!