How to Receive More Exposure: 6 Tips For Independent Artists
Updated: Jan 29, 2019
There are so many things to learn as an upcoming artist in the music industry that can often feel overwhelming. Especially when all you really want to do is create great music that hopefully others will enjoy and that you can eventually make a living from. Unfortunately, nothing is ever that simple. In order to begin to experience even the smallest amount of success there are some basic principles and practices that will really help you in getting to your desired music career destination. And with things ever changing in the music industry, it really does pay to stay on top of the best practices.
Below are 6 tips, designed for new independent artists. Some of the things you need to be thinking about when it comes to your music.
Some of these tips you may already know, but use this opportunity to perfect these areas. If you are going to get it right, you might as well do it the first time.
1. Connect with your fans: Do you listen to your fans? Lesson number one, artists learn how to use your social mediums to connect with your audience. Let your social media work as a 2-way communicational tool. A lot of artists pop up when they want to promote something but don’t use the time in between releases to connect and engage with their audiences. And beyond engaging with them, you need to understand and listen to your audience. Where is your audience based? What’s their demographic? What are they interested in? Where do they consume music? What do they want with you? Why are they even interested in you? If you can begin to answer these questions you will be able to build and maintain an online community who become true fans of your music and you as an artist. A school of thought spear-headed by Wired Magazine founder and editor, Kevin Kelly says that an artist only needs 1000 ‘true fans’ who are willing to buy or stream your music, purchase your merchandise and download your album to make you a decent living. Check out the 1000 True Fans theory here:
2. Play to your strengths: This may sound so easy, but the truth is, most artists don’t tend to listen to this direct advice. Be unique. Whatever your genre of music is, stick to it, but at the same time don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. The fact is, no-body is dying to hear another Mali Music, Tye Tribbet, Hillsong or Tasha Cobbs - we’ve got that already. We’re keen to hear what you are bringing to the music table. We’re not expecting this completely new sound that we have never heard before (there is another new under the sun) but it would be great to at least get the authentic you. Not you trying to be or sound like other people. Be true to yourself, find out what you are good at and build on that. If you’re not a riffs and runs kind of singer then don’t do it! If you’re not a powerful belter then leave the belting alone. Be great at being you.
3. Work hard and stay focused: Being able to plan your time wisely as an artist is essential to making great music. Remember consistency is key! Releasing one single and then sitting back to watch the magic happen just isn’t going work in this day and age. In fact, releasing the song is arguably the easy part. Without a record label and some real money behind you to spend on advertising, you will have to put in the promotional leg work yourself. On top of that, your fans will probably be over your release quicker than you thought and ready for the next new song! We’re in a new market that has so many players, less loyalty and an extremely short concentration span. The new word in music strategy is consistency.
4. Brand identity and awareness: Social Media. Website. Portfolio. What’s your online presence like? As an artist it is only right that your image is well-established online. Create a plan of what you would like to achieve on your online platforms. It’s important to consider how you want people to perceive you and how this will be reflected in your images, music videos, website, bio and social media posts. You are a brand! So it’s important that you set your won brand image and execute this ASAP! Ensure everything ties in together so that you are distinctive and easily recognisable. One easy place to start is to ensure as much as possible that your social media handles are the same name. Don’t be called @bobthesinger on Twitter and @bobthebuilder on another.
5. Do not ignore streaming: The world is moving towards digital, so as an artist you need to be current. Explore platforms like Spotify, Youtube and Soundcloud. In fact, if you are not releasing your music on streaming platforms then you are not releasing your music full stop! You need to be where your fans are consuming music and now a days that is online. You may still produce CD’s to sell or distribute at your live events, but even now artists are providing more tech savvy methods of getting people directly online to streaming their music.
6. Stop waiting for a record label:
Listen, the days when we waited for record labels to take our music to that next level has gone. You have all the necessary tools it takes at your finger tips. Yes, a cash boost would probably help you out no end but even without that you can build your own audience and promote you music to them yourself. You can distribute and promote your music, secure event bookings and more. If you’re able to build a team around you, you really don’t need a record label. With so many artists making the big time without a label of the past 5 years, there is no better time to take full ownership of your own music career and make it happen for yourself.
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