Our guide on how to make it big as an independent musician
We speak to experts to find out how you can navigate the industry
The Internet has access to loads of new music and independent artistes get noticed. Although the Internet has provided the opportunity to reach a large demographic, it is also crowded with millions of users competing to reach the top. As an independent musician with no record label, it can be quite challenging to navigate through the clutter. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to find a way for your music to reach the right audience. Here are a couple of things that can help with promoting yourself as an artiste.
Make a press kit
A solid press kit can help you get featured in blogs and media outlets. Make sure that it has all the information about your music Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube pages, and social media links and contact information as well. Make sure the link is easily accessible and it also helps to use customised link services like bit.ly . Offer an option to subscribe to your mail lists which will help you create a pool of fans that want to listen to your music.
Find out who and where your fans are
The first step to finding who your audience is to know exactly who you are as a musician and what your music is about. Find communities where your kind of music is appreciated by social media groups, Internet radios, and blogs. Find local venues and communities that are geared towards supporting independent artists. Focus on creating compelling non-musical content as well. “When you create art, knowing your audience helps you refine your content and hit the nail. That gives you a bigger reach," says Shivan Sundar, from Rascals of the First Order.
Regularly interact with your audience
Make sure there is ongoing communication with your online audience. Post-music related and just engaging content regularly so your fans don't' forget about you. Maintaining regular interactions on social media can hype up your views, album sales, merchandise sales, and ticket sales. Keep your fans informed about everything you do so they won't miss out on any of your content.“ I like learning about the story behind the music from the artists point of view and how different it is from mine,” says Cecelia Juanita, who's an avid fan of post rock and alt rock.
Make covers, but do it in your style
Covers are a great way to gain an audience. Pick a song that is closest to your genre and cover it in your way. This way you will invite an audience that is already interested in the genre and will also be introduced to your sound. Covers are a great way to attract an audience and create a regular fan following. “I’ve always enjoy doing covers and re-inventing them every time, it's a lot of fun and definitely gets attention to my musical style," says indie pop musician Kenneth Lemuel.
Pay for advertisements
Set aside a budget for promotions and advertisements. Social media advertisements are a great way to connect with a targeted audience, try getting your music radios, or offering freebies at music stores or music venues, make sure you leave enough information about yourself so that people can find you. Create an Adwords ad on google this way your advertisement will be sent to a particular demographic you only pay for the number of clicks.
Reach out to a playlist curator
Getting your music featured on a playlist is the easiest and most efficient way to directly introduce your music to the listener. You can directly contact playlist curators on social media or use platforms like Soundplate or Playlist Push that can get you featured on popular playlists.
Collaborate with other artistes
Collaborating with other artistes can help you share audiences. Incorporating new styles into your music can allow for a larger demographic to be interested in what you create. You can learn and inculcate new methods and approaches to making music by collaborating with artists from different genres. Making relationships and maintaining them is a great way to create a network that will help raise your visibility and reach an audience that wouldn't have come across your music otherwise. “Collaborating with drummer Ujjwal K.S introduced my music to his large fan base,” says post rock artiste Rubin Mathias.
Play more shows
Hitting open mics and busking can be a good way to start your live performances. It's a free and open venue that you can use to play your music and gather a crowd. This will also help you build a local fan base before you can branch out. Playing for a cause that you really believe in like fundraisers or charity events is a great way to start your live gigging early on. “One of the main things we worked on is to never underestimate the value of any gig, even if it's just for 10 or 15 people it takes just one person to initiate a snowball of fans," says Shivshankar, Project Mishram.
Make an engaging banger music video
Using a music video engages the listener visually as well. Try to be creative and film a video that suits the vibe of the music without having to spend too much money. Even if it is shot on a phone, it makes it engaging and simple.
Get amazing artwork
Album art is a great way to get audiences to notice your work. It is the first impression you give about your music to any potential fan. An enticing album cover can get more clicks and views. “Think of all the iconic album artwork or band logos you know of, and the importance of visual and auditory synthesis. The art provides music with more than just the aesthetic value," says Niharika Shantharaj, a visual artist.