Become an Independent Music Artist
how to Start Your Music Career
Step 1 - Create Music
This is probably the most obvious step; however, it's one that also holds people back. I'm even guilty of abandoning this step myself.
It goes with anything you want to achieve in life.
Here are some overly simplified examples to make a point:
- If you want to be a professional basketball player, you have to actually start playing basketball and you also have to be good.
- If you want to be a world-class chef, you have to cook and likely go to culinary school.
- If you're hungry, you have to eat.
If you want to have a music career, you have to make music.
So, if you're not making music, this is where you have to start.
Step 2 - Be Consistent
So, you've started making music, but how often are you creating music and releasing it to the public?
I frequent Reddit often, and more specifically, the subreddit /r/WeAreTheMusicMakers.
All too often I see a thread or comments made where artists are talking about how they've taken a break from creating, they have stopped promoting their music because they aren't getting the fans and/or streams they thought they would, or they don't know how to get their music out there, etc.
Starting your music career consists of more than just creating one song, one EP, 2 singles that are 5 years apart, etc.
Starting your music career consists of creating music and releasing it to the public consistently.
You ever watch a show on Netflix that only has a few episodes, like no more than 4 or 5?
I have, and I can tell you right now I don't remember what those shows were, because they didn't consistently update the show with new episodes or new seasons. I remember the episodes were good while I was watching them, and the moment the last teaser episode ended; however, I couldn't tell you if what it was about or the name if my life depended on it and this is what you don't want to happen to your music career.
If you start releasing music, you need to consistently put out new music and new content that your audience loves or you're bound to end up like those forgotten teaser shows on Netflix.
If you do create and release music inconsistently, every time you release something new as an unknown independent artist, you're basically starting over from scratch.
I know this all too well, as I have inconsistently released songs on different websites for over 10 years, and here I am, finally coming full circle, because I've realized music is what I want to do and its what I always go back to.
So, if you start your music career, you have to keep it going by being consistent with your creation and your releases.
Step 3 - Build Your Brand
Now, as a new music creator, I have to be honest and say I don't know everything when it comes to branding and building a brand.
However, there are a couple things I believe to be true as I'm going through this step myself:
1. In order to build your brand, you need to create your story. You create your story by knowing who you are and what you want your brand to represent.
2. You need to know who your fans are (your target audience). If you're just starting out, you likely don't have any or you have a few.
So, a few questions you need to answer might be:
- What type of fans do you want to attract?
- What types of music and artists do they listen to?
- What feelings and/or experience are they getting from the artists they already like?
- What kind of experience or feeling do you want to give them?
- What do you want your fans to know you for?
When building your brand and audience, you want to know as much about yourself and about your audience as possible.
If you're looking for a resource to help you develop your story and your brand, I highly recommend "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" by Donald Passman. I find myself constantly referencing it as I'm starting on this journey.
My Challenge to You
Figure out which step you find yourself in. If you haven't made any music, or it's been a while since you've created something, make something today.\
If you're creating music, but you're not releasing it to the public, release something today. You can go live on Facebook or Instagram. You can post it on SoundCloud or post a clip on your Instagram story or feed.
If haven't started building your brand, start with developing your story. You can start with something as simple as writing your bio.
If you're a member, I give you questions you can yourself + a template you can use to help you write your bio.
Don't let anymore excused get in the way of you starting you music career.