A Step-by-Step Artist’s Guide to Making Money and Making an Impact in Music

One of the frustrations of being a freelance artist is the lack of a linear path. Not just a clear map do not exist, but the simple search for a card seems to betray the notion of artistic integrity. You could work in law, finance, or anywhere else that has clear reporting structures. But I want to be a musician. And I want structure.

I’m ready to build, but where’s the plan?

There have been excellent explanations of the modern music business for the independent artist, like Ari Herstand How to be successful in the new music business. But there is little guidance on exactly what to do and when. Most of the independent musicians I know are motivated and eager to get the job done, but they don’t know what the job is. Of course, each path is different when you find your way into show business. But why should every artist recreate the wheel? If there is a general pattern to follow, why is it hidden?

In conversations with industry experts, I learned about it are certain steps to take, and in a particular order, that can maximize an artist’s chances of making money and making an impact in the music world. And not the music industry of the 1990s – currently in the ever-changing industry of 2017. This ongoing series attempts to present a clear and cohesive map for artists to follow based on the expertise of the artist. industry and personal experience. A map that begins the moment the content is created, and you are ready to begin your ascent to a career in music.

Here’s a look at some of the issues I’ll be talking about in this series over the next few months:

Get press

In my experience, progress in the modern music industry is all about perceived momentum. What you have accomplished so far is an indicator of future success. But how do you start with no industry achievements? It’s a Catch-22.

I believe the Deserved Press is where you have the most opportunities to create a narrative, rise above the noise, and earn your Merit Badge to level up. Music public relations is an expensive and selective cottage industry. I’ll navigate the PR firms and expenses; influential bloggers and trendsetters; the importance of gender and “your story”; as well as the DIY approach of creating spreadsheets and befriending music critics.

The good news? The old-fashioned recording industry has collapsed in the digital age, the gatekeepers are gone, and your record is as likely to succeed as a major label release. The bad news? Thousands of indie musicians have received the memo, which means it’s your responsibility to rise above the noise.

Get looks

Once you’ve grabbed the attention of the press, it’s time to leverage it for a targeted audience. Deciding on the best approach to placing the eyes and eardrums in front of your music can be overwhelming. Social media, video platforms, email subscription services, and paid advertising opportunities form a web of opportunity … and anxiety. I’m going to soberly go over the most effective approaches to increase your Instagram followers, Facebook likes, YouTube views, and real people who are thrilled with your activity as an artist.

Get tricks

Translating the PR momentum and fan enthusiasm into an increasing number of parts is the next step towards the industry that takes you seriously. I’ll study the lay of the land when it comes to streaming and answer pressing questions like, “How many rooms do you need to impress a booking agent?” I will be investigating large corporations (Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, etc.), the financial implications, the growing importance of curated playlists, and paid streaming public relations. I will also discuss digital sales, the curiosity of vinyl and the unique opportunities for covers.

Get syncs

As any independent artist knows, there aren’t many opportunities to make money at this early stage. In fact, you are probably losing money. Allowing music to be used for movies or television is a rare chance to make money. And productions actively seek to feature independent artists with buzz and an audience (because it helps their street credo, and it’s considerably cheaper than syncing U2). But the world of music supervisors, timing houses, music libraries, and custom composition is a complex ecosystem. And understanding the pay flow requires learning government regulations and the intricacies of performing rights organizations, among other details. I will speak with experts to give clear direction and simplify this potential source of income and exposure.

Get concerts

Even with lively media coverage, a digital presence, and Spotify numbers through the roof, there’s still no proof that you – sitting there reading this – are an actual human with an actual band. It might sound silly, but industry players should know that you exist in the analog world as well, and that you organically connect with other so-called humans. I’m going to delve into the local music scenes, the hierarchy of venues and bands, talk about NYC vs. LA, the obnoxious bookers and sound guys, the role and finances of the booking agencies, and the timing of the acquisition. an agent. It is true that musicians are turning more and more to touring as record sales have plummeted over the years. But to the independent artist, the Madison Square Garden and Coachella scenes seem light years away. I will enlighten you on the way from point A to point B.

Do with

The success you have built by following the above steps – stemming from press interest, fan enthusiasm, high read counts, sync licenses, and touring – will translate into customer interest. labels and management. I believe this step marks the end of this first chapter, and the beginning of your second. In Semisonic’s immortal words, “” Every new beginning comes from the end of another beginning. “I’m going to break down the relevance and need for labels in 2017, the finances of 360 deals, the benefits of large and small management companies, and when exactly to stop managing yourself.

I know. There are a lot of them here. That is why we will take our time to dig deeper into each topic with the voices of experts and in a language we can all understand. I packed my suitcase, we set sail at dawn …


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