It’s all about DIY Music Success
Posted: April 25th, 2013 by Ashley Saunders
…unless you’re the next Justin Beiber that is!! (There’s no hate here, really!)
According to recent news, for the first time in over a decade, the music business has returned to growth.
The rise of the internet has significantly changed the industry and made it possible to DIY yourself to success. It’s easier than ever to build a fan base, market your products, promote gigs, as well as booking them. It’s a fact that 99.9% of new artists will be better off going it alone and doing it for themselves.
Let me make a distinction here. By ‘going it alone’, I mean choosing and building a team around you to help you achieve your goal. It’s easier when a team tries to move a mountain. You won’t be able to on your own, but a team can.
So how does this work in practice?
Have a plan
Firstly it’s all about having a plan. You should realise that you first and foremost, you need to prove that you can build a fan base on a small scale. If your song aren’t great and you lack stage presence then you need to work on these have direct impact on your ability to sell tickets, recordings and merchandise. Sort out these two fundamentals first.
When you’re going well locally, have a small fan base and people are calling you for gigs then you can look at scaling. The world is your home music scene multiplied. You can break the global music scene down to into areas and win enough people to your music to make it worthwhile both artistically and financially. This is the whole divide and conquer!
Look after the cash
So let’s talk money. Money is important insomuch as you need some of it to live and to keep investing into your music career.
With a major label, you would be getting a tiny fraction of the price dealers pay for your products. There is also a catch, of course. You only start earning when you have repaid the money the label ‘lent’ to you at the start when you got signed. (A subject for another post sometime soon!)
So you earn a small amount…… but only if you get to release date – many don’t and get dumped before making any real money.
But if you built a team around you, got out there and played to as many people as you could. Not only would you be creating new fans, you would be selling CDs, Merch and future concern tickets. All of this would give you an income and creative control – both things you might not have on a major label.
Hire the same talent as the major labels
Previously the music industry was very insular. The best promotion managers worked only for the major label. As did the pluggers who could get you onto the radio in 12 countries. So Jo Average couldn’t easily access their services. But as the internet has changed the model, most of them have quit their jobs and have started up on their own. This allows you to hire a the top plugger, a top PR person, and more, without being on major label. There are now less obstacles to hiring the team that would make you successful for a major label.
Also being a DIY artist, gives you creative control. No more having to write love songs because someone in A and R needs one! You can work to your own music release schedule, tour when you want to and take time off when you’d like to. Lack of control can kill a music career – just remember the artists who have to release an album every 2 years and got dropped because their 3rd album didn’t do well.
On a final note, fans tend to be very loyal, especially if you stay true to the style of music you started with and grow with them. This means listening to them and reacting to their movements. This is about connecting directly with them and not with what a focus group says will work. Big difference – you know your fans the best, so stick with what you feel.