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3 Essential Things Independent Artist Lack

Here are three essential areas independent artist is lacking and tips on how to fix it.

In this article, I share tips on creating great music, independent artist brand development, and establishing a web presence.

(5-7minute read)

This article is for the independent artist who is just starting out or trying to re-start his or her music career. I will provide you with concise areas to develop and a few resources to you help you take action in those areas.

Obviously, as with any profession, there are many paths to success. However, these are the areas I recommend, because I’ve personally applied them to successfully launch my brand as an independent artist. I’ve walked them out and I am currently seeing them benefit my music career.

Let’s get started…

First things first..

 

1. Great Music!

Obvious enough right? Nope, a lot of independent artist still make this mistake of putting themselves out there before they have any QUALITY music ready to showcase..

First, have some demo tracks professionally recorded..

  • the word “quality” is essential here.. you can be an awesome writer and performer, but if your recordings sound horrible most will click next..

Second, have that music readily available to the public. Here are some recommended resources for where to host your music:

  • Soundcloud ~ has a great community, and fans can provide feedback right on the track itself
  • YouTube ~ still the number one source for independent artist (or talent) discovery

Obviously, you can use other platforms.. However, in my experience, these have been the most beneficial in my career as an artist..

Finally, if you absolutely can not afford studio time right now you have two options:

  1. Invest in your own home studio
    • “What, I thought you said quality” and “I don’t know the first thing about recording myself”..Relax, all you have to do is capture the audio.. leave the mixing and mastering to a professional..Either way, you cut down on actual studio time.. which is money saved. Then you only have to pay for mixing and mastering..Here’s a list of essential home studio assets to get you set up..
      And here is a crash course on recording vocals the right way at an industry level for our beginners out there.
  2. If you can’t afford studio time or to build a small studio setup, at least create videos of cover songs and original verses over industry beats.. the point here is to have musical content out there. You’re an independent artist; music is a part of your resume.

 

Ok, on to the next…

 

2. Branding

Branding is, in short, how you are perceived by others.. and it’s entire world of its own..

But the key point when starting out is to identify your brand and to keep it cohesive across all mediums! Consistency is key..

For example.. let’s say you have a really dark tone to your music.. Then your imagery should reflect that as well..

Every image you post on social media, every music video, etc… should all follow that feel and never deviate from it.. ever. Take a look at @NFRealMusic for a real life example of this..

Below are a few things that should share the same feel for any independent artist brand:

  • music
  • videos/photos
  • clothing, styling

Here’s a great resource to get you started..
A woman by the name of Kaye Putnam..

She’s a Psychology-driven expert on branding, and has a tool on her website to help you understand what brand archetype (don’t be afraid of the big word) you identify with most.

 

Ok, finally..

 

3. Web Presence

It’s 2018..
Every independent artist should have a social media presence..

First, establish some consistency..

Before you sign up with any of them.. decide on a name that you can use consistently across all platforms..

For example, check out Qwality Media on every major social platform.. we’re @QwalityMedia everywhere. Or check out @YungPrince3D.. same name everywhere..

It makes it super easy for fans to find you..

 

Second, know your social language..

Obviously, it seems like there’s a plethora of social platforms out there.. However, you should identify your social media language.. because these platforms that are easiest for you to navigate and be consistent on.

 

Finally, get a website up and running..

I’ll be honest, I don’t get more traffic to my site than I do my instagram and facebook profiles.. but there are some things a website can do that make it essential..

First, It serves as a press kit for labels, DJs, etc..
It shows them I’m serious and professional with my craft..

Second, it’s a one stop shop for all of my music, photos/videos, and merchandise for fans..
I can direct whoever I want to my site and always display to them whatever I want to sell or market..
I have the control here..

Finally, I can provide information on tours and shows

 

That’s it. This list will give you a major head start as an independent artist! You can build anything on a solid foundation..

If you want more tips and information as you journey through the music industry, I’d love to help you. Send your questions to ask@qwalitymedia.com or message me on my facebook page.

If I helped you in anyway, could you help me keep the content coming with a hot caramel macchiato…

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Quentin Watts

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Quentin has been providing media services to indie artists since 2010. He is an independent artist himself and has ran into most issues indie's face on a day-to-day. Qwality Media was born from his passion to help his fellow peers succeed in their art and in life.