Effective Independent Artist – Qwality Media

3 Steps to Becoming More Effective as an Independent Artist

How to become a more effective independent artist with 3 simple principles.

Before I begin, I’d like to say: we’re talking about becoming more effective here. This article is NOT for the independent artist who is looking for the secret sauce, or a quick and easy way to do things.. Human life and, subsequently human success, is established on principles. So, that being said.. this article is for the independent artist looking for a solid foundation of principles to become more effective his or her career on.

I shared these principles at a recent speaking engagement in Orlando, FL. Let me share them with you..


(2-3 minute read)


1. K.I.S.S. It

(K)eep (I)t (S)uper (S)imple!

First, turn big dreams into small steps..

  • What I’ve come to find is there are two common mindsets in business: Dreamers and Realists. Dreamers are also called visionaries; they see the big picture. And that’s really it. Realists on the other hand struggle with dreaming, but crush it when it comes to planning things out to get to a certain destination (or the “dream”).
  • As an artist, you need a bit of both traits. You should be a rockstar when it comes to dreaming big; get your end goal in mind. Then, get realistic and put together a 90-day plan to get the ball rolling to that destination.

Secondly, focus on first step .. pleeeassee..

  • After you complete your 90-day plan and determine what your steps are, do step 1.. Immediately! If you can’t do it immediately, then it doesn’t need to be your first step.
  • A huge contributing factor to procrastination as an independent artist is focusing on steps 21 and 22, when you haven’t even completed step 1.
  • Completing step one is a great momentum booster and will get you going quickly..


2. Make Decisions. Quickly.

Make calculated decisions really really fast. How do you do this? Know your budget, schedule, and capabilities.

  1. Budget: Price out the cost to produce an EP, album, etc. .. price out everything.. And here is the biggest benefit: knowing your budget gives you negotiating power! That’s right.. most engineers and producers will discount your rate when you agree to an entire album or multiple songs up front, which saves you tons of money in the long run.
  2. Schedule: Keep your gigs, projects, everything in your calendar.. When someone is trying to book you for a gig, let your calendar say “yes” or “no” for you. And a “no” doesn’t have to sound harsh (for the polite indie artists out there). It can be an “Oh man, so sorry. I am already booked on that date.” Or an “I’d really love to, but I’ve already committed to an engagement.” .. You get the point..
  3. Capabilities: Know what you have the ability to do, and how long it takes you to do it.. Period. Start timing yourself when you’re knocking out features, or writing a new song, etc. And be honest in your evaluation of your skillset. If you’d like to retain a decent reputation, I’d keep that last sentence as a quote on your wall.

All in all, no independent artist should ever verbally agree to anything without first knowing these three key factors.


3. Personal Development

I have a proverb that I live by; a saying that continues to help me along my journey as an independent artist.. It goes:

“Want to be a better businessman/businesswoman? Be a better man/woman.”

First, Personal Development

  • Keep working on yourself; not just as an artist but across the board: mentally, physically, emotionally and most of all spiritually. A great balance in these four areas will add a flare to you as a person and subsequently your music will prosper as your soul prospers.

Second, read books! I few great books that I read continually are:

  1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (Print Book / Audio Book)
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (Print Book / Audio Book)
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (Print Book / Audio Book)
  4. How to Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie  (Print Book / Audio Book)
  5. The Millionaire Next Door by William D. Danko and Thomas J. Stanley (Print Book / Audio Book)


That’s it.

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


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.