Benefits Of Being An Indie Musician

TThe opportunities for indie artists have never been greater. And yes, the waters on how to be successful have never been murkier, but that’s only because there are so many wonderful options to pursue, avenues to follow, methods to use and results to achieve.

Here is a look at many of the things that are great about being an indie artist. It’s important to note that in many cases nothing has changed over the years accept your increased access to a worldwide consumer base. Your job is to study these scenarios and line your career path up with as many of these as possible. The result will be diversified and increased incomes, and long-term stability.

  • Labels control careers. As an indie, you have total control over your career. This means that you decide:
    • Where you want to play;
    • Which kinds of venues you want to play in;
    • How much time you want to spend on the road;
    • When and how often you want to play;
    • How much money you want to make;
    • What kinds of music and which songs to play;
    • What kinds of music and which songs to record;
    • Who is on your business team;
    • Who is in your band;
    • How you want to market yourself.

Write down your responses to these, present and future. Then you can start putting a plan in place to achieve them.

  • There are no unreasonable limitations due to:
    • Your age;
    • Your looks;
    • Your geographic location;
    • Your income level;
    • Your level of talent (must have some);
    • Your race;
    • Your religion;
    • Anything else.

Image from Flickr

You have access to the same people that almost everyone else has. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the stereotypes of a successful artist.

  • There are more income opportunities from recording music because:
    • You are your own record label, so you keep 100% of the profits;
    • You have the opportunity to sell almost any kind of recording (acoustic versions, full produced songs, CD, EP, rehearsal tapes, DVDs etc.)
    • You own the masters completel, not your record label;
    • You can sell your music to anyone, anywhere at any time online;
    • You make all of the profit from your live sales because you’re not buying them from your label;
    • You can license masters to film and TV, video games and products;
    • You can find places to shop your masters worldwide;
    • New laws enable you to get paid when your songs are played/streamed on the Internet;
    • You can record as often and as much as you’d like;
    • You can sell karaoke tracks of your songs;
    • You can have other artists record your songs over your tracks.

Are you taking advantage of the fact that you own your masters?

  • There are numerous income streams from songwriting, such as:
    • You can retain the publishing if you do your own licensing/pitching;
    • You can license your songs to other indie artists, film and TV, video games and products;
    • You can find opportunities to shop your songs worldwide;
    • You can write specifically for film TV, commercials, corporate videos etc.

Decide where you want to play, do some research and make it happen.

  • It can be inexpensive to record songs, an EP or a CD.
    • You can record some or all of your music at home.
    • Studio time has gotten less expensive due to the many home studios that have taken some of their business.
    • You can record individual parts online and have others add their parts from anywhere in the world.
    • You can record more music. Major labels often limit artists to 1 CD every 18 – 24 months.
    • You can create better quality recordings for less.
    • You can record any and all of your songs. There are no limits.
    • Selling downloads eliminates the need to duplicate as many CDs.
    • Software programs allow you to design the graphics for your CDs.

Are you reaching out to buyers? Or are you just sitting around waiting for them to call you?

  • You have access to amazing marketing tools
    • You can develop a large fan base through social networks.
    • You can create a street team through social networks.
    • There are countless marketing widgets to put on your websites/social networks, and for your fans to have on theirs.
    • You can get an inexpensive, template-based website with amazing marketing and tracking tools behind it.
    • You can have your own email newsletter, saving thousands of dollars over postage.
    • You can post your gig calendar all over the Internet,
    • You can use free (and paid) download cards and free download services to generate traffic and interest.

Have you found the radio markets for your music? Are you pursuing them?

  • You are in control of your business. You are the CEO.
    • You can manage yourself or hire a manager.
    • You can book yourself or align with a booking agency.
    • You have complete access to your books and money.
    • You choose the right marketing methods for your act and music.
    • You can get your own sponsors.
    • You can raise capital to finance your career.

Are you managing your career like any other business owner would?

  • You control your merchandise and merchandise sales.
    • Sell whatever you want to.
    • There are services like that let you create one-offs.
    • You keep all of the profits.
    • You can have anything made with your logo on it.
    • You can create your own line of products.

Read much more tips in the original Vinny Ribas‘ article from the latest issue of Indie Connect Magazine.