Changing your point of view as an independent artist
Negativity and laziness sucks the life out anything. Life, work, parties and relationships are all fodder to the dark and passive cloud that anyone can harness its great power at any given time. As a human being its nearly impossible to not get negative once in awhile, and yes, I know I can be a whiny bitch with the rest of em from time to time. There’s also constructive criticism some like to mask and label as negativity, based on if the subject is open minded enough to realize their faults. We all have faults and most of us have trouble taking the words of someone else. Musicians, artists and other creative minds have the worst time differentiating the two, and often times that’s what keeps them from reaching their full potential and taking advantage of presented opportunities. Sometimes that negativity or incorrect perception causes people to not even try after such.
Pouring your soul into something and presenting it to the world is a fragile exchange. This is where you need to be true to yourself and your art and decide where you want to take it. The second you want to play live or have your recorded music heard, you have to respect not only the audience, but the outlets that you submit your music to. Whether it be a live music venue or a digital store like iTunes, they all offer things you can use to your advantage. Some outlets pay more than others, and thats when you have to leave the bullshit at the door. If you want your music heard and you want to gain an audience and a foundation to have a career off of, you must go where listeners are. Know the difference between royalties from a single user play and a terrestrial radio play that potentially hits thousands of people. This day and age you can own all the rights to your music and gather royalties as a song writer, performer and publisher. This is critical to gather the max potential from your initial and early releases.
Once you get your music recorded, published and registered with performing rights group, put it in every place people listen to music. Spotify, youtube (lyric or audio only if you dont have a concept video and make sure you monetize it), iTunes, google play and the list goes on and on. Submit to satelite, terrestrial and internet radio stations that pay royalties, and work on licensing your music for ads, movies, tv and video games. These are all things that most independent bands bypass, waiting for their music to speak for itself and the magical record label to come in and take care of everything they dont want to do.
The biggest resistance I see from local bands is advertising themselves. From the concerts they play to the music they release, the social media generation has become reliant on free avenues. Fewer and fewer bands are advertising on websites or in magazines, radio or tv. Of course immediately those in local bands are crying fowl by this statement, throwing their soap box down and once again making the excuse about how local bands and musicians have no money to waste on such things. You would be surprised on what some ads on a website or internet radio station can do when you line it up with your genre and split the costs between all your members. From $50-100 there are plenty of options that will yield results. When you have it listed everywhere, specifically when you advertise, you want to push the highest profiting, and cheapest way for your fans to get your music. Bandcamp and other similar sites are great ways to control the pricing and maximize profit, all the while connecting it to an offical website. Yes, even with a facebook page you will want to have your own domain that can be your central launching point for all your fans and potential fans can connect with. Rotate your focus to see what each outlet can produce, and give things a chance to catch on. You get what you put in and the more you put in, the more you will get out of it.
After all these things are in play, you will also find promoting live events and tours become more impactful, as the most engaging thing for a band is the music being heard, not a witty social media page or a update bitching about how many people arent seeing your posts. Who cares what your stats are on any social media page, just keep it updated and engaging, and focus on presenting your music, maximizing your time on practicing and creating more music.
Its a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice, but putting out music with a positive presentation in every outlet possible will always go further than a bitter sounding negative bitch. So you go now, get your shit together. Fiber up your band with a smile.