What It Takes To Be A Successful DIY Independent Artist

Do you ever feel like modern society is like a million screaming kids with A.D.D. unleashed at a Chuckie Cheeses?

We’re just bouncing off the walls, interrupting each other, there’s no order, we just go and fling ourselves into the next unconsciously interesting experience…

A successful artist was just an artist who did the right things, the right way, and didn’t quit. I’ve never met a dumb musician. Seriously.

So is it the structure, the discipline, or the determination?

Create Value and then CREATIVELY tell people about it.

I KNOW you have it in you. I KNOW you’ve heard it before. I know you’ve gotten lots of ideas, but I also know you didn’t execute on those as fully as you know you could have.

It’s alright because I understand the problem. It’s very simple, and is the cause for almost everyone not having everything they want, ever….FEAR. It is uncomfortable to put yourself out there! To confidently promote yourself, and even to ask people to buy your stuff!

Now, I get it. I’m also not somehow IMMUNE to this, nor am I trying to make you feel bad or press down on a tender wound.

My friend, you have got IT!

We need YOU to contribute, to inspire, to make people feel again, and experience all of the simple and profound beauty that you resonate through your stories, your music, and from your soul. So, let’s address the problem…

The Problem Is With FOCUS

The primary problems I’ve noticed as a trend with my clients (Experts and MusicPreneurs)almost always stems from one of three root issues.

I believe it’s a matter of not paying enough conscious attention to the things you are doing, and ALSO not paying enough attention to the feedback you are getting. Because in almost everything you do, if you are paying closing enough attention, you can SEE how what you are doing, is getting you the RESULTS you are getting.

Because in almost everything you do, if you are paying closing enough attention, you can SEE how what you are doing, is getting you the RESULTS you are getting.

You know HOW to do the thing…

If you do THE THING better, then you get better results. The problem is that we can get ahead of ourselves sometimes, and that takes us away from being completely present, and then you compound that with the infinite minutia and time-sucking-mechanics, it’s no wonder why we are all running around but not going anywhere.

It’s like a muscle that is slowly fatiguing, and needs to be strengthened again.

There are really ONLY a FEW things you should be FOCUSED on doing as an Independent Artist that wants to build a long-term career making music.

1. Creating Great Music.
2. Building and Engaging your Fan-base.
3. Making sure your business is profitable any way you can. (Be CREATIVE. Thats what YOU do BEST.)

Doing “The Internet RIGHT,” is The NEW Myspace for Independent Artists

In a mostly intellectual, yet fascinatingly conceptual discussion between Steve Lawson and Andrew Dubber over at New Music Strategies, (pretty awesome guys and DEFINITELY worth listening to)
they discussed a bit about the various platforms for independent artists and music promotion online.

I was intrigued by their depth of knowledge and intelligent thought in regards to each platform they explained, and provided some tremendous insight. These guys are really on the UP and Up in regards to the future of digital technologies and innovative platforms and ideas for the new music industry. I will be following them a bit more closely from now on.

Myspace failed because they didn’t embrace the CULTURE they were inherently creating, and because their FOCUS was not on the most important thing, they ultimately become almost obsolete. They could still make a comeback though… Doubt it, but anything is possible right?

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So Facebook took over and became what Myspace should have been. Facebook, according to their analysis, appears to be on the same track though and has failed to recognize the path their on as a data harvesting company selling adspace to the highest bidder. It’s just not a smart business model from a standpoint of USER Satisfaction, and USER satisfaction is everything.
But hey i’m a musician, we’re about contribution and authenticity, that’s not always profitable, but it always feels right.

In terms of a music and fan building platform, neither of them are doing it right. Thus, even though as an independent artist you should still have a presence inside their “Walled garden,” it’s important for all of us to understand that Your SPACE is YOUR Domain.


Find new topics to write about that your audience is interested in, finally produce that video you’ve been meaning to make, and keep focused on making your site the best experience you can for your FANS.

The issue Is with Attention and Obscurity
Not only is it more difficult for you to go and complete a simple task, especially online, without some irrelevant distraction stealing your attention with the potential to spiral off on a whole new tangent, and suddenly asking yourself after 3 hours, “what did I just do?” Or, “wait a minute, what was I trying to accomplish in the FIRST place?”
As this is a time waster for YOU, just think about what a potential time suck and whirlwind of thoughts this is causing for your fans and potential new audience.

It’s like a TORRENT of streaming communications literally careening like a freight train into and through your brain, and then refracting off into thousands of tiny ideas all deflecting in different directions.

Our brains aren’t made to handle this, so how we unconsciously adapt is by reverting to a more primal THIS IS DESERVES MY ATTENTION, or it doesn’t mindset.


Exercise: In the comments section below, go ahead and TELL US.

The solution is STILL creative engagement

The problem is that most of us still don’t have a handle on the BASICS yet, still haven’t fully adopted social media, or established your unique voice that attracts and keeps fans talking about you and sharing YOUR stuff within their networks of friends.

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Nonetheless, innovative guerilla marketing strategies at this point may be a tad too far out of reach for many, as we have to crawl before we can walk, and walk before we can run.

Given you’ve got everything else right, i.e. you are making great music, the reason for such average results, is in doing average stuff with promotional efforts.

Seriously, if you want it bad enough, or even if you don’t… You can easily sit down right now without ANY distractions at all, and brainstorm a way to reach that goal you haven’t quite been able to yet.

But Where Do You Start?
I understand the importance of congruency in a message and I always try to leave my students with an actionable exercise by assigning them a mission – so I want to leave you with a few FOCUS questions that will start to change your results, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Remember, DON’T overlook the fundamentals. Simple is powerful if you FOCUS on these three simple questions.
A successful artist was just an artist who did the right things, the right way, and didn’t quit.
What do you want?
What has to happen for that to happen?
What can you do RIGHT NOW, to get started on the journey?

By: Music Clout