This is the age of indie music, the undiscovered is the new cool, so the fact that you’re a small band or unknown solo artist that hasn’t been heard of in every home doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do with what you’ve got.
You need determination…
A few weeks ago my younger sister sent me a link to a YouTube video, some ‘killer band’ she had discovered and was now obsessed with. She has been listening to their two songs on loop for days, watching their two music videos and obsessing like crazy. The amazing thing was that when I relented and watched the video the base player in the little band just happened to be someone I know very well; a guy who I went to school with and has been dating a close friend of mine for years.
There are no shortage of stories about people in school who thought they would be rock stars; I even knew one guy who was, for a while, set on the idea of becoming a concert pianist. The difference though is determination; most people give up and find other things, the ones that make it are the ones that fought tooth and nail to get there.
You also need a few other things…
If you want to make money from your little band these days then you need a few things, just a few simple things, which will help you get your foot in the door.
First – Skill.
You probably think you sound fantastic, but the sad truth is that you might not be quite as skilled as you like to think. You don’t need a lot of songs, two good ones are enough to catch your fans, find someone who will be honest with you no matter what and have them give a real opinion of your music. A few extra guitar lessons and some vocal training might be all you need to take it from ‘not bad’ to ‘fantastic!’; so be sure to invest the time, money and effort into being the best you can.
Second – Presence.
This is the age of the internet, if you don’t have an online presence you might as well not even try. A website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and Google+ are the minimum; and for your band not you (unless you’re a solo artist of course). Post information about where you are, what you’re doing, post photos of you performing; the more active you are online the more people will see you.
Third – Merchandise.
You might not have a lot of fans yet, but you can still earn a little bit of money. There are plenty of online services for getting merchandise made; cups, mugs, t-shirts, coasters – all you do is upload an image to be printed on it and the services handle the sale, manufacture and delivery; you take a percentage of the profits. It’s simple and anyone can do it, better yet there is little or no investment involved, so you don’t waste money.
Guest post: Kate Critchlow is a freelance writer with a wide range of interests from music to business, currently writing for funkconspiracy.co.uk