Every musician longs to know how to go viral with their music. It’s a completely creative process that is different every time. The “magic” process is hard work. It’s all about you, and the vital energy you put into your promotional outreach should be of the same intensity as the passion that you are putting into your music. With that, there are a few core principles that can significantly help independent musicians.
Live in The "Now"
Rather than cripple yourself by thinking of how much you have to do before you can be successful in the future, focus on the now. What can you start doing TODAY, right now, that will push you further towards your goal of success. It’s great to be a dreamer. I am one myself, but, when you think too far into the future it can become much like your same dream of winning the lottery. The practical details get lost and we end up discouraged, defeated, and far more likely to quit.
I get it, you want to get in Rolling Stone but, do you ignore the hundreds of independent publications who would be more willing to help you?
Also, do you want to be signed to a label when you haven't even played outside of your circle of friends and family, advertised your social media, or made any press noise? While it’s completely fine to have an end goal, your primary focus should be on the steps to getting there and not the outcome. Do you really want to get noticed in Rolling Stone? Well, then look at all of the very small tasks you need to be taking care of to make that happen from advertising to search engine optimization to PR outreach, to radio, to licensing, and more. Do all of this one step at a time and suddenly your path to success isn’t so overwhelming. Don’t forget the reason you started this journey in the first place. So yes, it takes a lot of work, but don’t become so overwhelmed with the final destination that you forget to enjoy the journey.
Personalize, Ask for Advice
When you reach out to anyone, whether it be an industry professional, a company, a blogger, or anyone you respect, it is important to personalize your messages with genuine opinions on their work. Save a draft e-mail as a template and adjust a few sentences every time. Ask for their advice or expertise rather than asking for help. Often with the advice will come a helping hand. Always stay humble. Don’t be needy. Nothing is worse to someone who is busy with a million other offers on their table than a desperate beggar. Be confident and show that you can stand on your own two feet. Mention that you want to learn and let your music speak for itself. Not everyone has to love your music. With time and effort the right people will want to lend a helping hand on your project.
When you release your music professionally, you are a business owner. You’re not just an artist. Its critical that you get your mind out of the music scene by constantly keeping up with the business aspect of the music industry. Remember that this is always changing so keep up with it by either hiring help or research, read books, etc. This will give you ideas that you will never find within the indie artists sphere, and many more of them are more applicable than you’d realize. Think outside the box.