We collected some interesting challenges many D.I.Y. musicians face – and also some ideas on how to master them.
Tag on and let’s get cooking:
Dealing with the peripheral workload
Problem: As a D.I.Y. creator you’re working on a variety of tasks. The peripheral workload, meaning promotion, finance, logistics can become quite vast, if not handled properly.
Solution: Start a compartmentalized routine where every task has a safe spot, without overflow. Organizing your tasks is the way to go if you want to tackle them in a hastle-free way.
Maintaining a solid content stream
Problem: Falling into a mode of delay in terms of content stream and releases can happen very easily, if you’re the only one managing the flow things.
Solution: Create a solid archive that backs you up in stressful times. Even if you don’t even know how certain elements of content can be used, save and archive them for later usage.
Oversight of revenue streams
Problem: The increase of revenue streams from streaming, live and licensing can become hard to track.
Solution: Start directing all of your „music related“ income to an external or sub-account of your private bank account. Even if you’re still on a small level, this added visibility will help you comprehend various activities later on.
Choosing the right (self) release strategy
Problem: With so many options for releasing and partnering up with various platforms, it’s hard to decide on where to go.
Solution: 1) Find a way to work ALL platforms but 2) concentrate on the ones where you KNOW your audience is most active.
Defining realistic goals
Problem: Considering how fast things move in the online music sphere, seeing best practices of similar artists can get you thinking, especially considering your own goals.
Solution: Keep in mind that every artist-story is an individual combination of effort AND luck. Try not to project the way things work for others on your own endeavor.
Building a physical / digital network
Problem: How can you build a physical and digital network, if you’re a one woman/man show and bound to your own resources?
Solution: Try to concentrate on quality here. Many agencies have vast networks of connection, but rarely use them effectively. On the level you are approaching things, a few very solid, PERSONAL contacts can be more valuable than a huge network of unfamiliar e-mail contacts.
The same goes for physical connections: Meeting up with a manageable amount of people lets you work on relationships that have depth and longevity.
Establishing media relevancy
Problem: You’re a new artist, trying to make some noise and it’s incredibly hard to rattle up some noise.
Solution: Do your homework and create a comprehensible story and aesthetic. The more holistic you are, the more intriguing and attractive the project will seem to media you aim to work with.
Setting and adhering to own deadlines
Problem: Deadlines that you set on your own terms are hard to manage.
Solution: Tough luck my friend. That’s called discipline. Bite your way through it, because no one will do it for you!
Getting a foot in the showcase run
Problem: Getting into showcases without a strong rep can be quite a challenging task.
Solution: Many showcases are just as hungry for the next up-and-coming talent as various A&R’s in the industry. When approaching / writing these festivals, try to underline the fact that you are building this thing on your own, have never played in the region and would be grateful to get a shot at it.
Try to lay it around a release and make sure you get a few interesting blog or media shout-outs going. Keep your social media active and basically generate the feeling of things happening around and within your project. Be humble and never too pushy! There’s a big difference between a standard follow-up and a nag.
Communicative nuance when approaching festivals is vital!0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!