Taking Baby Steps As An Indie Artist

© 2010 Vinny Ribas

 Countless artists get stuck in a seemingly never-ending rut because they just don’t know what to do next. With marketing, songwriting, rehearsing, performing, bookkeeping, publicity and more all part of an artist’s responsibilities, the options can seem overwhelming. So, the obvious solution would be to put a step-by-step plan together that makes sense, is cost effective, doesn’t take 25 hrs. a day and is easily manageable. Should be a piece of cake, right? (I can hear you laughing).[private_freebie]

The biggest challenge that many artists face in developing their careers is that they only see the leap from where they are to where they ultimately want to be. That’s can be a huge chasm to cross. However, if you break the journey down into smaller more practical and achievable goals, you’ll find that you can comfortably stair-step your way to the top. Think of it this way. If you could move your career ahead just 1 step every day, at the end of one year you will have made 365 steps forward!

 Here are some examples:

 If booking yourself scares you, make only 1 phone call a day. When you’ve booked 3 gigs this way, progress to 2 calls a day. Little by little you’ll build your sales pitch, your comfort level and your confidence. Soon it won’t be scary to set aside 8 hrs. a week or so for booking yourself.

 If you’re a songwriter, you don’t need to build a catalog of 100s of songs overnight. Instead, make a point to schedule 1 or 2 co-writing appointments per week with writers who are better than you. If you get 1 song worth keeping every 2 weeks, at the end of 1 year you’ve added 26 strong songs to your catalog. That’s much better than having 300 weak songs that you forced yourself to write. If you’re an artist as well, 26 good songs form a great base to choose from for your next CD project!

 If you need to increase your online presence and build your fan base, don’t think in terms of needing 10s of thousands of ‘friends’ on your social networks. Instead, work on building 5 true relationships each day, 5 days a week. Listen to the music of artists who are similar to you and comment on the individual songs that you like (it proves that you really did listen). Then ask them to check out your music. Ask them industry questions that you might have. People love to help. Make them a true friend. Then ask them to join your mailing list. If you did nothing but this, in one year’s time, you will have added 1300 ‘true fans’, most of whom will support you because they feel like they know you. They will also tell their friends about you, which will expand your real fan base far beyond spending hours tossing out random friend requests.

 As you can see, developing continuous growth and stability in your career doesn’t have to happen because you thrust yourself into the national spotlight. It can come by building a solid foundation and managing the growth of your career in a way that doesn’t burden you, frighten you, steal all of your time or rob you of your hard-earned money.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.