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 Article ....

Anatomy of an Independent Artist's Career …
The Reality and How to Overcome the Odds
by Ken Cavalier

In Theory  ...  The reality of achieving major success as an independent unsigned artist can be summarized like this.

Imagine a Battle Field in a Bloody War. 

There are many wounded soldiers everywhere.  The soldiers are quickly rushed in to the make-shift triage on the battle field where they are to receive emergency medical attention.  There are many wounded, but only a few Doctors to attend to them.  Each life is important and no one soldier’s life is more important or valuable than the other.  In today’s music industry environment, and although maybe a radical paradox, it can equate to your independent music career.  For example, you know that your music is as good if not better than other musicians, just as the life of one soldier is as valuable and precious as the other.

The soldiers are medically treated one or two at a time ...  sort of a first come, first serve.  Although each soldier’s life is as important as the other, there are just too many soldiers to enable the Doctors to attend to all of them.  Some will be treated and saved, but the majority will die. Unfortunately for the sea of independent musicians in the world today trying to survive with their music, this is how it can be in the over crowded music business.

Essentially, you are an independent artist; a solider in a war, the purpose of the war and why you are fighting it is to try and make it big or at least make a good living with your music.   You are essentially on a crowded battle field of very talented independent artists waiting and looking for the same music industry attention.  Each Artist is as talented as the other. Only a few artists or musicians will receive the music business attention they need to survive and achieve success, but the vast majority of independent artist's careers will die.  Why, because all things being equal there is only room for a few emerging artists to succeed in the over crowded sea of independent artists attempting to do the same thing.  Make it big or make a decent living with their music.

So, how do you overcome the odds in the crowded battle field of independent, unsigned, artists and musicians?  How do you get the music industry awareness you desperately need and deserve to survive?

The answer -- Show them that your injury is far more life threatening than the others, in essence that you are the independent artist with the story, the buzz, and the record sales.  Show the music industry that you deserve the attention and treatment before the other wounded artists, trying to get the attention.   How do you do this?  Cry out in pain the loudest by persistently pounding your music marketing message home. This old adage is truer in this business than any other; "The Squeaky Wheel Get's the Oil".

Your music marketing and promotional efforts must be totally relentless in every way.  You need to play as many quality shows as possible.  You should seek music publicity in many forms including record reviews, press releases, and other forms of music media relations.  You need to seriously market your music websites including myspace marketing.  You must brand yourself or your band online.  Some radio play in markets where you are touring is another important element.  Seek out retail and digital CD distribution channels.  Sell as many records as possible and gain Soundscan sales stats.

You can make a very good living with your music if you approach it like a business and market your butt off.  NON-STOP!  If you are independent and a DIY artist you will need to do all this yourself.  Or, if you find that your time would be better spent on the creative end of your career or you just don't have the connections or even a clue where to begin, you may want to consider engaging the guidance and advice of a reputable artist management and music business consultant who can help you with all the music marketing, publicity, and music promotion, essentially handling the business end of your music career. 

Putting all these elements into place at the right time will seriously increase your possibilities of making a good living as an independent musician and will help immensely to generate the music industry awareness you need to attract a decent major or independent record label and attaining a good record deal and even help to attract a creditable professional artist manager.  If that's what you want.  You can also remain independent, keep all the money, and just start your own record label and bring on good distribution to release, market, and distribute your product.  This is a good idea because if it works out, you can eventually sign other artists to your label.  A good music business consultant can guide you through the process of how to do this.

Either way, persistently marketing and promoting yourself or obtaining the assistance of a well connected artist management-consulting firm to facilitate this for you is crucial to your success as an independent artist.  Doing this will help you gain the edge over the hundreds of thousands of other independent artists out there throwing their hat into the ring and greatly increase your chances of overcoming the odds.   

©2016 Ken Cavalier  All Rights Reserved

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