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The Artist Development "To Do List" For The Unknown Indie

Updated: Jan 7

It kills me to see all ya'll indie artists out here doing it wrong. You're doing it ass backwards. It's like you don't have a plan and you're just walking around in circles with a blindfold on. I bet if feels that way too, huh? Problem is, you're putting the cart before the horse and repeating the same mistakes over and over. Most likely because you feel you've come too far and done too much to turn back now and you don't wanna to give up. You're being impatient now because you want that instant success you've been longing for. If your inner thoughts agree with any of what I've written so far then keep reading. If not, let's just pretend you didn't see this lol. I'm bout to change your life if you can handle what I'm about to throw your way....beginning with this News Flash: More than likely you're not gonna ever see your music on any Billboard charts and you're not gonna win any Grammy's if you're not willing to first learn about how today's music business works.

Back in my day musicians relied on record labels to launch them to the stars. Yeah when I was a young artist my producer/artist manager would master and make copies of my music on a cassette tape and then mail it off in a big yellow envelope to record labels, publishers and music business executives. (wait...ya'll ever even heard of a cassette tape? Naw. Probably not. Ya'll just know about mixed tapes I bet LOL). Anyway, so way back then, in the 80's and 90's, when many of you were probably just an itch in your momma's pants, labels were more willing to invest in new, underdeveloped talent as long as they had something to work with. By invest I mean they'd assign and pay someone to further develop your talent, somebody to teach you to dance and sing and make it look easy. Someone to give you media training so you know what to say during tv and radio interviews, a publisher or manager was assigned too take care of the administrative stuff like copyrights and publishing for royalties. Artists also had someone to develop and promote their brand worldwide and then the record label would loan you some dough to record songs and make music videos that fans would watch on TV and listen to on the radio (remember this was before we had social media). Then fans would go running to the record store to buy your album (do they still have those?) The labels relied mostly on your success so they could get back a lot more money then they invested and then give you the left overs...the bread crumbs lol...which is why artist development was so important back then (and it still is today.) Often the new artist got the shitty end of the stick, come pay day...especially if they didn't contribute to any of the writing or publishing of any of the songs on their album. Sometimes even the artists that wrote their own songs were cheated out of their money too. That was usually because many of them didn't read or understand the fine print or participate in the copyrights of their own work. We'd just hope that we could trust and rely on music industry professionals. Today we know better, don't we? Well don't we??!

Today the internet has completely flipped the music business upside down. Artists now have a lot more control of their destiny due to the "do it yourself" platforms and music software out there, among many things. There are so many methods and options available to promote your own music these days. Gone are the days of record labels investing in unknown talent and handling the business side of business. Today that's your job and besides, we don't need them anyway! Why? Well because we got stuff like instagram, twitter, youtube, SoundCloud, podcasts, Apple Music, live video streaming platforms and other music and video streaming options created to help artists generate more fans, get noticed by talent investors and make their own money from music downloads. You'll have to meet record labels halfway before they even look at you these days. What does that mean? Well that means ya'll better roll up your sleeves and take over the job formerly done by the record labels if you want them to dig deep in their pockets for you. That means if you've not already developed and perfected your own talent and your brand to a level that can compete with the artists currently winning on the billboard charts, or if you don't have at least 2 to 3000 fans and music that's already streaming, your chances of success are not that great. Sorry. I mean, I know a few likes, comments and shares on SoundCloud, Twitter or Insta from your lil circle of supporting friends and family get you excited and probably makes you feel famous and...well if that feeling is enough for you then fine. We'll leave it right there and you can forget I even brought it up... but if you'd like to achieve a successful career in the music biz, win a Grammy some day or have an opportunity to reach and sell your music to thousands of adoring fans, and have your own perfume or cologne with your name on it and sh*t like that, then I'd like to make you an easy to follow "to do list" that will increase your chances of making it in the music market and bring you, not just a bunch of friendly follows but high quality follows from those that love your music and your brand and that are found outside your usual network and then you'll have that tingly, great, winning feeling you long for AND the money AND the Grammy to go with it. How bout that? If that sounds like a plan and you're ready to try something different, then keep reading. We're almost there....

Before we finish off this blog, let me challenge you to think about something. Do you think it was easier to pay the label to manage all your business, marketing, financial affairs and artist development while the artist only focused on being creative, being famous and making great music? Or do you think it's easier TODAY because an artist has access to everything they need in order to become successful independently, even though they must be fully responsible for promoting their own talent, managing their own development, signing their own contracts and handling their own financial and administrative tasks?

Your answer will help us to figure out the best way to achieve your goals. The only hint I'll give you is that if you're not internet and social media savvy and you either don't fully understand the music business or you don't have time to commit to anything other than

making good music I'd mentor you differently than an artist that has the time, the knowledge and endurance to do it all. More on that later. Yours in music! Sallyb.

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