Below you can find all the podcast episodes of Marcella – Synergy For Music.
With so many ways to promote your music online — and only so many hours in the day — how do you decide which platforms are worth your time and energy?
If you try to promote your music through every channel available to you, all at the same time, you’re going to spread yourself too thin and eventually burn out. On top of that, you’ll end up frustrated that all of your hard work hasn’t actually amounted to much.
So rather than attempt the impossible, focus your efforts on a handful of platforms where your existing and potential fans are most likely to spend their time online. (And, you know, the platforms that you actually enjoy using — or at least don’t despise.)
Here are 15 of the best ways to promote your music online.
This should be priority number one (and we’re not just saying that to toot our own horn). An official website gives your fans a place where they know they can always find you, no matter which social networks come and go.
2. Email List
Unlike social media platforms where algorithms determine who sees your content, your emails are guaranteed to land in your subscribers’ inboxes. A regular monthly newsletter is a great way to keep them informed about all things going on with you and your band.
If you love writing, consider starting a blog to build a deeper relationship with your fans. Your posts could include insight into your creative process, roundups of new music you’ve been loving, or personal stories about your life as a musician.
4. Electronic Press Kit
An electronic press kit, or EPK, is essentially a résumé for your band. It should include your up-to-date bio, music, photos, videos, tour dates, press coverage, links, and contact information. It’s always a good idea to have your EPK on hand when you release new music, book shows, or connect with music industry folks.
Facebook has long been considered essential for promoting music online, but it’s become increasingly difficult to reach fans organically over the last few years.
If there’s an audience you want to reach on Facebook and you have some budget to work with, you’ll need to get comfortable with Ads Manager. It’s a powerful tool for creating, managing, and measuring Facebook ad campaigns, but it definitely has a learning curve. As long as you dedicate some time to testing and optimizing, Facebook ads can be one of the most affordable ways to promote your music online.
Twitter reigns supreme for real-time updates and quick interactions. It’s a great channel for sharing thoughts on relevant trending topics, hosting Q&A sessions with fans, posting setlists, and much more. You can also use the search function to find people who are talking about your music (or similar artists), and strike up conversations with them.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has exploded in popularity. Between your grid, Stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, and the newly announced Reels (Instagram’s take on TikTok-style videos), it’s the best place to build your visual brand as a musician.
If you have a little money to put towards growing your presence, you can promote Instagram posts through Facebook Ads Manager in the same way that you’d promote a Facebook post.
Snapchat is a fun way to connect with fans, especially if your target audience skews younger. It tends to feel more casual, in-the-moment, and personal than other social media apps, which can lead to some unique marketing opportunities that don’t necessarily feel like “marketing.”
9. Streaming Services
Most fans use streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora to listen to their favorite artists and discover new music, so you’ll want to make sure your releases are available on all of them.
Getting even one of your songs featured on a playlist can work wonders for your music career. There are millions of playlists out there for every subgenre, mood, and activity imaginable — which translates into a golden opportunity to reach the right audience at the right time.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google and an enormous driver of music discovery. Besides sharing your videos on other platforms, you can help people find you by making sure that every upload has a clear and catchy title, a detailed description with keywords, and relevant tags. You’ll also want to organize similar types of videos into playlists to build watch time.
SoundCloud is one of the most artist-friendly platforms out there, especially for independent musicians and niche genres. It boasts a massive community of diverse music lovers, and it’s super easy to share or embed your tracks on just about any website. You can even use it to upload demos and gather feedback before investing in professional production.
Bandsintown is the largest concert discovery platform, used by over 500,000 artists and 50 million fans. Whether you’re heading out on tour, live streaming from home, or anything in between, you’ll be able to sync all of your upcoming events across your website and social media channels.
13. Music Blogs
Even small blog features will have a positive impact on your SEO and exposure, so seek out opportunities for album reviews, concert reviews, interviews, and guest posts.
Research music blogs that feature artists similar to you in terms of both genre and prominence, and make sure you take the time to craft a personalized pitch email that will catch the blogger’s attention.
TikTok has quickly become one of the best ways to promote music online, with over 800 million monthly active users. The app is especially popular among Gen Z, but older demographics have wasted no time hopping on the bandwagon. The fine-tuned algorithm and addictive format give you a better chance of organically reaching a new audience in comparison to other social media platforms.
Audiomack is a music sharing and discovery website that lets you host all of your tracks for free, with no storage limits. You can submit your uploaded songs for a potential feature on the “trending” page, where millions of fans go to discover new artists. You’ll also have free access to content sharing tools and a dashboard loaded with detailed stats and engagement data.
Share the music platforms where you promote your music below in the comments.
Learn how to boost fan engagement, promote your brand, and increase followers.
The rise of social media has proven to be a valuable asset for musicians. A strong social media presence is essential for promoting your music, engaging with fans, and expanding your fan base. Moreover, having an effective social media strategy connects you with music industry peers and presents new opportunities.
Social media marketing for musicians can seem like a daunting task. However, this social media tips guide will help you develop an effective strategy. The following ten proven tips show you how to boost fan engagement, increase followers, and promote your brand on social media.
1. ANALYZE YOUR AUDIENCE
Who are your fans? What are their interests? Knowing your audience and what type of content they respond to better is crucial. For example, one demographic of fans may like videos, while another likes your photos. It’s also helpful to know where your fans are spending their time online, and when they’re online. This information will help you determine the best times to post.
Most social media networks offer analytic tools that help you know your followers and track engaging content. You can also see your fans location, age, gender, and interests. Understanding this data will help you develop an effective social media strategy for your music.
There are also analytic tools like Google Analytics. They can help you keep track of likes, shares, comments, trends, and other information.
2. POST REGULARLY
Keeping your social media profile active is important. Post with regular consistency to stay relevant to your fans. This task is vital for musicians who don’t release music or play shows often. It’s critical to create content for your audience even when you’re busy in the studio or between releases. However, don’t get carried away. Fans will unfollow you or stop engaging with your posts if you saturate their feed.
Also, develop a rhythm with your posts, so people know what to expect. For example, post a mashup song every Friday at noon.
3. SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS
Scheduling your posts in advance can be a valuable way to engage with your fans without staying online all day. It’s also a smart strategy to publish when the most active users are online. Determining what days to post and at what time of day is important.
You can find this data by looking at your social media analytics.
4. SHARE ENGAGING VISUAL CONTENT
Visual content tends to generate more engagement than plain text posts. Sharing photos and videos is a great way to tell stories quick and easy. They also capture people’s attention much faster than text. Below are some visual content ideas:
- Photos of your music gear, home studio, DJ equipment, fans, etc.
- A photographic announcing upcoming tour dates, a new single or album, etc.
- Photos or video of shows you played at or attended.
- Photos or video of you making music in unique places.
- A short video explaining the meaning behind a song.
- Live stream yourself at an event, working in the studio, replying to comments, offering tips, hosting a Q&A, and anything else fitting.
- Photos or video of favorite moments from your personal life.
- Photos of inspirational quotes.
- Animated GIF images and memes.
- Music videos and interviews.
5. SHARE ENGAGING TEXT CONTENT
The type of content you share is critical. It’s essential you post a variety of content fans can connect with, share, like, and comment on to keep them engaged. Balancing both visual and text content is important. Below are some text content ideas:
- Update fans about a new song, upcoming album, and tour dates.
- Inspirational and motivational posts.
- Educational posts that offer tips and techniques.
- Interactive posts that encourage engagement. The most effective posts include polls, questions, fill-in-the-blank, contests, giveaways, and “caption this” photos.
- Ask your fans for feedback or their opinion about something. For example, track feedback on a single, songs they might want to hear in your next set, which merch design they like better, etc.
- Add a “Call to Action” to prompt an immediate response. For example, “Like if you agree.”
- Categorize or theme posts with hashtags. For example, #MusicMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, #QuickTip, etc.
- Tell a story. For example, share what’s on your mind, a personal experience, etc.
- Make various lists. For example, your favorite plugins, songs you’re currently into, favorite music production gear, etc.
- Write posts that explain the meaning behind your music, brand, or style. Also, share a positive press quote about your music.
6. OPTIMIZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
People are likely to find your social media profiles first when searching your artist name. That’s why having a clean, optimized profile for each platform is a top priority. Below are some social media tips for optimizing your artist profiles:
- Make sure all your artist information is accurate and up-to-date. This includes tour dates, latest releases, bio, links, press coverage, etc.
- Include a current bio or a link to your bio.
- Create visually stunning profile images and covers. Also, make sure all images are the correct size.
- Add links or a “Call to Action” to images and covers. For example, links to buy your music, your website, press coverage, etc.
- Advertise with cover images. For example, create covers that display tour dates, upcoming release details, new merch, etc.
- Make use of Facebook cover videos. You can upload a video as your cover. For example, create a looping video or animation that advertises your next release or tour dates.
- Change your profile and cover images regularly to get some engagement from your followers.
- Pin your most engaging post to the top of your page. Or, pin the post that best represents you as an artist for all new fans and music industry peers to see first.
- Increase engagement on your posts with Tags. Tag all the people in your photos or videos and any companies or venues etc. Tagging also increases the reach of your posts by appearing on the feeds of those you have tagged.
- Ensure all your social media platforms have the same theme. Also, post the same images across your social media platforms. Keeping the theme consistent gives the impression of a complete package. Moreover, artists that have different profile pictures for each platform is confusing. For example, fans may not immediately recognize you if all your profile photos are different.
7. USE A PERSONAL TONE AND SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY
Developing a personal connection with your fans will help solidify the artist-fan relationship. How you communicate to your fans makes a huge difference. It’s also essential that you show fans your real personality. When you start to show your true self, you’ll begin to see a big difference in the way your fans interact with you.
Take your voice beyond the music with these social media tips:
- Write like you speak so that your content has a genuine personal tone. And don’t forget to give your posts a once-over for basic grammar and readability.
- Personalize your message and don’t front a persona that doesn’t reflect who you really are.
- Embrace your passion and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Many fear rejection over sharing polarizing content. Letting little quirks in your personality show is ok.
- Don’t be afraid to open up on social media. Let others into your world and share the good times as well as the struggles. Show your fans who you are, what your about, and where you’re going. Remember, your brand represents you, so don’t hesitate to hide that.
8. INTERACT WITH YOUR FANS
This tip is a no-brainer. However, it can go overlooked. It’s vital that you connect with your fans and show them you care. Don’t just use social media to promote your music and tour schedule. Use these platforms to interact with your fans. For example:
- Don’t forget to reply to comments, messages, Twitter replies, mentions, etc. Your fans will appreciate that you are open for discussion and engaged in a personal connection.
- Interact with fans by asking questions, getting involved in discussions happening in the comments, and anywhere else to keep the conversation going. Moreover, take the time to write a good response. For example, if someone says your music inspired them, say more than “thanks!” Interacting with your fans shows that you’re listening to them.
- Don’t be afraid to ask followers to share or retweet your posts. Also, return the favor. Share or retweet photos, music, shout outs, quotes, and anything else relevant to you. Moreover, encourage them to post photos from your shows or remixes of your songs and tag you. You could even make a regular theme like “Fan Feature Friday.”
- Remember to check your social media accounts frequently. Don’t create posts and then leave them unattended. Developing a fan base requires your full commitment.
9. SHARE CONTENT FROM YOUR FANS
pread the love and share or retweet content posted by your fans. One sure way to boost engagement and excite fans is sharing their content with other fans. It’s also a great way to show appreciation to your biggest fans.
Moreover, show respect for other artists, musicians, DJ’s, and other music industry peers. For example, share, retweet, and like content from your fans. Also, comment on other peoples Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram stories, SoundCloud tracks, etc. This move shows your engaged in the music community and that your brand is not solely self-promoting. It’s also an excellent way to network and gain new followers.
10. ADDITIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS
Below are some other proven social media tips that will help you grow your followers, increase engagement, and build relationships with your fans:
- Send personal invitations: Invite people to shows you’re playing in a private message.
- Create a Story: Collect the best moments from your show or anything else and do a recap. Post it as a story on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
- Create SoundCloud playlists: Include songs from other artists you’re into at the moment. Spread the love!
- Create a Facebook Group: Build a community and engage with them. Ask questions, get feedback on your upcoming release and other projects, share content, etc.
- Live stream: Host an AMA (ask me anything), offer feedback on a project created by a fan, demonstrate music production techniques, etc.
- Caption contest: Capture a funny moment before or during a show and host a caption contest.
- Photo tagging: Take a photo with your fans. Let them know when/where you will post it and ask them to tag themselves.
- Create Twitter Lists: Add fans, companies, venues, and other music industry peers. Lists make it easier to interact with important players in the music industry.
- Write emotional headlines: Studies show emotional headlines increase shares and traffic.
- Create videos: Consider ideas like how-to, behind-the-scenes, music culture, shout-outs, event recap, promotional, demonstrations, interviews, and even testimonials.
- Meet your fans: Host a meetup group for fans and create an event page to share. It’s an easy way to make connections, promote your music, and invite people to your show.
- Live Tweet/Stream other acts: Highlight other acts playing at a show. Also, tag them in all photos and videos. It’s also a great cross-promotional tool if multiple acts use the same hashtag.
- Say thank you: Post a message of gratitude if your song received a lot of plays or after a show. Also, tag other acts, the venue, the promoter, sponsors, and any fans you met.
- Promote your social media channels: Use your social media platforms to promote your other channels.
- Create a podcast: Launch a podcast series and share it on your channels. Talk about your musical inspirations, life on the road, commentary about the music scene, etc.
- Invite Facebook Likes: Grow your followers by inviting people who “Like” your posts to follow your artist page.
Figure out what suits your fans and then have fun with it.
“Am I really good enough? Or is this just good luck?”
Have you ever found yourself with this nagging anxiety in the back of your mind? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s so common, there’s a name for it. Imposter Syndrome. It’s common in many professions, but especially pervasive in creative careers where success can often come from subjective works.
How does imposter syndrome manifest itself? Social anxiety. Believing you’re going to fail no matter what. Devaluing your worth. Underestimating your own expertise. And not only does it seriously affect your self-confidence, but this fear can keep you from taking the necessary risks to further your career and personal growth.
Not only does imposter syndrome make it feel like you aren’t good enough for the praise you receive, but it makes you worry that it’s probably clear to the rest of the world, too—as if someone with more know-how is going to come along and strip us of the title “artist” that we’ve foolishly given to ourselves. And not just for those in creative careers—the brightest CEOs, politicians and entrepreneurs have all fallen victim to this mindset.
But for creatives, the pressure can feel even worse.
“The nature of creative work makes everyone more vulnerable to feeling inadequate and even more so if you are not classically trained,” explains author and impostor syndrome expert Dr. Valerie Young.
It’s a difficult spot to be in: you put your heart and soul into every piece and then have to share it with an art world that can be highly critical, using standards that are completely subjective.
The irony is that the deeper you dive into your art career, the more opportunities there are for imposter syndrome to bubble up inside you. If you let them, these doubts will corrode your self-confidence until there’s nothing left.
That’s why you have to figure out a way to tackle imposter syndrome head-on, before it affects the success and future of your art practice and damages your self-confidence beyond repair. So, where do you even begin?
Recognize your negative thoughts and work to change them
mposter syndrome isn’t based on reality. It’s just your mind running wild with fear, feeding off nothing but negative thoughts and self-doubt. But you know you don’t have to think this way, right? You can live in any world you choose, simply by changing your perspective.
In other words, you are what you think.
But did you know that there’s a way to train your brain to think more clearly? That there are actionable, concrete steps you can take to become a more positive person?
Of course, it’s not going to be easy. Habits, as you likely know, can be incredibly hard to break. Especially these invisible mental habits of ours. But that makes it all the more important to try!
Start small. First, work on giving up bad habits. Give up comparing yourself to others, making excuses, perfectionism, the need for praise, taking uninformed advice to heart—all the things that chip away at your self-worth and the reason you became an artist in the first place.
Become a risk taker
Fear is a natural human instinct. Fear tells you to stand back from that ledge, run from that snake, or throw out that expired milk. It’s trying to keep you safe.
The problem is when fear keeps you from doing the things you really want to do. Things that would make your art business soar.
In fact, safety isn’t always the best place to be!
Because we’re talking about a fear of failure here, not a bear in the woods. We use this fear and doubt in our abilities as an excuse to stay in our own little, comfortable bubble, because it sure beats failing in front of everyone—which imposter syndrome promises us is inevitable.
But when you really think about it, what is there to be scared of?
To get past imposter syndrome, you have to become more acquainted with the idea that failure is not the end of the world.
The worst that can happen is that things don’t work out this time around. You’re not going to die. You’re going to learn, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in that. Every failure is another bullet point of experience on the resume, a tool in your artist tool belt that you can use to overcome the next obstacle.
And, there will always be another opportunity. The more risks we take, and the more we practice being risk takers, the less fearful we are of failure. The only way to get ahead in life is to take risks. You really only fail if you never try.
Keep a personal “brag” box
So often in a society where we are expected to achieve at every turn, we rob ourselves of the joy and meaningfulness of success. We lose our “why”.
As an artist and entrepreneur, you have a responsibility to acknowledge and celebrate your own successes. There’s no manager to give you a pat on the back or an “employee of the month” certificate.
This leaves the door wide open for imposter syndrome to waltz on in! Without external feedback from others to let you know you are doing a good job and are worthy of your accomplishments, anxiety, and fear can start to make you doubt where you are in your career.
So try this. Next time you make a big sale, get a stellar review, complete a commission that is well-loved, land a spot in a show, or get an award, take one minute to write it down. Write down what the accomplishment was, how it made you feel, why it was a success and maybe what lead to this success.
Celebrate every time you accomplish something big or small, and then keep these reminders in a “brag box” of sorts that you can use to pump yourself back up as needed. It can be an online archive, a folder on your computer, or an actual shoebox of print-outs you keep in the studio—something within arm’s reach that reminds you what an awesome artist you are.
These successes are not to be hidden or forgotten.
If you can’t trust yourself, try trusting others for a while
Whenever you start to doubt yourself, we want you to think hard about this concept…
Do you really believe that all the people who helped you get to where you are today did so because they were merely taking pity on you? That they saw absolutely no redeeming value in you or your artwork—but decided to believe in you and reward you despite their busy schedule, wealth of knowledge, and their own expertise on the line?
he jurors who’ve selected you for shows. The teachers who’ve assigned you an A grade.
You’re trying to tell us that they all made a mistake?
The people who got you here are competent.
Yes, a lot of life is luck, but that doesn’t mean in any way that we aren’t talented and deserving. You need both to succeed.
And use the credibility of the people who got you here as a form of validation.
Treat yourself like your best friend
Imagine this all-too-familiar conversation: A friend or family member confides in you that they are feeling down about themselves, doubting their abilities and self-worth.
What do you say? You jump right in reassuring them that they are one of the kindest, smartest, most hard-working people you know—because, in your eyes, that’s all true! Even if they’ve failed, you know for a fact that they’ll bounce back, and you won’t leave their side until they realize it, too.
So, why is it so easy to have compassion for others, but so hard to love and believe in yourself?
Reach out to your inner circle when you’re feeling unsure, the people who love you, know you, but don’t need to sugarcoat things. Hear what they have to say, and (here’s the key!) have as much faith in yourself as you do your loved ones. See yourself the way your friends and family see you. Listen to them. Believe them and use this to grow your confidence.
Then start treating yourself like you would treat your best friend.
Get more comfortable with openly sharing your work
A low performing post on social media. One bad critique. A show date with low attendance. These are all fuel for imposter syndrome. It’s cold, hard evidence! How could it be anything but true?
It occurs when we search for information to confirm our pre-existing ideas or beliefs (i.e. that we are imposters).
And that’s not the end of the self-sabotage! Have you ever heard of the negativity bias? It means that as humans, we tend to exaggerate and remember negative critiques much more strongly than positive feedback—no matter how much positive feedback we get. “Your brain is simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news,” explains Psychology Today, and research has proven it!
If you’re going to get over this syndrome as an artist, you’re going to have to tackle the social anxiety that comes with putting your heart, soul, and creativity on the line. Because there’s no way around it. What you create is highly public—it’s the only way to sell work!
The key once again is to remember why you create.
Ask yourself if you would make the work you make today if no one would ever see it. Would you paint or sculpt or draw that if you couldn’t show it to anyone?
You’ve probably heard dating advice at some point in your life that you “have to love yourself first.” Apply that to your work, love what YOU are making, and the rest will follow. And if you still doubt yourself? Remember that you are the expert of your art! No one knows your artwork better than you do.
Give yourself permission to be the expert.
Mentor another artist and share your expertise
Whether you teach a workshop, join a Facebook group, or grab coffee with someone just starting out, mentoring fellow creatives will help you quickly realize how much skill and expertise you have gained over the years.
And while it’s a great boost of confidence, it’s also humbling to realize that nobody knows everything all the time. Not even the most successful artists alive. We all had to start somewhere and there’s always more to learn, even when it appears that our own mentors know everything.
Mentoring another artist also takes some of the focus off of ourselves and lets us give back to the community. It gives us perspective and lets us share that creative spark with others. It’s also a reminder that we are all at a different point on the road in our journey, the important part is to keep walking.
If you want to get past that stubborn, insecure feeling, you must grow comfortable with the idea of constant learning, shedding your ego, and letting go of perfectionism. Trust that you are exactly where you need to be in this moment, and smile knowing how far you’ve already come and the excitement that there will always be somewhere further to go.
Find value in what’s different
It’s easy to walk into the room and start immediately comparing yourself to all the other amazing artists. You don’t have the same artwork or experiences or successes as (fill in name of successful artist here)—but we’re here to tell you that it’s actually a wonderful thing!
Differences are thought-provoking.
Unique experiences add to the conversation.
Different viewpoints encourage change for the better.
And that goes for whether we are talking about an art career or the artwork itself. Because everyone walks a different path, and everyone has a story to tell. There will always be someone who finds wisdom in what you have to share.
And if you inspire just one other person, even if it’s just yourself, wouldn’t it all still be worth it?
Don’t let imposter syndrome diminish your voice.
It is a mindset, not a one-time goal! And positive mindsets have to be fed constantly.
So jump on the opportunities that will build your self-confidence, give up negative self-talk, and be grateful for the people and experiences that got you to where you are today. Because we all deserve happiness and success—yes, even you!
Understanding your unique voice and knowing your purpose as an artist can help you conquer impostor syndrome.
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The music you make with collaborators takes everyone to the next level. Music collaboration is a brilliant (sometimes difficult) artform in itself. Anyone in a band can tell you all about it…
Collaboration is an extra pair of ears, hands, and an additional brain to work with. It gives you VIP access into someone else’s workflow. It helps you overcome creative blocks. It even brings out creativity you didn’t know you had.
But collaborating is hard. Where do you find a network? Where should you start? And how do you make it work for your music? Here are a few tips to start (and keep) a collaboration with other musicians.
How to find your music match
Sometimes finding your music partner is as simple as looking around your group of friends – and their friends too. Getting involved in your local creative community is the best place to start.
If you need to dig a bit deeper, here are some ideas on where to find music collaborators:
- Look on SoundCloud and contact people whose music you like
- Go to livestream shows in your city and make connections in your local scene
- Play livestream shows – people will be more inclined to ask to collaborate if they hear you live
- Find Facebook Groups in your area and get involved
- Get involved in online music forums, many of which have official feedback threads where artists can post their music and get feedback.
- Ask your local university if you can put an ad in the music department (you never know!)
- Share your tracks with people already in your network and ask if they know anyone else who might be able to help
Once you’ve found your other musical half, here’s how to make things work:
1. Know your own strengths and weaknesses
To be a good collaborator, you gotta know what you’re bringing to the table. That way you’ll know what you’re looking for in a music partner.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What can you contribute with your creative voice and skills?
- What are your short-term goals? What are your long-term goals?
- What is your process missing or needing help with?
- What kind of music do you wanna make?
- How often can you jam or rehearse?
- What musical and visual aesthetic you’re going for?
Being on the same page about commitments and goals is crucial.
Don’t just ask at the start either. Ask yourself these questions often during your collaboration. Open communication is key.
It will help you both get the most out of your work together now and in the future.
2. Treat it like a jobship: A friendship and a job combined.
You’re gonna spend a lot of time with a collaborator. You better like each other as friends first!
Treat your relationship like a responsibility too. Take deadlines seriously. Arrive on time. Be courteous and accountable. Remain open, flexible and kind. A critique goes down better if you let them know what’s good first. Balance how you talk about ideas but don’t pull punches either.
3. Work Work Work Work Work Ethic
Good collaboration starts with the music. Pick collaborators based on the music they make AND the work ethic it took to make it. If your work ethic, sound or both, don’t match it simply won’t work.
‘Work ethic’ means their values and how they work. So when you’re looking for someone to collaborate with ask yourself
- Are they easy to work with?
- Do you have good communication?
- Do they value the same things as you?
- Are they punctual, able to meet deadlines?
- Do your schedules match?
The most important point on that list is communication. Sharing projects and staying connected throughout the creation phase is key, and bouncing around between Dropbox, Gmail and Soundcloud is a huge hassle.
Good music collaboration needs great chemistry, but it also has to work on a practical level as well.
That means the right tools that take the confusion and hassle out of working together whether your in the same studio or thousands of miles away.
4. Set clear and complementary roles
There’s nothing worse than stepping on feet when collaborating. If the roles aren’t clear you’re gonna get frustrated.
A vital part of collaboration is every member delivering on their part of the process.
Good music partnerships are often based on individual strengths complementing others’ strengths. Let each member shine doing what they do best.
Define the roles early – whether it’s divided by instrument or by step in the songwriting process (writing lyrics, arranging, mixing, etc.). However you do it, set everyone up to excel at their strengths.
5. Make Respect and Trust a Priority
Collaborators don’t always agree—and that’s normal.
The important part is being able to express your opinions with respect and care towards your collaborators. After all, music is a very personal thing.
Don’t let egos get in the way of your work. You’re all working towards a common goal: Good music. Try every suggestion before discarding it. Let yourself be challenged and surprised.
Respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Support and encourage each other. Ask for feedback. Give feedback in a constructive and respectful way.
Collaborating means learning from listening AND learning from teaching someone else.
6. Make a plan: develop a vision and concept
A music project is exciting because it’s a whole universe. The best music projects bring you into a total world of sound, imagery, fashion and imagination.
Like Die Antwoord: in addition to their music, they’ve nailed the art of creating personas, unique videos and a recognizable aesthetic that others wanna copy.
So when you’ve found your perfect match, take some time to plan and dream together. Share music that influences you. Brainstorm your overall aesthetic and visual concept. Keep a mood board of things that inspire you.
Also think of what you want your live performance to look like (costumes? lights?) and how you’d like to be represented in press photos.
7. Have fun or don’t do it
Always remember to keep things fun for everyone involved. Let your collaborators know that you value their work. Praise them when they’re doing something really awesome.
You couldn’t have gotten where you are without each other, that’s well-worth celebrating! Cheers!
Feel free to leave your comments below.
No need to rely solely on music sales and touring to bring in the big bucks. Here are more ways your music can make money in 2021. Let’s dive in…
Having your music on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. is a no brainer.
Royalty collection is a complex business. The two most common music publishing royalty types are performance royalties and mechanical royalties.
Since the beginning of quarantine, live streaming has taken over the music scene. All the while, artists have become more creative and tech savvy than ever. Don’t get left behind! With in-person shows at bay, live streaming is the next best thing.
If you’re looking to get sustainable results by monetize your streams, you’ll need to get creative.
Here are some ideas to help you out:
- Host a Live Q&A // Promote an upcoming release by turning on a live stream and hanging out with your fans for 30 minutes. All you gotta do is hop online and start a conversation. Hosting a Q&A not only gives your fans a chance to get personal with you, it also gives you valuable feedback on what your fans want to see in the future or even which songs they want on the next album! — You get free, instant data AND the revenue from ticket sales & tips.
- Plan a Series of Live Streams // Erykah Badu stepped it up and created “Quarantine Concert Series: The Apocalypse” from her home in Dallas. The series is made up of three separate streams, all unique and full of life. For price, she charged $1 for the first, $2 for the second and $3 for the third. — Streaming is not limited to sitting down in a single room and turning on a laptop camera. Get creative!
- Stream Behind-The-Scenes // Give your fans a backstage experience they can’t get anywhere else. Show your creative process, you making beats, ask and answer questions, maybe even take some song requests and jam out with your fans. Keep it engaging, down to earth, and personal. Making this connection will foster more dedicated fans who will support you in the long run.
YouTube is another platform that continues to garner major success for independent artists. The easiest way to earn money on YouTube is with Content ID, a digital fingerprinting system that content creators (like record labels and artists) can use to easily identify and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube.
he most engaging video games have great soundtracks to go with them. There’s a reason players get so immersed in their virtual worlds, and the music is a major part of that. — Consider putting out an instrumental version of one of your best tracks just for gaming playlists.
Merch has always been a key source of revenue for independent musicians. Although live shows aren’t what they used to be, live streams are a great opportunity to keep your merch sales going strong.
Any time your song is featured in a TV show, movie, commercial, or any visual media, that’s called a “sync placement”. In addition to performance royalties you earn for airing on TV, sync placements also pay an upfront “licensing fee”, which is determined based on the song’s market value as well as the various details of how the music was used in the production.
ilm, they would also be owed “micro-sync” fees and royalties for smaller features.
Some examples of the types of common micro sync placements include:
- User generated content, i.e. YouTube
- Social media posts
- Internal company videos
- Video presentations at events and conferences
- Professional wedding videos
2020 has been hard for all of us. With this crazy year finally coming to an end, its time to look towards the future with hopeful eyes. Whatever the New Years brings, move forward with optimism! If you made it through a global pandemic, you can make it through anything.
Feel free to leave a comment below or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding music inspiration is extremely important for any songwriter, musician or artist. Sometimes our minds seems to be wells filled to the brim with ideas. Just a couple of minutes is enough to dream up a huge new project. But sometimes the well runs dry. No matter how hard you try to rack your brain for song ideas, nothing comes to mind.
To help you keep those ideas flowing, I’ve put together these tips. Inspiration is one of the most important tools in any creative’s bag. It pushes us to try new things and helps us stay excited about our work. These tips are intended to help you think creatively more often, giving you more opportunities for inspiration to hit.
What is Inspiration? Where Does it Come From?
Maybe it’s my extremely useful philosophy degree talking, but before we talk about how to get inspired, I think it’ll help if we talk about what inspiration is first.
We usually talk about inspiration as something that comes out of nowhere. We’re struck by it. It’s a “Eureka!” moment where a new idea becomes clear.
Whether it’s a new melody that you can’t get out of your head or a new idea that changes your worldview, inspiration is the excitement of discovering something new.
The trouble is we’re not always ready to think in new ways. We develop routines and create habits for how we think.
So finding inspiration is really about finding experiences that make us think differently. Here are some of my favorite techniques for creating your own inspiration.
#1: Get Out of Town
Really. Get out of town.
Finding inspiration is about breaking your mental habits. A lot of these habits can be wrapped up in the place you live.
As career coach Dr. Todd Dewett put it in an interview with Moneyish, “We get into ruts at work by following strict routines… Working in a place that’s new, you mess up those routines… waking the brain up, because you’ve changed the script.”
Getting away from your usual surroundings can do wonders for your creative process.
You don’t need to go on some grand adventure. Getting out of town isn’t about chasing excitement. It’s about getting away from what you’re used to.
Take a trip to a city or town that you haven’t spent a ton of time in. You’ll find that you have to think more actively than usual. Where should you go for food? You don’t know any of the local restaurants, so it looks like you’re going to be taking a gamble no matter what.
You don’t necessarily need to visit a city for this to work, though. The idea is to get out of your usual surroundings, one way or another.
Pull a Bon Iver and go crash in a cabin out in the wilderness for a few days. Getting away from the hustle and bustle may be all you need to focus on a new song.
Or spend an afternoon in a part of your town you don’t normally visit. Maybe there’s a weird tea shop across town you haven’t been to yet. Head there for an hour and see what lyrics it moves you to write!
Breaking your mental habits isn’t necessarily a matter of doing things that are wild and thrilling. Just going somewhere you aren’t used to will make you think about different things than you typically would.
#2: Go for a Walk
You don’t need to be a druidic mystic communing with nature to be awestruck by a massive tree that is already twice your age and will long outlive you.
Try walking around your neighborhood or a park. While you’re looking at the trees, houses, sky, or whatever, ask yourself what this place sounds like.
Don’t work too hard at it. Maybe nothing will come to mind. But perhaps you’ll hear a song come forward in response to the scene around you.
#3: Learn Some More Music Theory
Music theory can often feel like Songwriting’s boring cousin who you accidentally started an endless conversation with at a party. Despite being dry at times, music theory can be extremely helpful in finding inspiration.
Your first dive into some new music theory concept may not be all that great. You might hate what you write in Lydian mode. That being said, you may just discover a new chord change that you love. And that new chord change may provide the inspirational basis for a new song.
If you’re interested in learning more theory, I recommend checking out Rick Beato. Beato is a music theory expert and he does a terrific job of making complex music lessons understandable and engaging. He’s more focused on scoring than songwriting, but any musician can learn from his videos.
#4: Collaborate With a Friend
I’m a forgetful introvert, so this is a lesson I have to relearn on a monthly basis: Creativity doesn’t have to be a lonely activity!
I do most of my work alone in my room, and while that often works for me, making a point to go out and see friends does wonders for creative work.
Collaborating with a friend can be a wonderful way to expand your musical horizons.
Your friend will be bringing different musical styles to the table, challenging you to step outside of your creative comfort zone.
Plus, with two minds steering the message of the song, you may end up tackling a subject you don’t usually put so much thought into.
Don’t have many musically inclined friends? That’s ok! You may find that you enjoy writing with them anyways.
Even if you find that you and your friend didn’t get much work done, it will still be time spent wisely. We all need time to spend with those that are important to us.
It’s wonderful if you and your friend write a hit. But even if you end up just hanging out and catching up, you will most likely be happier than if you spent all your time working by yourself.
#5: Write With an Instrument You Don’t Normally Use
Typically write on piano?
Switch things up by toying around with a guitar. You may find yourself refreshed by the parts you write on an instrument you don’t know as well. It’s also worth mentioning that some things that are easy on one instrument are near impossible on another. Try out an instrument you wouldn’t normally play and see how much it changes your work. You may just find that it becomes a recurring part of your songs.
#6: Write About a Fictional Character
Songwriters and poets have been writing from the perspective of fictional characters since these art forms first began. Whether you’re Homer writing about the adventures of ancient Greek soldiers or a middle aged pop-punker singing about how hard it is to be 16, not everything you write has to be entirely from your point of view.
Coheed and Cambria are a solid example of musicians who use stories about fictional characters as metaphors instead of writing about the literal events of their own lives.
Coheed’s albums are about a space opera the lead singer, Claude Sanchez, has written. The story, while fictional, is largely about events from his actual life.
If you’re having trouble thinking of something that’s happened to you that you want to write about, write a story instead.
Dream up a fictional setting you’d be interested in living in. Is it a big city or a rural town? What’s the weather like? The politics? What is it known for?
Now think up a character who lives there. What is that person’s life like? What do they do?
Once you’ve got a solid idea of who this character is and how the relate to the world around them, try writing a song about it.
It may feel disingenuous at first, but in all likelihood the story you create will echo a lot about your personality since you will be the one who created it.
#7: Relax and Reflect
Be open to inspiration. The most important part of finding inspiration is your own attitude.
Being open to new ideas and experiences is more important than leaving town or going on a music theory knowledge binge.
Your hike in the wilderness won’t be particularly helpful if you’re stressed out the whole time, getting frustrated with yourself about how you NEED to be inspired RIGHT NOW.
It’s also worth noting that inspiration works differently for different people. While the practices I’ve listed above help many people, they’re be no means the only things that work.
Think back on times where you felt particularly excited about working on a project.
Where were you?
What were you doing?
Were you alone or were there people with you?
The answers to these questions can tell you a lot about where you draw inspiration from and what kinds of circumstances make you feel more creative.
Feel free to comment below about how you find new inspiration.
Do you ever doubt yourself, your art, or your abilities?
You’re not alone. It’s easy to feel vulnerable when you’re promoting and selling an extension of yourself. So how do you build self-confidence that keeps the negative thoughts at bay?
1. Overcome the Impostor Syndrome
Quite a few artists are going through imposter syndrome. They have difficulty marketing and selling their artwork and feel inadequate. I suggest artists recognize that no one knows their artwork as well as they do. Artists often forget that.
The key is to understand you are the expert of your art and be authentic. It’s as simple as that, but people can have a hard time absorbing it. They’re scared they’ll make a mistake. But, how can you make a mistake when you’re talking about your own creations? It’s impossible.
Give yourself permission to be the expert. No one knows your artwork better than you do.
In reality, whatever you say—as long as it’s authentic—people are going to believe it. How can people question you about your artwork when they don’t have the grounds to? There is nothing to be afraid of as long as you can verbalize your ideas.
2. Do Your Own Reality Check
It’s easy to let negative thoughts invade your brain—no one will buy my art, no one will care, I’m not good enough, etc.
Identify those thoughts and ask yourself if they are valid thoughts. Ask yourself if you have evidence to support them. If you have no evidence, then they aren’t accurate. People attend your events because they’re interested in you and your art. So, just ignore the negative thoughts that invade your mind.
Actively bring yourself back to reality and back to rational thinking. Get the negative thoughts out of your mind and think logically. People are there to see your artwork because they want to know more.
3. Challenge Yourself
Self-confidence comes when you prove to yourself that you can do it. Competence is the first cornerstone of building self-confidence according to INLP center. When you know you can perform a task, you will be on your way to a greater sense of self-confidence.
Push yourself past the fear of failure and embarrassment by getting out of your comfort zone. It can be scary, but put yourself in situations where you have to grow. The more you do it, the more your fears will lessen. Whether it’s selling artwork, presenting to a curator, or marketing your art, put yourself in that uncomfortable situation. Challenge your comfort zone, but don’t forget to prepare yourself for it.
Serial entrepreneur and professional inventor Chris Hawker says “Breakdowns are often the path to breakthroughs!” So, force yourself to design a new path and create a new future.
4. Find a Support Group You Trust
We tend to beat ourselves up about mistakes. Instead, try other things, be patient, and be persistent. Some people are born with persistency and others need support. Decide who you are and what you need.
If you need a support group to cheer you up or hold you accountable, find a few people who are willing to do this for you. A couple of artist friends are an ideal support group. Ask them for help, brainstorm, and do it together. It’s a two-way situation. There is nothing wrong with needing support. Give yourself permission to need and ask for help. And don’t feel guilty about it. Support groups build up confidence. You can hear other people’s perspectives, and you might find out that your own perspective is skewed. You might realize that you really can do it.
5. Compare Yourself to Yourself
There’s no reason to compare yourself to others because each person is unique. It’s like comparing apple and oranges. They are unique in shape, color, and taste so it doesn’t make sense. It makes self-worth contingent on achievement. You start saying I need to be better than so and so. There’s so much competition in our society and it’s not a healthy approach. It’s unrealistic to compare yourself to others who have different lifestyles, opportunities, and unique talents. It makes more sense to compare yourself to where you were to where you are now.
Comparing your own growth leads to growth. Comparing yourself to others leads to doubt and a lack of confidence. So, give yourself goals – such as a six month or one-year goal. Ask yourself what do you want to accomplish? Remember you have your own energy, your own opportunities, and your own experiences. Embrace it. Focus on your own growth and inner self – not the competition.
6. Focus on the Process, Not the Failures
If something happens along the way that you didn’t expect or a mistake was made, analyze the situation instead of giving up. That’s when a support group comes in handy. Have conversations with them and analyze the situation together. Discuss what led to what you perceived to be a failure.
Learn what not to do and how you can do better next time. That’s how you grow. You have to learn from the mistakes and challenges you’ve faced. If you don’t want the same outcome, then analyze ways to look at the situation.
7. Become a Lifelong Learner
It’s important to constantly educate yourself and think about your artwork and artist statement.
Think about why your art matters and why people should care. Meditate on that and understand your own work. Put your ideas together in a way you can express them to others. And, learn as much as you can when it comes to sales and marketing. You have to continuously learn and pursue professional development opportunities. Knowing how to verbalize your art when you deal with sales and marketing will only help you.
Strive to become a lifelong learner and celebrate that.
Let me know how you build your Self-Confidence in the comments below or email me on email@example.com