The music DIY revolution has done one thing more than any other: it’s put this industry in the hands of any musician who wants to participate. Although new technologies and fresh ideas have allowed musicians to do things musicians in the past may have only dreamt about, the story of the last 10 years alone has been one of lowering every barrier -- from making the music to getting it to your fans. In fact, every aspect of the music industry is now available to you, and nearly all of them free or very inexpensive.
For example, high-quality recording was something that had to be done in major studios. Now you can do it in your bedroom. And once the music was recorded, worldwide distribution required manufacturing, trucks, and huge upfront investments. Now it's free, and you can make money on every sale.
There's at least five things you can DIY today that wasn't possible before the internet revolution. Check out this list to see if you're getting the most of these for your own career:
If you aren't building a team to help create opportunities for your music, you're not likely to succeed. Every movie and TV show ends with long lists of credits -- people who helped bring the show to life. However, when it comes to music, we tend to forget this applies to every release. And yet, with the DIY musician, there's an expectation that "DIY" means "do it ALL yourself". You can't get the same results as the mainstream acts you're likely comparing yourself to without a team, so build one and delegate.
2. Contract Help.
Some of the musicians we've consulted with were geniuses of building an entire music business inexpensively using sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and 99Designs. If you have a gap in knowledge or skills, and no one on your team to turn to, you might just want to pay someone to handle that task. After all, most labels contract out for the skills they need rather than keep people on staff. And since most tasks can be done anywhere in the world, you have a world of talent to draw on. Just make sure to do it as a work-for-hire.
From recording and mastering software through electronic music making tools, nearly every aspect of music recording has been transformed by professional-grade tools. Best of all, they're either free, cheap, or only a fraction of the price they used to cost when compared to what was available even ten years ago. But this revolution is not limited to the music itself. There are graphics tools to help you with your branding, web tools to get your music and story out there, and video editing tools to make viral video content.
4. Sites and Services.
Getting worldwide instantaneous distribution of music, including selling and delivering your music in seconds worldwide to anyone that wants it, used to be science fiction. Now, it's something you can get for free. And it's all due to new services that didn't even exist a handful of years ago. For nearly every area of music, including getting your music heard, PR, marketing, royalties/licensing, and merchandise, there are services ready to help you. Surprisingly, many of these sites and services are free or very inexpensive. The best ones make you money if you generate the revenue generating activity (such as selling or licensing a song) but don't cost you anything to participate.
5. Information and Education.
It's not the lack of motivation that usually stops musicians from achieving the most out their business, they're often simply unaware on what to do or how to approach it. Today, the answer to nearly any specific question you might have about music or music business is a few keystrokes away. But it goes beyond your favorite search engines since training and educational classes are available on any topic you're looking for. From free YouTube tutorials (where the quality can be questionable), through high quality courses on sites like Lynda.com, Groove3 or CreativeLive.com, you can get access to how-to information about nearly any topic or equipment you have a question about.
But this goes beyond music. You can learn the business techniques you need to grow your career. Need to know more about bookkeeping for your music business? You can find the information out there. Want to know how to write a press-release? You can find sites that explain how in seconds.
When you're faced with any problem in this business, don't fret. Instead, focus on these five areas to get yourself the right help, tools, services, and especially the right information so you can succeed.
Challenge: This week, for a problem that you're facing, see if you can find help, a new tool, site or service, or education and information source to solve the problem.
- This is Why You Can't Do It Alone
- Where To Find Music Instruction Online
- The 3 Secret Steps to Successful Delegation
- The Difference Between Licensing And Royalties
- How To Get Top Dollar For Your Merchandise
- The Indie Band Survival Guide (Remixed & Remastered: Second Edition)
- Making Money With Music (15-hour Online Course)
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