“[Chertkow and Feehan] are the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry” -- Billboard Magazine.
File Under: Learning More About Music and Music Business
Welcome to the The DIY Advisor -- a practical web column that will help you get your music heard, distributed, sold, booked, promoted, and seen in today’s Internet-powered music industry.
What’s this blog about?
As we've done in our critically-acclaimed book, The Indie Band Survival Guide (Remixed & Remastered: Second Edition), our 15-hour Making Money With Music online course, and our Electronic Musician articles, our goal will be to give you practical tips, advice, and, in many cases, “recipes” that you can implement right now to get your music noticed, grow your fanbase, and make money with music.
Throughout the year, we’ll cover DIY subjects such as:
- Music Business News
(SXSW 2015: What's On The Mind of The Music Industry?)
- Creating and Making Your Music
(Hey, Go Create An Album This November, What Musicians Can Learn From Improv)
- Networking and Building Your Team
(This is Why You Can't Do It Alone, The Top 4 Networking Strategies For Musicians, The 3 Secret Steps to Successful Delegation)
- Creating and Maintaining Your Persona
(Three Stories You Should Be Able to Tell About Your Music)
- Releasing and Selling Your Albums
(Think Atoms Not Bits, How to Increase Your Music Sales And Plays On Music Stores & Streaming Services)
- Creating and Selling Your Merchandise
(Making T-Shirt Designs That Sell, Five Things You Should be Doing at Your Merch Table to Make More Money)
- Marketing Your Music
(6 Obvious and Easy Marketing Ideas, One Simple Idea To Generate Tons of Marketing And PR Opportunities, How To Use Current Trends to Market Your Music)
- Getting Your Music Heard
(28 Categories of Places to Get Your Music Heard, Get Heard: How To Get Your Music Into A College Radio Station Rotation, Get Heard: How To Get Your Music On Streaming Music Stations)
- Making Videos
(Getting YouTube Views: 8 Different Types of Music Videos You Can Make)
- Booking and Performing Live
(How to Make Money Playing Shows Online)
- Building Your Web, Social, and Mobile Presence
(10 Web and Mobile Presences You Should Have, Knowing What and How Often You Should Post to Social Media)
- Creating and Maintaining Your Web Site
(How to Improve Your Music Business in One Easy Step)
- Managing Your Social Presences
(How To Use Current Trends to Market Your Music)
- Managing Your Mobile Presences
(10 Web and Mobile Presences You Should Have)
- Getting Licensed and Generating Royalties
(How to Get Paid Royalties for Performing Your Own Music Live)
- Understanding Your Legal Rights
(How To Make Sure The Music You Write Can Be Copyrighted)
- Raising Money and Crowdfunding
(Cater to the High Rollers: Minnows, Dolphins, and Whales)
- Making Money With Music
(How to Make Money from Your Music Back Catalog on YouTube, Have You Made Sure You Can Get Paid?)
- Building Your Music Business
(You Might Be Losing Business Unless You Do This One Thing)
- Learning More About Music and Music Business
(2015 Year in Review: Electronic Musician Articles, The Top 10 DIY Advisor Articles of 2015)
- Reader Questions & Answers
(Reader Questions & Answers: Timing Album Release Dates, Release Your Best Tracks, Animation Videos and More)
- Getting Media Attention & PR
(One Simple Idea To Generate Tons of Marketing And PR Opportunities, 7 Techniques that Every Musician Should Use To Get PR, 7 More Techniques That Every Musician Should Use To Get PR)
Besides giving you the same kind of practical advice on these topics that we cover in our columns, classes, and books, we’ll also:
- highlight successful ideas from independent musicians
- share in-depth interviews with thought leaders in the new DIY music business
- feature new services and websites that can help you do-it-yourself
- discuss issues in the new music industry that are affecting you
Who Are “We” Anyway?
We are primarily musicians, lead members of Beatnik Turtle, an indie band with 17 years of experience; 20 albums and over 500 songs to our name; years of live shows; music that’s been licensed to Disney, Viacom, and others; college-radio play; countless podcast plays; theater shows at venues such as the world-famous Second City; TV theme songs, music videos, Web sites, and a completed Song of the Day project where we released one song for each day of 2007 (TheSongOfTheDay.com).
But, we’re also two working professionals—an IT expert and an attorney. Together we’ve brought all the knowledge and experience from our respective disciplines to bear on our writing and teaching about the new music business. We’re similar to musicians that found that they had skills in photography and started to take pictures for bands, or discovered they were good at recording so set up a studio. Because of this, we’ve been columnists at Electronic Musician Magazine where we wrote for the columns “Industry Insider” and “The DIY Musician”, as well as feature articles and interviews. We also write on a variety of Web publications, blogs, and journals, and teach music business in our home town of Chicago as well as speak at organizations such as the NARAS/Grammy association.
In the end, though, we are indie musicians in a band. We generated the material in this blog by actually solving the problems we discuss here, plus spending years interviewing successful artists, and researching music business topics thoroughly so that we can explain it to others. In fact, everything we share is what we wish we’d had when we started out years ago
So when we say “we,” we’re talking to you as one musician to another.
Like the classes we teach, we’ll want to hear from you. Your ideas. Your challenges. Your questions. Plus, it’s only natural that as a musician you’ll want to improvise on the advice we’ll be sharing with you on this blog. Go for it. When you hit on something that works, contact us via twitter @indieguide or write us directly at diyadvisor@IndieGuide.com. We want to hear from you, and so does the indie musician community.
So, add this blog to your feed. Pop it into your Flipboard, Pulse, or other mobile reader. Bookmark it and come back each week. We'll help -- and challenge you -- to improve the business side of your music one article at a time.
- Making Money With Music (15-hour Online Course)
Photo Credit: Electronic Musician