Excel Formula To Determine Age As Of A Certain Date How to Become a Successful Independent Artist or Songwriter

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How to Become a Successful Independent Artist or Songwriter

If you want to be successful in anything, the most important skill is ATTITUDE. An old Chinese proverb once said, “90% of the journey to success ends once you step out your front door.” The reason most people fail is because they’d rather sit and watch TV.

Of course, that first step outside is philosophical. As a musician or songwriter, you spend a large majority of your time being creative. If you think that writing a good song, or playing an instrument well, is the hardest part of being a successful artist, you are wrong.

Despite all the skills you need to know to make your music shine, these pale in comparison to the hard work and other skills you need to learn to successfully record, market and sell your art.

Fortunately, many creative people seem to excel at other things. The term “jack of all trades” can easily apply to many musicians or artists. After all, the first thing most artists have to learn is how to make time for their art while running a household and holding down a day job to pay the bills! So it is not uncommon to find musicians who are physicists, engineers, IT professionals or teachers, to name a few.

Most of these people are content to keep music as a hobby, at least while raising a family. However, we all reach a stage in our lives (usually once the kids have grown up and left home), where we want to stop working for “living”, and instead, want to work for our own “satisfaction”.

There are few things in life more satisfying than being appreciated for what we have created. If our creations also manage to influence others, it is even more rewarding.

This “first step out your front door” is taken when you decide to pause from the creative side (ideas), and take a positive step toward learning new skills, or employing others who can do those things for you.

There has never been a better time in the history of mankind to take those steps, either by yourself, or by others who will help you.

–Where you used to have to get tutoring or buy books to learn songwriting techniques or play an instrument, now you can find tons of articles on the Internet (like this one!) that will help you. for free

–Where you used to have to save enough money to pay studio costs and hire session musicians to record a decent demo, you can now find all the necessary equipment on the Internet, and even musicians who will help. At little or no cost to you.

–Where you used to need to sign a record deal to be able to buy a producer and master quality studio, you can now buy your PC and some music software, and collaborate with a producer online, who will give you the ability. Making radio-ready recordings.

— Where you needed a record company with a large advertising budget to market and sell your recordings, you can now (with some hard work), market and sell your CDs all over the world.

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The music industry doesn’t like the changes the Internet has brought to the business. Digital media can be freely copied by anyone with a PC anywhere in the world. Now record companies don’t just have to worry about CD pirates making illegal copies to sell on the black market; They also now have to worry about every PC-literate man, woman and child, even making their own copies! This has led the music industry to constantly fight against file shares (making enemies of many consumers in the process) instead of embracing the business benefits the Internet has brought us.

The music industry still believes that 8-16 year olds buy the most records, so they are still primarily catering to that market. Recent industry statistics tell a different story, and the secret is the “Baby Boomers.”

Yes… the same people who created the above market perception by buying the largest proportion of records in the 70’s, when they were teenagers, are now grown up! The largest age group buying CDs today, at 26% of the population, is over 45. Not only that, but they still like the same kind of music. So there’s no need to change your art to fit into today’s teenybopper market if you’re not that inclined.

Now that we know the secret, we also know that there isn’t going to be the next big thing in music, hip-hop, techno, or another form of R’n’B; But back to real music, like it was made in the 60s and 70s. However, we will be creating it with modern equipment on a home computer DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) system rather than a multimillion pound studio complex!

So, the music industry is still hesitant to try to abandon the new digital age in favor of old business models, CD-like hardware, and markets that cover only limited areas; We can now jump ahead of them on a more level playing field, find our own markets, and sell to the entire world with just a simple website!

Sounds easy, right? … Well, that’s the first hurdle you’ll face. So many musicians think it’s easy, that millions have already done it! So to be successful you need, like any other business, a proper business plan.


The road to becoming a successful freelance musician starts with ATTITUDE.

You should find enough time in your schedule to put down the guitar and the scoresheet and use your creative energy to develop a proper business plan. It means taking a step back and listening to your music through the ears of Joe Public. You need to think of a business name, logo, and short slogan that reflects what you are, and what your music is trying to tell people.

Register your business “name” as soon as possible by purchasing a domain name that suits you.

Free MP3 sites and pages on free domains don’t give you a professional image. You should have your own site, or at least something that gives you your own unique look and features. If you want people to find your music unique and special, you also need a unique and special image. The same goes for your email address. Real business people don’t use their Hotmail, AOL, or Yahoo addresses for formal communications.

Make sure all your paperwork is in order.

If you plan to make a real living from your art, you need to be registered as a business or as a self-employed sole trader. You need to make sure your taxes and income are all accounted for, so you may need to buy yourself an accounting package, or learn to use Excel spreadsheets, or hire an accountant. There’s a lot to learn about how copyright systems work and what you need to do to register your copyright with your own publishing company, record company, or agency. This will depend a lot on the laws of your country. Alternatively, you can sign a non-exclusive contract with a small independent label or publisher to handle all the music-related paperwork for you.

You either need to develop some basic web design skills, buy ready-made templates, or hire someone to design the site for you.

Make sure your logo and color scheme flow across your site, your stationery, your CD artwork, and any other communication tool, such as email. Make sure your site includes some way to gather a mailing list, such as a feedback form or a “double opt-in” form of registration.

Plan a marketing strategy.

Marketing is all about finding the right market for your product. This may involve a certain amount of consumer research. This can be expensive, so use the Internet whenever possible to find a group of people who like the same music as you. Try to find out other things about these people so that you can get a clearer picture of who is interested in your music.

Plan a promotional strategy.

Collect contact lists of magazines, local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Plan an 8-week promotional strategy leading up to the release of your CD. Use any press, or airplay you receive as a news item on your website. If you have some money to invest, plan a set of concert dates at local venues for dates close to any release dates. Plan a poster or postcard campaign. Contact local charities, hospitals, schools and shops, virtually anyone who might be willing to play your CD in a public place. If you want local record stores to stock your CDs, you’ll also need barcodes and counter display boxes. Use the mailing list you are collecting from your site to promote any news to your fans with a regular newsletter. Offer free tickets to gigs, or run competitions for free CDs. Use your fans as an extra leverage to speed up your promotional campaigns.

Don’t sell yourself short.

Make sure any music you decide to give out as a promotional MP3 is different from the music you’re selling. EG It will either be an early un-mastered mix (demo), or a different mix, or a song you never release for sale. Otherwise, make sure all the samples you record are either short clips, or low-fi mono samples. The price you set for your release should not be much lower than the major record company releases. Your price tells your customer what “stage” you are in the business. Price yourself too low and you’re more likely to lose customers because they’ll automatically assume you’re an “amateur”.

Make yourself and your CD easily accessible to your fans.

Always reply to any email promptly. Check your emails at least once a day and respond promptly to any new inquiries. The average time most people expect for a response via email is 12-24 hours. Don’t spam. Make sure you only send bulk emails to people who have opted in to your mailing list, and if someone wants to opt out, make sure you delete them immediately (not several weeks and 10 disgruntled emails later!). To contact businesses, you need to write to each one personally and individually. Always use a business “signature” with your artistic or business name, slogan, web site address, and possibly your telephone number in every email you send. If you’ve released a CD, make sure you add a link to that too! If you have your CDs professionally duplicated and barcoded, you can expand to sell them on internet stores such as iTunes, Amazon, and CDbaby, as well as high street stores. You should sell them from your own site or at least provide links to stores where they are available.

Never stop “networking”.

Always carry your business card with you. In every conversation, if someone mentions music, or gigs, make sure you advertise yourself as a freelance artist. If you have a modern mobile phone or MP3 player, make sure your latest CD is on it! You never know who you’ll bump into at the supermarket. The first thing someone asks when you mention you’re a recording artist is “what kind of music do you play?” If you have your MP3 player, you don’t have to answer! (This is always a difficult question for an artist). You can only play them! Also make sure you frequent all music-related newsgroups, forums, bulletin boards, MP3 sites, chat rooms, etc. at every opportunity.

Finally, my “Promotional Tip of the Week”

Familiarize yourself with all the P2P file sharing systems that the music business hates so much. You can use them to your advantage. Make ad or lo-fi samples of your music or CD and label them as…


Make copies labeled with every well-known artist you like, and put all the files in your shared folder. So, when you are logged into the service and someone searches for music by these famous artists, your music will be listed in the results!

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