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How to Create Short Form Videos to Gain New Fans As A Musician

By Music Marketing, Music Promotion, Video One Comment

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the number one problem emerging artists have is marketing their music to gain new fans and grow a loyal fanbase. It’s the most common question that I see in my inbox.

In our current climate right now, the key to get yourself in front of potential fans in a cost effective way is through short form video content. Typically, musicians will associate this type of short form content with the dance, lip sync and crazy challenge videos found on TikTok. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be any of that. This trend of short form videos can actual be quite simple and more in line of what’s natural for musicians.

In this blog, I cover all the basics you need to know about how to go about creating short form videos as a musician for promoting your music on social media. Read More

Living Legends. Photo by D4 Nguyen.

9 Lessons Today’s Musicians Can Learn from the DIY Independent Music Ethos of the 1990s

By Music Business, Music Promotion No Comments

We all know it’s hard to get your music noticed and grow a fanbase in today’s content saturated world. Have you ever thought about how much harder it would have been to make a living with your music as an independent artist WITHOUT the internet and social media? Or how about without powerful computers (desktops, laptops, smart phones) to conveniently record and produce music from home?

In this blog, I want to share some key lessons we can learn from DIY independent music artists from the 1990s, specifically in the underground hip hop scene in the United States. Even if you don’t listen to or make hip hop / rap music, you should be able to learn something and gain perspective that applies to you today. Read More

How Musicians Can Maximize Merch Sales At In Person Shows

By Merch, Music Business No Comments

You’ve put a lot of thought into creating the right designs for merch based on your brand and music. With those designs, you decided on the best way to get those items made. Now, it’s time to sell!

For many independent artists, live shows don’t come as frequently so you want to make sure you’re maximizing these opportunities to sell when you’re performing live.

In this blog, we’ll go over all of the basics that you should keep in mind for selling merch in person and some tips to maximize your efforts. Read More

20+ Tactics for Musicians to Beat Social Media Algorithms in 2023

By Facebook, Instagram, Social Media, Twitter No Comments

The one thing that never fails to piss off creators and artists are social media algorithms!

The days of free organic reach have been well behind us. Basically, ancient history at this point. Although the perception of how TikTok serves content to users seems to be more favorable, the complaints have more so been with Instagram and Facebook (both owned by Meta of course). To be fair, the YouTube algorithm doesn’t share your new video uploads to all of your subscribers either.

What can musicians do to overcome this challenge with algorithms? Or is it even the source of the problem in the first place? In this blog, we’ll explore that and cover a list of tactics for you to try and “beat” the algorithm. Read More

Are Social Media Algorithms Intentionally Suppressing Sales Posts To Screw Over Artists?

By Facebook, Instagram, Social Media, Twitter One Comment

Note: This is an option blog piece that is a bit different from what I usually publish. It is meant to be a complementary piece to go with my Tactics For Musicians To Beat Social Media Algorithms blog.

Whenever a musician posts about tickets to an upcoming show or new merch, there can be a noticeable dip in engagement and organic reach compared to other types of posts. I’ve seen it happen firsthand many times. Does this always happen? No. Have I seen sales types of posts do really well organically? Yes.

The commonly held belief is that social media platforms will intentionally suppress the organic reach of any posts that involve trying to sell something to force creators to buy ads to reach their followers.

I hear about it all the time within my circles. I’m no stranger to conspiracy theories myself but I also strive to be objective as a mediator-type personality and a professional in the industry.

Although this line of thinking makes a lot of sense and it’s hard to argue against this belief considering that’s their major source of income, there is also another major factor at play. Read More

Beginners Guide to AI For Musicians: How Artificial Intelligence Can Boost Your Music Career Now

By AI (Artificial Intelligence) No Comments

Parts of the blog were written with the assistance of ChatGPT. All images used in the blog, including the header, were generated using MidJourney.

Not too long ago, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) were all the rage in 2021. But more recently, AI has been the buzzword coming into 2023. Aspects of AI, like the infamous social media algorithms, have been the musician’s archenemy over the past several years with sharp declines in organic reach, but will AI become the final boss or the hero to save the day?

With the rise of artificial intelligence, AI stories have been taking over more and more headlines, newsfeeds and conversations. There’s no way that the mention of AI and all of the headlines it has made hasn’t come across you on social media or within your social network.

The big question is what does this mean for artists, creatives and musicians? Is AI’s rise a blessing or a curse? Can AI replicate human creativity? Who owns the copyright to what AI produces?

In this blog, I explore the good and the bad (mostly good) with AI as it relates to independent musicians. If you’re new to AI, this beginner’s guide is a great place to start. I also share 25+ AI tools you should consider trying. Because many of these AI tools are free to use or have a free plan, I highly encourage you to give them a shot and start experimenting with the technology.
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5 FREE Live Performance Discovery Platforms For Musicians To Apply

By Discovery, Live Performance, Video One Comment

Getting noticed as an emerging, independent artist is not easy. Thankfully, there are opportunities for you to get exposure to be discovered and potentially grow your fan base. The best part is it’s FREE to apply!

In this blog, I share 5 live performance discovery platforms that basically any musician can apply for a chance to get featured in front of new potential fans.
Read More

Beginners Guide for Filing Taxes as a Musician – Part 2: 5 Tips To Get Started

By Music Business No Comments

Please Note: I am not a financial advisor or tax consultant. The contents of this blog is for educational purposes only. Nothing contained here is financial, legal, tax or accounting advice. Be sure to talk with a professional tax consultant or accountant if you’re unsure about filing taxes as a musician. The information contained is specifically for those who live and work in the United States.

Have you started bringing in income from music and you’re unsure of how to prepare for taxes?

Being able to earn money as a musician is the first key step from something just being a hobby to becoming a full-time professional. Unfortunately, this is also where income taxes kick in and things can get complicated quickly.

In this blog, which is part 2 of my beginners guide for filing taxes, I’ll cover 5 fundamental tips on how independent artists should get started with accounting for their music business. Also, I share a list of expenses you may be able to write-off as a musician. Read More

Beginners Guide for Filing Taxes as a Musician – Part 1: Frequently Asked Questions

By Music Business No Comments

Please Note: I am not a financial advisor or tax consultant. The contents of this blog is for educational purposes only. Nothing contained here is financial, legal, tax or accounting advice. Be sure to talk with a professional tax consultant or accountant if you’re unsure about filing taxes as a musician. The information contained is specifically for those who live and work in the United States.

As gratifying as it may be to make a living off your art, the tough reality of being an independent artist is that you’re required to handle not only the creative side, but all aspects of the business. This includes filing tax returns with the good folks at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Whether you’re just starting out or on the path to pursue a full-time career as a professional musician, you want to make sure you educate yourself with the basics around filing taxes and creating an accounting system for your finances related to the business. Even though tax returns are due in April, it’s never too early to learn, especially if you want to take this music thing more seriously.

In this blog, I’ll cover common questions newer artists pursuing music professionally may have about filing taxes as a self-employed musician. Read More

Start Music Career

16 Essential Things You Need to Know to Start Your Music Career in 2024

By Marketing Basics, Music Business 26 Comments

2024 Update: This blog was originally published in 2018, but I recently updated it to reflect the changes I’ve seen in the past 6 years.

Have you recently decided that you want to pursue your passion for music, but have no idea where to start? If you’ve been doing music as a hobby for a while now and you want to get more serious, you’re in the right place.

In this blog, I cover all the major pieces and beginning steps you will need to take for starting your music career as an independent artist. Although this guide caters more towards performing artists, singer-songwriters, bands and rappers, I feel a lot of this can still apply to producers and instrumentalists as well.

Even if your end goal is to sign with a major music label, you’ll still need to take these steps to build your foundation. Just know that in the current climate of the music industry (thanks to the internet) you are no longer dependent on music labels to make a career in music, especially the majors. You have the freedom to do it yourself and have complete ownership. Read More