Start Music Career

15 Essential Things You Need to Know to Start Your Music Career

By Marketing Basics, Music Business 16 Comments

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 think about when setting the foundation for 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, I think you still need to apply these steps. 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. Read More

Gary Vee Music Artist

Who is Gary Vee and Why Music Artists Should Follow Him

By Motivation, Strategy No Comments

There are two people that ultimately inspired me to start D4 Music Marketing. Gary Vaynerchuk (or Gary Vee) is one of them.

For those who don’t know, Gary Vaynerchuk is a successful American entrepreneur, marketing expert and online personality. When it comes to entrepreneurship and the current climate of attention, Gary’s rhetoric and outlook are spot on.

As a music marketer, my core approach to my blog content and developing my personal brand is heavily influenced by Gary Vee. Although his marketing strategies and approach to business are not unique to him, Gary does an excellent job of communicating it in such a clear and practical way that I believe all artists should listen to what he has to say if they want a good chance at making it in the music business.

In a way, this post is a tribute to him and acknowledgment of his role in the creation of my blog, but also to convince artists like yourself why you should listen to what he says.
Read More

Online Stalker

7 Ways Musicians Can Protect Themselves Online from Stalkers

By Security One Comment

You don’t have to be a celebrity to have stalkers. As an artist, especially if you’re a woman, putting yourself out there on stage or even behind the screen on social media, generates a lot of attention, making you a potential target of identity theft or a victim of stalking or harassment.

As you become more established as an independent artist, it’s very important for you to think about your safety and security. Stalking can happen to anyone and the tools available on the internet make it easier than ever for someone to find out personal information about you and track what you are doing. Even if you aren’t celebrity famous, someone who may not be the most mentally or emotionally stable might take an unhealthy interest in you. Read More

Apps for Musicians

33 Mobile Apps to Help Make Musician Life Easier and Productive

By Apps No Comments

Last updated on 3/2/2020.

As an artist, it may actually be easier to maximize productivity now when you’re not in front of your laptop or home computer. This is because the apps we have on our smartphones now allow us to get so much done on the go.

I put this list of apps together I felt would be very useful for musicians to manage their day-to-day tasks, create new content, and promote their music. My suggestions are based on apps I have used as well as some of the artists I work with. For this blog, I want to stay away from the painfully obvious ones like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Mailchimp. Read More

More Spotify Followers

How to Get More Spotify Followers (Tips for Musicians)

By Music Streaming, Social Media, Spotify 3 Comments

Looking for more Spotify followers? As of 2018, Spotify is the top music streaming subscription platform right now worldwide with over 207 million active users (96 million are paying subscribers). As Spotify continues to grow and offer new tools to help you succeed as an independent artist, it makes sense to devote time and effort to increase your number of followers on this platform.

One of the biggest benefits of having Spotify followers is that fans receive email notifications when you put new music on Spotify or announce new shows (if you use Songkick.com). Your songs also show up in their Release Radar playlist and possibly other algorithmic playlists from Spotify. Read More

Super Fans Isaiah Rashad

4 Easy Communication Tweaks To Help Convert Fans Into Super Fans

By Branding, Music Business, Social Media, Strategy No Comments

Since 2008, there’s been a popular hypothesis floating around the internet about how artists can make a sustainable living if they are able to earn roughly 1,000 super fans.

Unfortunately with so much competition for attention now, that number may be more. However, the idea behind this is to help dispel this notion that you need thousands or millions of fans to make it as an independent and that living off music is more attainable than it seems. Read More

Think Fan Funnel

Want to grow your fan base effectively? Think funnels. Fan funnels.

By Marketing Basics, Music Business, Strategy No Comments

If you want to grow your fan base effectively, you need to think about funnels. Of course, I am not talking about an actual physical funnel, but metaphorically speaking.

In business, a sales funnel (or similarly a buyer’s journey) is a process that consists of different stages or touchpoints that potential customers pass through as they become more interested in your products and services until they reach the desired action or sales transaction at the end.

As artists and musicians, your customers (or fans) go through different stages as well to take the ideal action at the end of the funnel, which is typically to buy your music and pay to see your show. However, instead of sales funnels, I like to think of it as a fan or relationship funnel when talking about music. Read More

Branding Butterscotch

The Basics of Branding for Musicians: Setting Your Brand Foundation

By Branding, Marketing Basics No Comments

If you’ve read my first blog about the importance of branding for musicians and some basic terminology, then you’re ready to start laying the foundation for your own brand.

One of the most important assets you have is your brand, and your brand’s effectiveness is determined by how well you are able to connect with people on an emotional level. Why? Because not everyone will listen to your music when they come across it. Instead, they will have to make decisions about you based on your name, online presentation, bios, descriptions and everything else that relates to you. If these aspects don’t get their attention or resonate with their identity, then they are less likely to listen to your music.

In this blog, I will go over the 4 general steps that are essential to help you build your own brand. Read More

Branding Butterscotch

The Basics of Branding for Musicians: Simplifying the Terms (Part 1 of 3)

By Branding, Marketing Basics One Comment

“Your music is the last thing that matters. Once they listen to your music, your music it the only thing that matters.” – Lisa Lepine (Music consultant)

It’s normal to think that your music is the most important asset you have as a musician. I mean, it is but it isn’t. Your music is only important if you can actually get people to listen to it, and it’s become increasingly harder to get someone to press play for the first time in this new digital world.

Many think being a musician means throwing some songs on some social media accounts and hope that something will magically catch on. Yeah, that’s not happening.

The fact is, there’s just so much great talent out there competing for attention that it’s not easy for musicians to stand out of the clutter. With so many options for music and entertainment, people have to make judgments and decisions about what they may or may not like before actually hearing the music. Read More

Chance the Rapper in Sacramento

Was Chance the Rapper lucky? 7 Principles Indie Artists Can Apply From his Success

By Branding, Music Business, Music Distribution, Strategy No Comments

Whether or not you are a fan of hip hop, I’m sure you’ve probably heard or seen the name Chance the Rapper before.

I had the chance to see Chance the Rapper live here in Sacramento recently on April 27, 2017. Although I can’t say I’m a huge fan, he does make great music and a down-to-earth guy you want to root for.

Those who have read a few of my previous blogs know that I have referenced Chance a few times as the poster child for this paradigm shift that music should be freely accessible. Embracing this shift is a mindset and approach I believe will be critical to the future success of all musicians. Offering your music without a price tag and knowing that the days of records sales are dying so all musicians need to start adopting now. Read More