The Tip Jar Effect

The Tip Jar EffectRemember the Seinfeld episode where George goes to give the guy a tip at the pizza place, but the guy doesn’t see him put it in the jar and he tries to reach in and take his money back?

It’s funny because most of us can relate to it (well, hopefully not the part about reaching back into the jar!). If we’re being totally honest, when most of us give someone a tip we want them to see us doing it. We want them to feel like they’re getting hooked up and a part of us wants to be acknowledged for making a contribution. Read more…

5 Habits That Will Make You a More Successful Musician

There are a lot of posts out there that have great tips for becoming a more successful musician by using things like social media, sales techniques and email marketing strategies. I wanted to take a bit of a different approach and look at getting better results by improving the foundation that those things are built on…YOU! By changing some of your unconscious habits you can literally multiply your results in just a matter of months. Read more…

Re-Energize Your Career

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Like your shows are not quite as fun for you as they used to be? Has your audience started to shrink and lose interest? Then now might be a good time to take a step back and reflect on where you are and what you can do to change.

If your audience has started to dwindle then chances are you’re feeling anxious, depressed, sad, etc. Not exactly the right frame of mind to put off an attractive energy that’s going to make people want to forget about whatever else is going on, get in their cars and pay to come see you play. Read more…

Are You an Artist or Just Someone Who Plays Music?

Many of us use the term ‘independent artist’ or ‘recording artist’ to describe ourselves, but are we really artists, or are we just people who play music?

To answer that question we need to decide what it means to be an artist. Many of us grew up in an environment where we were only taught what art means at a superficial level. Maybe our first definition of an artist was someone who was really good at making realistic paintings or drawings or maybe someone who made weird abstract creations that were supposedly only understood by special people. Read more…

Combining Forces = WINNING!

Combining ForcesBeing an independent artist doesn’t mean you need to take the word ‘Independent’ too literally. Chances are, you’re missing big opportunities to take your career to new levels if you’re not actively looking for chances to join forces with other artists and industry pros. A piece of something big is worth a lot more than all of little or nothing. If you feel like you’re bashing your head against the wall trying to get people to your shows or to buy your music on your own then changing your approach can make all the difference in the world. Read more…

Licensing Your Music Ain’t Easy – Be Cool

I recently had lunch with the founder and CEO of a popular website for independent artists. It was great to catch up and hear about all the exciting things going on with the site. On the other hand it was a bit of a concern hearing about some of what he and his staff have had to put up with recently in dealing with some of the more, shall we say, frustrated and/or unstable musicians that use his services. Read more…

Leverage Your Way to Success

Scott James concertIn the course of your journey as a musician there will be some things that go right for you. What you choose to do about those things will go a long way towards determining your success (or lack thereof).

The concept of leverage is all about finding your opportunities to capitalize on the things that will give you the best return for your efforts. Read more…

10 great tips to help you fail as an independent artist

10 Great Tips to Help you Fail as an Independent ArtistWe’ve all seen and read posts and eBooks about “how to succeed” as independent artists and to be honest, I’ve even written a few. But what about those of us who are bent on failure? Those of us who would like to know how to shoot ourselves in the foot? Those of us who would like to be more unsuccessful and confused? Well this post is for you! Some of these things I’ve done myself, and I can assure you – they work amazingly well! Read more.

Progress vs. Perfection

About 8 years ago I used to smoke two packs of Marlboro Red cigarettes a day. It was hard for me to imagine what it would really take to quit. I tried to kick the habit cold turkey a few times and it just made me want to crawl out of my skin. Then I heard about the patch and decided to give it a try.

I put it on one morning and made it until about 10PM before I ripped it off and started smoking. The fact that I don’t smoke today has a lot to do with how I chose to look at what happened that day. Read more…

5 Sales Tips for Independent Artists

Sell your music better and you’ll have resources to make more music, better-sounding music, and get more people to hear it. Here are five tips to help you generate more sales:

1. Believe In Your Product
It’s difficult to look someone in the eye and ask them to buy something that you don’t believe is a good deal for them. If you’re trying to sell a CD to someone for $10 that you believe is worth $5 then you’re going to have a hard time selling it. The idea is to focus on ‘giving’ them something that’s valuable to them at a fair price. You can always tell when someone is just trying to ‘get’ something from you. Don’t underestimate the intelligence and intuition of your fans. Read more…

Stop Pushing Buttons and Start Baking Cakes

cakeDoesn’t it just stink when you do something that seems like it should work, but it falls flat and leaves you more confused and frustrated? This can seem like a way of life for many independent artists. We try to do something to promote ourselves but instead we end up just spinning our tires in the mud and getting nowhere. We want to make something happen but can’t see the relationship between our actions and our results. Read more…

Are You Too Old to Make It?

Most musicians I know hold a dream to someday ‘make it’ in the music business. To play in front of huge crowds and live a lifestyle that they can only imagine. Many of us believe that we’ll someday get there. Unfortunately most of us find ourselves growing older with an ever increasing fear that we’re missing the boat.

We’re conditioned to believe that if we’re going to make it then we have to do it at a young age. I had already started to have this feeling when I was in my early 20’s. I felt like I was slacking because I hadn’t ‘made it’ yet. Read more…

The Power in Truth

When you started singing or playing your instrument there was probably a strong reason why you picked it up. You probably had a feeling inside of you that you needed to get out; a drive to express yourself. The only problem was that you probably lacked the skill to communicate what you wanted to express effectively to the rest of the world. Getting from that point to “success” can be a path that’s lined with challenges. Read more…

20 Ways To Engage Your Fans

In this day and age there’s a lot of talk about engaging with fans. Technology has changed marketing from a one way street to a two way conversation. So now that we all know that we’re supposed to engage our fans, how do we do it? I’ve created a list to help get you started with some ideas. Read more…