Want To Be Heard In The Crowded Indie Music Scene? Uniquify Yourself!

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Are you following the crowd? Trying to play at all the places the other indie bands you know are playing?

In today’s indie music scene, it is more important than ever to call attention to yourself and your art by standing out from the crowd. That is why it is so important to find your unique qualities and promote them.

In the search for acceptance, so many music performers try to be like the artists everyone already knows and likes. But that artist became known and liked because they stood out from the rest.

What makes you stand above the fray? What quirks, physical attributes, vocal qualities, instrumental prowess, or personality differences help make you the artist you are? Are you incorporating those aspects of yourself into your biography, upfront, and not buried in the third or forth paragraph?

Audiences, fans, and industry professionals look for something new, something unique to connect with all the time. Can you give them that?

Take a really good look at yourself and your act and consider how you may be able to uniquify yourself. Find those qualities you may have wanted to hide in the past thinking no one would like or you might have been embarrassed to show, or be, or write about. Audiences want to see something interesting, be a part of something new and exciting. The media is looking for something exciting to share with their audiences. The same old, same old just doesn’t cut it. So find your unique qualities and talk about them, let them shine, and let them propel you above the crowds of other performers. Do something interesting… uniquify yourself!

Read More
Indie Music Marketing Strategies (April 2012)
Excerpt from our guide, 10 Effective Strategies to Get Your Music Noticed: Promotional Strategies for Independent Musicians.

Press Kit Posts: Advice on Press Releases, Band Bios, Publicity, and More (June 2012)

Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com.

Jeri Goldstein is president and founder of Performingbiz. Formerly an agent and manager, Jeri is a dedicated author and music business consultant providing resources, instruction, and consulting services to music artists to help them create a successful touring career. Her award-winning book, How To Be Your Own Booking Agent, THE Musician’s & Performing Artist’s Guide To Successful Touring, is used by performers worldwide and by music business courses in the USA and Canada.

This post was excerpted from Jeri’s second book, The Tiny Guide To Huge Success 100 Biz Boosting Hot Tips to Ignite Your Performing Career. Disc Makers’ Echoes readers get a special $5 discount off the book by using the discount code WJ2JJ53Q in the space provided on the order form. Get your copy today!

12 thoughts on “Want To Be Heard In The Crowded Indie Music Scene? Uniquify Yourself!

  1. I find so many musicians playing and/or singing to pre-recorded tracks and/or machines….how origional is a “cookie cutter” performer following the trends waiting to be discovered on youtube. Reminds me of the “guitarist” I met…..he played Guitar Hero…….sheesh.

    Jane Rosenbohm
    Guitar Extraordinaire®

  2. if you want to stand out write or find great songs &/or be a great performer. because not too many musicians are capable of doing either.

  3. Great advice, but I’ve more often heard the opposite. I’ve been advised to compare myself to other artists so people will have an idea what I sound like when reading my bio. I’ve been advised to label myself with a particular genre so venues will know whether I’m “appropriate.” Folk people think I’m too rock and rock people think I’m too folk, but I don’t sound like other folk-rock artists. I’ve been told, “People don’t expect to hear classical and Broadway influences in folk music.” What makes me unique has caused me some real headaches when dealing with the non-creative types in the music biz.

    1. I hear you, Rebecca, but it gets worse — I remember getting a CD in the mail (unsolicited, of course) about marketing your music that was filmed at one of these conferences.  The big moment occurred during one of these panel discussions, where the consensus about finding success boiled down to — drum roll, please — “Write more songs for 12-year-olds, because they’re the only ones who buy CDs anymore.”

      I say, follow your own path — ’cause you’re not gonna make a boatload of money, anyway, in most cases — but for every person who does their own thing, there’s 10 more who can’t seem to resist the lure of filthy lucre.  Do the best you can, cross your fingers and keep a cast iron stomach –you’ll need that armor when you butt heads with all those non-creative types!

      1. If people in the biz think success means writing for 12-year-olds, it’s no wonder that major label market share is shrinking and indie market share is growing. Of course, indie market share includes so many small-time artists that few make much money, as you say. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Original music keeps me going.  Covers pay the bills at this time.  If I couldn’t do originals, I would probably give it up though.  If I can’t be creative in the process, music is no fun.  I would add that putting your personal touch on any cover takes some work.  We’ve got to feel our music or no one else will. 

  5. That has what has always bothered me about the tendency for people to want to know who you sound like. if i am playing original music in my style i should sound like me and no one else. BoomBangTwang, Maine’s only soul stirring swamp rock funkabilly band. http://www.boombangtwang.com  

  6. So true Jeri. One can not expect to stand out if they are a carbon copy. In the performing business one can copy and hope “somebody” will make them a “star”….better luck with the lottery.

    Finding your own style and creating your market is a more realistic approach, but it requires work. If you watch America’s Got Tallent you have to realize the number of talented people that did not make the cut…and the blur from sameness.

    Part of standing out is finding your own way…if you are creative you can see the way…as you progress down your path to success you will start to start to stand out. You won’t stand out standing in line with the masses waiting to be discovered.

    Jane Rosenbohm, Guitar Extraordinaire®

  7. I agree wholeheartedly with this great article. I spent the last few years a bit on the copying-other-people side of things and my career went nowhere, but now that I’m trusting my creative instinct and daring to stick out a bit and risk criticism, my following is growing and other musicians are excited to work with me. It’s actually both amusing and very encouraging to have a small, devoted following who have as yet only heard SAMPLES and works in progress.

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