How To Be An Independent Artist Successfully Thursday October 7 2021, 10:51 AM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How To Be An Independent Artist Successfully

Tips For Standing Out As An Indie Artist

Are you looking for an edge in a world where everyone is releasing thee own music, and it's really hard to get heard? Check out these tips for being an independent musician in this climate. 

Define Your Unique Sound

Take the time to discover and develop your unique artistic voice. Experiment with different genres, styles, and techniques to create a sound that sets you apart from the crowd. Authenticity and originality will help you stand out in a saturated music industry.

Build a Strong Online Presence

Leverage social media platforms, websites, and streaming services to showcase your music and engage with your audience.

Consistently release high-quality content, interact with your fans, and use targeted marketing strategies to expand your reach and build a loyal fanbase.

Collaborate and Network

Collaborating with other artists, producers, and industry professionals can open doors to new opportunities and expose you to different audiences.

Attend industry events, join online communities, and actively network with like-minded individuals to expand your connections and increase your visibility.


Focus on Visual Branding

Invest in visually appealing and professional branding elements such as logo design, album artwork, and music videos. Visual aesthetics play a significant role in capturing audience attention and creating a memorable image for your brand.

Craft Compelling Live Performances

Polishing your live performance skills and deliver captivating shows is a must for a music performer!

Put thought into your stage presence, incorporate unique elements, and engage with your audience to create an unforgettable experience. A powerful live performance can leave a lasting impression and generate buzz around your music.

Embrace DIY Ethic

As an independent artist, you have the freedom to control every aspect of your career. Embrace a do-it-yourself (DIY) mindset and develop skills in areas like music production, songwriting, marketing, and promotion.

Taking charge of your own journey will not only save costs but also give you a deeper understanding of the industry.


Build a Strong Team

While being independent means having control, it's crucial to surround yourself with a reliable team of professionals who can support you in areas where you may lack expertise.

Consider collaborating with managers, booking agents, publicists, or digital marketers who can help you navigate the industry, expand your reach, and maximize opportunities.

Remember, success as an indie artist is a combination of talent, hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of luck.

Stay true to yourself, keep pushing boundaries, and never stop honing your craft. With dedication and a strategic approach, you can create a lasting impact and stand out in the competitive music landscape.

How To Release Music As An Independent Artist

Releasing songs as an independent artist is pretty easy, thanks to technology. Fifty years back, you'd be out of luck for the most part, but now is the best time to thrive as a musician or artist without having to rely on a label!

The main thing about being independent is that you want to make sure you're always growing and learning when it comes to music industry knowledge.

You are in charge of your career and will not have any big-money company backing you or guiding you. 

What Does An Independent Artist Need?

If you're releasing music without the help of a label, there are several aspects of music releases that you need to know either how to do yourself or you will need to find someone who can provide this service for you.

Depending on the task, these resources and skills that you will need can range from simple and easy for you to do on your own, to hard to find someone who can even do it for you well. 


Depending on your music career, you may or may not need the help of a songwriter in order to be a successful artist. Many successful independent artists write their own songs or collaboratively write with people in their network. 

Related Post: 10 Songwriting Tools That Come In Handy


You will need to either make your own instrumentation as a producer or an instrumentalist, or you will need to hire someone to make the instrumentation for your songs.

Many genres in the pop world rely on big-name producers to make beats that can make a song a hit. 


You should protect your creative works by registering your songs with the Copyright office. Many people believe that you can win cases with a poor man's copyright method, but it's much better to be safe rather than to be sorry. 



Next, you'll need to find a place where you can produce a high-quality sound recording to best represent the music you worked so hard to create. Many home studios have proven to be set up well enough to rival the most expensive studios in major labels. 

Mixing and Mastering

After recording your songs, make sure you have access to an audio engineer that has a great ear for the mixing and mastering process. This can make or break the final product of your recording. 


You will need a major music distributor like Distrokid or CDbaby in order to release your songs onto popular streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. Distrokid proves to be a very reliable and affordable resource for independent artists. 

Visual Design

Before releasing your song, you will want visual elements of your work to be created. This can include cover art, canvases, and music videos.

Songs are an art form in themselves, but adding visual elements to tell the story of your song can take the experience to an entirely different level for your audience. 


Royalty Collection

Don't forget to sign up to the right places in order to receive all the royalties owed to you, especially if you have a following already. Even if you don't have a following yet, it's great to learn this process or hire someone to cover this process for you. 

Related Post: What Are Royalties? See How I've Gotten Paid 


Be sure you have a music manager with a great deal of music industry knowledge and connections to guide and manage you under your terms. These people can get you shows, grow your audience, help your networking connections, and much more.


Promotion and marketing will be the most expensive and difficult process for an independent artist. You will need to go through a process of trial and error with promoters and possibly learn some basic promotional tactics on your own. 

How Hard Is It To Be An Independent Artist?

Being an independent artist can be very challenging and rewarding at the same time.

The good thing about the independence that is paired with musical creativity is that you can have so much fun creating and learning, regardless of how much success you will get from it financially. 

Becoming a successful independent artist is very rare, especially with so many people making music now. A lot of people create songs for fun.

At the same time, a tiny percentage of independent artists put in their full consistency, effort, and budget into it in order to get a monetary return on investment. 

How Much Do Independent Artists Make Per Year?

Don't let a Google search fool you; most of us make $0 a year.

Researchers will suggest that indie artists can make around $10,000 per year on average, but those numbers only include the type of independent artist who has chosen to be an artist full-time, which most of us do not.

Even then, $10k a year for putting in around 40 hours a week is pretty rough. This is why you hear the term "starving artist" so much.

Related Post: How Much Does It Cost To Make An Independent Music Video?


Successful Independent Artists 

Do note that some on this list were first signed to a major label and then went independent.

This is very commendable to do regardless of where you come from, but their exposure from their previous success as major signed musicians plays a big factor in their overall success.

There have been many, many successful independent artists in the last decade that are worth mentioning, but I'll only include a small few here for examples. 

Macklemore - Hit the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label in 2014. 

Tinashe - Found more success and a better sound as an independent artist after leaving RCA. 

Tech N9ne - Went independent after 2000 and found success and longevity in his career by starting his own label with business partner Travis O'Guin. 

Chance The Rapper - A popular rapper that blew up in the industry without a label's help. 

Yona Marie Music Marketing Manual

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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