Good news for those of you who smiled through part 1 and part 2 as today we’re adding the last 10 things to the whole 30 you should applaud yourself for because let’s admit it, you get told as an indie artist a lot more often about the things you do wrong than those you do right. In the name of dear Santa and Holy Christmas, we hope part 3 will make you proud of yourself and facilitate a confident entrance into the new year.
10. If you’ve actively shown support for other artists.
Networking with industry professionals is great. Bonding with your fans – awesome. But did you prioritize supporting your peers as well? Being liked by another artist can make the difference between being selected for a movie soundtrack or passed on. It is monumental for an artist to be supported by reputable talent as it will make the ascension and progression of one’s career that much smoother. If you already engage in actively supporting your peers, congratulations! You’ve placed all of the required cylinders in the right places.
9. If you’ve kept your health and diet in check.
Because for a musician to have higher odds of a successful career, he/she must reduce financial risks. The biggest one by far is health status. What’s the point in getting things off the ground and finally being on tour when you fall ill by the mid of it because you have vices that were only exacerbated by the added stress of having to constantly perform live in front of tens of thousands of different people? What’s the resolution when you manage to get your name in the media only for you to be unable to honor further appearances due to a tooth infection that now needs weeks to be removed, sewn, and healed? What’s the sense in working hard in your 20s and 30s only to get severely overweight in your 40s and not being able to perform with the same liveliness the catalog that put food on your plate only a couple of years prior? Longevity requires stamina. If you are an artist who prioritizes his/her health ongoingly, day in and day out, we just might draw up a flower for you because you deserve it.
8. If you’ve stayed cordial in disagreements.
Because the easiest thing to do is to get up in your feelings and curse someone out. If, however, you composed yourself in the face of rejection, doubt, and even betrayal, you have way more blessings ahead of you than you can imagine. Few are the artists who stay cordial under negative pressure but those who do, eat the ripest of fruits.
7. If you’ve gotten back on track when you slipped up.
Be it working out, staying clean, writing songs, or creating social media content, if you knew to resume these activities every time life got in the way, you are doing wonderfully! It matters terribly for a musician to stay the course and reapply self-discipline when it slips away from them. Self-discipline is the monumental ingredient that makes the natural selection between winners and drop-outs.
6. If you’ve used social events to pitch your music.
As an indie musician, you will almost never be in the perfect environment to pitch your music. Some events will have less-than-desired crowds, some will be focused on other things than music entirely, many will be poorly organized to the point of being confusing, and many will only go as far as the sponsor allows it. Yes! Many reputable sponsors force NDAs and exclusivity agreements for their events and limit the content that can be shared on social media so even if you had a stellar performance, it may not ever see the light of day due to the sponsor’s own interests. Subsequently, if you used every social event you were part of as a reason to talk about yourself and your music in a likable way and not an i-am-better-than-all-of-you way, you are winning at life.
5. If you’ve known when to take breaks.
Because doing anything repeatedly for too long will drive you to burnout and disdain for said thing. Drive is absolutely required to climb the mountains of hurdles and struggles along the way but not knowing when to stop to catch your breath will have you rolling down faster than it took you to get there. If throughout 2022 there were days when you felt overwhelmed with responsibility and acted on that exhaustion by putting your mental and physical health first, you were made for greatness!
4. If you’ve kept up with industry changes.
Nothing ever stays the same and if you wrapped your mind around the fact and even incorporated the corresponding expectation of life being dynamic, you are worthy of a shout-out from the top of the mountains! An indie artist needs to stay atop industry changes thoroughly more than a signed artist as the latter has the label as a buffer between themselves and whatever’s going on on the outside. An indie artist is far more susceptible to shifts in royalty payments, playlisting requirements, and consumer behavior. If you read your music news on a religious basis, be mega proud of your work ethic!
3. If you’ve actively analyzed your ROI.
ROI (return on investment) is not always the same for every artist. In the beginner phases of one’s career, the ROI can be views, clicks, and engagement per dollar whereas for an artist that’s past the building-a-fanbase step, the ROI will mean ticket sales, music downloads, and merch purchases per dollar invested. As a matter of fact, if you didn’t know what ROI was before reading this bit, there is a ton of work ahead of you and you need to put in more effort in 2023. But if you did and you can answer with high accuracy how many views and overall engagement you get on each platform per dollar invested, we applaud you from Italy!
2. If you’ve understood that it’s trailing and not a marathon.
Far too many artists think that they only need ONE song to be a hit, ONE person to see their true potential, ONE show to turn their life around, and well, that is just a fat lie. Truly successful musicians built themselves and their brands for many years before you found out about them. Those musicians understood that every mistake is a bad weed out of the road to the fortress that awaits them. Actually, do think of your career as a first-person adventure game in which you start with a thin cloak and cheap boots. Then as time goes by and you travel extensively in pursuit of the ultimate fortress, you stop in a village, learn a trade, work for those people, get your coins, get better clothes, upgrade your boots, add some armor, and in the process, you also recruit followers who want to be part of your new kingdom then you all leave together and continue the path in a group now. If you gave up on the thought that a horse might appear out of nowhere to sprint you to the final destination, you WILL get to your fortress and nobody will knock you down off your throne.
1. If you never thought of quitting.
Sure you must have had days when you were like “f*ck this sh*t!” But deep down, if your true call is being in the spotlight, you never entertained quitting for good. Even at your worst you still knew that in a few days you’d be back to writing songs and studying music marketing. When you sincerely love someone, you never leave them just because you feel like slapping the sh*t out of them at times. You stay, cool down, take a walk, remember the good days, and back in the house you go to ask for forgiveness from one another. Love is work but it’s work you’re glad to put in because you enjoy the benefits and rewards much more than you hate the struggle. Your music career is no different.