This is perhaps the “selfie” generation. Never before have so many horns been tooted by their very owners. Frankly, that’s a lot of noise with which to compete. What is a self-appreciating, well-meaning artist to do? Blow harder? Louder?

In college I was ever-fascinated by the marching bands. The organization of those harmonies and the concerted effort displayed amid the open roofed, fan crazed, frenzy that ensued in the stands was nothing less than spectacular to me.

Through the playful back and forth between various sections of instrumentation, there seemed to reign a constant (perhaps even arrogant) dominance of the trumpeters. Who, after moments of being connivingly coy, pierced through and blurted out their superiority as though the keep all else in check and ensure their prowess was well recognized.

I eventually grew to appreciate a particular instrument more than all the rest; it was not the trumpet. It was the Piccolo, the miniature flute. It seemed to simply float up in the atmosphere, ever present. It could be easily missed, yet once you have grasped its unique pitch and tone, it is undeniable and somewhat addictive.

Stay with me…I assure you I’m going somewhere with this.

You want nothing more than to be heard. To develop a fan base large enough to support your music habit full-time, or at least take your career to that elusive next step.

Many musical artists, signed and unsigned, independents and traditionals, hardcore and “sell-outs” alike, all make use of mainstream distribution channels. iTunes, and GooglePlay accounts promoted by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages. So many people all playing the trumpet… but what about the piccolo?

I would encourage you to try a different route; be the piccolo. After you have partnered with your web-host and launched an easily navigable site that best expresses your essence, promote it. You have spent substantial time and a good amount of money on developing your brand (You have considered branding-haven’t you?). Time for a return on that investment. Develop your fan base directly.

Use the other channels and tools, of course, but consider them to be supplementary. Instead, aim to drive direct traffic to your very own site and drive sales through your very own site as well. There are two main benefits of this on which I want to focus:

1. Visibility. Promoting your site more than your YouTube, MySpace, or any other pages will help you acquire SEO visibility. When people Google you…YOUR site will come up, not just your YouTube and other social media accounts.

2. Analytics. Proving your worth as an indie artist is hard enough, don’t add fuel to the fire by not being able to highlight numbers! You may be an artist, but you are also in the BUSINESS of music. There is no wise business mind that would forsake the mighty metrics. Numbers don’t lie.

If you have 10,000 fans with whom you maintain direct contact and are able to prove they visit your website regularly, THAT’S A BIG DEAL! Those 10,000 fans equal a “market place.” Sponsors will pay you for access to that “market place” and it may only require something simple like wearing their logo or including their business name and link on your site. Don’t block your blessed income because you can’t show and tell.


Stay tuned for the part 2 of this article: Maximizing Your Reach; Monetizing Your Brand

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