9 Common Mistakes DIY Musicians Make and How To Avoid Them!
The blog brings in musicians from multiple genres, ages and walks of life. We work with many musicians weekly, helping their careers progress and supporting their new releases.
Working with so many talented musicians is ace. Still, we see common mistakes repeatedly happening, so we thought it would be helpful to put together the most common errors that are easy to avoid – if you are aware of them.
Below, find the nine biggest crimes (too strong? It got your attention!) that we see, so have a read-through and make sure you avoid the practices that could be holding you back!
Know Your Strengths (and weaknesses)
Knowing what you’re good at and what work you should outsource to people who know what they are doing will save you time in the long run. Ultimately it will give you a better ‘product’ to sell.
If you are a great guitarist but a ‘give it a go’ drummer, do not record the drums yourself. Likewise, if you are great at writing compelling copy to sell your releases but your graphic design sucks, outsource that work to sellers on Fiverr or use helpful templates on sites like Canva to give you a solid base to start from.
Don’t Rush To Sign Every Contract Offered
Finding a manager or a record label who suits you as much as you suit them is hard. It’s like finding a wife/husband. So many suitors will come and go, but make sure it is right for you when you sign on the dotted line.
You don’t want to discover down the road that you made a mistake and are tied into the next five years with a company you can’t work with or aren’t working for you.
When you are offered ANY music contract, research the company thoroughly and make sure they are what YOU need. Also, getting it checked by a legal professional is always advisable before signing anything.
Educate Yourself – Have A Solid Marketing Strategy
This is a BIG one.
It’s so exciting/tiring/emotional to have gone through the process of writing, recording, mixing, and mastering music releases ready for the world to hear. But unfortunately, a common mistake musicians make is not being prepared for what comes next.
Not educating yourself means you blinding fumble in the dark, hoping for results.
Whether you have a budget or not, there are plenty of quick and easy ways to get music promotion. But, first, you need to know which keys will open the doors you want.
You need a clear marketing strategy to ensure that your music receives the recognition it deserves. You do not need a manager or record label backing you. Back yourself.
If you need help with this, check out our course here!
Don’t Be Impatient
Indie musicians have to pay their dues. It’s just the way it is.
If you are playing the dodgy gigs, being offered unscrupulous contracts and being contacted by a gazillion Spotify Playlist curators promising you the world for $200+, you are doing it right.
From these experiences, you will learn not to say yes to everything, what works for your music promotion strategy and what does not. It isn’t a simple process, but it is one you can learn daily and improve as you release more music, giving you a solid foundation to build from.
You should always quality control everything you put out. Every part of your brand needs to be correct, from music, artwork, emails, and texts. Make sure you personally sign off on everything so you know every detail is accurate. Then, check, double check and then check again.
Getting your grammar correct on press releases, correspondences, and any communication will level up your professional game. Mistakes make you look unprofessional, and remember that first impressions count! Use free software such as Grammarly to ensure you hit the right tone the first time.
We have lost count of the number of times we have seen bands and artists who get a little bit of success change the way they conduct themselves. It’s just ugly.
Success is power, and you need to remember that the people you pass on the way up are the same people you pass on the way down.
Always be polite to everyone, from the runner to the top-level executive boss. Manners go a long way in any industry. Especially music.
Invest In Yourself
I know in the times we live in today, it can be hard to put money aside to invest in yourself to ensure your career is progressing forward. But if you can put 5% of your monthly take-home money to reinvest in yourself, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Even better, create a way where you can make your income that’s sole purpose is to propel your career forward. If you want some ideas on how to do this, check out our free How To Create a Music Marketing Budget With No Upfront Costs blog.
Collect ALL the Money You Deserve
So many DIY musicians miss out on the money they deserve simply because they do not know how to collect it or where it is waiting for them.
Make sure you collect the money you are owed for ALL of your music. If you need more help with this, see our free 24-Point Music Revenue Checklist √ here.
Have A Positive Attitude
It is darn hard being a DIY musician, and friends and family don’t always understand the career you have chosen.
‘When are you going to get a real job?’ is a question you are probably being asked numerous times, but you need to block out the negativity.
Instead, focus your energy on the positives you get when making and promoting your music. The little wins are the things that add up and make for big successes.
Your career choice of being an indie musician gives you the freedom to be as successful as you wish without having your salary capped or possibilities limited.
Embrace the freedom, keeps your eyes on the prize and push your career forward. If you don’t believe you can do it, why should anyone else?