Hey you:

  • the one-man band
  • the bedroom pop producer
  • the indie artist with a dream

Yeah, I’m talking to you. We’re all on this crazy rollercoaster of making and sharing our music with an entrepreneurial, DIY spirit, and boy, isn’t it a wild ride? Weeeee!

You know it as well as I do: this path we’ve chosen isn’t paved with gold records just lying around or a built-in audience of people who just want to see you do your thing from day one.

It’s tough out there struggling with all the music industry problems and challenges, ignoring all the negative “face the music” talk from those closest to us, and some days it feels like we’re shouting into a void.

But hey, we’ve got this!

The (small) team at Eleven works to help independent artists figure out all the moving pieces of each of these common music industry problems that artists have to deal with every day.

Having Limited Resources

Investing in high-quality gear without emptying your bank account is like finding a needle in a haystack.

And studio time? Those costs could have you eating instant noodles for the foreseeable future.

But here’s the thing – restrictions breed creativity! I’ve seen makeshift sound booths made from blankets and witnessed the magic that a simple USB mic can bring into existence.

Whether you’re just starting or have been grinding for a while, don’t believe that the gear is the reason your recordings aren’t landing. Capturing your talent and sharing it with the world is the goal here, and the first 1,000 recordings are going to get better and improve from your own experience and experiments.

Remember, some of the most infectious beats were born in bedrooms just like yours. And practice makes progress.

Standing Out in a Sea of Tunes and Talent

Breaking through the noise of today’s digital marketplace is like trying to be heard at a rock concert. Without a mic. While whispering. In the broom closet.

But guess what? Your unique sound, coupled with the passion and expression that’s true to you – that’s your secret weapon.

It’s about honing in on what sets you apart and sharing it with the world at full volume. There’s an audience for every melody, and those fans are searching for you, just as you are for them.

Finally, pay close attention to this because I want you to pursue music for the right reasons: this is the secret weapon that will typically separate the real artists from the noise and artists who are attempting to produce music for vanity reasons (fame, etc.).

Never skew from what makes your music you. Authenticity, transparency, and passion will ultimately win. It may take longer, but you’ll be satisfied with the results and happier because of it.

The Same Story of Creativity vs. Business

We wear so many hats that I sometimes forget which head is mine:

  • the songwriter
  • the performer
  • the manager
  • the publicist
  • the booking agent
  • the promoter/marketer
  • the social media manager
  • the videographer
  • the recording engineer
  • the administrative assistant

It’s a miracle there’s any time left just to be, you know, human.

Balancing these demands is like juggling guitars, and we’re not all axe-throwing experts (especially if you play drums).

Consider each role an extension of your art. For example:

  • Songwriting is how you develop your product and message
  • Performing is how you show up to your job
  • Managing is how you stay organized and professional
  • Promotion isn’t a hurdle; it’s a megaphone for your message

To help you better appreciate all the hats, let’s put it another way: while traditional businesses are all about solving physical problems in the world by offering product and service solutions, musician businesses are all about solving emotional problems by offering feels, connections, and love by offering music.

The to-do list may be long, but look how amazing you’ve become at building your experience and skills, especially since it all ties back to your mission of bringing love and connection to the world!

Copy-what? The Ballad of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property can feel like a labyrinth with a Minotaur around every corner (fancy analogy).

It’s confusing and often daunting, and one wrong step could spell trouble.

But knowledge is power. Arm yourself with information, my friend, and conquer that beast.

Be vigilant, clear samples, cover your tracks (pun intended) and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who’ve navigated the maze before.

Mo’ Money, Less Problems? – Getting Paid Honestly

Ah, the Holy Grail of music industry problems and your DIY music career – sustainable income.

Without the backing of the big-label giants, it feels like you’re busking on the streets of the internet, hoping someone drops a dime.

So what’s the secret to building a sustainable, and hopefully profitable, revenue machine with your music?

Diversify, diversify, diversify.

In most cases, streaming and other “half-penny” income streams aren’t what you should be focusing on. You need to think bigger:

  • Get creative with your merch store, online and offline
  • Live gigs may start small, but over time you can start to ask for more based on your worth
  • Digital sales are an option, but it helps to have the True Fan base to see success
  • Licensing deals and other commercial options can be a great income stream, but it takes time to build
  • Give music lessons and share your gift with local and virtual students. Even some of the greats still teach!
  • And the list goes on…

There are more ways to monetize your music than there are strings on a guitar (6-string, 12-string, bass, any of them if you’re trying to poke holes in this guitar jab).

Time After Time: The Real McCoy

Sure, there are only twenty-four hours in a day, but who said we can’t make every second count?

Time management isn’t just a fancy term for business moguls; it’s our lifeline.

To stay afloat as musicians, we need to:

  • prioritize ruthlessly
  • delegate when you can (even if it’s just to a trusty songwriting app)
  • use time blocking and task themes to stay organized
  • remember to carve out a moment for inspiration to strike (all work and no play…)

Of all the music industry problems on this list, time management may be the one that causes the most frustration.

I Got Music Industry Problems But a Passion Ain’t One

I know there are other industry challenges that artists face, such as isolation and now artificial intelligence (AI), but those above are among the most common.

At Eleven, we know the music industry problems and challenges artists face aren’t going anywhere soon, but neither are we.

As independent musicians and musical entrepreneurs, we’re agile, we’re resilient, and we’ve got the heart. Every chord we strum, every beat we drop is a step towards our dreams – and no hurdle is too high when you’ve got a tribe of fans that sings the same anthems.

Keep creating, keep playing, and keep believing.

When the crowd hears your truth, they’ll join in our chorus: We are the independent heartbeat of music, and together, our symphony is unstoppable.

Join Career Musicians Made Simple today to access Music Career Success Specialists who are available to help you grow and see you succeed

Stop Feeling Isolated & Let’s Build Your Music Career Together

Are you a serious career musician looking for help from real industry humans?

Are you fed up with the lack of help from the many online music cliques?

Join Career Musicians Made Simple today and gain access to:

  • Music Career Success Specialists who truly care about your success
  • A community of musicians helping each other overcome similar struggles
  • Guides and frameworks that give you tangible results when applied properly
  • Special live events that let you ask questions and get focused attention
JOIN CAREER MUSICIANS MADE SIMPLE TODAY

Stop Feeling Isolated & Let’s Build Your Music Career Together

Are you a serious career musician looking for help from real industry humans?

Are you fed up with the lack of help from the many online music cliques?

Join Career Musicians Made Simple today and gain access to:

Join Career Musicians Made Simple today to access Music Career Success Specialists who are available to help you grow and see you succeed
  • Music Career Success Specialists who truly care about your success
  • A community of musicians helping each other overcome similar struggles
  • Guides and frameworks that give you tangible results when applied properly
  • Special live events that let you ask questions and get focused attention
JOIN CAREER MUSICIANS MADE SIMPLE TODAY