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10 rules for independent musicians

Throughout my 20 plus years of being in the music business, I have learned several things.
If you want to survive as an indie musician, there are some rules you should live by. These are in no particular order, but should all be taken seriously. I hope they help your music career.

Make music industry friends
Get out and meet other people in the industry. Shake hands and show your face. You never know who can help you out in the future.

Carry business cards
Always carry business cards. Being caught without one is really unprofessional. Plus, full color one are fairly cheap to buy these days.

Be prepared to sacrifice
If you want to truly make it as a musician, be prepared to sacrifice time, money, friends, and family.
You must focus on your music career to make it big.

Do not be jealous of others success
Jealousy will get you nowhere. Be proud of others and take a look at what they are doing differently that they became more successful.

You will have to spend money
Many independent musicians think everything should come free to them. It is not like that. Everything costs money from manufacturing, distributing, even radio play comes with a cost in some form. Think of it like this, when you are an indie recording artist, you are your own record label. This means you have to spend money to make money. As long as it seems like it will benefit you, do not be afraid to spend money.

Music is a business
You must treat yourself as a business. If you want to make music for fun then do it as a hobby. If you want to make it a career, then you want to make money doing it. Bottom line is you are trying to sell your product to fans. Music is 90% business, 10% show.

Stay true to you fans
Always try and make time for fans. Sign autographs, take pictures and more. They are the ones spending the money.

Always stay legal
Always keep in mind that any money you bring in, you must pay taxes on it. Stay current with your tax returns. The IRS is no joke.

Tour as much as you can
Doing live shows not only helps promote your album, it also brings in performance money and possible money from sales of merchandise such as t-shirts and posters.

Look at the big picture
If you think on a local level, you will stay a local musician. If you think on a national level, you will do much better with you music career.

Artists and bands be sure to submit your music at these radio networks as well.
www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
www.hardcoremix.com (Rock,Pop,Country,Jazz,Electro,Gospel and more)
Submit music on either site.

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