top of page

10 Tips for Becoming a Broke and Confused Indie Artist in 2024

We have a saying in the military: "embrace the suck". It's what we do when everything is failing spectacularly and it's a more rough-and-ready statement than "if you aren't crying, you aren't trying".

Is there anything more exciting than waking up on payday and seeing if you can get $40 worth of groceries before auto-drafts start pummeling your bank account? It's pretty exhilarating. But my favorite game to play is "Will My Card Be Declined?" at the register. That long pause after inserting the ol' Visa into the chip reader is surely a hell of a lot more fun than skiing the Alps. God, that sounds cold and miserable.

And if you're in the music business, there are bonus ways to have the time of your life. Have you ever tried playing "Guess the Date" with venues? How about "Can You Play for Exposure"? If you haven't, you're not living on the edge! Here are some great ideas for making the most out of your depression and anxiety:

  1. Push as many links to your music on social media as humanly possible. I don't care if it's a group about bathing cats, push it! Facebook feed? Post that sucker five or six times a day- and set it on "public". The more people see it, the more people will click on it. They're gonna absolutely love the reminders!

  2. Don't practice before getting up on stage. Sometimes, just winging it can be so freeing! Everybody in the audience will appreciate your improv. It shows versatility.

  3. Don't bother reading any contracts this year before you sign. It makes you look desperate. Confidence is empowering.

  4. Quit listening to criticism. If someone tells you that you could benefit from doing something differently, they don't respect your creative choices. Haters just want to feel superior. If your family and friends think your gig is fire, listen. They love you and will always be truthful.

  5. If you have the opportunity, be sure to make the most of your platform by using bots to boost your credibility. It can be a lot of work to get an organic reach. Save time by using blackhat services to get those numbers up.

  6. If you have an EPK that needs updating, don't worry about it. You don't need one. Nobody clicks on the link anyway. Besides, if they really want you for that gig, they need to prove it by researching you themselves. Be mysterious.

  7. Normalize not setting goals. Business plans are unnecessarily complicated and take time and energy that could be used elsewhere. Keep everyone on their toes by being unpredictable. They'll appreciate the ride.

  8. Don't overextend yourself with networking. Your music stands on its own merit, your buddies are right. People should be making the effort to reach out to you. They're probably just looking to make a few bucks off of you. Never trust anyone.

  9. Don't worry about having a polished pitch. Write a few sentences about your content and attach an mp3 to all of your emails. Every recipient will be intrigued by your quirkiness.

  10. Complain about other local artists on social media whenever an opportunity comes up. This will drive potential fans away (and to you!) as soon as you expose their flaws.

And remember this priceless stage ritual from Trent Reznor:

"Sometimes we pee on each other before we go onstage".



bottom of page