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Essential Tools For Independent Artists

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Gone are the days when all you needed to succeed as a musician was music. In the new music economy, successful artists think like start-ups and need to be savvy marketers and content creators. Here are some essential tools to support the independent artist on their journey.





The old music industry

Go back forty years and major record labels signed artists who had potential, and invested money and time into their careers to make them a success. It famously took U2 and Bruce Springsteen three albums before they had a commercial hit. Those days are gone.


Money is now tight, physical sales once the backbone of the industry are in terminal decline, and the labels are having to get smarter when making a business case to sign an artist. In the start-up world, there is an expression called 'Product Market Fit' which basically means proving demand for your new product or service.


This concept is increasingly similar for record labels. Everyone wants to de-risk the investment, that means they are extremely unlikely to sign anyone unless the business is already profitable. For artists that means having a fan-base who listen, attend gigs and passionately engages.


So whether you like it or not, nobody is coming and signing you unless you do a lot of hard work first. And if you are successful within the new music economy you will inevitably ask:

  1. Do I need a label?

  2. What additional value will a record label bring me?

  3. Why should I give away my income?

The new music economy

In the new music economy, where artists are independent, success is no longer about fame but about finding a way to be financial sustainable from your music. This shift in mindset is vital to become a successful independent artist. Here are some essential tools to help you on your journey to financial independence.

Canva

The first time you discover Canva, your mind will be blown. It's like having a graphic designer by your side. Simple to use, with a ton of professional templates and professional fonts you will quickly find yourself resdesigning everything from logos, gig posters, social posts, social banners. There is a free version to allows you to do everything, but the paid version allows you do to more. So definitely consider the upgrade.

Design Wizard

If you haven't already used Canva you'd likely be as impressed by Design Wizard. The interface is simple and intuitive and much like Canva you have access to a host of professional templates, images and fonts to give everything you design the professional touch. Prices are similar so we recommend you try out both before committing to a paid subscription.

Bannersnack

Bannersnack was designed to allow to you banner banner ads for websites, but we also think it's perfect for creating static and animated social media content. If Canva is for static images, Bannersnack is for animated static images, slideshows and basic videos.


Reevio

While the first version of this online video maker was a little glitchy, it continues to improve and is now a vital part of our content making armoury. Reevio provides a growing bank of video slideshow and design templates which you can edit, customise and download. What makes Reevio really powerful is access to the VideoBlocks library, (sadly not available on all templates, which is a frustration!) but when it is available, you find high quality video content for almost any subject. We often create basic videos in Reevio and then upload our creations into Adobe Premiere Rush to add some extra sparkle.