I started this site several years ago with the idea of bands helping bands in order to further their own careers while helping build the music scene at the same time; this is where the name the Indie Band Alliance comes from.
Over the past few years I've attempted to share what I've learned as a musician performing cover songs as well as writing and performing original music; later followed by business and marketing tips I've also discovered along the way. I've published and shared a few different reports - first the Indie Band Insights report and then the 1,000 Fan Formula not to mention a few others that have only been available as bonuses or to my list of subscribers.
After all this time I had a bit of a eureka moment where I was able to sum up exactly what it is I want to do and help others with. The tagline for this site at one time was "Earn a Living Making Music" - which was what I was trying to promote, but I finally was able to condense it to three simple words: self made musician.
So what is a self made musician exactly?
First of all, I liked the fact that it was simple and was reminiscent of the phrase 'self-made millionaire' - implying that if you're a 'self-made' anything - you're considered a success, which is never a bad thing. The other thing I like about it is the phrase 'self-made'. This further implies that whatever success you currently enjoy is squarely due to your own efforts - not winning the coveted 'rock star lottery' or being chosen by some 'music industry official' that you're worthy of having a career in the music business.
Self-made seems to imply all that without the somewhat grease-monkey aspect of the words "Do It Yourself".
Meanwhile "Indie" or "Independent" has a lot of baggage with it as well. Some people think "indie" is only a particular style of music, not the fact that the band happens to not be signed to a record label - major or otherwise.
So I realized that I wanted to work with and foster a community of self-made musicians; these musicians in term would eventually form bands that could benefit from forming alliances - a.k.a. the Indie Band Alliance that I was originally envisioning when I started this site. So I'm course-correctly along the way and am now focusing on dealing with reaching out to and helping others (myself included) become self-made musicians.
Awesome - after more than four years I finally have my audience figured out.
The next step is that I want to help them with actionable content. There are whole slew of blogs out there that aim to help musicians online. Some offer the latest on the music industry, others offer vague bits of advice or strategies that may have worked for themselves or others, still others offer motivational type content that leaves you feeling good but no surer about your individual direction.
My goal is to offer valuable advice, insight and training that you can apply to create a sustainable career with your music while at the same time keeping it all as simple as possible. There is an overwhelming amount of 'stuff to do' for musicians these days in order to 'make it' and I know many musicians would rather just play their instrument or write music as opposed to being chained to their desk learning about social media, websites, email auto responders, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and ll the rest.
Believe me, I hear you.
So while some sites out there want to impress you with their knowledge by offering to sell you multiple DVDs worth of valuable information, or by offering 12 week programs where you need to invest upwards of 5 hours a week - I'd rather not intimidate you with the overwhelming amount of stuff there is to learn to be able to succeed.
So I thought long and hard about what are the fundamentals that a musician needs to embrace to become truly 'self made'. I came up with four:
- Creativity - The source of your music, talent and ultimately the products or services that you'll sell.
- Marketing - The people your music or performances are for and how you let them know that you exist.
- Business - The means to which you plan to build a sustainable income from music so that you can create on your own terms.
- Mindset - The ways of thinking that will ensure your success while boosting the other three main elements of creativity, marketing and business so that you can truly become a self made musician until the end of your days.
This is what I'm going to share with you under the name of the Self Made Musician - for starters on this site and we'll see where it takes us. I feel that this is the evolution of all my previous work - specifically my Indie Band Insights report. I recorded a podcast that will explain how I came up with the four elements of C + M + B + M , drop me a line in the comments below if you agree or disagree with my ideas behind the self made musician.