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Q&A With Kenny Love
"DIY Makin' You Cry?"
Commentary by Kenny Love


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This week, we have a question that probably affects most independent recording artists, at one time or another, who have decided to 'go it alone'. And, this question is probably more pressing upon solo artists than bands and groups. Hence, we try to offer a few solutions below.

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Dear Kenny,

It is a great time to be an independent musician in the Music business. At the same time, it can also feel like a Catch-22 curse for those of us who must wear several hats; artist, businessperson, promoter and, in limited cases, distributor. So, please explain how we can, not only find success with our recordings, how we can even hope to grow our labels beyond our debut release, or even hope to carry other artists on our labels in the future?

Signed, Almost Cryin' While DIYin'


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Dear ACWD:


It, indeed, can be a challenge when promoting your music career, particularly, if you are a solo artist. But, it is not impossible, as there are many artists doing so, and doing so very successfully, I might add. What it, basically, comes down to, whether as a solo artist or group, is project scheduling and organization.

As an independent artist with your own label, you have the advantage of having more time to work your recording, in terms of generating larger profits that come to you in the forms of sales and royalties, and without the need to split certain aspects of those profits between various business areas as traditional labels do.

One of the keys to success, is to *not* try to work all aspects of your project at the same time. In other words, set up a daily or weekly schedule, whereby, you allot time for each area, per the following examples;

1. Contacting radio station music directors and programmers for airplay
2. Following up responses from stations
3. Contacting press publications for interviews and reviews
4. Rehearsals
5. Arranging gigs and performances

Again, while somewhat challenging for solo artists, it can be done when properly arranged, organized and scheduled.

If you still find that, after setting up a schedule and following it, there is very little advantage or no better results that you can see, why not then do one of the following:

1. Speak with some friends (who are also musicians) about helping you fulfill some of the tasks of marketing and promoting your recording. If you are unable to pay them a salary, as an alternative, offer them a commission on your sales.

To get them to truly commit to your endeavor, you might also want to present them with a written agreement to do so that will make them feel much better, responsible and a part of your company.

2. Additionally, if there are several recording artists in your area, who also have releases that they are trying to promote, you might also want to approach them about creating a local or regional music marketing or promotion network that can be beneficial to all of you, in terms of people power for fulfilling the business tasks, as well as a recognized business and organizational presence, along with the business benefits and advantages that such an organization can partake of.

3. If you don't happen to have friends or associates who are also musicians, and who would understand the music business process to some degree, your next bet is to seek friends or associates (who are not musicians) to handle some of the tasks for you. Naturally, this will require "training" these particular people in various duties specific to the Music industry and for areas that you assign them.

And, for bands, the above points can also work by assigning various tasks and duties to band members, such as; radio promotion, press calls, distributor calls, gig calls, etc.

Another thing...disciplining yourself to work by an organized business schedule, while you still fulfill your aspect of "artist," also means getting less hours of sleep. However, just as you have (hopefully) disciplined yourself to show up for gigs on time, you can likewise discipline yourself to handle the business aspects of your career as well.

In other words, sleeping until noon-ish is now definitely out of the question because, the contacts that you are going to need to make and follow-up with, live and operate by "corporate" time, even though they serve the Music industry.

If you have a gig through the week, and don't get home until 3:00 a.m., at best, you can probably get 5 hours sleep, tops, before you need to start up the old business machinery. The only exception is that you happen to get in on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

However, through weekdays, you also should consider that you are going to need to allot and allow time on your schedule for rehearsals as well (you do still rehearse...don't you?) :-)

If you need me to assist you with creating and customizing a schedule and 'game plan' for you, or you require monthly consultation for setting up your business professionally and based strictly on your ongoing daily (and nightly) activities, you can get more information by sending requests to
aboutkennylove@getresponse.com or klmubiz@getresponse.com.

~ Kenny Love
Executive Director of Content
GARAGE RADIO NETWORK

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Kenny Love has an extensive background in both the Music and Writing industries. Learn about the new services that he is providing to unsigned and independent recording artists in response to today's shaken and fractionalized Music industry by sending an email request to klmubiz@getresponse.com.


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