If you want to make money for yourself as an independent artist in 2017, you’re going to have to make sure you have a fair bit of established content.

If you have 50 incomplete songs on your hard drive, that really does you no good, but neither does uploading 50, or even ten incomplete songs on SoundCloud.

You want to make sure you have one to three quality songs that any potential audience you look to gain will be able to ingest it.

It’s completely understandable if you aren’t looking to your friends often for this sort of career, but it’s more than okay to have the people close to you hear your music and give their honest opinion.

It can be very hard as a starting independent artist to get a genuine opinion on your sounds, so get it where you can.

The music industry and especially the business side of it evolve at such a fast pace that it may be hard navigating your way to earning income. We’ll break it down for you as 2017 gets under way.

Interact with your audience

Once your content is established, get familiar with how media is moving over social networks.

Be it Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook, people are taking in content in more ways than ever and these platforms are tools for you to network and reach the people that will have a real impact on your career.

You need to be building connections with people that will get your music to a wider audience, and if your music is establish like we’ve already discussed, it will be that much easier for businesses to make the jump to paying YOU for featuring your intellectual rights!

Not only can you monetize your audience with platforms like YouTube, but you can also directly reach and sell them your work, especially useful with simple to use mobile-apps like Twitter or Instagram.

Distribute your music

Make sure you have your music accessible on every platform. You can make money with little to no investment distributing your content on platforms like Bandcamp, Spotify, and Apple Music.

Keeping your music available on free services like SoundCloud or mixtape sites is generally smiled upon in the industry and is seen as a way of growing your could-be audience.

Once you are making money off of your content with social media and music streaming, it’s time to strike some deals. We’ll explain how you can prosper using these previously mentioned tools.

Get down in the DM

No, this isn’t a flirt, there is real opportunity to be found in social media direct messaging!

Be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, it can be surprisingly easy in 2017 to get in touch with some of the biggest companies and personalities in the world. Make sure you are following and interacting with your intended audience to increase the odds of them interacting with you.

As they say, shoot your shot, and it’s sure to pay off.

Plan a tour

No matter what size of artist you are, there’s a game plan for you in touring. That’s why we’ve always said touring is the most important thing for independent artists. Whether it’s statewide, citywide, or countywide, assuming you have an established audience and content, there will be a venue for you to perform in.

You can use social media to collaborate with other artists or promoters who will help make your tour a success, and there are plenty of Youtube resources for helping yourself become a better performer.

Don’t pass up on the age old process of taking your music on the road. It’s the purest form of expressing your art and it’s where serious money can be made.

So 2017 isn’t too wild or abstract in comparison to the now passing 2016, but it must be seen how much can be done if you put the effort in yourself and use the tools that are at your disposal.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.