While you might be an independent hip-hop artist, independence does not mean you can never look for help. Just like sports, music is a team game: the best music is put together by a wide group of possible. From promotion to management and legal challenge, there’s a lot to look at in terms of being a musician outside of just the music.

Of course, being legally minded or a promotional guru is a skill in itself. As such, you might need to spend valuable time and money on investing in the right kind of people to join your career from this point on. If you have been thinking you need to go the whole career solo, think again!

Here’s a few reasons why you absolutely need to look for assistance as an independent artist, and how you can easily make the right calls moving forward, starting today.

Why Go It Alone?

The first thing that you need to ask yourself is why you feel the need to go it alone in the first place. Many times, it’s down to money – that’s totally acceptable.

The cost of hiring someone to help you record, distribute, edit and then market your music can be quite daunting. Whilst you can do this all on your own with enough free software and social media management, the time will come when you wish to expand.

At that point, bringing someone in to help you manage your music career is very important. The moment you feel like you are getting any kind of genuine traction and you know you have the talent to make this work, it’s time to start looking for some team members. Don’t allow ego or a desire to be a lone wolf limit the ambition and direction of your career.

While you can fill in most of the roles yourself, it’s down to you to learn from this experience. As you work with the person in question, you should begin to see them become more accessible in terms of understanding what they do. Doing it along at the start should be a good way to help you learn a bit more about each role you need to fill.

Rather than suddenly thinking it’s all easy, though, you should soon realize just how difficult it is to carry out each task!

Accepting Your Limitations

Another part of this particular puzzle stems from accepting your limitations. Limitations are common in life. Just as the person who is marketing your music might not be a great musician themselves, you might not be a natural choice for promotion and trying to push your music out there.

There’s no shame in that, so don’t allow ego and a desire to do everything without any help limit your chances to make that possible. It’s vital that you understand that you need to bring in a team to help accomplish your aims. Nothing that is going to majorly improve your music career is likely to take off just by your own work.

The best music has a team working on it. It will have you and some musicians there working on the tune itself. It will have someone recording it, editing and mastering it. Then, you’ll have someone to promote it and eventually help you sell it for cash. This is the essence of good teamwork in the world of making music.

As an independent hip-hop artist, you need to accept that everything from marketing the music to protecting intellectual property can take a team to succeed.

Are You Ready?

Of course, there’s nothing to say that you need to go and hire a full team right away. What we recommend is that in the beginning you should spend as much time as you can learning about where your other skills outside of music lie. You might be good at editing and mastering, or perhaps your natural charisma makes you a good booking agent.

Either way, you need to look at what you can and cannot do at the moment. At that point, you can determine if you need a team in its entirety, or one or two people brought in. To start off with, we recommend bringing in someone for the skill you simply cannot do alone, but know that you need.

This can have a majorly positive impact on your career in the hip-hop business. Not only will it help to make the right kind of decisions each time, but it will ensure that you are capable of seeing the kind of change you require.

You will soon begin to appreciate that you aren’t capable of doing it all alone, too. Watch how the people that you bring in work and act: you can surely see that their levels are beyond your own. From helping you to manage social media to creating and distributing marketing materials, there’s ample opportunity for everyone to grow and see change in the right sense.

Make a list of everything that you need to have carried out and completed. If you do this, you can see where your limitations exist and where you need to change to become more rounded for the most part. From creating e-mail lists to creating income sources such as a merchandise store, managing shows and actual music sales, everything needs a specialist to encourage success.

With all of the above, you should have a more detailed and in-depth understanding of the work that has to go in to creating quality music. It’s not just down to the music itself, but everything from how it’s advertised to how you protect it from legal challenge.

The more work that you can do now to help protect yourself from challenges in the future, the less work you need to do at that junction. Just remember: there’s nothing to say that just because you are independent that you must take on every task that’s needed on your own.

Concentrate on what you are best at, and use the expertise of others to make up for your own shortfalls.

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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.