For any independent artist today, there are some very key skills that you are likely to need if you wish to grow into the success that you always wanted to be. Not sure how to go about doing that?

Then we suggest that you start with honing the following ten major skills. Each one will play a critical role in the kind of personal growth that you can do.

Here are some the criticial skills for success as an independent artist.

1. Personal Branding

One of the most useful skills that you could have is that of personal branding. This means building up a really easy to recognize style for yourself. From the way that you speak to the kind of phrasing that you use, even how you dress, you can set the tone for who you are. The more personal branding you can do to help raise awareness of what you stand for, the better.

2. Analytical Mindedness

You also need to be prepared to do some very deep analysis of everything that you do. Simply releasing music is not enough; you need to release the right music at the correct time.

This takes a lot of timing and analysis, looking into the market and making sure that your message will be popular at the time of its release. That’s a key skill that many independent artists lack, as someone usually offers to do it for them!

3. Editing Skills

You also need to be able to master and edit your own music. You don’t have a production firm doing all the magic for you, so taking the time to both invest in quality software and educate yourself on its usage should be a no-brainer.

This can produce many a positive if you choose to do so, so make sure you concentrate on honing your editing skills accordingly. It can make a big difference to how your music is received overall.

4. File Conversion Knowledge

While it might seem easy, you need to be able to convert your audio and your media into the right kind of file extension. This can usually be done with free file conversion tools, but you should really take the time to look around and work out what file conversion software you will need.

Everyone is different in terms of their needs, but you should be able to find out the main conversions you need to make for your music with time.

5. Content Management Control

At the same time, it’s a must that you can produce high quality content. Content is going to be on your blog, on social media and on your website. It has to be informative, convincing and topical.

If you are making music from a local perspective, then talking about local issues makes sense. If you are using inequality as your main angle, then it naturally makes sense to pay attention to creating content based around your main musical angle.

6. Website Design Experience

Websites can be made with relative use with a bit of DIY education on WordPress. If you are serious about making the most of your skills as an artist, you need a website that sells your skills and strengths accordingly.

So, invest some time and effort into making a high quality website design. You can easily pick up quality themes for your website from places like ThemeForest, but setting it up and filling it in with quality content is your job.

7. Networking Abilities

It pays to be good at networking, too. From learning how to go about meeting venue owners to be able to give them a clear message to making friends with local organizers and agencies, you can do a lot to help further your cause and get yourself some more work in the music industry.

Is it hard? Yes, very. Is it impossible? No, not with an attitude and a commitment to always making your points clearly and without fluff.

8. Interview Control

Following on from the above, you need to avoid falling into the common trap of what we call ‘political answering’. This means skirting around the point and failing to answer a tough or personal question.

You should become skilled in handling interviewers, making sure that you grow in making sure that you are in control of the interview and what is being spoken about. If you can’t do that, you need to get good at answering with straight, detailed responses.

9. Making Your Point

Similar to the last two points, it’s vital that you become good at making a clear point both in music and in promotional interaction. If you are releasing a new album, you need to get good at summing it up in a few sentences maximum.

Attention spans are limited, so learning about the art of using key phrasing and popular terminology can help to keep people switched on. The more you do this, the more likely you are to get engagements.

10. Humility

However, none of the above can be achieved without learning the vital skill of being humble. If you are not humble, then you will lack the self-awareness to see that each of the above skills are essential to your success.

They aren’t just extras; they are the keys to making sure you are seen, heard and enjoyed by a wider audience. If you want to deliver a personality that people can connect with, it needs to be a humble one.

People love listening to an authentic person, but you’ll scare a lot of people away with a false arrogance.

The last skill, by the way, is probably the most important. It might not seem so today, but a dose of humility is a unique skill.

It allows you to realize that all of the above combined with your obvious lyrical flare and musical talent is the key to success. If you wish to be a good one-man-band, then all of the skills above need to be honed by someone.

If you lack the finance to outsource much of the above, then you need to work on being humble enough to keep learning and working towards developing the above skills.

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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.