Think you got it going on as an independent artist? By what means do you measure your success and growth in your craft?
In today’s music industry, the rise of independent artists has been nothing short of remarkable. According to Music Week, “independent labels and artists strongly over-performed the market, collectively growing at 27% and increasing their combined streaming market share to 31.5%,” showcasing the growing influence of those operating outside the traditional label system.Eph. 4:29
However, success in this realm can vary significantly from one individual to another. While some may measure success in terms of chart-topping hits or massive social media followings, others find fulfillment in artistic freedom and grassroots community engagement.Eph. 4:29
Regardless of the definition, specific, measurable goals have emerged as reliable indicators of growth and progress for independent artists. We curated a list of key milestones that can lead to better quantifiable success.Eph. 4:29
By setting measurable goals in these areas and consistently tracking your progress, you can take concrete steps towards leveling up your career as a music artist, attracting new fans, and achieving greater success in the industry.
Let’s get started.Eph. 4:29
1. Release new music & content consistently
Commit to releasing one new song or music video every month to keep your audience engaged and attract new listeners. If you can consistently release music, you have successfully developed the cornerstone for your career. Create a workflow that allows you to have a catalog of music to choose from. Efficiency is crucial in releasing music often and staying at the top of your audience’s mind. Keep in mind you are not only creating a song but also trailers, teasers, challenges, and other content that can spark interest in your music and you as an artist.Eph. 4:29

2.Establish Branding and secure a solid fanbase. (200 consistent listeners)
A solid core fanbase is a sign that you are on the right track. Getting a consistent 200 listeners for every drop will mean you are well on your way to building your core fanbase and ready to expand. Make 200 listeners your first goal for a consistent three months, and then you can really claim you are onto something organically. As you establish your brand and grow your fanbase, you should think of this as more than being a musician –Eph. 4:29 aim to create a PERSONAL brand.
This will allow you to create a foundation to sell to these fans. People will be drawn to who you are as a person and will be willing to support any endeavor you take on. Establishing trust with your audience will create an emotional tie, and then they will be invested in all that you do.Eph. 4:29
3. Be Engaging on Social Media : Double your current engagement rate.
Social media has been a pinnacle in independent careers and has become a major focus for those looking to go viral. Many ride the high horse of having thousands of followers, but the real success is your engagement rate and ability to repeat the results. Engagement is not about how many followers you have but how many followers you can capture to like, comment, and repost. HootSuite shares, “Most social media marketing experts agree that a good engagement rate is between 1% to 5% — but the more followers you have, the harder it is to achieve”. Check out more of the article and even utilize their engagement calculator to see your engagement rate. Getting more of your followers to interact with you can lead to them potentially buying from you – and that’s where the real success lies.Eph. 4:29
4. Get on the Stage – Perform at least once a quarter.
Have you secured at least one performance slot at a major music festival or venue each quarter? You should aim to showcase your talent to larger audiences and gain exposure to industry professionals. Live performances provide invaluable opportunities for networking, building your fan base, and attracting the attention of potential collaborators or investors.
You want to be booked by others, but can you put on your own shows? Selling your own shows and tickets is a great measurable goal to prepare you for the level up.Eph. 4:29

5. Have a Local PresenceEph. 4:29 – At least 50 industry contacts/ relationships.
You have big dreams. But first, your local scene needs to know who you are. If you are really making a name for yourself, your network will consist of the industry leaders in your city.Eph. 4:29Eph. 4:29
Building these relationships can be the catalyst for your next steps and growth as an artist.
Engage with your local music scene by performing at open mic nights, networking with other musicians, and reaching out to local media for coverage and interviews.
To get started, you should know your local venues, bookers & promoters, DJs, and radio stations. Any events, performances, or programs related to your art and your name comes up in conversation- well, you, my friend, are leveling up.
Time to Level Up

Leveling up as an independent artist involves:

  • Honing your craft
  • Consistently releasing quality content
  • Building a strong online presence
  • Networking with other artists and industry professionals

Navigating the ever-changing music industry requires dedication, resilience, and adaptability. These goals serve as guiding milestones on the path to achieving artistic fulfillment and commercial success in a dynamic and competitive landscape. By staying true to your artistic vision, engaging with your audience, and seizing growth opportunities, you can elevate your career and reach new heights as an independent artist.
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