#2 The Four Pillars Of The Indie Musician Online

Today on TIM Talks we’re going to talk about the 4 pillars of the indie musician online. These 4 things are vital in your online pursuits as an indie artist. Don’t worry about taking notes, I’ve got all the show notes for you below.
Not sure who TIM is?

TIM is you.

TIM is an acronym for the independent musician.

That’s you. You and I both are TIM.

Are you ready?

This is TIM Talks Episode 2

The Four Pillars Of The Indie Musician Online

We are living in a new time.

The music business is changing…. And what I’m proposing here at TIM Talks is an alternative approach to what most music marketing guys are saying even these days.

Many would say that live gigging, radio promotion, press and media appearances, indie-distribution, licesning, all of those would be the main areas of focus for an indie artist.

And just so we’re clear, I’m not against any of those things at all. But those things are icing on the cake to the model I’m proposing. These would all be offline areas that are very helpful for an indie artist’s career.

But there are a lot more fans to engage with, and money to be made, when you get a thriving online presence buzzing in your favor.

There’s this buzz phrase out there in the indie-music world that I believe was coined by Derek Webb. The Blue Collar musician.

It’s the idea that as an indie artist it is more than possible to build a real business as a working class musician. Others have called it the middle-class-indie artist.

These are folks who may be bringing in 40 to 50k a year from touring, merch sales, a little licensing, etc….


Honestly as a husband and dad of two small kids, I don’t really want to be touring 150 to 200 dates a year, on the road,

ESPECIALLY if I’m only making 40 to 50k a year. The trade off seems way out of wack. At least for a guy in my shoes.

If that sounds great to you. Then awesome.

I want to propose that you try a different approach.

Like let’s say you play 30 to 50 shows a year on your terms and you make 3 times as much?

It’s possible. Don’t take my word for it…

David Nevue, author of How To Promote Your Music On The Internet is crushing it online as an indie artist.

Another example is the founder of Patreon – Jack Conte and his band Pomplamoose.

In order to think outside the box when it comes to your indie music marketing, you’ll need to build on the four pillars of the indie musician online.

They are….

Finding and developing your unique voice and sound as an indie artist.

  • This is your unique perspective
  • There may be other artists in your genre, but there is no other you
  • You have a story that no one else has
  • Your sound is unique blend of all your influences that needs to be developed and….
  • This isn’t just about music, it’s the whole you
  • Chris Ducker’s business of you
  • This is the product development side

A BOOK FOR PILLAR #1: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon – Amazon Link

Building and growing your own platform

  • Platform is simply a stage
  • It’s a way to get up above the crowd and the noise and be more visible
  • The post music business economy is all about rewarding artists who already have a platform of some kind
  • This platform is best built under the DIY banner in the beginning
  • Yes you will need a team, but you’ll still be the captain of the ship, the CEO of your company
  • You cant wait to be picked
  • You must pick yourself
  • Practically speaking, you need a blog
  • You need more than a static website that has links to your social media
  • It has to be more than just a domain that forwards to a Facebook page

A BOOK FOR PILLAR #2: Platform by Michael Hyatt – Listen For FREE At Audible

Starting and growing a big email list (TRULY DIRECT TO FAN)

  • “Direct to fan” buzzphrase
  • Artists need to capitalize on their relationships with their fans directly
  • You don’t need a middle man when you can build a direct relationship
  • What’s the most direct way to speak with our fans outside of face to face interactions?
  • The answer is simple and doesn’t seem very exciting: EMAIL
  • Email is the number one way to get someone engaged in what you’re building online
  • It beats social media every time
  • It’s alive and well…… ESPECIALLY if you have a thriving platform and an engaged audience
  • When people know, like, and trust you they open your emails
  • If you send out a tweet or a Facebook post they may or may not see it
  • People treat their inboxes differently than their social media profiles
  • The email inbox is truly a “by permission only” platform
  • When someone give you their email, they’re giving you direct permission to contact them
  • If someone gives you their number they are saying that they are interested in you
  • An email autoresponder gives you the ability to build an engaged relationship with a lot of people at once
  • You need 1,000 true fans (Seth Godin)
  • To have 1,000 true fans you need an email list of about 10,000 people
  • This is a vital pillar in the life and business of an indie musician
  • It is a list that you own
  • Facebook or Twitter could shut you down tomorrow, but a list you own is yours

Instead of suggesting a particular book on this subject, I’m launching a little mini-course on growing your list which you can check out at http://growyouremaillistfast.com

Being a master marketer and selling more of your music and products (even if you hate selling)

  • If no one gives you money for what you do then you do not have a business
  • BUT If someone gives you money for what you do, you have a business
  • A business is simply an organized entity that provides value to another entity through a commercial transaction
  • If you have something valuable people will give you money to get it from you!
  • But you have to ask for the sale.
  • You need to throw a right hook (as Gary Vaynerchuck says in his book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook)

A BOOK TO READ FOR PILLAR #4: Launch by Jeff Walker – Get it Amazon here.

Action Items For This Episode

Action item 1 – Daily journaling and writing (to discover your voice)
Action item 2 – Pick just one of the 4 books I mentioned and read through it!

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