We live in one of the best times that one can be an indie rock musician. For one, indie rock has stood the test of time and established itself as a serious genre. There have also been many successful Canadian acts like The Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire, Feist and many more.
Contemporary indie bands can adapt the same tactics these acts from the past and enjoy some success. But, there’s a high likelihood of sounding like a generic copy of a band from the past.
Below are a few strategies that contemporary indie rock bands can use to enjoy continual organic growth.
Have A Plan From The Start
Not everything in this world happens by chance or fate. Sometimes you have to sit down and come up with a plan if you want to succeed in any endeavour. The same is right with running a successful indie rock band. You have to start with an idea and have realistic goals.
Build a Bond with Your Core Fans
Establishing and maintaining a strong bond with your core fans is essential to your success as an indie act. This bond can be built by reaching out to your fans in person or using online platforms.
Playing live or unplugged sessions is one strategy many indie acts overlook. But it’s had great results for many bands in the past. Your fans want to hear what you sound like when playing live. They love the raw energy and emotional intensity of it all.
Focus on Your Strengths
Every act can compose passable lyrics and slap on catch beats that we all can sing along. Yet, no two indie acts are the same. There’s always that one thing that can make you stand out. Focusing on your strengths is a crucial key to success and continual growth.
Simply identifying your strength is not enough; you need to exploit it to its fullest potential. If powerful guitar riffs and solos are your strength, ensure they are there in every song you play or record. Challenging or collaborating with other indie acts can also highlight this strength.
Know Thy Copyright
Remember, you are not only in the music industry but also in the publishing business. Your beats, lyrics and everything else about your craft should be treated as valuable assets and products. So, take some time to understand copyright law.
Branding Identity and Self-Promotion
Every musical act in history has a great logo and a catchy visual identity. Such visuals are an integral part of your branding, as they will appear on your website, social media, banners and your merchandise as well.
If Photoshop or any other image manipulation software is in your skillset, you can make your graphics. Alternatively, you can hire a graphic designer to help you out with that. A great logo used consistently in your branding can lead to better brand awareness. Eventually, your logo should be instantly recognizable.
Don’t Wait to Be Signed by a Record Label
You may sing like an angel or strum like Carlos Santana. However, the sad reality is that nobody is out there waiting to give you a record deal. You have to put in the hours and walk the miles if you want to succeed in this industry.
Another horrible assumption that many acts make is that everything will be sorted after you get a record deal. This statement is very far from the truth. Record company executives don’t have all the answers. You’ll end up doing the same if not a lot more work even after getting a record deal.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
Well, not in the literal sense. Stay hungry implies that you should always have the urge to learn more about your craft. Stay foolish, be obstinate about your plan i.e. don’t have a plan B in case your main plan fails. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s the best way to arrest any doubts that may reside within your heart.
Never Underestimate the Power of Streaming
The music industry was suffering a slow and gradual decline, just like the newspaper. That was until a few years back when streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and others showed up and changed everything. Artists are currently earning decent sums of money every day from such music streaming services.
As an indie rock artist, you shouldn’t have any misgivings about uploading your music onto such platforms will help you reach new fans. There’s also the possibility of getting play listed on such platforms, which can serve as free publicity.