DIY The Business

The DIY Movement, Pt. 2: Embrace the business

There is something that every artist needs to understand and fully submerge themselves in: You have to know the business of music!

These days — to be DIY — you have to stay ahead of the game, working harder and researching more. You can’t think of yourself as simply an artist, because this is a business and you will have to be strategic with your career. Like I said, in my previous post: Today’s industry is not easy to make it in. You have to know where you want your career to go, and plan accordingly.

You can’t just wing it and expect to get famous. It doesn’t work like that. It is a numbers game, and the more traffic you have coming your way, the more of the spotlight will be on you.

I’m not saying that your career is solely based on your business tactics because your talent and quality of written music is a huge part of it. Just be careful not to let the business take over the reason you started playing music in the first place…

Work that shit!

Being smarter with our business so we can be strategic with our planning.

— Joshua Rumer, CEO of Invengo Records


One thing I see too often is artists oversaturating their hometown, which actually works against them in a lot of ways.

Your fans love you, but seeing you every weekend of the month gets old, even for the most diehard of fans. Instead, why not play a show using other marketing tactics leading up to the show: By releasing an unseen video or rare live track, you make the impression that you are something they need to see — which you are!

If your fans see that there is always something new happening, then they will tend to pay attention way more! It also makes you look very professional at the same time.

Meet Your Fans!


Now when at your shows, and I cannot stress this enough, TALK TO PEOPLE AND GET EMAILS!!! 

When fans feel that they are special because you took the time to talk to them, they will feel connected to you. This creates opportunities for you to get email addresses, and fan connection is like gold these days. In my opinion, this can be more effective than Facebook or Twitter because it is direct and straightforward.

I know an event company here in Phoenix that has a clean e-mail list (meaning real people and fans, no bots) that’s over 25,000 addresses long. Every time Raven Events puts on a show or event it is sold out everytime. EVERYTIME! THAT IS INSANE!!! I have personally played one of Raven’s shows, and gained hundreds of e-mail addresses and subsequent new fans.

The point is: talking to your fans, shaking their hand, and looking them in the eye is part of embracing the business side of music, and it goes a long way!

I don’t know if it’s my music, my lyrics, or my sound — however, knowing the music business the way I do, all I can say is that my career has lasted way longer than I’d expected.

— Unknown Artist


I believe there is a formula to business: how you plan it out, how much face time you give your fans (offstage), what you blog about, and how it is said. Your career as an artist is just like any business you see driving down the street, and there are essentials you need to do.

In my next blog post about embracing the business, I want to explain in depth what these essentials are. I will explain what is quantifiable and measurable, why marketing is so important, and how to gauge your profitability. I will also touch on reaching your demographic more effectively.

These are all things that as a DIY artist, you will need to know back to front. I believe every artist out there is hip to embracing business side of music, and will see how effective it can be doing it yourself. Once you learn how, it becomes a part of you.

I am always here for your questions, comments, and critiques because I live my life DIY.


— Derek Upton, A&R of Invengo Records