When “DIY” Doesn’t Work Anymore

While it’s true that the modern music industry has opened up more opportunities for independent artists than ever, this has led to many promising young talents taking the ‘do it yourself’ mentality completely to heart, sometimes with negative consequences. Here explore why just DIY isn’t enough anymore.


Guest post by Wassim Awess of The Music Career Guide 

The opportunities for independent artists have never been greater. Being independent brings a lot of freedom to your work schedule, career, and income. 

When it comes to young musicians though, there is a common misconception about being an independent DIY artist. Don’t take DIY too literally. It doesn’t mean you handle everything on your own, and it doesn’t mean you have to take care and manage every aspect of your career, because success is associated with building a team to help you achieve it. 

At some point in your career, riding solo becomes an impossible thing to do. The amount of activities is too much to handle, time is not playing on your side, yet publicity and online presence are established. At that time you will have to make one of the most important decisions that will heavily affect your career, as well as chances of success. 

Why is building a team so important? 

In the ever-expanding Music Industry, new artists are coming out every day, making it difficult for other ones to stand out. Getting noticed is becoming harder and harder to do, so “making it on your own” is the last thing you should be considering. 

When your music starts getting the feedback it needs, your career develops and your responsibilities start to grow. That’s when you should consider taking on a more professional route, and you do that by building a team to help you develop. Let’s face it, we’re human beings, there’s a limit to what we’re capable of doing and it’s quite impossible for us to be in charge of everything! 

To be successful in the Music Business is to have a team behind your back. A team that will be coordinated with your goals and aspirations, as well as play an important role in shaping your career. You shouldn’t throw your eggs into one basket. You have the power to build a team that will serve you in the long run, which will help you accomplish your goals and grow as an artist. 

When should you start forming your team? 

Once you reach a certain level in your career where you lack time to work on your music, there’s too much to handle on the business side and as I mentioned before, your responsibilities grow. That’s your cue to start forming a team. 

Don’t be afraid to work it out alone in the beginning. You have to do everything by yourself if your first starting out, that’s the only way to be aware of your skillset and to know what kind of a person you need on your team right now. You have enough tools to start by yourself, but time will come when you wish to expand. 

Building your team doesn’t mean bringing everyone along from the start. Think about what you currently need, what is the skill, knowledge, and expertise you lack. Let that guide you to start filling each role on your team. 

How can adding the wrong team members backfire? 

A lot of artists have given authority to the wrong people throughout their careers. Doing that not only slowed their progress towards success but also resulted in contract and money problems no artist wants to get involved in. 

To ensure you find the right people and add them to your team, I recommend following these steps. 

Firstly, think of your vision of a great team, what makes them great, what are their specialties, how well do they work for you and benefit you. 

After you have a vision in mind, break it down and acknowledge each important role on that team. What people are better to add now, and which ones can be added in the future. Make a list of each person you know that can fulfill each role. 

If you don’t know any, no worries, It’s all about knowing where to look. Finding the most suitable people and bringing them on will take some time. We all know how much of a huge process it is 

to start thinking about letting another person handle your business for you. So take your time to search for and find the perfect fit for each role. 

It’s hard enough to give your trust to another person, so to make it easier… Educate yourself on the roles you’d be handing to several people, understand their criteria, what they do and how they do it. Doing this helps you clarify their positions on your team and how they can benefit you. Also, you’ll have a much more clear understanding of how familiar they are with their profession and how much of a fit they can be. 

Final thoughts 

Look for someone to serve the same mission and vision as you, someone you can trust. Don’t be afraid to research and talk to the person before hiring them. Have a conversation to get to know them better and how well they can work for your goals. 

Make sure they’re good at what they do and that they’re determined to work with you. Check their credentials, past work, portfolio, and references. 

It’s all about playing the long term game. These are people you will work with throughout your whole career, so you have to pick wisely. Keep it simple and put enough time when considering the right options. 

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  1. Ok how does this team get compensated fairly for their time? It’s not that easy. Talented people are busy.

    1. you are not supposed to be looking at your “now” for your team in the beginning. you should be offering your “then”. early team members are investors in you as a startup and will be compensated at the end (during when you have the funds)….


  2. I work in Artist Development and offer a number of valuable services, which will help you grow as an Artist and get to the next level of your music career. I offer private coaching in Voice, Songwriting, Music Business, Music Production, Recording, Performing Skills and much more, including co-writing sessions, how to get your music in TV/Film, and how to build your team. I’m here to help you succeed! https://nebulaartistdevelopment.com/

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