At the beginning of last week, a friend began a conversation about how his friends do not support entrepreneurs. He spoke of how people would rather talk down to stepping out on your own and speak highly of those who got a job in which they are not the boss.
No matter what I think on his stance, or his entrepreneurship, he is right. Oftentimes people do not understand what it means to be your own boss. I’ve always been interested in being a business woman. I like to be in control, and I don’t find anything wrong with that. As an independent musician creating original content, there are many different things that I need to balance, many questions I have to ask myself;
am I being myself? Who is listening? Why are they listening? How can I get more people to listen? What does my audience want to listen to? What else is important to them? What passions do they have? Can I meet them? Where are they located? How is my health? Is my band happy? Am I happy? Did I post on instagram today? How many likes did that video get? Will the booking agent care if I don’t have a large instagram following? What am I going to wear to this gig? I need photos for the gig, but the gig is taking some of the door money, so do I have enough money to get the photos and get to my next gig? What am I really worth? How much is that new software? Do I really need that new mic or do I have the time to do some editing of the vocals to make it feel more natural?
These are just some questions I asked myself in the moment. There is so much else that needs to be worried about that many who come to a show, (or don’t come to show) do not understand.
So, how do you support an independent musician or anyone who is in business for themselves? Here are a couple of points.
BUY THEIR CONTENT
If you are able to purchase something that they create, DO IT! Whether it’s a single, an album, a sticker, a single episode of something, if they have something you can buy, buy it. Don’t just stream it. And if you can, buy directly from the artist!
SHARE THE CONTENT
Do you not need what they are selling, or have you bought it already? Share what you bought! Those reviews on iTunes, bandcamp, amazon, a persons website are important data points that the content producer needs. People who also want to book them at their venue are also looking at those reviews, so if you like something, share it with your friends on social media just like you shared the new Beyonce video. Talk about it, let other people who might enjoy it know about it as well!
GO TO AN EVENT
There have been a couple pictures circulating the internet that focus on people paying hundreds of dollar on bands and celebrities that they don’t know, but won’t spend $10 to see their friends band at a local venue.
We do have this problem of celebrity worship and scensters, you know people who just want to be somewhere to say they were there, not to enjoy it, but to say they saw it. But a friends show on a week night for $10 is too much to ask for. It’s pretty disrespectful to your friends and shows that you don’t actually value them, especially when you’ll go out and spend that on some material thing. This is not for the people who don’t like their friends band. You can go to one show, it probably won’t break the bank nor will you really miss that sleep if it’s on a weeknight. Most of you are on Snapchat or Instagram hours into what your prescribed bedtime is.
HOST YOUR OWN EVENT
Do you have a space large enough for a house concert? Are you willing to have some strangers in your house that might be friends of friends? Host your friends band in your house or apartment so that there is no real inconvenience for you, and that band or artist can create intimate relationships with new people who might end up joining their community. You can talk to your musician friends about charging, having food, any amount of things. It’s a dope way to get a show together, help a friend and share new things with new people.
SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS
…And READ the emails. Don’t just delete it, read the email, see what that artist is up to. It may be something that you like or someone else that you know might like. If you do want to stop receiving the emails, don’t just delete them when they come into your inbox-UNSUBSCRIBE.
FOLLOW AND ENGAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Most of us have some form of social media. I’ve found that I’m the best curator for my experience. You don’t have to follow everyone, you don’t have to engage with everyone. Pick and choose. Oftentimes artists/musicians/entrepreneurs don’t just want to hear themselves talk, they are doing what they do partly for you. They know there are others out there like them that want to be a part of a community. Don’t be afraid to converse on twitter, or if you like that picture or video clip-SHARE IT!
Most of these things don’t cost any money and don’t take up much of your time. So, if you’ve ever wondered what you can do to support an independent musician or entrepreneur, here are some ideas. If you have other ideas, please feel free to comment and let’s share. It’s about community. Share, give credit, spend some money on content, go to an event. One love to those reading this!