The Key to Success for Independent Artists: Growing Your Team

The Key to Success for Independent Artists: Growing Your Team


For independent artists, pursuing your career and creating excellent music really is just the beginning of your journey towards success. In order to thrive in this industry, it’s vital to recognise the importance of building a strong and supportive independent artists team around you. Here at TULU, we understand the role a well-rounded team plays in guiding artists through the early stages of their career. This blog post is going to delve into the importance of growing your team and how it can drive you forward into becoming a successful, self-sufficient independent artist. 

If you are thinking of growing your team that means you must be ready to take the leap from your music being “something you do on the side” into “this is my career and my primary source of income”. TULU Academy is our online, 11 module interactive business development course which takes you step by step through transforming your music, into your career. 

Build a Team of Talented Individuals Who Share Your Vision and Goals:

As an independent artist, you will naturally possess a specific and unique set of skills and talents in order to make your music stand out against the rest. Quite often, you are expected to be your own booking agent, marketing team, financial team and everything in between which can be draining and eventually hinder your ability to excel in each area. Therefore, building a team of trusted individuals who each specialise in a specific aspect of the music industry means you can lean on them for their expertise and experience.

An example of this could be marketing and promotion – you may have been doing this all by yourself up until now, even to some level of success. However, by bringing in a team member who excels in this area can ensure that your music reaches a wider audience and helps you gain traction in the industry. Similarly, having a dedicated manager can handle the administrative tasks, negotiations, and strategic planning, allowing you to focus on creating music.

Ensure Longterm Success

To ensure long term success, building an independent artist team with individuals who share your vision and goals is imperative. When everyone on your team is aligned with your artistic direction all whilst striving towards the same aspirations, the synergy created creates a strong foundation for growth and development.

By communicating your vision clearly to your team members, you can work together to create a cohesive brand identity, develop a consistent artistic style, and build a loyal fan base. Only when your team is aligned will their passion and dedication shine through in every aspect of your career.

By delegating tasks that are not your expertise to team members who excel in those areas, you can optimise your time and energy.

For instance, if you spend hours on social media promotion or booking gigs, it takes away valuable time that could be spent composing new songs or perfecting your performance skills.

How to Expand Your Team Effectively:

What Do You Need? 

Begin by taking a holistic view of your own skill set and take note of the areas in which you could benefit from additional support. Identify the different roles and responsibilities which if executed well would enhance your music career. For example, you might require a manager, booking agent, social media manager, graphic designer, music producer, or songwriter collaborator.

Referrals and Recommendations

Think about your current, existing network of musicians, fellow artists and industry professionals. For example, if you are reading this blog, you are aware of TULU and without blowing our own trumpet too hard, we are a great place to grow your industry network. 

Reach out to your network of trusted individuals – specifically those who have experience in the areas you need assistance. Explain to them what you are looking to do and seek recommendations for others who have the right skills and expertise to join your independent artists team.

Music Industry Events

Go out and attend music industry events such as conferences, workshops, and networking sessions. These events provide opportunities to connect with potential team members, including managers, agents, producers, and collaborators. Be proactive in engaging with industry professionals and showcasing your talent. Exchange contact information and follow up with those who show interest in working with you.

Utilise Online Platforms:

Online platforms such as websites, forums, and social media platforms dedicated to musicians and music industry professionals can be valuable resources and a great place to expand your team – if used properly. Platforms like LinkedIn, TULU, and Music Gateway allow you to connect with professionals across various music-related disciplines. Create detailed profiles outlining your needs and preferences, and actively search for individuals who align with your vision.

Collaborate with Like-Minded Artists

Seek collaborations with other independent artists who complement your style and musical vision. Connecting with other artists who share similar goals can result in fruitful collaborations and the possibility of forming a mutually beneficial long-term partnership. Collaborations not only expand your creative network but also introduce you to potential team members who may be interested in joining your project. In and amongst the benefits for growing your team through collaborations, there is the undeniable benefit of expanding your fan base through cross pollination. 

Use Your Existing Fan Base

You want your independent artists team to fully believe in your vision and without a shadow of a doubt be a fan of yours from the beginning of your relationship with them. Your existing fan base can be an excellent resource for finding team members for this exact reason! Engage with your fans through social media and live performances, and let them know that you are looking to expand your team. Often, passionate fans can offer valuable skills or connections, such as graphic design, photography, or marketing expertise. Reach out to those who demonstrate genuine interest and commitment. These people will want to see you grow and succeed and will therefore put their best foot forward when contributing in any way to your projects.

Interviews and Auditions

Just like any business hiring a new employee, once you have identified potential candidates for your team – in business terms “screened their CVs”, conduct interviews, and auditions to assess their skills, compatibility, and commitment. Discuss your vision, goals, and expectations to ensure alignment. For musicians, consider jamming or performing together to gauge chemistry and musical compatibility. Don’t necessarily shut down the idea of bringing on someone who is new to their field either – having a strong passion for seeing you grow with aligned objectives can be more important than having a huge portfolio. 

Trust and Communication

Building a strong team undoubtedly requires trust and effective communication. Curate an environment where your chosen team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns. Upkeep regular communication and provide clear expectations and feedback – positive and (constructive) negative. Regular team meetings, whether in person or virtually, can help ensure everyone is on the same page. Using project management tools such as Trello or Monday can help keep everyone accountable and on track of where the project is going.

Final Thoughts…

Remember, growing your independent artists team is a gradual process. Take the time to find the right individuals who believe in your music and share your vision. A strong and supportive team can empower you as an independent artist and propel your career to new heights. They can also provide guidance, open doors to opportunities, and free up your time to focus on your artistic development. 

At TULU Presents, we believe in the power of teamwork and strive to guide independent artists through the early stages of their career until they become self-sufficient or decide to sign with a record label. Embrace the importance of assembling a strong team, and watch your music career soar to new heights.

Navigating the Fear of Success: A Guide for Independent Artists

Navigating the Fear of Success: A Guide for Independent Artists

I was speaking with an artist earlier today and they said something really interesting which sparked a world of thoughts which I – admittedly – hadn’t really put much thought into before it was mentioned. They said “sometimes I fear someone actually saying yes to my pitch or the thought that someday millions of people may hear my music”.  They were still dead set on achieving these huge goals but rather – how would they cope when success comes their way? Introducing… the fear of success!

What is the Fear of Success?

In the competitive world of artistry, independent artists constantly strive for their big break. However, what happens when the long-awaited triumph finally arrives? Surprisingly, the fear of success can be just as daunting as the fear of failure.

Here, I will delve into the challenges independent artists may face when confronted with the anxiety of success and I will provide a few practical strategies to help anyone with this very fear to overcome it and thrive in their artistic journey.

Acknowledge and Understand Your Fear:

One of the main sources of fear is the fear of change. Success often brings about significant shifts in an artist’s life, both personally and professionally. The prospect of stepping into the unknown and leaving behind familiar routines can be really unsettling. Artists may worry about how their relationships, lifestyle, or creative process might be affected. However, understanding this fear and taking steps to prepare for these changes allows artists to anticipate and prepare for the adjustments that come with success.

Other fears may include an intensified expectation that the pressure to consistently deliver at a high level. Although this is likely true, the fear stems from not being able to meet or exceed the expectations of fans, critics, or industry professionals. Caveat this by creating from a place of authenticity rather than striving for external validation.

The pressure to maintain newfound success can be overwhelming – especially in this era of overnight viral moments and short lived trends. Artists may also worry about sustaining their achievements and the fear of being seen as a one-hit wonder. However, by identifying the sources of fear, such as the fear of change, increased expectations, and the pressure to maintain success, artists can develop strategies to navigate these challenges.

Reframe Your Perspective:

As opposed to viewing success as an overwhelming burden, reframe it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Learn to embrace the idea that success is not a destination but a journey, and each milestone reached is a stepping stone towards further artistic development. By shifting your mindset, you can transform fear into motivation and enthusiasm.

A growth mindset is the belief that talents and abilities can be developed through dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn. By embracing this mindset, artists can approach their fear of success with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to learn from their experiences. 

By embracing self-reflection and a growth mindset, you can navigate the fear of success with resilience and adaptability. You can continually improve your skills, expand your creative horizons, and effectively navigate the challenges and responsibilities that come with achieving your goals. 

We cover mindset preparation in the very early modules of TULU Academy – the right mindset is a cornerstone to any success story’s foundations. 

Surround Yourself with a Supportive Network

In my opinion, this is the most important piece of advice I can give on this subject. The unknown becomes ten times more manageable when you have your trusted team around you. Building a strong support system is vital! Seek out mentors, fellow artists, and industry professionals who can provide guidance, encouragement, and reassurance. Sharing your fears and triumphs with like-minded individuals can alleviate anxiety and create a sense of belonging in the artistic community.

Mentors can provide guidance, share their own experiences, and offer advice on how to handle the newfound success. Their wisdom and insight can help you navigate the ups and downs of the artistic journey.

Building relationships with fellow artists who are on a similar path creates a sense of camaraderie and understanding, as fellow artists are likely to empathise with the unique challenges you face. Share the highs and lows with people who get your situation.

Industry professionals – like TULU – have extensive knowledge of the industry and can offer insights into navigating the complexities of success. This can also open doors to new opportunities, exposure, and collaborations that may help propel your career forward.

Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Milestones:

Fear of success often stems from the pressure to maintain and surpass achievements. Combat this anxiety by setting realistic goals that align with your artistic vision and personal growth. Break down larger objectives into manageable steps, and remember to celebrate each milestone along the way. By focusing on progress rather than perfection, you can mitigate the fear of not living up to expectations.

Begin by clarifying your artistic vision and long-term aspirations. What do you hope to achieve? How do you envision your artistic journey unfolding? Once you have a clear vision, break down your larger objectives into smaller, actionable steps. This approach allows you to focus on the immediate tasks at hand, making them more attainable and less overwhelming

Make your goals SMART! (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) – We cover this in great detail in module 2 of TULU Academy. This approach not only mitigates the fear of not living up to expectations but also cultivates a healthier and more sustainable mindset towards success.

Cultivate Self-Compassion and Practice Self-Care

Amidst the pursuit of success, it’s so important for independent artists to prioritise self-care and cultivate self-compassion. In the creative process, setbacks and challenges are inevitable. Embrace a mindset that views setbacks as learning opportunities and stepping stones towards growth. By accepting the ups and downs of the artistic path, artists can cultivate self-compassion and reduce self-judgement.

Remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you’re doing the best you can. Cultivating self-compassion allows artists to navigate the fear of success with a sense of self-acceptance and self-encouragement.

Make self-care a priority in your daily routine by practising mindfulness or meditation, exercising or engaging in physical activities that you enjoy, spending quality time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies unrelated to your art, or simply taking moments of quiet solitude to recharge.

By recognising setbacks as part of the creative process, adopting self-compassionate language, engaging in regular self-care activities, setting boundaries, seeking support, and prioritising stress management, artists can cultivate resilience, enhance their overall well-being, and thrive in their artistic endeavours.

Taking care of yourself is not selfish.

Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity:

Embracing failure as a learning opportunity is a transformative mindset that can greatly benefit independent artists in their pursuit of success. By shifting the perception of failure, artists can unlock their full potential and foster a mindset of growth and resilience. 

By embracing failure as a natural part of the creative process, artists can extract knowledge and use it to grow, refine their skills, and evolve as practitioners. Furthermore, resilience allows artists to bounce back from setbacks, and challenges with renewed determination and optimism. It enables them to persevere through difficulties and maintain their artistic integrity.

Embracing failure encourages artists to be authentic and true to themselves. When artists let go of the fear of failure, they are more likely to take risks, experiment with unconventional ideas, and create work that reflects their unique artistic voice.

By viewing failure as a stepping stone to success, artists can navigate the uncertainties of their creative journey with confidence, persistence, and a deep commitment to continuous improvement.

Final Thoughts on Navigating the Fear of Success

The fear of success is a common yet seldom discussed topic among independent artists. By acknowledging and addressing this anxiety, artists can take proactive steps towards overcoming their fears and embracing the success they yearn for. Remember, success is not just about external recognition but also about personal fulfilment and artistic growth. By reframing your perspective, cultivating a supportive network, setting realistic goals, practising self-care, and embracing failure, you can navigate the fear of success and embark on a fulfilling artistic journey.