The Ultimate Artist Development Process in 8 Steps

1. Daily Practice & Habits: Developing Talent & Skill: Vocals, Musicianship, Songwriting, Performance Skills.

The first thing is developing the talent and musicianship of the artist. And the core of developing real talent, comes down to a strong practice ~ stellar daily habits & practices. To be a force in music, your musicianship, voice, performance skills have to be in tip top shape. The best way to ensure you’re at your best, or to evolve your skills (a continual process even for stars), is to practice your craft every day (minimum 5 days per week), and to perform regularly. We teach artists the mindsets they need to step into their daily practice and helping them build those habits that help them truly stand on that world stage and stay there. You can’t fool anyone with less, least of all yourself!  

Your Optimal Practice Schedule: Start by practicing voice and your instrument (guitar or piano) 3 days per week. Build to 5. Recommended practice is: 30 – 60 min of voice,  30 – 60 min of instrument practice.

Vocal technique: 30 – 60 min 5x per week. Vocal technique is the routine of singing vocal scales.

Vocal rehearsal: 45 – 60 min 5x per week. Rehearse a set of songs or work out individual songs during this time.

Instrument practice: 60-90 min 5x per week. Practice your scales and songs during this time. Every singer or music artist needs to be able to accompany themselves. It’s never too late to get started!

2. Signature Songwriting

We have found that when artists write from personal experience it makes their material more authentic and resonates more with artist and audience.

Once you get your vocal technique and rehearsing your songs under your belt, as well as your instrument practice, then you can add songwriting to your daily practice.

Songwriting practice: Journal daily to write down song ideas and lyrics. Then 2-3x per week sit down to write for 90 min – 3 hours. Make sure this time is uninterrupted.

3. Building Your Artist Persona

An artist persona is something that is built over time ~ it’s more authentic that way, or more well thought out. But there are ways to speed it up. Here’s what to pay attention to.

Create a Pinterest or Instagram board of images that appeal to your artist self. What does your stage show look like? Who is coming to see you? What are you wearing? What is your message? Creating a visual experience is one way to help you step into your artist persona.

4. The Making of an Exceptional Record

Even in a singles market, artists still need to think of “the record” as King. If a new artist only has 1 or 2 songs out, that’s not enough for us to really come on board as a fan. It’s enough to peak our interest, but not to become a die-hard fan.

And every artist that breaks through needs “the record.” The one that makes a strong enough statement artistically and musically ~ the kind that garners raving fans and press.

When you set out to make the BEST record you can – barring no limitations… (and that means not rushing it) — you just might make something that has enough energy to garner that attention and break you through. And be sure it’s not just your opinion, but the opinion of everyone around you, including industry professionals ;).

5. Develop A Killer “Live Show”

This is the next step in the flow. An artist is only as good as their “live” show. Building a strong live show is an art and science unto itself.

Start by examining your strengths and how to best present them. How are you most comfortable? When you are imagine your Artist Persona — what does the stage look like? Build from there.

Also important is that you are able to translate that Live Show in different settings. Every artist has to be able to perform solo, with 1 musician, 2-3 musicians and a full band. They all require creativity to pull off while making a statement and creating an experience for your fans. Look at Ed Sheeran and you’ll know what I mean. A guy and a loop pedal who took over the world! You’ve GOT THIS.

6. Artist Branding

This is where we see lots of artists struggling, or coming up short. Probably because they’re good at #1-5 — but not as good in this domain.

Here’s how a bit of information on how to do it. Start with a great photographer (someone who shoots in music) — plan out the photo shoot with art direction for that shoot, hire the hair stylist and makeup artist (who also work in music) and get it done! The key here is the right people and the art direction. Art direction gives your team direction #priceless.

7. Music Marketing

Music marketing is the next step. You’ve got the killer persona and “live” show, an exceptional record and brand — now you’re ready for marketing. Here, there are no “tricks”. News of great music travels fast. It starts with the music. Then — it’s all about the brand and message. The marketing message is huge. Get yourself a team of bio writers who are music journalists and A & R reps (so they KNOW music) and help you build a story. This is a HUGE part of the marketing piece.

Then it’s about finding the right people to help market. It is recommended that an artist build a team. Start with a VA (Virtual Assistant) that knows social media and can help build campaigns.

And keep in mind that as an independent artists, you want to market each song for 12 weeks (at least.) Start with the video and then the audio. Build each campaign around the songs message and your message as an artist. Let people get to know you and what you are about.

8. Growing Your Career Independently & Within the Music Industry

The most important thing you do is to consistently grow your music career. Build your fanbase as well as attend music conferences and industry events and build your connections. Opportunities to grow your career come from relationships with people inside the industry. Don’t be on the outside looking in. Both are equally important.

Wanna get started or evolve your music career? Contact us. We’d love to help at any point in the artist development process! Whether it’s our free resources (and we’ve got a ton), or working with you in our programs or privately, we can help you move forward faster and with more impact! Don’t hesitate to reach out! We look forward to meeting you!