By Louie Bello

[Editor’s Note: We’ve been following Boston-based R&B performer and writer Louie Bello for a while.  Recognized for the past five years by the Boston Music Awards as a nominee for Best R&B Act, Bello is a fixture in Boston’s live music scene, and has written songs for broadcast as well as other performers.  If you’re an independent artist looking to grow your career, check out his five tips for marketing yourself…]

1. Figure out what success means to you.

Do you have to make $40 million a year and be on JT status?  Or is a solid income from your musical abilities and a loyal following enough? If your head’s in the right place you can be successful.

2. Determine the demographic of your true fans.

Test your music and sound on different groups of people before you do a full blown marketing campaign.  Concentrate on the groups that respond the best, looking at gender and age.  Wasting time and money just to feel cool does not help the cause.

3. Put together a great team.

Most successful people surround themselves with like-minded individuals, who are equally motivated and dedicated.  You can start with family or close friends who truly stand behind you.  Give them tasks that help reduce stressful situations—this will open up more opportunities and allow you to focus on the music. Treat your team well and they will help propel your career.

4. Structure your marketing campaign before you start promoting yourself.

It’s great to hear your voice on a song or see your video online, but if you and your mom are the only ones listening, what’s the point?  Have clear goals and a plan around why you are releasing your product.  Use YouTube as a direct link to your target audience, with   views, likes and organic growth as the goal.  Spending money doesn’t equal success.

5. Enjoy what you do.

The days are short and in this business we all hear “No” more than we ever hear “Yes!”  Make sure you enjoy the journey.  Be yourself and smile!  You are your product and music is supposed to be fun.

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