Fearless One

KJ’s Top 10 Tips for Independent Artists

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While being signed to a major label is top priority for many songbirds in the world, there is a rapidly growing community of artists who enjoy the advantages of being independent. They’ve come to grips with the fact that the record industry as we once knew it no longer exists (can you say free digital downloads?) and are making the best of the tools they have at hand, such as powerful social media networks, to build their fan base. Today, one of my favorite independent artists, the beautiful, talented, and sweet as pie KJ Rose is here to share her top 10 tips for being a successful independent artist. Here’s how to make it work!

1.  Identify your goals: What are you working towards? Booking shows and touring? Promoting an album? Writing songs?

2.  Know your strengths and define your niche: This industry is inundated with artists who are looking to establish a position or maintain their current position so the competition is fierce.  Find your lane. Figure out what you’re best at and WORK IT!

3.  Know and understand your audience and your market: Who does your music speak to?  How do they relate to you? How do you cater to them? What can you offer them to keep them coming back for more?

4.  Build your brand: What is your distinctive value? What do you stand for? What is your mission?  Once you’ve identified who you are, you can proceed with aligning yourself with similar brands to create effective partnerships and sponsorships.

5.  Move deliberately: Make concise decisions about your career for optimal results. Don’t be tentative, no one will respond to your efforts if you are unsure.  Be very clear that your efforts will not always create revenue but there will be value in strengthening your art and in creating new relationships with promoters, musicians, agents, etc.  Perform every show with the same excitement & vigor whether it is a paid gig or charity. Leave your HEART on every single stage that you touch!

6.  Construct and maintain your online and social media presence: Make sure you have a website that allows your supporters to get current information on your project. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, sonicbids, and ReverbNation are just a few of the tools that will be paramount to your visibility.

If a PR person isn’t in your budget right now, these tools will allow you to spread the word about your day-to-day dealings and accomplishments.  There is value in every performance and every event – make sure these moments are captured by photos and videos in order to increase your on-line presence – this currency is imperative to your career!

7.  Build your network: Your contacts are your ambassadors, they are ones that will spread the word; they are essentially your record label.  Follow-up with every contact you meet and add them to your email database.  Keep them posted on your progress with newsletters and updates.

8.  Guard and protect your dream: Not everyone will understand your passion – only focus on those who do, they are the most important!

9.  Continue to sharpen your craft in the meantime: Vocal lessons, acting lessons, music lessons, writing lessons, etc. – do whatever you can to increase your talent-equity so that you are prepared when the opportunity is presented.

10. Be your #1 fan: If you are not on FIRE about your music, no one else will be!  Stop waiting for others to validate your passion, the only person that has to believe is YOU!

To learn more about the lovely KJ Rose visit www.kjrose.com. If you missed KJ’s recent feature in ELLE Magazine, click here to check her out!















As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.


  1. michelle

    May 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    KJ’s hustle is an inspiration…such a huge fun person in a tiny body! continue to make your dreams come true! xoxox

  2. KJ Rose

    May 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I’m inspired by women like you Michelle!! This is not a one-woman show…thanks for all the love!!!

  3. Hill

    May 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    KJ Rose’s music is inspirational and real. The upbeat songs, mixed in with a raspy old-school/new school soulful swagger cannot be touched! Add that to superior song-writing skills and you have the ingredients for a supa star! Love her and her music. Keep on pressin’ on KJ!

  4. Pamela

    May 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    KJ Rose is the truth! She’s dedicated, focused and talented at her craft. Her music evokes true emotion and if you have seen her perform you’ll know she feels everything she belts out. She is the truth and an inspiration for all of us who have a dream.

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