Category Archives: Artist Development

Transferable Skills for the Career Indie Musician

Some Music Career Skills May Not Be Music-Related

Transferable skilsHone Your Skills

I thought I would share a little of what I have been working on for ‘Take the Oath: Volume II’. A big part of chapter 4 covers honing your skills. As an indie music entrepreneur, those skills should not be limited to musical talent alone. There are many other skill sets in which to hone as both a musician and a business person. While you are not required to master them all, having a basic working knowledge of certain skills could save you a lot of heartache (and sometimes cash) in the long run.

The most common skill set categories are: knowledge-based, transferable, and interpersonal. You will want to focus on transferable skills in particular.

What are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are those that you possess which can be used in your next job or new career. When a job interviewer asks you what you can bring to the company, he or she is fishing for your transferable skills. As an indie music entrepreneur you should evaluate your past experiences and determine how they can be used to further your music career.

Indentify Those Skills

You may have some skills which are very clear to you, such as those learned by way of a past sales position, college or tech school graduation, or attending a small business seminar. There may also be several sub-skills that you possess without realizing it. Even certain jobs and education may include lesser, hidden skills that you have simply overlooked. In order to bring them to light you should first conduct an inventory of your past experiences.

Take a sheet of paper and create four columns. Title each column as follows:

  1. Experience
  2. Tasks
  3. Skills
  4. Transferable

Under “Experience” list:

  • all past/present jobs (full-time and part-time);
  • all past/present education (including extra-curricular activities and organizations/clubs);
  • all past/present volunteer work;
  • all past/present internship experience;
  • all past/present hobbies;
  • all past/present life experiences that come to mind.

In the “Tasks” column (beside each experience) write a description of the tasks that you performed on a daily basis. From each description, pick out specific skills that were used to complete those tasks and place them in the “Skills” column. Once you have identified your skills, determine if and how they can be transferred to your music career. In the “Transferable” column, explain how the skill is beneficial.

Perhaps you or another band member has some basic accounting knowledge.  You will want to keep your books in order until the time comes to hire a professional bookkeeper.  Maybe one of you knows a bit about vehicle maintenance and upkeep.  This would surely go a long way while on the road.

That about does it for the Take the Oath: Volume II update for now. Stay tuned for all the blow by blow action \m/

Network Flashback – Does Your Music Offer A Solution?

Originally posted 12/09/2009 Does Your Music Offer A Solution? I ask only because people don’t buy products – they buy solutions! Shift your attention away from the details and features of your product and focus on the problems it can solve. The solution is then your offer. Perhaps you could focus on the therapeutic benefitsContinue Reading

Oath of the Indie Musician – Take The Oath

“Based off my acclaimed Oath of the Indie Musician, TAKE THE OATH reflects on some of my experiences as a working musician.” – Don “Wicked D” Harrison “Don has done it again. This time a Mission Statement for all of us Indie Musicians to abide by and live up to if we want to respectContinue Reading

Ask Your Fans!

Ask Your Fans!

What Are You Missing?  Ask Your Fans! Hey bands! You’ve got the tunes, you’ve got the chops, you’ve got the gigs, but there are hundreds of thousands of performing artists with millions upon millions of songs available for download. Making awesome music and putting on incredible live shows are not enough. Throwing your music upContinue Reading

What The Music Industry Can Learn From Glen Bell – Founder of Taco Bell

What The Music Industry Can Learn From Glen Bell – Founder of Taco Bell

I ran across a cool Hypebot post by Robin Davey titled, What The Music Industry Can Learn From Glen Bell – Founder of Taco Bell. Followers of Network or Die know I often suggest that indie musicians not only seek inspiration outside of their chosen genre, but outside of the music industry all together.  SoContinue Reading

Fan Interaction and the Indie Musician

Photo courtesy of What have you done to actively recognize your fans?  What do you do on any given day to keep your band fresh in their minds?  More importantly, how have you increased sales via fan interaction?  Procrastination is a career killer. Don’t wait for CD Baby or iTunes to sell your music.Continue Reading

How to Launch the XXXX Out of Your Mixtape/Album Part 1

How to Launch the XXXX Out of Your Mixtape/Album Part 1 is an informative video by Markus of fame. While geared heavily toward the Rap community, there’s tons of usable info for every indie musician.  Good, solid advice from someone who has made a living via music for the past 10 years!

Oath of the Indie Musician – Printable Certificate

Have You Taken The Oath? Well, here’s your chance, literally. No, really … take it with you! Many of The Oath loyalists have printed copies of my original work, written it down in their notebooks, saved it to their desktop, etc.  I know of one indie musician who has it written on a whiteboard inContinue Reading