Home / Blog / Guide / 100% Diy: How To Manage Yourself As An Artist

100% Diy: How To Manage Yourself As An Artist

We’re seeing more and more artists successfully self-manage these days. So, whether you haven’t found the right manager yet or like the idea of being in control of every aspect of your business, anything is indeed possible. Yes, you’ll need to be realistic when setting goals, and prepare for some serious graft, but in return, you know that all the profits are coming straight to you and you’ve got complete artistic control.

Thinking about it? Perhaps the main obstacle you’ll need to overcome is funding. The benefit of signing with a label is the major cash injection that comes with it. Perhaps it will take you longer to quit your day job as you’ll need your wages to fund the early costs of your business? And you’ll likely be spending a few sleepless nights writing emails to industry insiders before getting up for the daily grind like everyone else. That said, the rewards of being self-managed, including the sense of freedom, are (for some) unmatched.

There’s more to the choices you make than money though. It seems a cliché, but it’s more important than ever to connect with your fans as an independent artist. Without the backing of a label, their support is not only going to earn you money but help you make connections in the industry. Play live shows as much as you can in a variety of locations, and make sure your online presence is at the top of its game. Post content and new music regularly and keep your YouTube updated with quality video content. Follow in the footsteps of artists like Stormzy and connect with your fans on a personal level by replying to their tweets and messages. You’re making yourself look relatable, which fans love. Social media is one of the reasons self-management is an option now more than ever. You have a free marketing tool at your fingertips; so don’t be afraid of using it.

Focus on your strengths; If you’re handy with a camera, shoot music videos and promo clips to accompany your songs. If you find a unique selling point, one can become known or recognised for a standout trait (for example, Ed Sheeran and his iconic loop machine performances or Stefflon Don with her bold styling and unique lyrical style). Build a brand identity and carry it across everything you do, from your social channels to the physical merch that you can sell at gigs. It can help to make you memorable and build a strong foundation for your success.

Don’t ignore the legal stuff either. Perhaps you’re collaborating on a track, or a friend is helping you out with album artwork. Outsourcing work is needed but you’ll regret it if you don’t sit down and discuss the financial and legal bits at the time. Just because you don’t have a manager to take care of this stuff, doesn’t mean that you can skip over the admin. Figure out who owns the copyright to what and get any tracks registered with PRS and PPL, as you don’t want to risk losing out on that early income (if you’re baffled by any of this, hit UD up and we’ll help you nail the learning).

When it comes to getting your music out there you have to be your own label initially too.. Once your music is registered, check out distribution services like Ditto that will enable you to get your music to the major digital platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify and any other relevant streaming services. This will make it possible to collect royalties from plays of your tracks, and give your fans a central place to enjoy, comment on and share your music.

Words by Jesse Bernard

Read Next

Events, Featured, Talent House, What's On | 1 July 2022

Industry Takeover, How To Become Verified: Building a Fanbase, 14th July @ Talent House

On Thursday 14th July, UD will welcome another all-star line-up to the Talent House to share their knowledge on How To Become Verified: Building A Fanbase. Host Chris Cooke will be joined by Daniel Ayim (CEO @ AGM Agency), Krish Kudhail (Senior Artist Marketing Manager @ PLATOON) and Leon Matthews (Video Director/DOP @ Krown Media)…

Read more

Artists, Featured, Music | 28 June 2022

UD Selects: June Mixtape

It always starts with the music! Bringing you a pick of the month’s best releases, Jojo Jones and Maria Hanlon present 10 tunes that have hit their decks – and got a reload – in June. Starring Kenzie TTH, MINIKINGZ, Malika, David Mrakpor & Blue Lab Beats, Ego Ella May, Kokoroko, George Riley, Nesta, Knucks, Guiltybeatz, Kyra, Greentea Peng & Ezra Collective…

Read more

Events, Featured, What's On | 21 June 2022

UD Selects: Affordable Summer Events

No cost of living crisis is gonna stop this party! Radio Presenter and DJ Maria Hanlon shares 10 of the best free music events and experiences taking place this summer. From live performances to virtual festivals, we’ve got the season sorted…

Read more

Artists, Events, Featured | 14 June 2022

UD LOW DOWN: MURKAGE DAVE @ ROUGH TRADE EAST

Maria Hanlon took a trip to Rough Trade East to watch a live in-store performance from Murkage Dave after the release of his highly-anticipated sophomore album ‘The City Needs A Hero’…

Read more