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The Indie Maximum Exposure 100

Entries in Tom Silverman (5)


1: Pick A Niche And Dominate It

There are no ultimate 100 Indie Maximum Exposure vehicles for one simple reason. Indie artists must break from a niche. That niche must be well delineated and can be very very small and still be effective. The mistake most artists make is making a pop record that does not have a niche to break out of.

The adage, think globally act locally can be re-stated think mainstream, act niche. The newer your niche, the greater your chance of becoming identified with it. Almost every Tommy Boy superstar broke out of a niche they dominated if they did not invent. Examples: De La Soul: hip hop hippies, House of Pain – Irish hip hop, Queen Latifah: first proud and powerful African American woman in hip hop, Ru Paul, first drag queen with dance hit, and so on.

So whatever you genre, sub-genre or micro niche there will usually be media that dominates that view of reality. If you are a militant political artist, you would launch in the niche militant political blogs and magazines to establish a beach head. If you a rapper that rapped about uzis and AK’s maybe your entry would be blogs and mags about guns and ammo. David Hazan mentioned a band that was way into Anime and they get written up in the Anime blogs and make a living playing the Anime shows. Will they be able to cross to mainstream? Maybe not but they can be the lords of their niche and make a good living doing that.

So rather than being specific, I would point to blogs and mags in your micro-niche that might not even be music-oriented. You may be more news to a non-music site and reach a core audience that way than trying to get Pitchfork to discover you. There are also opportunities to perform at industry shows in non music industry events and get paid much better than you would in the glutted music market.

In other words make your presentation and target audience as unique as possible so you can be the king of that niche, then target the non-music publications (both on line and off) and the events in that niche. You will be building fans, gaining awareness and making money before you even attempt to cross into the “music industry.”

- Tom Silverman 


4: Look at What Differentiates You - Shove Yourself Into A Niche

Music fans aren’t found on sites for music fans. I’m inspired by certain things– technology, animals, politics, sci-fi/ fantasy – and so is every other artist. Whatever I’m writing about, there’s a community based around that topic. Instead of going after generic “music fan” crowds, I chose to focus on specific niches that share MY interests. Since I’m into podcasting and new media stuff, my music has been resonating particularly well with the geek crowd. That is where I focus my efforts. I’m also a big sci-fi/ fantasy nerd as well, so I hit conventions and gatherings of that nature. Not only is my music relevant to them, I can relate to them on a personal level.

- Matthew Ebel

Create a story that you can pitch to media outlets that don’t specialize in music. (You will have to figure this one out yourself).

- Tom Silverman


5: Be A Contrarian

Whatever other artists are doing in recording, performance and marketing…do the opposite.

- Tom Silverman


42: Play Gigs Where No One Else Plays Gigs

You won’t be making money in the beginning anyway so play in weird places that will get people talking (even if you get arrested). Getting arrested is great for your credibility and will make everyone talk about you and make everyone but the status quo like you.

- Tom Silverman 



53: Have A Killer Website at Your Custom Domain URL

Create a webpage that lures in the “just looking” visitors and gets them to upgrade to level 2 of your site when they give you’re their email / contacts. The level 2 experience of your site should be enhanced from the level one “tire kicker” level in terms of content quality, quantity and how quickly it is updated. Once you have enough level 2 members you will want to create a level 3 experience that is another big step up from level 2. This is for your best customers and most devout fans. At some point this can become a subscription site but early on it will be a la carte. It just rewards your street team/super fans for their support. Here you will sell exclusive merch and sell advance tickets to shows and music no one else gets to buy.

- Tom Silverman

The best place to be is “” Artists who have their own domain make more money than those that do not. Period.

- Jed Carlson