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« Tidings Of Comfort, Joy, Forgiveness & Success, A Four-Part Exercise For Musicians | Main | A Sample Music Business Plan »

10 Success Strategies for DIY Musicians, Managers & Promoters

In the spirit of holiday gift giving, I’d like to give you a new, six-page report called “10 Success Strategies for DIY Musicians, Managers, Promoters and More.”

Use this direct link to the PDF file to open and print it. (If you want to access it later, be sure to save the file to your hard drive or favorite ebook reader.)

I encourage you to share this free report with anyone you feel could use it. After all, that’s why I published these 10 DIY music strategies - to inspire and empower music people who really need to GET these principles.

The only stipulation for sharing this: Please do not alter the report or charge money for it.

Creative Commons License
10 Success Strategies for DIY Musicians by Bob Baker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


And Happy Holidays!


Reader Comments (20)

Strategies? Where?


December 2 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

there is nothing here?

December 2 | Unregistered Commenterwlodek

Happy Christmas to you too Bob :)

The best bit is, '3 Ways to Become a Music Marketing Ninja':

liked, 'Don't Cater to Average', I'm always talking about averages!

Anyway, the whole thing is worth a read :)

Posts like this test the point of this site, as does the Kevin English one elsewhere.

What can be learnt from people who have had no demonstrable success with their 'marketing strategies' is debatable.

Preferable, perhaps, would be posts by successful PR/A&R/artist managers etc rather than generalised plattitudes in a list.

I don't know why, but stuff like this reminds me of the 'Love is...' series. Birthday card wisdom!

December 3 | Registered CommenterTim London

Hi Bob, I have tried to click through all the links but can't see to access the 10 DIY strategies, please could you put up another link? Many thanks, Sally


That is the working link.


December 3 | Registered CommenterMusic Think Tank

This link ain't working or is it the 10 success strategies from Bob that are flaw....Thanks God I got a plan..........F

December 3 | Unregistered CommenterFredriko

this went nowhere.

December 3 | Unregistered CommenterSkizzy


Not sure what you mean by this comment.

"Posts like this test the point of this site, as does the Kevin English one elsewhere."

Can you explain what you are talking about exactly?



December 3 | Unregistered CommenterKevin English


In principle, I think the idea of an online place where musicians and music biz people can chew over The Brave New World © a grand one.

However, as much as everyone has something to sell, basic proof as to its quality helps. If a musician posts a link to some sounds on here then we can all have a listen and decide whether or not they truly are George Harrison meets Jay Z.

If a marketer or 'guru' posts a list of anything and calls it the route to success, or a business plan that will bring success then several similarly rigorous tests need to be applied: what do they mean by success? Literally, how much money or happiness equals success? Is it a combination of things? What things will your plan bring, what things will your list bring? Honestly?

Secondly: show how these lists and plans have been successful for other musicians; examples, testimonials, before and afters.

Third: show the variables, between what each artist might expect, based on, say, genre, or age, or where they are based.

There are probably a few more but that would do for a start. Get past the generics to the specifics.

Convince me, a very cynical person, that the post above isn't a load of self-help claptrap and you will genuinely be a guru.

The reason why I hope music biz people from the trad side post on here is because they have an examinable track record, good or bad.

Most of them have great tips; none of them would state they have a plan for success. Their lists would be eminently more practical, much more expensive and admittedly different for every single artist. But you would get a reality you could place yourself in.

For a specific set of queries regarding your post, Justin's comment over there does me fine. With apologies to Bob for hijacking his comments.

December 3 | Registered CommenterTim London

Thanks Bob- good stuff

December 3 | Unregistered CommenterReal J.O.B

Sorry @Kevin and @Bob but I 'sort of' agree with @Tim (@Kevin, I'd have felt a lot better if you'd given @Justin an answer in, 'A Sample Music Business Plan'). What connects these two posts for me, is that they are discussing individualistic and fluid topics, meaning: what's good for one band isn't necessarily good for another (+/ a one cure fits all scenario), and, everything is constantly changing (nothing stands still, everything flows) ...I'm talking in platitudes arn't I?

But even though both the posts are 'in a way' flawed, I will stand by their right of presence because they contribute to the larger picture - take what you will from them and don't get too precious (I can help you with one word: CONTENT).

"Love Is...being able to say you are sorry", Birthday card wisdom or multi-million dollar comic strip business? ...I'd like a slice of the action :) ...and I bet they've always had a business plan!

I help bands to promote their websites, and I do it true to my Buddhist principles, no money is involved and I help any band. Do I get it wrong and sometimes talk in generalised platitudes, oh yes, but that's life. I hate it when everything has to be measured, it sounds so politically correct!

'...I'd like a slice of the action :)'

...kind of sums it up.

When the tot-up of the UK music biz takes place next year at the behest, I think, of the BPI, I hope they take into account the 'ancillary' industry of one-man gurus advising artists on anything from business plans, best wordpress themes (which they happen to sell) and which huge lists of internet sites they should have a presence on.

Incorrect information and bad advice needs challenging. As a kind of internet guru sump, this site is worth checking, for picking the granules of gold from the hairy mess. But it's worth being very selective.

December 5 | Registered CommenterTim London

True - selective, but also open minded, 'things' do change.

You guys are hysterical :0) Thanks for commenting back TimI I'll leave Bob's post alone now and respond on my own post sometime this week.

I will say however, Bob Baker has been doing this shit for as long as some of us have been alive, so lets give him some respect. You don't have to agree with him, but lets not discount his skin in the game.



December 5 | Registered CommenterKevin English

Thanks for this Bob, Ive sent it off to a friend of mine who has started a small music promotions business & is also trying to get his band more recognition. This might just be the inspiration he needs for the new year!

Thanks, Dan

December 7 | Unregistered CommenterLeeds PA Hire

Thanks so much to those of you who posted kind words in these comments, and thanks to those who expressed criticism that sparked some great discussion.

I agree there's a great need for music biz advice and reporting that's based on case studies, facts and real-world examples (such as the Raveonettes story in the free "10 Success Strategies" report). I've published a good number of those hard-fact type of pieces on my blog and in my books.

But another area that I have written extensively about over the years is the "mental game" of a music career. Whether it's changing the way you think about marketing or the way you view yourself as an artist, to deny the impact of this aspect on success is shortsighted in my view.

Seth Godin is perhaps one of the most respected and well-read marketing authors and bloggers alive. Take a look at his blog sometime. Virtually every post is about an idea -- something to make you think about promotion and sales in a new way.

And that's been one of my goals for the past 20 years - to get musicians, managers, promoters and more to shift their perspective in a way that empowers them to take action in a very concrete way in the real world.

Some people get amazing results doing so, some get so-so results, and others get no results at all. But if I've challenged people to think in new and expanded ways about how they promote themselves and their place in the world, then I've done my job.

That style of writing isn't for everyone. If you require facts and figures, or first-hand accounts of strategies that worked, there are plenty of good musicians, bloggers and speakers who will satisfy that need. There's plenty to go around for everyone's tastes.

Hmmm ... kinda like music itself. You'll never please everyone with what you create. But if you reach enough people who benefit from your gifts, you can do pretty well for yourself.


December 7 | Registered CommenterBob Baker

Bob, that's a very reasoned response.

The question that I keep asking myself with all advisers and marketers, especially those who celebrate independent musos and state that we really can do it by ourselves is this:

If your ideas work why not put them into action? You'll make more money, you'll SHOW people how to do it and you'll shut up people like me.

Take an artist, or several artists, manage them to success. Take the normal 20%, then do it again. Every dollar profit is an advert for your expertise!

Define success yourself, by all means (10,000 downloads? 50,000 youtube hits? A national tour that makes money? A new, smart uniform for the band?) and decide on your schedule, then do it.

If your ideas work then it should be a doddle.

December 7 | Registered CommenterTim London

I couldn't open this...

December 8 | Unregistered CommenterErik


I appreciate your comments on the power of Leadership by Example. It is one of the main reason I keep my "advice" (expertise?) to myself. On the other hand, it is fair to say that some of humanity is designed to encourage and guide, and that may be the actuality for those who wear the 'advisor' or 'marketer' hats.

... but I'm still keeping my mouth shut for the time being :)

December 9 | Unregistered CommenterJamaica Bob

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