I heard the term “indie” bounced around a lot these days and I wonder what the definition of indie is. I think of it as a reference to a musician, small record label or film company without an affiliation with a major corporation. I read this article by Bob Baker, the author of “Branding Yourself Online: How to Use the Internet to Become a Celebrity or Expert in Your Field” and the “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook.” He defines I-N-D-I-E as:
I – Inspired
He said to embrace the indie frame of mind, you must be inspired. You have to know in your gut that music is what you are meant to do. You must become energized when writing, recording and performing your music. When this kind of natural inspiration comes over you, it’s a sure sign that you’re on the right path. And you will need this desire to carry you through the ups and downs of pursuing the independent music path.
N – Nontraditional
Indie musicians don’t mind learning about what has come before, and they are happy to listen to the “rules” that others say are required to have a successful music career. However, the smartest indie artists keep their minds flexible and constantly ask questions about how the supposed “rules” of the past really apply to them. They actually develop a mindset that seeks out the road less traveled. And when they spot a good idea that’s off the traditional path, they fearlessly go after it without apologies.
D – Determined
Successful indie artists are fixated on their goals and determined to reach them. They still leave room to veer from the original plan, when needed, but they are steadfast in their desire to produce more and better music, reach more fans, sell more CDs, etc. With this attitude, obstacles become short-term learning experiences along the road to higher levels of success.
I – Innovative
Being an indie means thinking outside of the proverbial box and looking at fresh opportunities from every angle. It means not promoting yourself the same way a thousand other acts have done it. It means being resistant to knee-jerk marketing tactics and being open to new ideas and overlooked avenues for exposure.
E – Empowered
Indie musicians don’t wait for someone or something else to come along and rescue them. They don’t pray for a “lucky break” or to “be discovered.” They know to the core that the power to succeed with their music resides inside of them. And they understand that it’s their mission to tap into that personal power and use it to share their music with the world.