—By Sally O’Dowd

Dani Felt: helping indie musicians launch careers
Dani Felt: helping indie musicians launch careers

I once produced an Internet radio show on WebmasterRadio.fm about the “deconstruction of the album.”

My panel of guests discussed the industry’s turbulence and the various hits to record labels’ bottom lines, such as single downloads on iTunes instead of complete albums. Just think, 10 years ago that was a novel idea…

To be sure, the music industry has been criticized for its inability to adjust to rapid transformation brought on by digital technology. But while record labels were laying off workers and grappling with the flood of copyrighted music, another dynamic was occurring at the creative end: artists were taking advantage of the digital revolution to interact directly with fans, share their music socially and even record at home.

Given all that has happened in the world of music, I have taken an interest in 24-year-old folk singer Dani Felt. She is working with Emily Correa, founder of Vida Linda Coaching, to publish In the Spotlight: Over 100 Voices in Music, an e-book designed to coach other young artists on how best to market themselves.

Here’s what Dani and Emily have to say on what indie musicians need to do to thrive.

Sally Dani, you’re just a few years out of college and you are already trying to help other artists..What unmet need are you providing with your e-book?

Dani Some artists are great at their craft, whether it’s songwriting, singing or both, but they don’t know a lot about marketing themselves as a brand. We provide marketing tips to help them grab attention of industry professionals and fans.

We also provide our own experiences as entrepreneurs so the artists can learn from our mistakes and kickstart their success faster.

Sally Tell us about some of the artists sharing their stories.

No_Sleep1Dani We feature tips and tricks, stories about ups and downs, from 100 artists. To name a few: Todd Carey (signed to Blaster Records), singer/songwriter Adam Clark (betting on 2014 as a big year with his first release), and Heart Hays (whose first song was picked up by music licensing company GODiy Music).

The cool thing is that all the different artists we feature in this e-book are on different levels in their career–some just starting out, some on tour–so you really get to learn from a ton of different perspectives.

Sally How about a preview of the advice you share in the book.

Dani One great quote would be from voice coach and musician mentor Cari Cole:

“Something that takes me by surprise is how many artists are not ‘in’ the business but continue to function outside of it. I run across so many artists that haven’t even filed copyrights or registered with a performing rights organization like ASCAP to collect money due to them. Get yourself in the business — AND — follow your heart. Make the music YOU want to hear, and stop at nothing until you have THAT.”

Sally Re: your own music career, what tricks are working for you?

Dani You’ve got to be professional and have a social media presence, venue bookers, and a manager, or no one will take you as seriously.

I recently got a photoshoot by the very talented Mark David and worked with Bandzoogle.com to launch my site. I also bought some recording equipment such as a microphone, mic stand, and pop filter so I could record from home—and I really enjoyed the chance to perform recently at R Bar in New York because I want to be known as a performer, not just a marketer. And Sound Cloud is a platform for artists to share their music and for people to explore new sounds, such as my single Drowned in Heartache.

Sally Emily, I’m a bit envious. I’ve not written a book. How did you organize the content?

Emily Three main ideas: guidance, inspiration and motivation in business and life.

From there, we divided the content into 10 chapters, beginning with Chapter 1 on what inspired other artists to get into music and other chapters including First Steps, Dream Collaborations, The Realities of the Industry, and Legacy.

Sally Your multimedia approach to book publishing is pretty neat! Tell us more about that.

Emily Correa, a multimedia approach to book publishing
Emily Correa: multimedia book publishing

Emily We are pairing the e-book with a deck of inspiration cards with coaching questions, affirmations and business lessons so artists have a tool on hand to make progress.

We also selected 15 music artists for a free online song list to help our readers maintain their inspiration. In addition, we are providing artists with a free coaching session.

Sally Who would be best-served by advertising in the book?

Emily If you are a business that supports the arts, we would like to invite you to share your logo and site and be featured with us.

Email us at CreativeSpotlights@gmail.com for more information.

Sally O’Dowd is CEO of integrated marketing and PR firm Sally On Media. Contact her at sally @ sallyonmedia dot net.

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