Grassroots 1 Recommendations | PRO


Your survey results indicate that you are a:
Grassroots Artist (Level 1)

If you feel you're in the wrong tier or have moved on from this one, click here to take the survey again!

As a beginning artist, you have yet to release much music or develop your presence on social media. But, don't let that worry you!

You'll be glad to know that your beginner status actually places you at a significant advantage. That's because many artists throw a lot of bad strategies at the wall when they're first starting out, which can cause long-term damage to their artistic career before they ever find a strategy that works.

From the get-go, you'll be applying time-tested growth strategies that have been refined over many years by thousands of Indies and a team of music-marketing experts.

Scroll down to review your recommended goals, campaigns, and consults from our IndiesLIVE! consult vault that focus on your exact starting point!

Your Recommended Goals

Below, you can review a set of realistic goals for the next 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year of your music career. These goals are directly correlated to the recommended trainings, campaigns, and projects listed in the lower half of this page. 

First 3 Months

  • Release 1-2 singles on streaming platforms
  • Create and configure social media profiles
  • Create and configure streaming profiles (Apple Music, Spotify)
  • Create brand and visual identity
  • Earn 100 new followers/fans
  • BONUS: Create 1-3 performance videos

3-6 Months

  • Release 2-4 singles on streaming platforms
  • Release 1-3 Performance videos
  • Run Fan Finder ad campaign
  • Earn 100-1000 followers/fans
  • Reach 250 monthly listeners
    (Apple Music, Spotify)
  • Run Warm Boosting Campaign

6-12 Months

  • Release a collection or album
  • Earn 2000-4000 followers/fans
  • Reach 250-1000  monthly listeners
    (Apple Music, Spotify)
  • BONUS: Create an email list
  • BONUS: Create a basic website
  • Build a recurring content strategy

= "...within the time frame"

= "...if you haven't already"

= "...depending on your budget"

= "...within the time frame"

= "...if you haven't already"

= "...depending on your budget"

Recommended Campaigns/Projects

Below is a list of projects and campaigns you can work on and implement in order to progress in your career and grow your fan base.

These projects and campaigns are listed in the order in which you should complete them.

Once you've completed these campaigns, projects, and trainings, you can re-take the placement survey to determine which tier you have progressed to.

Create your brand/visual identity

More often than not, artists will rush forward in their career without ever establishing a clear visual identity and brand. If you do not have a clear brand that frames the experiences listeners have with you, it will be difficult to create memorable, lasting experiences that turn listeners into fans.

Because you are starting from square one, you have the advantage of creating a clear brand now (even though it may be simple at first) so that you are building brand equity from every interaction with every listener.

Relevant Trainings

How To Create Your Brand

Learn how to create and communicate your ethos through a strong brand that your fans will recognize, remember, and identify with!

Create/optimize your social media pages

One of the main skills taught in our community is how to generate new listeners and fans using social media engagement and advertising. To create your initial fan base, you will learn and implement strategies involving social media ads. But, before you can earn any fans, it’s important to communicate your brand through your social media pages.

We recommend that, after having ideated on your brand, you create or refactor your social media pages with your brand and visual identity in mind. This will ensure that, when new listeners learn about you, they will be able to learn more about you through a branded experience on your social media profiles.

Relevant Trainings

Fan Page Optimization

Turn your basic social media and streaming profiles into a Fan Hub that captures attention and generates engagement!

Fan Finder (Ad Campaign)

In our community, indie artists ranging from beginner to advanced have generated millions of new listeners and fans using our Fan Finder Method. This campaign focuses on the things that make musicians go viral - common characteristics of popular videos past and present - to create and implement social media advertising campaigns which generate fans on autopilot.

Once you have a strong brand and a branded social media presence, you can begin earning fans for your music using Fan Finder campaigns. Even if you do not have a marketing budget, this training will help you create Fan Finder videos and distribute them organically. We recommend this strategy because it is the most effective we have seen over 5 years of marketing artists every day, and it will serve as the main bootstrapping mechanism for your initial fan base.

Relevant Trainings

Fan Finder Method

Learn how to create, distribute, and run highly efficient ads on virality-focused performance videos to gain thousands of new listeners per week.

Key Performance Indicators

Cost per Long-form View

Whether you are advertising a 4-minute video on Facebook News Feed or a 30-second clip on Instagram Reels or TikTok, the main metric to focus on in a Fan Finder campaign is the cost you pay to generate a long-form view; this indicates how much it costs to generate a truly engaged viewer.

Regardless of the length of video or platform on which you are advertising, you should test and refine audiences and videos in the campaign to achieve as close to the top benchmark as you possibly can.

Cost per Follower

While most social media ad platforms do not directly display a Cost per Follower, you can determine how much (on average) it costs to generate a follower by dividing your ad spend by the amount of followers you gained during the given time period. It can be helpful to understand how your ad spend and long-form views translate into new followers.

However, it’s important to understand that many engaged listeners will not go through the trouble of following you - you will generate many more long-form viewers than you ever do followers (and that’s okay!)

  • <25¢ per Long-form view
  • 25-40¢ per Long-form view
  • >40¢ per Long-form view

Follower Finder (Ad Campaign)

By implementing the Fan Finder Method, you should end up with one or more performance videos that listeners are highly receptive to on social media. If growing streams and followers on Spotify or Apple Music is a goal for you, these high-performing videos can be ideal for directing traffic to your Spotify or Apple Music profile using Instagram Reels ads.

If you want to focus on growing your streams and streaming followers, you can take our Spotify Field Guide training to learn more about how Spotify works and how to strategically approach the platform to get more out of it than you put in. This training will also show you how to convert your Fan Finder campaigns into “Follower Finder” campaigns to direct users to your profile, a playlist, or individual tracks on Spotify.

Relevant Trainings

Spotify Field Guide

Learn how the Spotify "algorithm" works, form long-term growth habits, and start growing your Spotify week-over-week!

Key Performance Indicators

Cost per Click

Because Spotify and Apple Music do not allow you to track how users interact with your songs and artist profile, the closest key performance indicator to focus on in a Follower Finder campaign is the cost you pay to generate a click. A certain percentage of those who click on your ad will also play your track - but not all. Test and refine the audiences and videos you use in your campaign to achieve as close to the top benchmark range as you can.

Cost per Follower

Another reason that not being able to track users on streaming sucks - you can’t really determine how effective your ad campaigns are at generating followers.

But, you can track the growth of your followers on streaming and divide the amount of followers earned in a week into the amount of ad budget spent during that week to get a rough estimate. Tracking this can be helpful for understanding how changes in your ad strategy impact your follower growth.

  • <15¢ per Click
  • 15-25¢ per Click
  • >25¢ per Click

Warm Content Boosting (Ad Campaign)

Once you have begun to generate growth in your social media fans and followers (and your listeners on streaming platforms), the next step will be to keep these people engaged so that they don’t forget about you just as quickly as they learned of you.

To do this, we recommend implementing a consistent habit of posting images and videos on social media and then boosting these posts to your existing "warm" audience (people who have already interacted with you) using a $1-a-day ad campaign.

Relevant Trainings

The $1-A-Day Traffic Plan

Learn how to grow your fan base and maximize your organic reach using $1-a-day Facebook and Instagram Ads

Key Performance Indicators

Cost per Engagement

Because this ad campaign is usually created with the “Engagement” objective, the Key Performance Indicator for this type of campaign is “Cost per Engagement”. Clicks, views, comments, replies, shares, and reactions all count as a form of “engagement”.

Tracking this metric can help you determine when a particular post performs exceptionally well. This, in turn, allows you to improve the content and captions you post over time by knowing what works best (based on actual data).

  • <2¢ per Click
  • 2-4¢ per Click
  • >4¢ per Click

Learn The Buddy System

Every marketing and business strategy taught and practiced in our community plugs into an overall framework: The Buddy System. This system describes the journey that your audience takes from stranger to listener to fan. It also describes the “areas” of your business that you will have to set up by building and deploying campaigns and projects.

Though it may be too early in your career to fully build out your Buddy System, it will be immensely helpful for you to understand the Fan Journey going forward. By learning The Buddy System first, you will be able to understand which part of the relationship each campaign facilitates and how the campaigns you construct fit together to form a complete business.

Relevant Trainings

The Buddy System

Learn the psychology-based step-by-step process for turning random strangers into raving, promoting fans.

Learn Email Marketing & Automation

This may be hard to believe if you aren't very familiar with digital marketing, but email marketing is the cornerstone of almost every online business - even in the 2020s. Email marketing performs better than any other form of online marketing, generating an average of $30-40 for every $1 spent.

Email marketing is powerful because it is a form of “owned media” - you own your email list and can use it how you wish, unlike your social media profile. To bridge the gap between where you are now and a profitable music career supported by fans, email marketing is a key skill you will need to learn and develop. Though you may not build your email list immediately, learning email marketing and getting a head start will be immensely beneficial for you going forward.

Relevant Trainings

Email Marketing for Musicians

Build an end-to-end automated fan-building sales-generating machine with the power of Email Marketing - and put your list to work!