Grassroots 4 Recommendations | Non-PRO


Your survey results indicate that you are a:
Grassroots Artist (Level 4)

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 Grassroots (Level 4) artist, you are close to a breakthrough in your artistic career - one in which you have the opportunity to fully monetize your artwork and community and turn your artistic endeavours into a business that supports you for the long term.

You've released a fair amount of music, gained a fan base, developed a consistent content and social media strategy, and have even begun to develop an email list.

Now, your challenge is to build out your email marketing strategy, develop reliable ways to convert fans into subscribers, and begin making consistent, well-crafted offers to your fans.

As we've seen time and time again, by focusing on the goals and recommendations below within a year you could have a customer list full of supporting fans within a year. At that point, you just may be ready to scale your operations and fall back on a full time music business!

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

  • Create an email list and install email automation sequences
  • Learn the Buddy System and complete the workbook
  • Build and optimize a Fan Finder or Follower Finder ad campaign
  • Build a recurring content strategy
  • Build and run a Warm Content Boosting ad campaign
  • Grow followers/fans over 25%
  • Grow monthly listeners over 25%(Apple Music, Spotify)

3-6 Months

  • Build and install 1-4 Permission Offers to grow your email list
  • Build your artist website
  • Implement website tracking and analytics (Meta Pixel, Google Analytics)
  • Grow followers/fans over 50%
  • Grow monthly listeners over 50% (Apple Music, Spotify)
  • Generate 25-50 new subscribers

6-12 Months

  • Build and run your Launch Funnel or Free + S&H Funnel campaign
  • Create and order products
    (merch, vinyl, CDs, etc.)
  • Grow followers/fans over 100%
  • Grow monthly listeners over 100%(Apple Music, Spotify)
  • Generate 50-100 email subscribers
  • Generate 25-50 customers/sales

= "...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.

Each of these projects/campaigns correspond to a training available in the IndiePRO Training Vault. If you are not an IndiePRO member, you can access the trainings through our 14-day Free IndiePRO Trial or purchase the trainings standalone through our Products page.

Create an email list and email automations

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.

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.

This training will help you create your email list, begin emailing regularly, and build helpful automations. These automations will ensure that every fan who joins your list, signs up for/purchases an offer, or grows cold and stops opening emails is taken care of automatically.

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!

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

Learn The Buddy System and ideate your Fan Journey

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.

Create and run a 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.

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

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

Create and run a 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. 

Relevant Trainings

Spotify Field Guide

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

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

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

Create and implement recurring content

The hardest thing to do as an artist in the digital age is gain attention amongst an ever-growing sea of high-quality content and noise. This makes it even more tragic that artists who manage to get attention are constantly losing it by not keeping fans engaged - what we call the "Leaky Bucket" effect...

Luckily, this problem has already been solved by YouTubers, comedians, and artists in the past. By creating a recurring content series that fans can "show up" or "tune in" for, you not only ensure that new attention converts into repeat attention over the long term - you also can be sure that new listeners and fans will have a vault of content they can binge through to get to know your work better.

Relevant Trainings

Content Blitz Blueprint

Learn how to start a podcast, vlog, or weekly live stream and retain your fans attention year-round - become a content master!

Implement Warm Audience Post 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

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

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

Create 1-4 Permission Offers

In the music industry, not much attention is paid to email marketing. This sadly missed opportunity is made no more obvious than in the "offers" artists make to entice fans to sign up for their email list - including the all too tragic "Get Updates" (oh, goodie!)...

Experienced digital marketers know that the best way to grow an email list is to craft cant-resist offers that make people want to join the list. By creating enticing offers that your audience receives when subscribing to your email list, you'll both ensure that more fans joint he list while also generating excitement and enthusiasm about being a subscriber. It's a win-win!

Relevant Trainings

Grow Your Permission List

Learn how to consistently and reliably grow your email list by crafting the perfect offer for your fans!

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

Build and launch a (basic) website

Unfortunately, most artist websites are glorified business cards. All too often, artist websites simply fail to capitalize on the power of digital marketing. This is especially tragic when you consider the mindset of the average person who makes it all the way to an artist's website...

We spend so much of our time on social media sites, Google, and Amazon that its rare for anyone to visit any other type of website. When someone makes it to your artist website, it's not by accident - they sought you out! So, we want to make the most out of every website visit by creating a website with high-powered email marketing and e-commerce features that translate into long-term fans and sales.

Relevant Trainings

Build Your Artist Website

Learn how to be your own webmaster and build the perfect website for growing your fan base and customer list!

Implement website tracking and analytics

"That which is measured, improves. That which is measured and tracked, improves exponentially."

As an online artist in the digital age, you will likely use your website for many high-value purposes - including to host landing pages that entice users to sign up for your email list, purchase a product, or register for an event.

But, not all landing pages are created equally - some of them suck - and a sub-optimal landing page will yield sub-optimal results. By implementing tracking and analytics on your website, you will be able to identify when a landing page is underperforming and make steps to improve it. And, you will know exactly how much those changes improve that performance - down to the percent!

Relevant Trainings

Ones & Zeros 101

Learn how to track, measure, and optimize your entire digital fan base using the Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

Build and run a Free + S&H Funnel or Launch Funnel campaign

While there are many trainings and strategies we implement for sustained sales and revenue throughout the calendar year, we want you to be able to bootstrap your sales with a large influx of subscribers and customers - to show yourself that your fans will support you and that you can generate sales.

The Free + S&H Funnel Strategy is a great campaign for breaking the ice when it comes to making sales offers to your fan-base - it's a cant-resist offer that will make it easy for you to gain your initial customer base. In fact, Indies who implement this strategy can usually generate dozens of customers with a simple, 9-word email!

The Launch Funnel strategy is a more elaborate and involved campaign. By taking this training, you'll learn the process of building and launching a sales funnel, which will be invaluable to you at this stage in your career. If you are able to completely build and run a Launch funnel, it is highly likely that you'll generate an initial group of pleased, supporting fans who have purchased a product from you. And, this campaign will likely grow your email list by a sizeable chunk, as well!

Relevant Trainings

How To Profit From A Launch Funnel

Learn how to actually profit from releasing a new album or product while growing fans, subscribers, and customers!

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial

Free + S&H Funnel Strategy

Learn how to generate an avalanche of new customers by giving away back inventory for free... and still making a profit!

Get Free Access | 14-day IndiePRO Trial