As an independent musician, it’s important to me that I discover the best and cheapest ways of doing things! Quality is paramount, but not wasting money comes a close second.
Here is a short list of companies and products that I use that I heartily recommend to any other independent musicians (or other people of course!).
Some of these have affiliate links, which means that if you sign up I do get a tiny bit of pay back. Every little helps! But the main reason for this is to share what’s taken me a long time to learn and discover with you 🙂
If there’s anything not here on this list that you’d like to ask about, give me a shout! I can wax lyrical about DAWs and plugins and computers and things 🙂 I’m happy to help if ever I can.
Website Hosting – ChemiCloud
I’ve tried several of the big hosting companies, and frankly I was appalled by their customer service. Also because I was a minnow, I was generally lumped on a server with lots of other sites and speed suffered at times as a result. After 5 lots of downtime in one month, I moved to Chemicloud. Much quicker than the old hosting site (they run fully on SSD), and the tech support is amazing. It’s in English and they actually talk to you properly rather than running through scripts. And cheap. I’m very happy with them!
Card payment terminal – SumUp
With this link you get a dinkly little card reader terminal for £15 – that’s stupidly cheap. It’s brilliant. Charges by USB. Connects to your phone via bluetooth. You can charge your customers with the card reader or with “tap-to-pay” too. Dead easy. No monthly fees and they only charge 1.69% which is incredibly reasonable. This is a no-brainer. You only need one gig where someone says “I’d love to buy a CD but haven’t got any cash on me” and you’ve pretty much made your money back!
£14 off (£15 instead of £29): http://fbuy.me/hysG-
Email marketing – MailerLite
MailerLite are amazing. They’re FREE up to 1000 subscribers! And after that they are very reasonable. The website is great and easy to use. They have some amazing automation stuff which is dead useful for making email funnels. Their customer support is immediate, personal and very quick. I can not rate them highly enough. They’re the kind of company that I’d like to work for (if I wasn’t working for me!)
$20 credit here: https://www.mailerlite.com/invite/03d0db5b59585
Marketing course for Independent Musicians
A few years back, I started reading emails by a guy called Carlos Castillo, and they changed the entire way I thought about marketing. No kidding. Everything I’ve done since then has been a result of them. I took his Twitter course and wow… unbelievable results. Using the principles in this course, I’ve been making friends with serious music lovers, radio hosts, blog owners and other musicians. Almost every single success I’ve had in music has it’s roots somewhere with someone I’ve met on Twitter using this. Totally recommended. Moving on from there is the big boy course – the MAP (Musicpreneur Apprentice Program). This is not cheap. Good. Only people that are really wanting to apply themselves will join the program. It is absolutely superb. There’s a massive stack of teaching materials, but the main highlight is the online Office Hours where we meet up together with Carlos and talk through how the week has been, what’s worked and what hasn’t. We support each other and learn from each other as well as Carlos – it’s absolutely priceless. Not one to jump into lightly, but totally worth it. If you want to chat to me more about this, then get in touch – I’d gladly chew your ear off for a while 🙂
CD manufacturing (UK)
In the UK : Cram Duplication. I’ve tried several different places, and this is the one that works best for me. The printing is particular is exceptional (I’ve had to send CDs back from other companies for substandard printing!). Prices are good, turnaround is very quick. There’s personal help and support and they check EVERYTHING before they hit the button.
T-shirts, Hoodies, other merch (UK)
I’ve tried several places – some with disastorous results. These guys are cheap, quick and brilliant quality. Not one problem in all the items I’ve ordered from them. Quick, personal support.
Patreon are superb. My Patreon site is at https://patreon.com/mattsteady – have a look round and see what you can see! It’s a brilliant way of sharing with your listeners and getting their feedback. With this link – if you get 20 patrons in the first month, you will get $50 sent your way. Seems crazy! I don’t think I get anything back for this one – just a warm fuzzy feeling that you’re also on the platform.