ManageMental Episode 98: Tips For The "Stay At Home" Musician

This week Blasko & Mike take some questions from one of our loyal listeners.

Hey guys, thanks for the show! I hugely appreciate what you're doing for aspiring musicians like myself. I've got a topic that I don't think you've covered yet that I know applies to not only myself, but to a massive contingent of my fellow musicians!

I'm a full-time mechanical engineer with a demanding job and commute, so I've opted to devote my limited available free time resources to creating the best music that I can. I’m starting work on my second album, and trying to build some hype and a modest fanbase prior to release, and am looking for advice on the best path forward that maximizes the effectiveness of my time!

Thanks for your time! Cheers!
Dan

The specific questions:

What, in your experience, is the most effective way to connect with and build a fanbase as a non-gigging solo studio musician? 

Are low-effort real-time updates more or less effective than infrequent high-production-quality posts? Would I risk losing connection with my fanbase by posting too infrequently, or do fans tend to wait it out and stick with you for months between updates?

How can I self promote to fans directly without turning them off or participating in online groups like it's a full-time job? Maintaining one or two requires enough of my time as it is!

Are there legitimately beneficial label arrangements available to solo artists to market and distribute physical merch, or do they tend to not really work out in the artist's favor? Are labels only interested if the music has not yet been made public?

How do I get taken seriously as a total nobody with no real connections without needing to quit my career?