You are an artist. You make music that can make people dance, smile or cry. This is your gift. For good or for bad, though, there is another layer to the music industry that defines whether or not your music will be heard. Business is an undeniable truth of the music industry and it is in your best interest to develop some solid entrepreneurial skills that will get your music in front of the biggest and best audience possible.
Plan Your Business but not Your Music
A jam scene mentality is great for music but not so good for your business. In the former, you want to find and incorporate these random components to enhance your creativity. To run your business, it is important to predict and minimize these unplanned events. This comes with the business planning process.
The Small Business Administration has great instructions for business planning. Take some time to develop a business plan. It will give you an idea on your goals and how to achieve them. This is what big businesses do, so your music business is no exception.
Know Your Day-to-Day
In 1989, Dr. Steve Covey published his proscriptive book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which changed the way that entrepreneurs lived their daily lives. Since then, there have been a slew of books and articles that promote effective habits for any field. The bottom line of this philosophy is to have a purposeful daily routine. From your business plan, you will have goals and objectives. Your daily schedule should reflect this. Every day, bring to mind your overall goals and then set three things that you want to accomplish in the day to help get closer to the goal.
Be Your Brand
Especially in the entertainment business, it is impossible to separate your personal life from your public image. Here is where social media and Google can be your best friend or worst enemy. Social media marketing will be your No. 1 source of advertising, so start by auditing your internet presence. Do a Google search on your name and your band’s name. See what you are projecting, deciding if that is the image that you want. Likewise, look at your social media networks as an impartial observer. Would your Facebook feed bring in your target audience or drive them away?
Set Your Price
Probably the shortest and most important part of the business plan is the ability to set a price point. The American Federation of Musicians offers a rate sheet to give musicians some guidelines to set their prices. Once you have your prices set, establish how much you need to work to make a living off of your passion. This is your ultimate goal.
Handle Failure and Celebrate Success
Both of these are going to happen to you so learn how to deal with them. As a leader in self-employment opportunities, Amway tells its contractors to reward themselves. When you do well, celebrate it like it is the end of time. This is what will keep you going in the long run. You will also fail at times. It happens in every business. Established businesses have contingency and sustainability plans because they know this. Make one for yourself so that you do not collapse in times of adversity.