Remember, relationships are key to success in this business, so start developing them locally. Just like in business, presentation is important. If you come off as amateurish, people can subconsciously associate you with lower quality and someone not worthy of attention. Part of treating your music career like a business involves presenting yourself as an artist to take seriously.
In addition to setting up your social media accounts and optimizing them, you should also have a clean and professional website. Start by registering for a domain name, ideally something that is the same as your social media usernames for consistency. Can you get away with just using social media? There are things you can do that are not required, like having a website, but they will improve your chances of being successful.
There may come a point where you need to get publicity or coverage.
Managing the music business from a mobile phone, Jammber is making the industry sing
Remember, people or organizations with large audiences tend to get a lot of requests, so they need to have a system to filter out who they write about or promote. Creating a good impression with a website and strong brand can help. You need to establish who you are as a brand to make it easier for people to identify and distinguish you from other artists. This may be hard for some, but a good way to understand who you are is to establish who you are not.
You need to know this to market your music to the right audience.
Establishing your brand and identity helps potential fans decide if your music resonates with them. Remember that your music is not for everyone. Is your brand a static entity? I believe your brand or artist identity can evolve and change, just as we normally do as individuals.
Think about your story, angle, hook or nugget as Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR Music says that helps you stand out and makes you different. It should be an authentic part of yourself that makes it easy for people to associate and connect with you. What can people expect to hear from you? What kind of scenes, subculture, hobbies or interests are you into aside from music?
All this boils down to communication and clearly stating who you are through your brand, so that you can hook the fans who resonate with your story and music. I also included a branding workshop section to provide further help in establishing your brand that you can only find in this eBook. Sometimes it can take that one popular tastemaker, blogger, playlister or influencer to get you the publicity and exposure you need to get your career going.
These are basically people who have a large audience of followers and can get your name out there to accelerate the growth of your fan base. Assuming, of course, that you have really good music that is worthy of attention. For most artists, a random request to these individuals asking for promotion will often get ignored. So how do you get their attention? How does talking about you or promoting your music benefit them? Unless you know them or have connections, industry people are less likely to do you any favors just out the goodness of their hearts. The value you possess could be that you have really good music that makes influencers look good in front of their audience for discovering you.
Maybe you have a large, engaged social media audience that can get the blogger or popular playlist additional exposure. Same goes with the local press. The media entities have an audience as well that they need to engage, so if your story is unique enough, it can fill that need.
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Your story can also be leverage. This concept even extends to potential team members, managers, booking agents, promoters and even labels taking notice and wanting to work with you. It also governs the relationship that you have with your fans.
One aspect that can get easily overlooked is protecting your music. To avoid this, you want to make sure you properly copyright your work. Technically, your music is copyrighted when it is created and made into a tangible form written or recorded. However, registering your music with the copyright office can offer further protection and help provide evidence that you are, in fact, the originator of that work.
Copyrighting your music prevents you from becoming a victim of copyright infringement intellectual property theft. If they were not registered, they could essentially steal it. But, the main point is to take precaution and know your basic rights as a creative. Unless you want to be someone who solely produces music behind the scenes for other artists or for licensing, you need to find opportunities to perform.
Live performances are more important than ever as an income source while record sales continue to decline. The idea is to get practice performing for others live, be comfortable in these live environments and improve. Just like with any other skill, you need practice and experience to get better.
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Feedback is important too, so you know what to improve on. If possible, record your live performances to watch later. Also, watch live performances of your favorite artists and study them. I touched on this in a few of the previous points. If you really want to take your music career seriously, you will need a team. You may be one of the few artists who love running the entire business operation and manage to do it well in addition to the creative, but it would be difficult to grow this way. You will need to find competent people you can trust and hand over control to in order for your music career to flourish.
Of course, there are other things you may want to consider before working with someone, but ultimately you want people who are willing to grow with you, grind it out with you and not just trying to take advantage of you. They will vary in costs, fees and tools, so do your research before deciding which to use. This is covered below. However, CD Baby has grown to become a one stop shop for many artist services so you can check them out.
This is an area that can be confusing and complicated. I did my best to simplify music royalties in this blog here. For example, if you put your music on places like Spotify, Pandora and Youtube, you are owed money or royalties from those platforms when someone streams your music. A PRO collects royalties generated from your music when performed live, which can be an important income stream to help sustain artists.
You only need to sign up with one PRO. Technically, you can do it yourself, but it can be a tedious process that is probably easier if someone else handles it. It really does take time and work to get your name out there and build momentum. It will be challenging. In addition to being active in your local music scene, you most likely know at least one musician friend or family member you can reach out to them for advice.
Part of starting a music career is realizing that it starts with investing in yourself first. You have to be willing to put up the capital and bet on yourself. As they say, time is money. You will be doing a lot of learning so prepare yourself. Unless you have a lot of disposable income and you can pay a bunch of people, you will have to do things yourself. Hopefully everything outlined in this blog gives you a big picture perspective of what you need to do to get started in your music career. I provided links and additional resources for you to explore in some of the sections, so be sure to check those out.
Simplifying the Concept of Marketing for Musicians. Want to grow your fan base effectively? Think funnels. Fan funnels. Author Gina Fant-Saez knows first-hand how frustrating it can be when you first make the move to using Pro Tools. Rather than overwhelm you with every detail of the program, Pro Tools for Musicians and Songwriters teaches only the essentials you need to record, enhance, and output your music.
Think of this book as your "Music Road Map" that will take you from where you are to where you want to be, simply by following its step-by-step plan. In How to Make it in the New Music Business , author Robert Wolff not only gives you this information from his interviews with these music legends, but reveals to you the technology and equipment that the "real music artists and producers" use to make their hit records and shows you how to use it to make hit sounding major record label quality music and records anywhere.
US Music Industry Analysis: American Market Stats + Trends 
Far too many songwriters and musicians spend years and years of their lives becoming great at their craft, but rarely, do many of them know how the real world music game is played, or how to create a hugely successful career and do it all on their own terms. With this book, those days are over.
Music Sales; 6th edition. Songwriting, Composing, Recording and Music Publishing is a business. This book tells you how the business works, what you must know to succeed, and how much money you can make. Billboard Books This revised and expanded edition is a must-have reference not only for aspiring songwriters, record producers, and performing artists but also for record company executives, personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys. You'll learn how the Internet has affected every aspect of the music business, how many musicians have seized do-it-yourself Internet opportunities to create successful business models, how satellite radio, digital jukeboxes, and video games are affecting the music market, how artists can maximize their chances for long-term financial health, how the royalty pie is sliced-and who gets the pieces, what snares and pitfalls to avoid when signing an employment contract, and much more.
Free Press, 7th edition In this completely revised and updated seventh edition Passman offers executives and artists, experts and novices alike the essential information they need not only to survive in these volatile and exciting times, but also to thrive. Drawing on his unique, up-to-the-minute experience as one of the most trusted advisors in the industry, Passman offers new information on the new model of record deals, the Copyright Royalty Board's latest decisions regarding online transmissions, the developing customs on new technologies such as streaming on demand, ringtones, and digital downloads, and updates on recording and publishing deals, as well as film music.
Worldwide tours, internet downloads, international album distribution--the global market for music is expanding with lightning speed, and that means big opportunities for everyone in the music business. The main obstacle? Lack of knowledge. The world market is packed with opportunity, but it's also full of cultural, regulatory, administrative, legal, political, and logistical pitfalls. New Music Times, Inc. Goldstein's unique step-by-step guide and resource book is artfully organized into pages of savvy advice, realistic methods and action plans for the performing artist and is now available in its Revised 3rd Edition.
It provides current immigration regulations for touring artists, a completely rewritten Internet Marketing chapter along with exciting new insights from experienced professionals in the entertainment industry. The 24 chapters have completely updated resource sections following each chapter packed with recommended books, directories, web sites and new conferences to help performers achieve their career goals.
Prentice Hall; 5th edition Since its first publication in , the book has sold nearly , copies and serves as a major resource for musicians and music professionals that record and operate independently of major recording labels. The book explains the steps involved with setting up and managing a small record label. These include promotion, marketing, the language of business contracts, and the studio recording and engineering process. It also provides information on how major labels operate. This edition of How To Make and Sell Your Own Recording addresses the important technological changes that have occured in the nineties, including the impact of the Internet and how it is being used as an effective sales, marketing and promotional tool by indie labels and musicians.
It is available by mail order from Jerome Headlands Press, P. Written in a conversational style, this guide offers practical tips for achieving the goal of making a full-time living from music. Hal Leonard; 4th edition. This book details the differences in strategies that a musician can use to make a living outside the mainstream music marketplaces. This book shows you how to expand and develop your skills as a musician and composer right in your own backyard. It explores topics relevant to musicians on every level: Why should a band have an agreement?
How can you determine whether a personal manager is right for you? Are contests worth entering?
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What trade publications are the most useful? Why copyright your songs? Allworth Press; 3rd edition Both practical business manual and prized legal companion, this latest edition of the best-selling guide contains the solid strategies and practical advice songwriters and performers need to survive and thrive in today's competitive music industry.
Using dozens of real-life examples, readers will find up-to-date information on avoiding copyright infringement, working effectively with managers and music lawyers, developing management and booking agreements, and more. This updated edition is completely revised and expanded with two brand-new chapters on the do's and don'ts of starting and running a band, and how to make money from music.
It also includes expanded material on Internet copyright issues. Billboard Books, 10th edition. Now in its tenth edition, This Business of Music has been revised and completely updated to reflect the latest changes in the ever-evolving music business. Every chapter has been revised. An entirely new chapter has been added, asking and answering the question "Are there borders in cyberspace? Commentary on recent legislation, a reader-friendly summary of the laws on copyright duration, and much more insightful analysis--plus fully updated lists of music organizations and important websites--make This Business of Music indispensable for musicians, agents, managers, marketers, music publishers and groups, colleges and universities, and everyone who wants to make music and make money.
William Krasilovsky, Sidney Shemel. Watson-Guptill Publications; 5th edition, A companion to This Business of Music, this volume focuses on six areas of music not covered in detail in the larger edition: serious music, religious music, jazz, the production and sale of printed music, background music and transcriptions, and live performances. See also This Business Of Music above. Three Rivers Press; 3rd Revised edition This book covers such topics as the history of the record industry, preparing and shipping demos, record company contracts, and music publishing.
It also offers information regarding college music business programs and such music careers as church music, instrument building and repair, and arts management programs. Prentice Hall; 1st edition A Music Business Primerdemystifies the industry's infrastructure and makes it comprehensible to anyone who loves music and wants to make it their profession. The book contains chapters describing how major industry businesspeople make money from artists' works - managers, agents, lawyers, record company executives, publishers, marketers - and examines major provisions in industry contracts.
There are synopses of controversial industry lawsuits and incisive interviews with influential entrepreneurs.
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