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How to Treat Your Music Like a Business

If you plan on making a living out of your music, you need to treat it like anything else you would make a living out of; a business. Here is how:

Ok, you really don't have to wear the monkey suit...

1. Promote – If you don’t believe in your music, don’t think anyone else will either. Get the word out! Do whatever it takes to get your music to people, do whatever it takes to get bodies in the door. I know you don’t want to hear this, but no one is as good at promoting your music than you and unless you’ve got a lot of money to pay someone else to do it, the responsibility falls on your head. Here’s the be all and end all of the music business: the bigger your crowd is, the more people will want to work with you. Period. That’s it. Others can help you reach a larger audience, others can help get your songs to their audience and expand yours. You can never go wrong if you’re working towards making your community bigger. And it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from, whether it’s a few people who are listening to your music online to a thousand people in a nightclub. Keep working on building your crowd, it’s the most important thing you can do.

2. Treat everyone involved with your music like the people you treat at your day job – This should be an easy one, but it’s not. Would you just not call someone back if they called you at work? Do you check your spelling in email at work? Do you get wasted at work? No. Music is and should be fun, but remember, there are people counting on you to put on a good show. Treat other musicians, bookers, clubowners, and waitstaff with the same courtesy and respect you’d treat your co-workers. For the night you’re playing together, they ARE your co-workers!

3. Copyright your songs – you’re probably already doing this as Broadjam members, but protecting your intellectual property is important. And chances are you’re a member of ASCAP or BMI, you never want to miss out on royalties! (Extra credit if you’ve set up your own publishing company!)

4. Set your group or yourself up as a business. Usually LLCs are the way to go. An accountant or lawyer can help you out, but with a little research, it’s not that hard to do it yourself. This is worth doing even if just for the tax breaks. New strings? Tax-deductible. New keyboard? Tax-deductible. There are tax laws designed to give new small businesses a better shot of making it and also to help you out with getting more of a refund from your day job. If you’re not doing this you’re leaving legitimate and legal money on the table. Don’t forget, you’re going to have to set up a bank account for your business before you can set up the LLC.

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5. Do you have a band name or a unique performer name? Trademark it! I learned this the hard way and lost a band name I really liked. You’re working hard to develop your reputation, don’t let someone else take that name recognition away by having the same band name as yours and making it legally theirs before you do.

That’s all it takes to make it official. Give these steps a try and you’ll see a difference right away, even if you just start with steps 1 and 2 by promoting and acting professional. When you treat your music as a business, others will treat you with more respect and they’ll take you more seriously. Don’t believe me? Play rockstar to an empty club a few times, you’re not going to get asked back and you’re not going to feel very good about yourself. If you want to play in the basement, that’s fine. But if you want to go out there and make a name for yourself, then you’re a small business owner now. Embrace it, enjoy it, get out there, and be awesome!

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(via broadjam.com)

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Why You Need to Treat Your Music as a Business

You don't have to wear the monkey suit, but you get the point...

If you want to succeed in today’s music industry, you need to treat your music as a business. There’s no two ways about it; If you aren’t willing to put in the work to promote and market your music, you may as well give up now. In order to be successful, you need to do what works. And what works right now is getting off your butt and putting the work in to the right places.

In this article we will be looking at the business of music, and why you need to learn this side of things if you want to do well in your music career. Whether you do independent music or you’re signed to a record label, you need to learn what it is that makes people successful, other then their vocals.

Knowledge is power, so read on and see how much of this you can apply to your independent music career today.

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Why You Need To Learn The Music Business

So, why do you need to treat music as a business? Simple, because without you carrying out proven marketing and promotion methods for your songs, people won’t even know you exist. And the people who are aware of you, may not take to you as well due to ineffective or inconsistent branding.

Learning the music business involves learning how you promote yourself, how to build connections within the industry, learning various selling tactics, learning how to get gigs, planning out all the steps you need to achieve your goals, and much more. As someone who makes independent music, you haven’t got someone who will do all these things for you. You in effect have to do all the jobs a record label team does on your own.

Why you obviously won’t be able to get the same mass reach as a wealthy record label, it is possible for you to get out there using the right music business strategies.

The bottom line is this: If you learn what business practices work in the music industry and put them into practice, you will greatly increase your chances of doing well with your music. I tell no word of a lie.

Do You Treat Music As A Business?

Ok, so enough about the general advice for everyone who does independent music. Right now, I want you to look at how your music career is going. Ask yourself:

  • Are you simply recording songs and putting them out for free, or are you sticking to a set release and revenue generating plan?
  • Are you doing gigs as and when they come up, or are you actively seeking out new shows to do?
  • Are you sitting at home all day ‘promoting’ your music on social networking websites, or are you working on getting your music mass broadcasted on radio and TV?

If you answered yes to any of the first options, you are not taking your music as a business as much as you could be.

You need to ask yourself how far you want to take your music. If you are simply making music for the fun of it, then carry on doing what you’re doing. It’s a hobby for you, so only make music as and when you want. If however your aim is to make a career from your music, then you need to start re-evaluating how you handle things.

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(via independentmusicadvice.com)

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Entertainment Gatekeepers Are Gone

From the early days of the modern entertainment industry, each sector of the business

The Universal Music Group sells more music than any other major label. They accounted for 25.5% of the market.

has been controlled by a handful of powerful companies and individuals. Typically, these people gained and held their power by controlling access to necessary resources and markets. They were the gatekeepers, and they charged a hefty toll to anyone who wanted to pass through their gates.

In the music industry, the major labels traditionally controlled much of the access to distribution and radio. This put recording artists at a tremendous bargaining disadvantage. As a result, the typical recording contract was always weighted very heavily against the artist. There is no other business where a minor profit participant, who owns none of the company or product, is responsible for paying all of the costs of making and selling the product. But that was the cost for an artist to get through the gate that was controlled by the major labels.

For decades, the culture of Hollywood has dictated the control of resources – especially distribution resources – is the path to profits. Control and money have gone hand in hand, with money being spent on gaining more control, and that control being used to gain more negotiating power and make more money.

Because the Internet gives every creator direct access to the audience, the gatekeepers have lost their bargaining power, and they don’t like it.

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