Entrepreneurial tools to manage your time as a musician
“I applied to this program because I really wanted to know more of the behind scenes. I can be a little bit of a control freak so I kind of like to know all the different parts of my work and this program has told me a lot of that already.”
Simone Tang, selected artist for the Slash program, season 1.
Today as a songwriter-producer, you have to juggle between several activities, managing your communication, your digital strategy, sometimes touring and booking as well. This plurality of activities binds you to adopt an entrepreneur mindset. You have to seize every opportunity and not be afraid of change.
Being watchful of what’s going on in the sector is interesting for you as a songwriter-producer. It will allow you to have up-to-date infos on several topics such as the innovative apps and software that you can use, the legislation of your country regarding author’s rights, the open calls and other types of support you can apply to, etc.
Here is a list of interesting people or institutions to follow on Twitter or on their website on several themes such as music news, music strategy, new business model, future of music…
Bas Grasmayer: https://twitter.com/basgras
Mark Mulligan: https://twitter.com/Mark_Mulligan
Music X : https://twitter.com/MusicTechFuture
Impala : https://twitter.com/IMPALAMusic
Future of Music Coalition : https://twitter.com/future_of_music
Music Biz Association : https://twitter.com/MusicBizAssoc
Guardian Music : https://twitter.com/guardianmusic
Musician’s Union : https://twitter.com/WeAreTheMU
Keychange: https://twitter.com/KeychangeEU (gender balance in music)
Shesaidso: https://twitter.com/shesaid_so (network of women & gender minorities in music)
The Lynk: https://twitter.com/theLynk_ (Yvan Boudillet)
Don’t forget that you can also use the table we shared in our article about Music Promotion regarding the planning of your posts on social networks.
KEEP YOUR NETWORK GROWING
As an artist, without a professional environment, creating, maintaining and growing one’s network is essential to achieve the objectives that one has set for oneself in the short, medium and long term. It’s a long term job, it’s a disheartening job that requires regular and daily work in order not to be forgotten.
- Think local first
Work your network locally, where you live. The results will be faster and less daunting. Take advantage of all public events, professional conventions, showcase festivals. Go and meet the structures that can give you advice. Meet other artists. Once you have consolidated your network locally, you will move on to the national and then international network.
- Network on professional conventions & showcase festivals
You need to be regular in your attendance so that your network grows. It’s never easy to talk to people you don’t know. Know that these professionals are in the same situation. To make your presence at these events effective: prepare them in advance!
- Use the list of delegates
- Target the professionals you wish to reach according to your future objectives.
- Contact them beforehand in order to schedule an appointment (take care of your email, a short email, defining the objective of this meeting accompanied by a file containing your bio, your music and a photo).
- Practice your ice-breaking and pitching skills in just a few minutes. We need to know immediately what you’re doing and what you’re looking for.
- Create a contacts file
You need to create a contact file for yourself, either by using an excel file or by using a tool like Streak (google tool) to make a prospect. Your file should be as up to date as possible with as many details as possible such as the subject of your last conversation, this will make it easier for you to break the ice.
- Pamper your network
Pamper your professional network by showing that you exist and that you are up to date by sending them regular newsletters. Beware, no harassment, but regularity in your speeches.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Money is the sinews of war. You must be regular in the publication of your titles, your clips, your photos. If you have the skills and the time, you can do everything by yourself by registering, making your own video clips with a smartphone, managing your social networks. This takes time. And not everyone has the ability to do everything by themselves. You will therefore have to pay service providers to do it, and that requires an investment.
- Be confident in yourself
“I didn’t get good at the business because I love it. I got good at the business side of my music career because I belive in my art so much that I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t succeed.” Ari Take — musician & entrepreneur.
You must believe in yourself and invest in yourself to make others want to support you financially. If you don’t invest money yourself at the beginning of your career, how can you make others want to invest for you?
- Use the power of crowdfunding
If you don’t have professional structures that invest money in your career, appeal to your community and use crowdfunding.
- Be realistic in your financial goal
- A campaign lasting 45 days maximum
- Be very precise in your request: what will the money be used for? How will you spend it? When will you spend it?
- A good crowdfunding campaign is prepared in advance. It is estimated that 3 months are necessary.
- Take advantage of these 3 months to create all your promotional reminders (2 per week).
- Don’t tell yourself that you are going to ask for money. Your community will only pre-purchase your single, ep, album, concert…
- Be consistent in your communication and your counterparts. Everything must be in line with your moodboard.
- Get inspiration from other artists and crowdfunding campaigns.
If you want to go further a crowdfunding campaign, have a look on this presentation