Many musical artists don’t think about how to generate alternative revenue streams to supplement the money they make selling albums and playing gigs. Many artists avoid thinking about the business aspects of the industry in a more broad way than simply “play a gig and get paid”. This is a subject that has interested me for many years, as the financial roller coaster of being a professional musician can be very trying at times. When I was younger and working as a full time keyboard player, I could be playing in a big Broadway or Off-Broadway show one day, and the next be just another unemployed musician scrambling to earn a living after the show closed. But then I met Larry Rivers, the man who taught me how to merge art and commerce to generate revenue. My experiences with him have greatly influenced how I approach earning a living as a creative artist.
Entries in Artist Advice (20)
Hey artist friends!
Guess what? As Bob Dylan once sang, the times they are a changin’ — and it’s all for the best. Gone are the days of booking your tours with typewriters and fax machines! There are some truly amazing tools out there in the market that you ought to be in the know about! That is if you are anything like me and are obsessed with being efficient and truly productive with your time!
Here are my favourites that I highly recommend with links and a quick overview of why I think they will help change your life for the better! I’ll keep my descriptions short and to the point so you can just get on with giving them a test whirl!
Ever wondered why your band struggles to even get pub gigs, yet a fresh new band is packing out venues from day one? Fed up of having to resort to Pay2Play gigs because no decent promoter is willing to take a chance with you? The secret to success is in plain sight, it’s just only a few have the vision to see it. This guide covers the importance of planning ahead, how to gain attention for your band, and how to score those exciting opportunities that are otherwise unavailable to you.
It is still the very top of a brand new year! It is an ideal time to set your goals. I see a marked difference between artists who set finite goals and those who do not.
Ask yourself: Is this the year I want to make a difference for my musical career? And if so – what difference and how? Then it’s time to reach into that treasure chest - your mind and formuate a KILLER PLAN for this year.
Whether you paid thousands of dollars working with a great producer or made your own bedroom recording, chances are you want people to hear your music.
Over my 20 years in the music industry I’ve seen bands and even record labels make the same mistakes which ultimately prevent their record from standing a chance for success.
In order for people to hear your music and increase the chances your album or EP release will be a success, you need to create a solid plan before you release the record.
1. Do NOT release the record the same day you receive your masters back or your CDs arrive on your doorstep.
This is the #1 mistake we see bands make. You’ve spent months, if not years, on your album and you just want people to hear it. I get it. However, as counterintuitive as it may seem, you greatly reduce the amount of people hearing your music by releasing it right away.
You’ve booked your tour, you’ve practiced your songs, you’ve packed the van, but you’re feeling like something’s missing. How can you get more people to come out to your shows? With gross ticket revenue up nearly 30% worldwide and touring having eclipsed record sales as the main source of artist income, Bandsintown’s Artist Platform has become an indispensable promotional tool for alerting fans when you’re on tour.
Over 10 million concert-goers use Bandsintown to discover shows, buy tickets and share tour dates with their friends. It automatically generates alerts for your fans through email, mobile notifications and Facebook notifications, and if you use Auto Promote or Twitter Sync, Bandsintown delivers alerts to your fans there too. Today Bandsintown powers the tour dates for over 215,000 touring artists, ensuring their fans never miss another live show.
So you’re going on tour. Time to dump your girlfriend, because there’s gonna be coke, girls, parties, beer, and did I mention the coke? But before you get to live your 80’s hair metal fantasy, you need to pack your bags with everything you’ll need for the trip.
I had to learn the importance of almost everything on this list the hard way, and I’d like to help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made if at all possible.
This one should be a no brainer. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone, and for good reason. On tour, I rely on my smartphone every day. I use Gmail to contact promoters; Google Maps to find venues; Yelp to find restaurants; Spotify to listen to music; Netflix to watch shows. The uses are endless (I’ll be writing up another article on my “must have” apps). The major drawback to most smartphones though, is their battery life, which is why you also need…
Keeping up with the times is something almost everyone struggles with. It’s a challenge to step out of our comfort zone and try something new. However, in a professional setting, the only way to survive is to submit to the idea of change. For musicians, progressivism can sometimes be an especially challenging concept. However, it is imperative that we continue to adapt to new trends, and stay relevant to our fan base.
I’ve picked four basic methods every musician can implement to ensure they are ‘with the times’:
That time in the evolution of history that we’ve been dreaming about as artists and creative professionals, is. now.
For every sentiment echoed since the birth of civilization that a creative thinker or music maker have ever uttered that went like.. ONE day the MACHINE, the system, the big-guy, the boss, the “THEM” will pay!
For the rest of our foreseeable future a new music industry HAS finally emerged.
Build A Successful Music Career By Reading This Tom Hess Interview & Review
By Ryan Buckner
Are you determined to fulfill your potential as a musician and build a successful music career? If so, it is likely that you continually hear various “words of wisdom” from the people you know on how to make it in the music business. These people often wish you the best, but the fact is: People who have not already had extensive success as a pro musician, likely do not really understand how the music industry works. On top of that, their advice may be detrimental to your music career dreams.
Last week I asked a question on my Facebook page which was:- “QUESTION! For anyone looking to get a job in the music business. I’m looking for 7 questions that you would like answered as to how to get a job in the music industry. What would you like to know?” I got a couple of questions back which I thought I would answer in blog form as the answers would be too long for Facebook comments so here there are – incidentally if anyone else has a question that they need help with please post it on my Facebook page and I will answer it for you.
The digital revolution came seemingly overnight. It crept into our living rooms, bedrooms, and court rooms. The moment that Metallica sued Napster, the point-of-no-return hit. We’re on a crash course with a digital destiny, and there are many artists who are adapting beautifully.
Take Louis C.K. for example. He revolutionized the standup comedy business with his tech savvy tour. He still made millions, and he got lower ticket prices for his fans. All he had to do was a little bit of extra work by calling each of the venues and setting up contracts with them individually. Not too much to ask for $4.5 million.
So in part one of the Indie Artist Launch Plan we addressed what seem to be the two major problems as well as the importance of BUILDING a solid foundation.
The importance of creating the structure - built of the right habits, the right people, and the right attitude are the fundamental building blocks to the success of an Indie Artist Career today.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)