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Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Entries in music career (64)

Tuesday
Apr012014

Alternative Money Making Approaches for Musicians Failing to Sell Records

The music industry has undergone a sea of changes since the days of vinyl records and cassette tapes. While the current mobile downloading setup offers plenty of convenience for the average consumer, it can spell financial ruin for musicians and producers dependent on record sales. After all, illegal downloads still eat into profits, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reporting that piracy caused music industry profits to fall from $15 billion in 1999 to just $8.5 billion in 2009. In order to survive in this environment of piracy, musicians must think outside of the box, taking advantage of social media, mobile technology, merchandising and, of course, live performances. Together, these elements can spell great profit, even in an age of iTunes and illegal downloading.

Offer VIP Packages for Concerts

Critics of social media may complain of young people wasting their lives behind computer screens, but the truth is, music fans still love attending live shows. You still can profit handsomely off of traditional concerts, but if you're looking to amp up returns on your tour, consider throwing in VIP concert options. These could include special meet-and-greets before or after shows, or even private performances for your most dedicated fans. Many will gladly pay two, three, even four times the going rate for your concert if it means getting up close and personal.

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Wednesday
Mar262014

Is Music Your Day Job or Your Nighttime Dream?

When I think about the professional musician, I like to break down opportunity into day job and night job.  The night job is the dream – rock and roll stardom, touring, selling records, award shows, bodyguards, fawning fans, public meltdowns, etc. 

Being more pragmatic as a person – I have spent much of my career on the day job part of this industry (and that’s not just you giving guitar lessons).

Music Publishing to me is the day job part of the business – regardless of your status as a performer.  Even the big folks love the mailbox money of publishing.  As an independent artist, I think it’s even more important.

Publishing, with all it’s complexities, still has the opportunity to create income streams for artists at all levels – especially if you are up for creating alternate types of content.  All music shown on television and the web around the world earns public performance income.

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Friday
Feb212014

Top 10 Strategies for Indie Musicians

 One of the best ways to grow is to look at what’s worked for other indie musicians and adapt it to your own career. I’ve compiled 10 great strategies with 10 real examples to get you going. A lot of musicians I’ve talked to think they can’t start making strategies to move their career forward until they’re making money, until they take some business classes, or until they get a manager. The coolest thing about these strategies is that you can start using them TODAY.

1. Make a Plan from the Start

Making a great plan is one of the best ways to get to that music success you deserve. Not only do concrete goals give you something to aim for, they also help you decide what your first step should be.

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Saturday
Jan042014

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: Why do musicians always feel disappointed about their career?

Thursday
Jan022014

Why do musicians always feel disappointed about their career?

I was at a gig last night and I saw three amazing bands rocking out the stage and making people dance very hard. Note: it’s London, normally people don’t dance that hard.

The sad realization I made is that none of these bands actually makes money. Isn’t it sad? The band entertains you, makes you feel great, you pay the bar for drinks, but the musician gets nothing of monetary nature.

That brought an avalanche of thoughts and I started jotting them down! I quickly came down to 6 main reasons of failure, which you’ll definitely relate with (if you’re a musician).

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Wednesday
May292013

1 Important Music Business Skill You REALLY Need To Learn

Hey guys. Today I want to look at one very important music business skill that will greatly benefit you in your quest for a ‘successful’ music career. We all have our own idea of what success is, but if to you it involves getting known on a wider scale then you already are, the below strategy will definitely help.

I’ve already looked at three other essential business skills for musicians, but this additional skill is just as important, if not more so. You should use it alongside the others for a more professional and faster moving music career.

So, let’s have a look at what the subject of today’s guide is:

Leveraging other people and platforms who currently command more influence than you.

With that in mind, let’s get into it!

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Tuesday
Apr162013

The Most Underrated Things in a Musician’s Career

A few weeks ago, I posted about The Most overrated Things in a Musician’s Career. Due to some requests, I’ve decided to write about the most underrated things that we often don’t think about or use to the fullest extent. Like my previous article, there are a number of things that depend some time or commitment. However, unlike the “overrated” list, these are all things that you can probably never have too much of.

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Tuesday
Mar052013

The Most Overrated Things in a Musician’s Career

Sometimes, we need to get our priorities straight. Sometimes, we need to learn to say “no” to the good so that we can say “yes” to the best. Other times, we need to not let perfection get in the way of productivity. How do we sort it all out? What do we need and when do we need it?

Let’s go over the most overrated ideas, services, and opportunities in a musician’s career. Please note: not all of these things are useless. In fact, some are quite essential but they should only be pursued at the right time. So, let’s get this thing going:

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Tuesday
Feb052013

10 Questions Artists Should Ask Themselves at the Beginning of Their Careers (To Increase their Chances of Success)

Every young artist has their reasons for working hard at their music, yet so rarely do they ever define these reasons to themselves, bandmates, and their team. Some reflective thinking and sharing could lead to a great deal of clarity when running your business (well, band). I’ve seen success get in the way of an artist’s core values and goals too many times. Sure, goals are allowed to change and augment, as circumstances do, but too often do great goals get lost, and that bands fold on the brink of their success, and abandon everything they have worked so hard for. Thinking about these questions and sharing the answers with your team might be hard, but it could help bring you back to what’s important OR save you from wasting your time with the wrong team, and pursuing your career aimlessly in different directions that will never connect.

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Thursday
Jan102013

8 Steps To A More Successful Music Career In 2013 (Free Ebook Download)

Hey my Music Think Tank gang, I hope you had a good new year. That said, the turkey’s done, and it’s time to pull sleeves up and get our music business grind back on!


With that in mind, I’ve written up a guide for anyone looking for some motivation and a way to move their music career forward this year. What’s more, I’ve made it available as a free (And very pretty) ebook for you to download!

So start reading this guide below, and if you feel it could be helpful to you and want to read the rest, simply click the ebook link at the bottom of this post and download the full version.

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Wednesday
Nov072012

5 Things You Can Learn From Your Day Job in Your Music Career

Martin Atkins, touring artist and author of the book Tour:Smart, recently did an interview with CD Baby President Brian Felson where he basically said: keep your day job! 

I agree - it’s important to be strategic about your job so that instead of “quitting” your day job, you can replace it with another career: music. However, as long as you are there, it’s important to pick up as many skills as possible that will be useful to the working musician. Here’s a list of things that you should be learning from your day job:

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Tuesday
Nov062012

Tom Hess Music Career Advice Interview And Review

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.

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Monday
Oct012012

A Little Music Industry Career Advice

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.

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Thursday
Sep272012

How Much Money Should You Aim To Make From Music? And How Much CAN You Make?

Ever wondered what kind of income levels are achievable as a musician? Well read on, as that’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at today.

Below is one of the chapters taken from my new book ‘The Independent Musician’s Survival Guide’. I know there’s a lot of misconceptions about how much money can actually be made from your music career, so I thought it’d be valuable to share this chapter and help you gain a more realistic view of what is achievable. There’s no hype or half truths here, this is as realistic a evaluation as you’ll likely get.

If you find this information useful, please share it on your favorite social networking sites and link to it from your site. Thank you.

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