The 7 Big Mistakes That Indie Musicians Make In Music Business - Mistake #1
July 18, 2012
Leena Sowambur in Budgeting, Business Strategy, Music Business Plan, Music Strategy, The Business of Independent Music, finance, financial statements



The music business is a tough industry to succeed in. It is a prestige industry and having a position in the music business is highly sought after and positions in all aspects of the music business are few and far between. As an indie musician it is useful to understand what mistakes to avoid. So here are the 7 big mistakes that indie musicians make in music business according to Leena Sowambur @ Positively Music.


Mistake #1 - Not Understanding Finance














“A fool and his money are soon parted” Unknown

This is an extremely common mistake amongst many small independent artists and studio/labels. The main reason behind this lack of financial education is the desire to get some kind of record deal. Many seem to not understand that a record deal is a type of financing, investment or a loan . Which means that the onus is on the artist to pay it back. Just like any other loan.

An understanding of how to manage money is crucial to being successful with any type of investment in the first place be it a label deal, a bank loan or crowdfunding. Just because you get the cash doesn’t mean you can make a success of the next phase of your business which is what investment points to.

Do you know what your financial strategy might be were you to get a record deal?

Too few small independent music business organisations understand that the act of marketing their music products and services is the vehicle to making sales and therefore revenue. Marketing is not the path to a record deal. It is entirely possible to create a thriving small music business and once this is established it is entirely possible to grow this business but the only thing that will facilitate this process is your increased financial literacy.

So what are the advantages of understanding money? Well, if you understand money then you will understand business and you will better understand music business – which is a business after all; and the purpose of business is to create a customer and in turn a sale and repeated sales. Many small independent music businesses have a dream of making a living doing what they love in music. Planning for your financial future is the cornerstone to making this dream a reality. Making a comfortable living doing what you love is a goal and to achieve goals you need to set them and know how to plan for them. Poor financial literacy means making poor financial decisions, such as increased debt, which can lead to a standard of living that is below what you truly deserve. The disadvantage of poor financial decisions is moving further away from your short-term and long-term goals not only within the areas of money and business but also in life.

Learning money management will influence how far you go in life. It will influence whether you can do that music business degree to whether you can buy that new equipment for your recording studio to paying for your new home and of course being able to live. It will also influence whether you can live comfortably in your retirement years.

The health of your finances is directly linked to the health of your financial education. If you boost your standards in your financial literacy you will boost your finances too.


Author Biography



Leena Sowambur is an established expert in digital music business. She has two music business degrees and ten years in digital marketing and PR. Leena has held roles within Sony, award winning digital marketing agency Outside Line and the pioneering music dotcom Peoplesound where her clients included Universal, EMI and Warner. Leena also has indie sector experience with clients such as Sanctuary, Echo/Chrysalis, Beggars Banquet and Ministry of Sound as well as boutique labels such as Tummy Touch, Warp and Wiiija and Telstar.
Some of the artist campaigns that Leena has worked on include:- Shakira, Longview, Chris Brown, Destiny’s Child, Darren Hayes, Take That, Angie Stone, John Legend, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Paul Oakenfold, Pulp, Pink, 50 Cent, Eminem, Bon Jovi, Empire Magazine soundtrack compilation, The Total Music Mirror Premium CD Giveaway comprising of Pet Shop Boys, Cream, Kaci, Muse, BBMak, Zero 7, Beverley Knight, Cher, Depeche Mode, Oxide and Neutrino; Red Magazine Feel Good compilation including Moloko, Lisa Stansfield and Catatonia; Metro Life Live In London covermount CD including Suede, Basement Jaxx, Turin Brakes and Carl Cox; Instant Music Premium CD Giveaway comprising of Stereophonics, Travis, Marti Pellow, Stereo MCs, Feeder, Shaggy and Gabrielle; Eve Magazine compilation including Groove Armada and The Orb.

Leena speaks all over the country on the subject of digital music business. Events regularly include University of East London, University of Chester, University of Westminster, The Manchester College, London Metropolitan University, Croydon Council, Southwark Council and Portobello Business Centre. She recently spoke at TEDx.

Leena’s business “Positively Music “is a coaching business that helps top music industry organisations create communities of raving fan customers. She is writing a new book called “The Fan Experience” focussed on the music fans’ growing role in the music business with the audio visual product and training courses to match.
You can get the first  chapter of Leena’s new book here.


If you want more freebies visit the links below you can get the full report for ” The 7 Big Mistakes That Indie Musicians Make In Music Business” at

You can also get “The Fan Experience Tip Sheet 101 Tips For Brilliant Fan Experience” Check out the sampler and sign up for it at the link below.


Open publication - Free publishing - More digital




Say “hi” on Facebook

Find out more about Positively Music

Read more about Leena Sowambur at





Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
See website for complete article licensing information.