Running Your Music Career Like A Business

Music BusinessLike Mr. Carter has stated, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”  Few words with plenty of subtext.  The current state of the music industry can seem at times like being dropped in a forest at midnight.  With innovation in technology and new services coming out all the time, the independent arena provides all the tools you need to get to the next level.  What separates the hobby-player from the pros is simple, treating your music career like a business.  If your plan is to score a major record deal, you must know that the folks behind those decisions are looking for an artist that’s in it for the long haul.  There is serious money that gets put behind breaking an artist to the mainstream, you must be ready to take the commitment and capitalize on it!  Here’s a rundown on how to get started.
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Your YouTube Channel Checklist

YouTube ChecklistIf you have a YouTube channel (and if you don’t you really should create one right now) you can optimize it by utilizing its features to the fullest. Here’s an excerpt from my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book that outlines the things that you should be sure are taken care of.

Branded Channel Art
The channel art is the banner at the top of the page where you can display a customized graphic. YouTube suggests this graphic be 2560 x1440 pixels so that it works on all types of televisions, tablets, smartphones and computers, but what YouTube will show on most computer browsers is 1546 x 423. This is known as the “safe area” and is where you should place any critical graphics information since anything outside that area might not show up on a device with a smaller screen. The graphic can be up to 2MB and in either a JPG or PNG format. The Channel Art upload section is accessed by clicking on the pen icon on the top right of graphics box. You can access a template for the channel art, as well as a design tutorial, by clicking on “How to create channel art” at the bottom of the upload pop up box.
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No Internet, No MusicThe internet has brought so much to musicians—both good and bad. It has fundamentally changed how we listen to, sell, discover, and promote music. It blew up the record industry, on one hand, and it has developed crucial tools that help musicians—like CASH Music!—on the other.

Personally, I could not imagine making music today, let alone reaching people who wanted to hear it, without the internet.

Being a musician has fundamentally influenced how I use it and which websites I visit. My band Bucket uses the internet to sell, stream, distribute, and promote our music digitally. People can even place a hold on our CD from their local library online. Even more specifically, my musical pursuits pushed me back onto Facebook last year after I had sworn off social media. (I was having trouble booking my first DIY tour only using email, and it proved quite helpful as a means to that end.)
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Yet Another How To: Maximize Your Summer Without Touring

Touring SummerWith the festival season ramping up, it’s only a matter of a few weeks until every artist and their teams are out on the touring road.  In the on-going ebb and flow of the independent musician’s career, there’s bound to be a summer or two where you must fight the battle on the homestead. Don’t be discouraged!  We’re here to provide some suggestions on how to make the most of the weather and the big crowds out there that merely need an introduction to your audio magic.
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Millennials Are Buying Vinyl, But Not From Record Stores

Millennials Are Buying Vinyl, But Not From Record StoresFrom the high street, you’d be forgiven for thinking the growth in vinyl sales was a myth. We’re not seeing the high streets overrun with record stores, and those that do exist are populated, for the most part, by the usual suspects. Younger generations are only treading tentatively in their doorways. So who’s buying? And where?

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The 5 Essential Elements of Artist Branding

Artist brandingLet’s talk for a second about icons.  Elvis.  Michael Jackson.  Nirvana.  Beyonce.  What do all these superstar acts have in common?  Solid branding.  Any major success in the music industry is achieved with the help of specific team members who create and refine a public facing persona to capture the attention of the masses.  If you simply follow your instinct and express your artistry you can do most of this work on your own.  Here’s the checklist you’ll want to tackle to make sure you’re on the right track.
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The Social Network Meets Your Wallet. Are Facebook Ads Worth It? 

Facebook AdsFacebook launched on February 4, 2004. For those of you keeping score at home, that means it has been a part of our lives in one way, shape, or form for over a decade now. Facebook has gone from being a social media network accessible to a minimal number of college students, to the social media giant that it is today. I don’t know about you, but whenever I want to check out a new business or product, one of the first things I do is check Facebook to see if they have a page.
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The Web Screws Artists By Allowing Them A Normal Life

1In this piece, Ross Pruden of Techdirt works to dispell the myth that the internet is destroying art and culture, making it impossible for artists to make a living via their creative work. Instead he looks at how the internet has allowed creatives to target niche markets of fans and consequently thrive.

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Grow Your Fanbase With A Successful Contest

1If they are carried out correctly, holding an online contest can be an excellent way to build up your fanbase and increase the engagement of your online audience. If executed incorrectly however, such contest can easily devolve into a logistical nightmare and waste of resources.

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Would You Pull Your Music Off The Radio?

Would You Pull Your Music Off The Radio?In an effort to correct the fact that artists haven’t been properly compensated for having their songs played on the air the new bipartisan PROMOTE bill would give artists and labels the option to pull their music from broadcast radio.
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