How to Make Sure Your New Music Business Stays in Harmony

Guest post by Katie Conroy

How to Make Sure Your New Music Business Stays in Harmony

Everyone has always told you that you should teach music, work as a studio guitarist, or write jingles. Well, now’s the time to prove them right. You’re good at what you do, but running a business is far different than strumming on the strings. But, business can be learned, and the tips below can get you started.

Mage Music is happy to present today’s blog, which aims to inspire other musical entrepreneurs.

Grow your business skills.

Most self-employed musicians are business people by circumstance. You’ve likely spent the vast majority of your years honing and refining your talents. But, now’s the time to up your business acumen by taking classes to give you an edge when it comes to management and leadership. You can even go to school online to earn a degree or certification without putting your business on hold.

Don’t forget startup steps.

All businesses begin as a startup. In the early days, it helps to make a list of all of the tasks that you need to complete. One of these is to format your business structure. This requires extra care, particularly if you’ve moved to a new state and aren’t familiar with local laws. You can reach out to your local county clerk’s office or other governing body to help walk you through the process and to obtain your license, if applicable.

Get a grasp on marketing. 

Marketing is another area where musicians tend to get a bit sidetracked. You’re probably a great front person, meaning that you can stand up on stage and work a crowd. But, you might not be the most internet-astute individual. Find a freelancer that can help you build a professional-looking and fully functional website. You can use online job platforms, which help you get a better idea of turnaround and cost before you bring someone on board. You also want to have branding materials, such as custom-designed business cards on hand to pass out to people you meet. While you can also hire someone to do this, there are plenty of pre-designed templates online that let you pick each element until it perfectly aligns with the brand you’re building.

Never stop learning.

Complacency is the downfall of all great things. Even if you are the best at what you do, it never hurts to learn other aspects of the music world. This might be anything from music theory to taking classes from an experienced instructor in a discipline you’re not familiar with. Guitar, vocals, or keyboard are just a few examples.

Don’t be shy about networking.

If complacency is the downfall, then networking is one of the fundamental building blocks of a great business. Spend some time in local music venues or join one of the 100+ musician networking groups on MeetUp. If you’re currently using your music as a hobby, you can also network with other people that play different instruments or have different vocal talents. Who knows, you might even follow in the footsteps of Soul Asylum, Nirvana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, or Buddy Holly, each of which started in a garage with little more than a dream to go on.

Keep your passion. 

Something that you should never lose sight of is that music was your passion long before it was your profession. The Black Business Guide asserts that, while you have an opportunity to get paid for doing what you love, it’s easy to let the pressure of deadlines and financial management get to you. If doing what you once loved starts to stress you out, don’t be afraid to take a step back and reevaluate how you do business.

With talent, drive, determination, and passion, you can turn your favorite hobby into a freelance career. But, as a musician, you have to know more than how to keep time in harmony, you have to have business skills and a willingness to break outside of your comfort zone.

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Katie Conroy is the creator of Advice Mine. She enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education and research.