Mar 9th, 2009 by Bill Piersall

Music Business 101

Do yourself a favor and re-read the title of this post.

The first mistake made by musicians is not realizing music is a business. Sure, it serves a higher purpose…makes us happy, gives us a creative outlet, and shows off our artistic side. Now if that’s all you think it is, then take up needlepoint. Quitting your day job and becoming a full time musician will be the hardest job you will ever have. Look at any successful local or national act, and you will see a group of people working very hard to keep things moving forward. 40 hours a week is a walk in the park when compared to a band that is doing 80 shows in the next 3 months.

Take advantage of all opportunities

The next mistake made by musicians is failing to realize their potential by not recognizing and taking advantage of every opportunity in front of them. There is money to be made; you just have to get a little creative to keep it coming in.

So what if you don’t have a band!

Are you a decent song writer but don’t have a band? Then maybe publishing and selling your music is your best bet. Songs can be tough to sell, but once you get your foot in the door it gets easier. Don’t forget the corporate world either. Businesses need jingles, and some companies utilize custom music beds and voice overs for their on-hold telephone systems. Many manufacturers distribute training CD’s and DVD’s that feature custom music, video and voice work as well. These can be extremely lucrative and usually can be done in a small home studio.

So how do you promote your songs once you record them?

If you have a band and plan on recording and promoting your own songs remember to take advantage of all your opportunities. Youtube.com has helped launch many careers, and sites like facebook.com and myspace.com are great networking sites. Remember that in order to get signed, a label wants to see a band with decent regional success. Packed houses help, but money talks. Labels want to see a band that can sell (not give away) 10,000 CD’s on their own, sell t-shirts and other merchandise, and keep track of all the sales stats to prove it. This takes regional tours, radio play, organization and creative marketing, but it will get you a deal if you willing to do the hard work.

We will cover this and many other aspects of the music biz as we go. Until my next post here is wishing you luck in making your dream a successful one that gets you paid.

Written by: Bill Piersall,

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