Cheat Sheet

Music Business For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Music Business For Dummies

By Loren Weisman

It seems like there are so many different aspects to the music business, and so little time to learn it all and hone your skills. From keeping yourself healthy and keeping your musical edge, to knowing how to confidently sell your act and when to post on social media sites, life in the music business offers a wide variety of daily tasks. And then there’s the part where you get to play your songs!!

Tracking Your Diet and Fitness in the Music Business

Diet and fitness are important factors in the music business. You may remember those public service announcements in elementary school, but there’s a bit of science behind the idea of ‘you are what you eat.’ Maybe there’s something to Lolly! Lolly! Lolly! Get your adverbs here too, but let’s not tangent too far. Still, your eating and fitness habits on the road and as well as at home can become a major factor in how you handle the hours, stress, stage, and your basic well-being.

The last part of tracking comes down to tracking yourself, what you eat, how you feel, and how you exercise. To the gentle and much more passive, “you are what you eat,” the aspects of food, exercise, and health are key factors.

Certain investors look into the overall health of an artist or band members. Some bands even require a physical in order to land a position for a show.

Your health is a key factor. From the standpoint of those who invest time in you to those who invest money in you. Forget the drugs, the drinking, and all the other wild elements; although those are concerns, the overall health can determine certain investments and support.

The Yin and Yang of Effective Solicitation in the Music Business

When researching a record deal, investor, gig, manager, music publisher, booking agent, or anything/anyone else that can help your music career, it’s important to look at the other side of the coin. Looking at how you can help or allow the other party to profit as well shows you are looking at the complete and bigger picture.

Whether you’re leaning toward a record label or desiring to work from an independent standpoint, many of the same elements of the solicitation show up for both.

When asking for a record deal, you may thing you’re asking someone to sign you. In reality, however, it’s you who’s signing an agreement for a very large loan of money and services to help all the different aspects of your music career.

Someone who pays for the services that include recording to distribution, branding to promotion and marketing to advertising becomes a key part of your potential success. The money for touring as well as to pay the band hasn’t been taken into consideration.

Soliciting for funding is the same whether you want a record deal or you want to remain independent. Record labels don’t sign the best artist or the best song; they sign the people who demonstrate the least risk, have the most money-making potential, as well as enable the most profits possible.

This means that the more you showcase a reduced risk with a higher professionalism all held together with the music, you have a much better chance over those who want to be signed or solicit based only on a song.

The more you can create on your own, before soliciting to a record label or going to investors to handle the elements of what a record label does, the better your solicitations will be received across the board.

Tips for Posting on Social Media Sites for Your Music Business

Social media is a great asset for promoting your music. Every social media page has its own best practices, and there are complete books on every one of the following sites, but here are some simplified tips and practices to apply to each site. Give each post a primary home base from where it’s shared.

Change the headline; keep the content

Make slight headline adjustments for each page as you share the main content from a single page. This trick makes all the search engines happy and helps to build up your optimization.

When to post on social media sites

There’s no proof as to the best time to post on social media. Every study that’s been conducted is working off different variables. Take a look at your conversions to find when the best posting time is for you. If you spend a week posting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern standard time and then the next week, much earlier, then the next later and the last week of that month another time, you can look back at your own conversions and see when you received the most engagement, likes, comments, or clicks to your stores.

Be leery of experts

Social media is still new — although it seems like it’s been around forever, it’s barely ten years old. A lot of these so-called experts are working off assumptions with limited studies, and less proof. So track yourself. See what time you’re connecting and engaging with or growing your audience the most. That’s the best time for you to post.

Don’t limit yourself

Don’t limit your posts to social media and your website. Have a presence or at least a profile on pages like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Four Square, too. Your website and social media presence can also come from your interaction, reviews, and engagement on other sites and pages that aren’t yours.

Keeping Your Edge in the Music Business

Just as it’s good to act as your own teacher in the music business, it’s also good at times to get a teacher or take lessons while you’re on the road with different instructors. While having one teacher who knows you and in a way can track for you, visiting different instructors and sharing some of your analysis and tracking of your playing can help them bring a different approach to and for you. This can up the inspiration and learning a great deal and enable you to get more excited about practicing if you’ve lost the desire.

Keep an eye on how you practice and what might need more work. For example, if you find yourself playing certain basic measures a little slower than in the past, you know you have an issue you need to address. In a way, be your own teacher. Keep an eye on your practicing process by taking a few simple notes about what you’re working on, how it’s coming, where you’re are getting better and where you’re abilities are stagnating, plateauing, or getting sloppy. Track the practice to keep yourself improving.

Give each practice a little review after you are done. From feeling confident to feeling sloppy and everywhere in between, leave yourself a private short review. Rate it by five stars, if you like, and give it an overall review. As you track this practice list and read over it, the themes become more apparent for what’s working and what isn’t.

Finally, list the time of day you practice as well as what you did that day or have to accomplish outside of practicing. Tracking this kind of information can help you know when you’re at your best and worst, as well as the right times to practice or the right time to cut yourself a little extra slack.