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Music Business

Smartest Music Investments

12 Smartest Investments Musicians Can Make Towards a Full-Time Music Career

By Music Business No Comments

Many musicians want to make music a full-time gig, but many of them aren’t taking music seriously enough. More specifically, they’re not willing to invest their money back into their business to grow their music career properly. With so much market saturation in music, only focusing on free promotion tactics and looking for shortcuts or hacks is not enough to turn a hobby into a career for most artists.

To be fair, it’s not easy. It can even be overwhelming at times. The decline in record sales and the rise in streaming has made it more difficult for emerging musicians to earn a stable income off physical music. This is why it’s important for all musicians to know the various income sources that are available to you.

Even with consistent income, it takes smart investments in yourself to increase your chances of making it in this industry. In general, there are two things you can use to invest – time and money. Time will always be your most valuable asset, and what you have the most control over, so use it wisely. Read More

Ordering Merch

Bulk Ordering or Print On-Demand? What’s the Best Way for Musicians to Order Merch

By Merch, Music Business No Comments

This is part 2 of 3 about merch.

It’s no surprise that one of the key components to making a living off music is selling merch. Not only is merch an income stream, it’s also a marketing / advertising tool to raise brand awareness.

At this point, you should have some designs on hand in the proper graphic file format. If you don’t have your designs yet, before sure to read this first.

You have merch designs ready to go. Now you need to find out what’s the best way to get it made, and into the hands of your fans. There are some factors to consider when getting merch made. Read More

Promoting Your Music

How To Promote Your Music: The Best and Worst Strategies and Tactics

By Music Business, Music Distribution 2 Comments

You made your songs available on every digital platform. You have a presence on every popular social media channel. Yet, no one’s listening to your songs.

One of the biggest questions I get, a very common problem for new musicians, is how do I promote my music?

It can be a frustrating experience, but there’s a lot more that goes into releasing music than just making it widely accessible and making a couple of social media posts.

Sometimes, musicians who have this problem are looking for free exposure or shortcuts to build up vanity metrics like views or followers. This type of mindset leads to bad habits and tactics that just don’t work.

In this blog, I will go over the best and worst ways you can promote your music. If you haven’t seen much engagement or traction with your songs, maybe you’re guilty of one of these bad promotion tactics. Read More

Identify Your Niche

4 Steps to Find Your Target Audience or Niche as a Musician to Grow a Fanbase

By Branding, Marketing Basics, Music Business One Comment

Have you struggled with getting new fans? Does it seem like no one is listening whenever you promote your music on social media? Although there can be a number of reasons for this, have you thought about who exactly your target audience is?

Just like a business needs customers, musicians need fans. To build a fanbase, one of the most fundamental steps is to identify who your target audience is. If you want to make music for a living, you have to know who to “market” or promote your music to.

How do you do all that? In this blog, I will share my perspective and approach in detail on growing a fan base by identifying your target audience first. Read More

Music royalty basics

Music Royalties Simplified: An Income Source All Musicians Need to Know

By Music Business, Music Distribution 5 Comments

Understanding music royalties can be confusing, but very necessary for musicians who are new to the music business. I know I’m not the only one who struggled with this topic, so my goal was to put this together to help break it all down. I wanted to make it simple so that anyone who has no idea about the music business can easily understand… hopefully.

I’m by no means an expert, but this is more of an overview behind royalties through music publishing and master recordings as well as how to collect them. Read More

Music Copyright Basics

Music Copyright Basics: Do Musicians Really Need to Copyright Their Songs?

By Music Business No Comments

When we start to get into laws and legality of things, that’s when it starts to get really tricky and complicated. It’s no different in the music business, so it’s important to at least understand the basics.

If you’re a newer musician, you need to know copyright laws for:

  • Protecting your music against infringement and plagiarism
  • Receiving royalties you are legally entitled to when your music is used
  • Not infringing or breaking the law in regards to other people’s music or intellectual property

Even if you’re not a new musician, you should be familiar with these music copyright fundamentals to save yourself from any potential headaches in the future.
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Choosing the Independent Music Business Model That Works For You

By Music Business, Music Distribution, Music Streaming, Strategy One Comment

Last updated on 7/26/20

The music industry can be overwhelming. Just like running your own business (because that’s what it is!), there are a lot of things to think when it comes to managing your enterprise. When you’re working solo and can’t afford to build a team yet, it helps to have a solid overview or plan on how you should go about making a living from your music.

As an independent artist, you have 4 general business models you can adopt to mold and build your music career around. These aren’t “official” models, but it should provide some clarity about which approach is best for you.

Although I will talk about them distinctly in their purest form, their characteristics aren’t mutually exclusive. This means you can technically incorporate different aspects of all four models at once. Certain characteristics will overlap so there’s not a black and white distinction between each model. In time, more business models for music will certainly emerge as the industry and technology are constantly evolving. Read More

Zion I Merch

What Merch Should Independent Artists Make That Fans Will Actually Buy

By Merch, Music Business 2 Comments

This is part 1 of 3 about merch.

In our music streaming world, it has become much harder for independent artists to sustain a career in the music industry. Selling CDs was a large income stream that has basically vanished. To put into context how important it was, consider how much you make from music streaming.

Based on the latest numbers, to make the profit of selling one $15 CD, you would have to get roughly 3,200 streams on Spotify or 2,000 streams on Apple Music. For emerging artists, it’s a challenge just to get 1,000 streams.

It’s safe to say now that selling merch is basically a necessity now to make it as an artist on top of doing shows and tours.

Often times, the problem with merch is you need money to make money. Since the money to fund merch will most likely come out of your own pocket, you can’t afford to make items that people won’t buy.

Before you go and print a bunch of shirts with your face on it, it’s important to take a step back to evaluate your brand, what you represent and what characteristics define you as an artist. Read More

Community Mindset

What is a Community-Oriented Mindset and Tips to Find Your Community

By Music Business, Strategy One Comment

Success in the music industry is often a team effort. Even as an independent artist, you need support from those around you. This includes people who help you directly on day-to-day tasks or on certain projects, a network of industry relationships and community support.

As the saying goes, “your network is your net worth.” Your value and potential for growth are largely tied to the people you choose to surround yourself with. As emerging artists, it’s important you put yourself out there and start building these relationships. Read More

Facebook Ads for Music Video

How to Use Facebook Ads to Promote a Music Video and Sell Merch

By Facebook, Facebook Ads, Music Business, Social Media 2 Comments

SCENARIO: You have a new music video that you want everyone to see. It could even be an older video, it doesn’t matter because it’s always new to someone who’s never seen it. Facebook Ads is a great way to get more views for your music video, from both your current fans and potentially new ones.

Think of Facebook Ads as a tool that you can use to get exposure for your music video and potentially lead people into your fan funnel. Once in your fan funnel, it can be easier to sell your music and merch to your fans. The good news is you can use Facebook Ads to do this also.

There are different ways and strategies you can go about it, but I will guide you through one way to sell your music and merch to an audience that is more likely to buy based on how engaged they were by your videos. Read More