About two years ago, I contributed a guest blog post to infectiousmagazine.com all about how musicians are entrepreneurs. I wrote about how it is so important to not only know the performance/skill side of the industry, but also the business side of the industry. Now that I have my own blog, I thought I would re-share this post for those of you who might like to read it!
Musicians Are Entrepreneurs
Despite my greatest efforts, I sometimes have a hard time convincing people I am an entrepreneur and sole-proprietorship. Is it the fact that I am carrying a guitar case instead of a brief-case? Whatever the reason may be, I can assure you, self-employed musicians are indeed small-business owners, and this is a topic I am very passionate about. Musicians are entrepreneurs.
Although talent and creativity are essential parts of being successful, it is integral that a musician is business-minded and takes the same steps as any other entrepreneur to ensure growth and sustainability. For example, whether you’re setting up a kick-ass cotton candy stand, or the CEO of the newest social media platform, or pitching yourself as an emerging artist, you’re going to need a business plan that considers the following:
*A PLAN OF ACTION– Short Term & Long Term Goals; Accountability
*A BUDGET– Tracking All In-Coming & Out-Going Funds; Planning For Future Investments
*STRATEGIC MARKETING– Consistent Social Media Presence: Engagement & Content
*A SUPPORTIVE TEAM– Mentors Who Are Willing To Help You Succeed
*WAYS TO TRACK PROGRESS– Data From All Ventures; Social Media Numbers
*NETWORKING CONTACTS– Collect & File Business Cards; Attend Networking Events
*VALUABLE PRODUCTS/SERVICES– Make Quality Content; Get Paid For Your Work
*POWERFUL BRANDING– Photos; Logo; Message; Be Consistent; Know Your Audience
*ETC.- Learn How To Pitch Your Business; Help Promote Others; Be Unique
These hurdles are the same for any business owner, and a musician must have all of these areas covered, especially with the pressures of such an ever-changing, competitive industry. Gone are the days when a team of professionals will scoop up undiscovered, raw talent and pay for their development. We, as self-employed musicians have to adapt to this Do-It-Yourself era and develop ourselves. Then, once you get the ball rolling, the people who discover you will not hesitate to jump on board when they see you have your business under control.
The sad truth is that even with proof of concept, musicians are a lot less likely to be funded by investors than entrepreneurs in other fields. That being said, I am so grateful that I live in a country where programs such as FACTOR and the Canadian Arts Council offer a multitude of grants to artists. Without these initiatives, it would be very difficult to find financial aid, which is essential, as equipment and production costs are sky-high in this industry.
So although our networking meetings may be jam sessions, our office is usually our living room, and most of us will never be spotted in business suits, please remember that musicians are entrepreneurs, too. After all, it’s called the music business for a reason.
I hope you enjoyed reading this piece of writing from a couple of years ago. I must say, it is still very relevant to my life as a musician and entrepreneur right now.
Have you ever experienced people not taking you seriously? What industry do you work in and do you find similar struggles? Let me know in the comments below!
Related Post: Meet the Musician: Michelle Thibodeau