Written by: Brian Spencer
First and foremost, congratulations for taking the time to better curate musical success. Seeking out articles of this nature will take you, as well as those involved in your music, to the next level.
Do yourself a favor and continue to research periodicals that will help advance your knowledge of this ever changing industry. I’ll attach some of my favorites at the end.
You did it. You formed a band, or a band has approached you to help them get to the next level. Now what? There are 3 things that will get you far in the industry. Those 3 things can be incredible assets on their own, but in unity, they will continue to open doors throughout your career.
Talent: Let’s be completely honest. In any business your product needs to reflect what people desire. You will be hard pressed to sell your work to anyone that isn’t close friends or family (not to discount those folks, but they are your ‘ride or dies’. They are in it for the long haul). Put in the hours in the practice room or put emphasis on the creative process for the band you manage. The better the music, the more people that will gravitate to you. That means more money to put into your pocket or, IDEALLY, to put back into the band (I’ll get into fiscal responsibility later).
Knowledge: Not knowing how to plan ahead is one of the biggest mistakes made by band operators. You need to constantly check where the best music is being heard, where that music is being played, and what opportunities are best for exposure. These are the fun questions. You need to get to know the PRO’s that exist (Performing Rights Organizations) so that your music is protected and you can hopefully start collecting royalties. Learn how to best route your band when putting together a tour. Learn how to balance your profit / loss with every penny that comes in and out. Watch your favorite bands and see how they put together marketing campaigns for releasing music. Basically, the learning never ends, but this shouldn’t come as a shock. If you want to do something to your best ability then you have to eat, drink, sleep, dream (day / night) whatever it is that you are involved in.
Drive: In my subjective opinion, this is quite possibly the most important asset of the 3. Without drive, the other two assets can be hampered exponentially. If you ONLY have drive, you will be better off than someone with talent, knowledge, or potentially even a combination of those two. You have the ability to work incredibly hard, and nobody should convince you otherwise. If you have the magic combination of all 3 assets, then doors will continually open for you.
There is a plethora of roads that we’ll go down in the coming articles that will introduce you to specifics within the industry. Throughout your career, managing your “Big 3” will be incredibly important to the success of your band. Continue to seek out periodicals and learn more about the industry. Ask lots of questions and continue to work at your craft.
Here are some books that have helped my business grow. Keep in mind that some of this information is out of date, but the themes are still incredibly important.
If you have any questions for me, or want me to write about any specific topic within developing your band as a business, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com