Let’s continue digging a little deeper in to tapping into your business side when it comes to music, shall we?
We are glad you are still with us and still interested in making your music hobby your music career.
The best way to start is to start small. It’s easier to grow and expand than to try to dig yourself out of a mess if you have gotten in over your head. Every artist would like to be an overnight success, but a fan base needs time to grow. If you spend everything on a project, you might get stuck with lots of boxes of product. Most of the time, artists need time to grow not only their style and art, but their business sense. Never overextend yourself beyond your means financially and emotionally. I have seen many comics in particular that get famous too fast and get crushed emotionally and quit. A business plan will help you to not over-reach your financial limits, and will emotionally help you to prepare for any success as you can see things as an expected outcome. If Apple’s new iPhone turns out to be the best selling phone, it was expected, and is not crushing. Likewise, if Janet Jackson has a wardrobe malfunction the day before her new album comes out, then it is not crushing, it is expected that she will be in the news and her album will be a “breast-seller” (like what I did there?). A plan lets you know what to expect, plain and simple.
Most mom and pop businesses have a personal feel, and it is the same with artists. Knowing a booker personally makes it seem logical to take a gig over the phone. But it only takes one bad gig to take out a lot of indie musicians and comics. A small discrepancy on who pays for travel can devastate an artist. Having clarity through something that is in writing will save you.
If you are an artist of any type, the most important thing to get in writing is the ownership of your Intellectual Property. There was a musician who played a song live for years, and even sold his CD with that song, and even more, had that song in a movie, only to have it stolen, by the same producer who made the CD, who gave it to a famous artist where it went to the top of the charts – with not a penny or a credit to his name! Sadly, his copyright was never registered, and hence he had no legal grounds to stand on. Make sure you get all of your art protected in writing from the Library of Congress. It is easy to do online, and no other source will stand in a U.S. Court as well as a registered copyright.
The last point here: don’t just get it in writing — understand WHAT you’re getting in writing. TLC sold over 10 million records and yet they were over $200,000 in debt. They were amazing, breaking every record, barrier, and heart; but their contract broke their bank.
[Reprinted From: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/]