Every musician dreams about making it big. They see it as the ultimate goal, validation, self-fulfillment –
They see themselves playing in front of hundreds of people every night.
It all sounds wonderful, but not everyone is cut out for it.
Making sure that everyone that is a part of your project is on the same page, is crucial. A lot of people claim to want to make it in music but either
- Don’t want to spend the money.
- Aren’t as motivated as everyone else. Or
- Don’t want to tour.
These are all things you have to figure out before wanting to reach for the stars. Touring sounds fun at a glance, but not all of it is all fun and games. Being on the road playing shows consistently takes a toll on you both physically and mentally. You spend a lot of time driving in a van, you spend all of your time with the same small circle of people (trust me, you’re going to get sick of them at times), and you’ll be away from home.
These are all things to consider before making the decision “yes, I want to go all the way with music” because imagine this – you just got offered a killer tour opportunity, but you’ll have to be gone for three whole months. Three. Whole. Months. How will you pay your rent? Will you be able to take this much time off work? How will you keep your job?
Most musicians I’ve come to know job hop, which is fine, it works for them, but for me that does not seem like a good way to live. I don’t like not knowing what is going to happen. I always need to have a plan and need to know the answers to all of these questions, which more than likely may be questions you haven’t even thought of as well.
Making sure you and the rest of your band members are on the same page and aware of these things to come is imperative to making the most out of your music marketing as well as avoiding future roadblocks.
It would suck being in the middle of a tour and one of your band members start to feel homesick or get an anxiety attack from being in the van for 6 hours.
These are all things you need to know about every single member as well as things you should know about yourself. You’re wanting to be in this for the long haul, and you need to make sure you are prepared for this.
Touring is great, don’t get me wrong.
My favorite part about touring was playing the actual shows. I hated driving, I hated eating shitty food every day, sleeping in parking garages with four other dudes in a van – it was hell.
But that show – those 30 minutes of being on stage with the crowd singing back the lyrics we wrote – that is what made it worth it to me, and what can make it all worth it to you as well.
Another thing everyone needs to be on the same page about is money – ah yes, money.
Who doesn’t love money?
When it comes to being a band, rather, running your business, money is an important thing to consider and talk about amongst your band.
You need to make sure everyone is invested in the project, need to make sure everyone is on the same page, and that everyone is well aware of what is going into the band’s income and what is coming out of the band’s income.
Planning on printing merch?
Save the invoice and keep track of it.
Planning on investing in paid advertising?
Save the invoice and keep track of it.
Just got back from tour and spent money on gas and food?
Save the invoice and keep track of it.
Everything that comes in and out of the band’s income needs to be accounted for, documented, and have everyone know where the band is money-wise.
Music is probably the most expensive hobby out there. There’s your instruments, recording budgets, marketing budgets, and more.
Before you start to plan your next release or your next tour, you need to have money saved up and everyone that is a part of the project needs to contribute.
The common term for this is the “band fund.”
This is important.
Not only is this strategic planning for your future as musicians, but it will keep help your project continue to grow and become responsible.
You need to establish how much money each member can contribute to your band fund every month – and everyone needs to contribute.
And you need to stay on top of this.
Again; this is to practice not only responsibility, but also help you to grow your music career.
How Do I Save Money As A Musician?
Let’s say you have 5 band members.
I’m assuming you all have jobs, or some form of income. Now let’s say everyone works full time, getting paid minimum wage.
Minimum wage in California is $12, so let’s assume every band member is making $1,600 a month after taxes.
If every member contributes 10% of their income to the band fund, you will be able to save $800 a month towards your band fund.
You can do more, but never ever do less. This is one of those things that you have to talk about with your members and make sure that everyone can afford it and be responsible enough to contribute this every month.
Over the course of six months you will have $4,800, which can be used for a variety of things – building and hosting a website, setting aside a paid advertising budget, recording budget if you haven’t done that already, etc.
The point is, having a responsible way to save money to invest in your music is not only smart but an effective way to cut costs and not have one person pay for everything. This leads to resentment, and sometimes even entitlement when things get rough, and trust me – they will.
How Do You Set Goals As A Band?
“What do you hope to achieve with your music?”
This is a question that could have a million different answers and no one answer is the right answer, and no one answer is the guiding light for your music career. You have to have multiple goals, rather, you need a roadmap and milestones in between your “ultimate goal.”
The general goals people have when it comes to music is either 1) have my music heard or 2) make it big and have this be my career and never have to be a bartender again.
But what is your musician roadmap?
Figuring this out is tough because your band could be at so many different stages, and honestly – every musician is different.
There is “no one size fits all” roadmap to success in music.
And anyone who claims that there is, is full of it.
Every success story you hear from musicians are always different.
Some got signed to a major label because an A&R happened to be at a show they were playing.
For others, they just happened to be related to someone so they got their career that way – the scenarios and stories are damn near endless.
But there is a way to establish your online goals and come up with a roadmap to fall in line with the goals that you set for your project.
Knowing exactly what it is that you want to achieve through the digital world is key, as it can help you set the right priorities and have your plan fall into the right places.
Not establishing your goals will result in you and your band feeling overwhelmed and feeling like a chicken with its head cut off, not knowing what is happening or where you are going.
There is without a doubt a plethora of benefits the digital world can bring to your project. From gaining new fans, selling your merch online, building industry connections – the list goes on.
Some fundamental goals when starting out in the online world could be to gain more listeners and sell merch. But before any potential fan can do either one of these things, they have to know that you exist.
They have to become familiar with your name, your music, and ultimately – your brand. All of these goals can be achieved through the online realm.
Establishing your goals and completing them will keep you both motivated and inspired to continually hit milestones throughout your music journey.
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