What You Need to Know About Starting a Music Business
In This Review
For many reasons, the music industry isn’t the easiest sector to start a business in.
If your target audience consists of musicians, many of them don’t have much by way of expendable income.
If you’re an independent studio or record label, it may not be as easy for you to profit from streaming royalties and other revenue sources as it is for major labels.
And because it’s such a fun and creative industry – at least from the outside looking in – it’s also competitive on just about every level.
Here are some things you need to know about starting a music business.
Fundamentally, It’s Just Like Starting Any Other Business
It’s good to be aware of the unique industry challenges and how they might affect your ability to create a successful business.
But fundamentally, building a music business is not that different from building a business in any other sector. You need to find a need, create a product or service that alleviates the problem, and then market your offer to the people who need it.
Information can be a bit of a hard sell in today’s information-rich environment. But if you can curate the best of the best and put it together in a compelling eBook or course at a price your audience can afford, you may find your footing.
That’s a key point worth remembering – you must tailor your offer to the unique needs of your audience.
Every Business Needs To Be A Publisher
This is a bit of a blanket statement and may not apply to every business case. But most businesses would do well to become a publisher in their industry and share ongoing updates, news items, curated content, and tutorials or how-to guides to serve their audience.
First of all, this keeps your followers engaged. It gives them a reason to keep coming back to your website, and it gives you something worth sharing on social media.
Second of all, content helps you attract more leads. You can grow your email list on an ongoing basis by matching compelling opt-in offers to your content.
Third of all, publishing helps you sell more. This does not mean that every blog post of yours should be a sales letter. Rather, by building trust with your audience on an ongoing basis, you’ll develop enough rapport with them to move them down your sales funnel to where they’ll want to buy from you.
You can achieve good results with advertising and other marketing endeavors too, but publishing has many benefits (such as authority), that are hard to ignore.
2 Important Pieces of Music Business Advice
Building a business is not easy, and it can take time to gain traction within your niche.
Unless you have prior experience, there’s going to be a lot for you to learn. You’ll have to wear many hats and work long hours.
But if you are committed to your long-term success, here are two important pieces of music business advice that will help you succeed in your music industry endeavor.
1. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
So, you have a revolutionary business idea. Awesome!
The problem is that, as creative people, we tend to think that our approach to marketing, product development, and setting up systems also needs to be 100% unique.
Esteemed author Steven Pressfield was recently interviewed by entrepreneur and investor James Altucher, and he went on record saying that he’d “copied” and “stole” ideas from other sources. If you’ve listened to Altucher’s podcast, you know that he himself often says to his guests, “That’s great, I’m stealing that.”
Now, outright plagiarism is never good. But at the base, business is a system that generates money – nothing more, nothing less. You can inject personality into your branding and marketing, but reinventing the wheel is time-consuming and generally ineffective. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels.
Look into what successful businesses are doing. How are they promoting their offer? What seems to be working, and what isn’t? What are they doing to connect with their target audience?
Take what works, and leave the rest. Don’t try to come up with your own strategy from the ground up!
2. Establish Your Authority
Here in the Internet age, many entrepreneurs and business owners rely on product launches to sustain their businesses. And this might bring in a bit of money in the short term, but it takes significant effort to maintain because you have to keep making and launching more products to generate revenue.
A true entrepreneur is someone who passively earns money from their assets. Their constant involvement in the business is not required!
So, constantly launching new products is a shortsighted approach. It can also burn out your audience, who might get tired of hearing from you after buying one or two of your offers.
Instead, you should take a long-term approach to build your authority in the industry. Ongoing publishing (blog posts, articles, eBooks, reports, whitepapers, etc.), guest appearances, speaking engagements, past successes in business, industry connections, and other factors can help you gain more authority.
When you have authority, starting new projects gets easier, and more people will want to work with you. You’ll be able to charge more for your products and sell more besides.
In business, long-term thinking often leads to better results.