It is no longer enough to simply focus on being a great musical artist. In this new era of music business (and this IS a business) musicians cannot expect that a label will be there as either “the bank” or “the expertise.”
That said, with or without a label, marketing music still requires money and expertise.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that a developing artist monetizing his/her music is no different than any other small business owner figuring out how to make money from his/her business. In short, it requires investment: of capital, of resources, of time. And not just in the music, but also in the business of music.
Investing in oneself is putting in the proverbial 10,000 hours, not only in one’s music, but also in the education, in the financial investment, and in the dream team of experts (however small) to build a business that generates sufficient income for an artist to continue with his/her music and make a living from it.
All of these things require capital: human capital, time capital, and financial capital, as well as a business plan, a strategic and tactical marketing plan, and a musician who must double as an educated business owner (together with a trusted team to activate the strategy.)
The great news is that innovation and technology continue to give musicians access to resources and tools to both raise money and market music.
At the end of the day, however, the decision to have a successful business in music must come from musicians themselves. This will require not only the vision, and but also the will and commitment to “do what it takes” to create an infrastructure and to figure out how to fund it.
To approach music without this investment of time and resources is a hobby. Hobbies are great, but tend to be well-kept secrets. To not invest the time and resources in music as a business will only insure that your music, however great it might be, will not only NOT be monetized to the degree that it should/could be, but will also, potentially, be the greatest work of art that never gets heard.
Founder and CEO of Navigation Partners LLC, Peggy Dold (@navigatepartner) has in-depth experience in multi-cultural marketing, global expertise in both the English- and Spanish-language entertainment markets (U.S. and ex-U.S.) and in working with international media, licensing and distribution partners worldwide. Current clients represent the sectors of entertainment technology, superstars in the fields of music, modeling and television as well as independent recording artists. Current projects include content development for multi-media distribution, international business development for new technologies and applications, new market development for International celebrities, and artist development (U.S. General Marketing, U.S. Latin Market, Europe, LatAm, and Asia.).
12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.