If you are generating revenue through being a musician through gigs, album sales, sync deals and the likes, you are running a small business. It sounds obvious, but many a musician doesn’t see it like that.
As with any business, the 400% rule applies when it comes to the effort, dedication and commitment needed to effectively steer the ship. 100% focus should on the core business, what you do and your product offering. 100% focus should be on growing the business. 100% effort needs to be on marketing the business and core products and of course 100% effort needs to be in operating the business and running it as smoothly and slickly as humanly possible.
You have a product line that comprises your compositions, recordings, live performances and in many cases associated merchandise items. 100% of your energy needs to go into keeping these elements in tiptop condition and putting out products that are appealing and marketable and of the highest possible quality.
To avoid stagnation and to increase the bottom line, every business needs to grow and up its product offering or extend its current product line. The next 100% of your energy needs to go into maintaining interest by keeping things fresh and also by attracting new interest. In the case of a musician or a band, new albums, new singles, exploring variations of live performances (such as doing unplugged sets), implementing alternative distribution methods and adding to the merchandise are just a few things that count towards growing the business and enhancing and adding to revenue streams.
A great product that is not marketed may as well not be there at all. Marketing your music and associated items needs another 100% of your time and effort. There are various marketing techniques that use traditional and new and innovative ways of getting the brand developed and exposed to the masses. If you can’t do it in-house, commission professionals such as graphic designers, social media experts, radio pluggers and publicists to assist you in marketing your band and its core product offering and peripherals effectively.
Every business needs to run from day to day. No less than 100% should be spent on operations such as finance, procurement and day-to-day administration including responding to emails, invoicing, database management and procuring band equipment.
These four elements that make up the 400% rule all work in unison and none of them can work in isolation. It may seem like a daunting task to take on, but there are professionals out there, such as publicists and accountants, who can reduce the load and become an integral part of the team to make everything run smoothly.
Running your career in music as a balanced and strategic small business can only mean more revenue in the long run, so sit down and get your ducks in a row!
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