The Mindset Formula Part 3: From Artist to Business Continued…
In Part 2 of The Mindset Formula, we shared with you some amazing tips on how you need to start thinking in order to see success in your career.
Going from Artist to Business – The Right Mindset
As you can see your mindset is so important and bridging the gap between creating music and operating as a business is a huge undertaking for any artist.
Do you know the numbers?
As we previously mentioned, taking a step into the business side of things can be intimidating for many artists. For the most part, artists will venture into the marketing side of things but will turn a blind eye to the numbers.
When artists do not have a business mindset they are not thinking about making money or at the very least breaking even. Since many artists will pay out of pocket for the many expenses that arise they also just chalk these up as a loss. Heck, you would have spent the money on pointless crap anyways so at least it is going towards your music.
Yes, this is a good thing that you are willing to invest in yourself but at the end of the day when anyone invests, it is usually with the goal of getting something back in return. Furthermore, artists simply do not know where they stand financially. What's coming in and what's going out, if there are ways to better use their money, etc.
The Fix: You as an artist need to start understanding the ins and outs of your business. Aspects of accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, and analytics are all vital to how you operate. It may be hard to grasp at first but getting a handle of this early with be very beneficial to you down the road. Take a course, read a few books, ask for help and do whatever you can to get stronger in these areas. Cashflow is king in any business and this is no different in music.
Do you have processes in place?
When you go to McDonald's who do you usually see working there and running the operations? Young adults who probably can't clean their room but they can operate a McDonalds.
Why is that?
Because of the processes set in place by the establishment. If I handed you the keys to a McDonald's I am sure you would be thrilled and once I handed over the manual to operate the business I am sure your confidence in attaining success would skyrocket.
What's the point I'm trying to make here?
Your Music career is no different. You should work to develop your career like a business that could almost operate without you.
The Fix: So how do you do this? By creating standard operating procedures for core parts of your business. There needs to be a standard for how you release and market music, how you prepare and negotiate for shows, how you prepare and plan music videos, how you track finances, etc.
This list is not small considering all the things a musician has to do but getting this sorted out up front will save you a ton of pain down the road. Don't fall victim to forgetfulness! Rely on processes that will stabilize and streamline your business. You'll thank me when you've announced the release of new music and didn't forget to send it for distribution or posted your new video on every platform and didn't forget about promoting it on Facebook. Procedures are your friend and they make you more efficient and effective!
Have you learned how to negotiate?
If you do not know how to negotiate you will always be at risk for getting screwed over. You need to know your value so that you can create win/win situations for both sides but you want to make sure that you grow your career as much as you can when opportunities present themselves.
The Fix: Learn how to negotiate and become more business savvy. Do your homework and learn the ins and outs of the music industry. Keep in mind that getting out into the world and making mistakes will sometimes be the best education. There is a great interview with Hopsin speaking on the topic of negotiation.
How well do you market yourself?
Marketing is a very huge beast and can be difficult to wrap your head around. The focus here is that you are creating a brand and need to operate with that in mind. You want consistency and cohesion with all the materials you put out. This can take some time to orchestrate but it is very important that you develop this.
The Fix: Ensure that the graphic designers, photographers, videographers that you work with are quality and can create the style that you are after. Make sure that you create a narrative or story about you as an artist and what makes you different and allows you to stand out from the rest.
Make sure that all social platforms and your website are consistent and look relatively the same from logos to the artwork for the songs you are currently promoting. Take pride in the way others use your logo or brand on materials that they are producing whether it is for a show that you are performing at or for a blog that you are being interviewed at, you want your brand presented correctly every time.
Do you hate networking?
I'll tell you this right now, anything you want or need in music, business or life for that matter, you can get through networking. A lot of artists live in their own bubble and don't want to go out and meet new people. They rely on the networks and circles that they already have not realizing the potential for growing their career if they just stepped outside of their current network.
The Fix: Go to workshops, conferences, meetups, open mic nights, do more shows, etc. The more people you meet and make a genuine connection with the better off you will be. Learning from other artists and industry professionals is huge and something you should always be doing.
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully, you have a clear picture and understanding of what you want from music. Everyone is different but if you have dreams of doing music full time and making a living from it then you will need to put your entrepreneurial hat on and start wiring your mind to think more like a business.
It is all about balance and making time for the amazing music you create but also making sure that you don't neglect the elements that help to share your music with the world and allow your business operate effectively.