You're practicing your instrument, you're re-working your songs, but are you also learning the business side of music? Don't fear, Music•Musique NB is here! Here is a handy-dandy checklist that you can chip away at between gigs.
- Register as a business | Especially if you're a band, this will register your band name as a business, meaning that you'll be able to open a bank account under that name and receive checks. It's also an essential step if you intend to apply to funding.
- You have an album bio | This is a great accompanying document whenever you need to send out your album to someone, such as as radio stations/journalists/bloggers.
- Your website is up-to-date | #MNB Members get a great discounted rate with Bandzoogle, but there are also other great free/cheap web building sites which make it easy for an emerging artist to have a great site. It's better to have a small but always up-to-date site than a huge outdated one!
- You have a Band Agreement | This is not something bands think about when everything is going well, but don't wait until there's a fight!
- Your social media is up-to-date and professional looking | Try to have a consistent branding / name on all the platforms. It's best to have a few accounts that you keep up to date, than too many that you can't keep on top of. And to gratify the Algorithm Gods, try to be regular in your posting.
- Your music is available for purchase | There are many platforms out there, but so far, Bandcamp seems to be the one that's most favorable for artists. It has a lot of customizable features, it's fairly easy to set up, and the cut they take is fair.
- You're charging a fair fee | It's the eternal question! How much should my band charge? There's no easy formula to follow, but one of the biggest mistake emerging artists are doing is charging too little!
- You're sharing your news | Sending press releases can seem a bit dauting at first, but you'll soon get the hang of it!
- You're signed up for all the relevant royalties | Two words: FREE MONEY!
- You have a plan | Going from gig to gig is going to get tiring soon. You need to start looking ahead and start thinking medium- to long-term. Be realistic, but be hopeful. It's an especially important exercise if you're a band, to make sure you're all on the same page.
And remember, whether you are a solo artist or a band, you're not in this alone! There are a lot of industry pros just eager to help, and when in doubt, Music•Musique NB is here to guide you!