Live performances from your favourite artists

Part 6: Invest in Yourself

Invest in yourself, but be prepared to lose money.

If you want to try to make a serious career out of music, you need to remember that it is a business and being a band is your job. Just like any job, it takes time to work your way through the ranks. You need to dedicate the time and make the commitment.

You need to invest your time and money into the band. If you are not willing to invest in the band, why should a label or booking agent?

All bands over a certain size (basically as soon as you’re ready to tour) are registered as a business with the government, a quick look on the Australian Business Number website ABN Lookup shows that ALL Australian artists big enough to tour are registered as businesses. Go on, give it a look.

After a quick search for the iconic Silverchair it shows that they are registered as 2 businesses. One business deals with recording and the other deals with touring.

Like any business you will require start-up capital, this is the investment in equipment necessary for the running of your business. Instruments, leasing of rehearsal spaces, petrol to get yourself to shows, posters and merchandise, money for the recording of your music. They are all expenses that are vital to eventually turning a profit, and the more money you spent on producing it the better the product which you are selling.

 

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Business researchers have spent millions of dollars and years of research on finding out how long it takes to make a first impression on someone, some articles say 7 seconds for a website, 20 seconds face to face. They haven’t published studies on bands performing live, but it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to presume that the first impression of a band can be formed by one song.

When performing live, everyone should look like they belong in the band. If that means that clothes need to be bought as part of the image, then so be it. The same thing goes with instruments, if you are on stage singing a love song, dedicated to your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife and playing an instrument like this chances are you should see if you can borrow a more subtle instrument.

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

When it comes to putting up songs on the web, again, there is only one chance to impress. If you upload something that sounds like it was recorded on a mobile phone in a rehearsal room, people won’t play the songs more than once. Then after you upload more songs, you have to fight against the pre-conceived notion they now have that the songs are recorded badly.

Understand the difference between a Demo and an EP. A demo should be just for the band to record the song ideas and find a producer to listen to the songs to come up with ideas for the EP. Demo recordings are not as polished as the EP product so it may not be the best idea to upload demos. Compare it to releasing a first draft of a book, full of spelling errors and fractured grammar to the final edited and published book.

When you take the band on the road, the tour is more likely to cost money than return a profit, but you have to look at what you gain by the tour – making new fans, getting your songs to a wider audience and selling band merchandise.

 

There are a few things bands can look at for financial assistance such as arts grants or websites like http://www.pledgemusic.com/ which allow bands to receive donations from people to fund releases and tours.

 

You need to decide how committed you are to giving your music a go. Would you prefer to look back on your life knowing that you at least tried to give it a shot, or live with the regret of never trying?

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