Attention bands and musicians! Creating amazing music is what we all love doing, but it can be just as important to make sure you’re looking after the business side as well. Here’s three hot tips from Music SA’s very own Lisa Bishop to help you forge a successful career in the music industry.
1. Set Yourself Up as a Business
Work out what legal structure best fits you (as a solo musician or band) and then use it to operate your business and receive tax breaks. Register an ABN (Australian Business Number) and open a bank account (not your personal one) and use it to be smart about cash flow and careful about spending. Sign a “band agreement” based on your selected business set-up. You can find one in the AMIN Legal Pack – use it to clarify issues and disputes that are commonly experienced by bands. https://www.musicsa.com.au/resources/
2. Understand Where Your Money is Coming From
Get a handle on what your top revenue streams are – touring, publishing, merchandising etc Make sure you are distributing your music online and on all the right platforms – iTunes, apple music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon and that your music is visible on Apps like Shazam (artist distribution service companies like CDBaby, Ditto, Noisehive, distrokid, Tunecore can do this for you for a fee). However don’t rely solely on online followers – playing live helps to build your fanbase and gives you genuine instant feedback on your music. Adelaide has some great live music venues that provide a career pathway from smaller crowds to larger rooms and hopefully to supporting touring acts in bigger venues and then ultimately playing music festivals.
3. Network and Collaborate
Like any industry, the music industry is about who you know, not just what you know. Get engaged with your local music organisations, attend workshops and industry functions and subscribe to their socials. Seek advise from older successful musicians and collaborate with other artists and producers to develop your songwriting and stagecraft skills.