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Music Industry A to Z: B is for Business

B is for Business!

I’m thrilled to be back for the second round of the Music Industry A to Z. Last time, I covered authenticity for A, and today, the topic is business.

Why Business?

So, you may be scratching your head, wondering why I chose business for B. Well, the answer is simple. Music is a business. Straight forward, right? Maybe, but this is a point often forgotten or overlooked.

The music industry is made up of tons of creatives. Of course, we have the musicians, songwriters, artists, producers, and others bringing music to life, both in the studio and during live performances. There are many other talented individuals too, including photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and many more. Because this industry is made up of people creating various art forms, it’s easy to forget this is a business.

Though many of us started out doing our art form as a hobby and simply because it’s something close to our hearts, once we chose to enter the music industry, it has become more than a passion. Whatever we offer, though still a passion, is now a product or service. So, it’s essential to remember the business side of the industry, while balancing that with our love for what we do.

Treating the Music Industry as a Business

Now we’re all reminded that the music industry is a business, it’s important to always treat it as one. First and foremost, this means being professional. Demonstrating professionalism, from interactions and communications to behaviors both online and in person, should be the focus for everyone in the industry. Remember to always put your best foot forward and maintain a good reputation. The music industry is smaller than you may think, so acting unprofessionally can backfire quickly. If you remain mindful and embrace professionalism, you’ll earn respect and establish yourself in a positive way.

Another huge part of any business is networking. I truly believe it’s impossible to get anywhere in music alone. There is so much collaboration that happens in every step of the journey, no matter what that looks like for you. Once you begin making genuine connections, your network will expand, leading to more opportunities.

Additionally, a massive part of the music industry being a business is respecting everyone’s work. Those of us treating our roles in this industry as a career have a focus on making money from what we do. If you’re hiring a photographer or graphic designer, for example, those individuals deserve to be paid, and paid fairly, for their time and work. The same goes for venues properly paying live musicians because live music is a service, not only fun entertainment for free. The industry has changed drastically, and much needs to be done in the area of royalties and compensating songwriters, so the more we have conversations surrounding the business side of music and what that means for creatives, the more we will hopefully take steps forward.

There’s so much more I can say about treating the music industry as a business, but I’ll wrap up with the point that a key component of any business is setting goals and developing strategies for success. Think about your goals when it comes to what you’re offering. These goals should be SMART goals, meaning they’re specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time based. Being very clear about your goals will allow you to develop strategies to reach those goals. Everything I touched on above ties into this. Through being professional, networking with the right people, and respecting both yourself and others when it comes to compensation, you’ll begin evolving your career in a way that aligns with your goals.

This has been a brief overview of the music industry as a business, but I hope it gave you a glimpse into why it’s so important to remember how any creative industry, especially music, truly is a business.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Music Industry A to Z so far, and I’m looking forward to unveiling C soon.

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