Because nothing in life is assured, it is never wise to place all your eggs in one basket. Many songwriters ignore such sage advice and forget to handle the business side of things; instead, pinning all their hopes on the dream of one day striking it big.
However, while there is nothing wrong with being optimistic, the unpredictability of the music business means that it’s possible you simply won’t make enough money. So, how do you bridge the gap between dreaming of stars and ensuring the bacon gets brought home at the end of the day? Well, that’s where transforming your talent to a full-fledged business comes in. In other words, you need a strategic business plan for success as a songwriter.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Create plenty of Material
The law of average as it relates to the number of songs that get picked up compared to those that are rejected is, in general, pretty low. Many successful songwriters have written dozens or even hundreds of songs and benefitted from 10% or less of the total. As such, you need to write plenty songs to increase your chances of getting even one through the door.
- Sign up with a PRO
Performing Rights Organizations allow many songwriters to earn whenever someone uses their music. Once you have a catalog of songs, say 10 or more, you should sign up with one of these companies to boost the potential for your music to make money for you.
- Network non-stop
In music, getting from point A to point B is often based on the people you know and form networks with. Getting out and socializing with people from your industry will increase the possibility of you meeting important people who could open doors for you later on. You should also use up social networking channels to get closer to fans, artists, and other industry players.
- Make Moves
You’re going to have to approach music publishers, artists, producers and other big players once you have enough songs to pitch. Be prepared to hear a lot of ‘nos’ and excuses but always keep it professional. Even if you don’t get through one day, you could be called up the next.
Having an effective business plan can insulate you from the many pitfalls songwriters face, including deals that fall through and less than expected returns. If you haven’t yet thought about it, now is the time.