As in many music industry careers, no two days are alike for a songwriter. The life of a songwriter can be complicated and terrifying but it can also lead to great rewards in the long run. As a creator of intellectual property, you want to put yourself in a position where you get the most rewards from using your talent.
While success is not guaranteed there are several things you can do to improve your chances of reaping great rewards from managing your own songwriting career.
- Manage your time properly: Time management is the key to realizing ultimate profits from any venture and is extremely important for serious songwriters. Some days – or some part of them - are spent writing; some are for recording demos; some are for having meetings. Managing your time does not only mean scheduling time for writing songs but also investing energy to network as much as possible; responding to e-mails and calls in a timely manner, showing up on time for important meetings and also meeting deadlines. By doing so, you will be seen as a professional and could become highly sought after for the material that you write.
- Learn your industry: Songwriters get paid by way of royalties (they rarely sell their songs). These include mechanical royalties, performance royalties and synchronization royalties. While these may be tricky to calculate, it will be easier for you to demand your share if you have a good idea of how the business works. Familiarize yourself with the types of royalties available to you and the industry standards that govern them. Also, align yourself with industry players that look out for the interest of songwriters, including Performance Rights Organizations and intellectual property protectors.
- Create good music: As a manager of your own songwriting career, it is your responsibility to ensure that the type of material you write has the potential to be picked up by any major artist and/or record company. Stay up to date with current happenings, keep expanding your vocabulary and never stop learning. Keeping your brain active will make you a better songwriter and it will show in the songs you write, possibly resulting in you having more creative control by lessening the need for artists and their management to edit what you write.