DEVELOPNG A PROFITABLE BUSINESS MODEL
The Cold Hard Truth
We know exactly what you’re thinking looking at this module, “DUH I’m an artist, I make music. I don’t need to develop a business model. I get paid to sing songs”. Whilst that may – in some cases – be true, for the most part it is in fact WRONG!
If you are self-employed in anything, you are a business and your business must be profitable. Otherwise it’s not a business, it’s a very expensive hobby. One which you will begin to resent and not enjoy as it sucks every last bit of joy from your already very weary bones. Dramatic, but also a sad story we have heard and seen HUNDREDS of times. This is why we have to tackle this element of our business and our mindset towards the business side of things. No it’s not why you make music, but yes it is part of being an artist.
So let’s have the awkward conversation now and get it out the way…Yes, you want to reach people, yes it’s not all about money and yes if just one person is affected by your music it will be enough for you. But all of the warm fuzzy feelings? They do not get you out of a 9-5 you hate and they definitely don’t pay the bills. So being able to do what you love and to do it profitably is important if you want to work in your creative discipline full time for a prolonged period of time
You can still be an authentic artist and a business savvy entity that is able to really reap the rewards of their creative efforts and lucky you, we are going to show you the ropes.
Get clear on what your aim is in business outside of being an artist. We know we want people to connect with our music and creatively, those goals are the heart of what you do. But if we switch our thinking to that of a business, what do we seek to achieve in a business sense?
Use the prompts below to start building a picture of your business vision.
Do you want to be able to just cover the cost of studio and creating?
Do you want this to be a part time sideline to a career you love?
Is this what you want to do full time?
Where would you like your music to take you?
What are the different ways you see yourself making money in the music?
How much money would you need to earn each month/year to live the life I desire?
Do you have any business ideas you would start if you had the capital and profile to launch?
Are there any other creative disciplines you would like to learn?
What are your strengths in a business?
What are weaknesses?
Who would you recruit to your team?
What would a day in your life as a full time artist look like?
If you are still thinking I just want to make stuff and connect with people then head over to our creative course where we connect, create and collaborate! It’s a lot of fun
Now we have clarity with what kind of business we are building it’s really important to tackle the mindset. We do not want to murky the beautiful waters of our craft by turning it into a mechanical money making machine. We want to maintain our creative energy and we want to uphold our artistic integrity. For some artists this is more important than making money. However integrity and profit are not mutually exclusive, you can exist in a space where you interact with both effectively without letting one impact the other. But this is all down to mindset.
Just because a cake is packaged in a box with a price sticker on it does not mean that someone didn’t bake it.
Similarly with your artistry, just because your music is for sale and consumption does not mean that you have not taken the time, energy and life experience to make something good. But once you have that final mix, master and artwork and you hit that distribute button… It is officially a product. Now you have that finished product, it is time to put your business hat on and we suggest not wasting a single second before doing so.
When you are creating, you do not worry about numbers, or profits or sales. The creative space is not the space for that conversation. When the business get bought into the creative space it adds pressure and influence that can often stifle the creative process. This is a really long winded way of saying the making is the fun part – the other stuff is where we need to get serious.
5 Tips To Switch From a Creative to a Business Person
– Set clear boundaries and stick to them. For example, this could be things like not discussing targets or numbers in creative sessions.
– Once finished, separate yourself from the music and start to think in terms of product
– Take nothing personally – the creative side is personal the business side is business
– Educate and empower yourself with knowledge of the business – understanding strategies and principles helps you to separate what you have created and what you are doing with it.
– Be prepared for trial and error – business isn’t all about instant wins, it’s a lot of learning and heaps of readjusting to find a formula that works for you. Things that don’t work well are just as valuable as things that do! This kind of learning is crucial to the success of your business.
Business Mode – Activated.
Consider The Following
- Identify your product: Do you make beats? Perform songs? Write songs for yourself? Write for other people?
- What is your mission: What do you hope to achieve? *Bonus task write a one line mission statement
- What is your value to the market: What do you bring that is exciting, new or innovative?
- What is your unique selling point: What is exclusive to you that no one else is offering?
- Where and how will you distribute your product: Include all the ways you will sell your product.
- What are your three main revenue streams?
Recap & Tips
By the end of this we should know the following about our business: what we are selling, how we will sell it and how we will make money from it. This is the foundation upon which we will begin to develop our main business plan as we work through the modules – exciting stuff, right?
Do not rush through the tasks, take your time, look and listen to journeys of other independent artists and see the various ways in which different artists are monetizing their craft. Use this to help see the picture of what you can achieve.
Do not allow overwhelm and doubt lead you to believe this is unattainable, you may not see it but the more we build this plan, the clearer it will become for you. At this point, aside from how much money you would need to live your ideal life, no quantities are necessary – leave the numbers at the door for now. We just want to build a picture of where you see yourself.
Planning is essential to success. It may at points seem like overkill but being thorough will ensure success. No time was ever wasted being prepared.
Stick with it and see you in the next module.