7 creative ways indie artists can spend their money (when they’ve got money to spend)

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides creative ways artist can spend their money in his latest article from DiscMakers!

From hiring a songwriting consultant to getting a sound man for your live performances, what follows are seven ways to spend your money to enhance your music career.

Most indie artists don’t have a lot of money in the bank, but if you’re going to spend your valuable savings or that money you raised crowd funding, there may be alternative (i.e. less obvious) investments you can make to enhance your music career. From hiring a songwriting consultant to getting a sound man for your live performances, what follows are seven ways to spend your money when you’ve got money to spend.

1. Songwriting consultant

Just because you can play guitar does not mean you can write a well-crafted song. Songwriting is a skill all its own that takes years of practice to perfect. A seasoned songwriting consultant can offer objective advice about your songs and improve them significantly. It makes no sense to spend zero dollars on the most important aspect of your music career—your songs—and hundreds (or thousands) of dollars recording and promoting your music.

Trust me on this one, if you don’t have undeniably great songs, it’s over before it begins. People like Robin Frederick and Jason Blume are just two people off the top of my head who may be available to work with you—in person or via the Internet. Check them out.

2. Focus group marketing

Some of the most important people related to the success of your career are the very people to whom you are trying to appeal: your fans. Yet, it surprises me how most bands don’t spend the time or money to conduct research and get feedback from them. By rounding up two groups of 30 people, inviting them to your rehearsal studio, serving pizza and drinks, performing sets of your music, and having your fans discuss/rate your songs (or sound, stage presence, look, etc.), you’ll produce some important information that can help save you a great deal of time and money in the long run. My band did this when planning a recording project and it worked great—we played 15 of our songs and let the fans pick the compositions they wanted on our record. After all, if it’s the fans who you are trying to satisfy with your music, doesn’t it make sense to see what they think before spending thousands recording your EP?

3. Photographer and stylist

Anyone with a camera phone and mirror in their bedroom can think they are a photographer or stylist. While camera phones are quite impressive these days, an experienced pro who has access to amazing locations, knows how to arrange a shot, understands proper lighting, knows about hair and make-up, and understands fashion can give your band the visual edge it needs. Look, if they say that a picture is really worth a thousand words, and you agree with this statement, then why not spend at least that much in getting some really professional photos done? Your brand depends on it.

4. Graphic designer

Your band’s logo serves as the stamp of your brand. It is what is put on your drummer’s bass drum heads, your banners, your road cases, your mercy, and it even becomes your tattoos. While you might feel fairly confident playing around with Photoshop yourself, an experienced pro can really make a difference. Hire someone who has an outstanding portfolio of band logos and several years of experience to back it up. Remember, you want to have a bad-ass logo that can become part of that bad-ass T-shirt that people will gladly be willing to pay $15 to take home. So let the pros do your logo and design.

Click here to read the rest of the article!




Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on April 30, 2015, in Music Fans, Music Industry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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