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Musicians, songwriters, producers, it's 2020 and it's time to monetize on your craft!

Apart from losing weight, being more positive and being more social, what else do you want to achieve in 2020? My guess is that you want to find a way to make more money doing what you love to do, so you can maybe go part-time on the other job or even quit and completely focus on your passion.


Here are a few tips to get your mind in gear!

1. Start a company.

Whether you are a musician, a producer, a songwriter or a manager, it doesn't matter, you are providing a service. You do all the things a company does, you send invoices, you follow up on payments and more. Apart from the legal benefits that you can find here you also set a clear statement that you take yourself and your clients seriously. A company needs a business plan and you can make sure you have clear guidelines and expectations of your clients and they have a clear understanding of what they can expect from you.



2. Give yourself a raise.

I'm assuming you've been doing this for a few years, if you're a musician you have honed your skills, played in bands, drove around in the backseat of many cars for local tours and you have upgraded your instruments and gear. As a producer you keep expending on your hardware and software and you are on a constant search for knowledge and new information to make your product better. It's easy to say yes to everyone, do a lot of work for free or for a very low price, but if you stay there too long, you will never work your way up to a gig that pays you what you are worth because you simply don't have time. So, give yourself a raise and an opportunity to say no. There will always be people who don't have the budget needed to hire you, but it's up to you to see if it's worth doing and worth lowering your rate for, but make sure people know what you rate is. Let this be the year that you charge what you are worth.


3. Know your rights.

The boring but essential part of the business, what happens if you play a gig and the person who hires you doesn't respond to your invoice? What do you do if you produce a song for someone after a songwriting session and they want to release that demo? What if a song you write 5 years ago suddenly is the title track of a new movie? These are all very likely scenarios that I hear on a day to day basis. Inform yourself of your rights and of the sources who can help you figure out what to do, musicians can be part of the musicians union, Songwriters have ASCAP, BMI or SESAC and producers have lawyers and contracts. Make sure you are one step ahead of each problem. If you are unsure about basic rights and legalities, check out this must read. All You Need To Know About The Music Business.


4. Weigh your options.

It might seem tempting to go on a 3 month tour in a van with an up and coming artist, but does being gone for 3 months weigh up to being at home doing multiple gigs a week that pay more and also establish a core group of clients? It might sound great to produce an EP for an artist you love for just a percentage of the masters, but if no one is working those masters and there is no team, is it still worth doing? Thinks about the things you say yes to and make sure they are in line with your future goals, not just the present situation.




5. Take some time.

Yes, you are pursuing your passion, you are working a few jobs on the side, maybe even a fulltime job, you need to network, and make time for your friends, I get it!! But at the end of the day, you don't want to burn out and wake up dreading the next 4 months because you scheduled yourself too tight to even have a minute to breath. Give yourself a minute, especially if you are juggling that many things, you need to have a break between them to show up 100% for it. It's up to you to decide what that looks like, is it 1 day off every 14 days or simply 20 minutes of breathing time between one thing and another? Establish what it is before you start saying yes to everything. You'll thank yourself later!