It’s been a minute since the first batch of fierce, fabulous, female music business entrepreneurs showed up on my blog, and as you can see it was worth the wait. I’m thrilled to be showcasing now over 100 women. Please share this, retweet this and feel free to repost on your own blogs. With Love, Ariel
The Three Ps
Christine Ben Ameh “The 3 PS- 1. Patience. 2. Perseverance. 3.Practice (Makes perfect).” Recording Artist/Songwriter @CHRISTINE_AMEH
Carsie Blanton “Be excellent, be committed, be bold.” Indie Singer/ Songwriter @carsieblanton
Don’t Fear Failure
Roswitha Bartussek “Envision your destiny and take small daily steps towards it. Don’t be afraid to fail, the more often you fail the more likely you will succeed. Be your authentic self, don’t try to fit in, carve out your niche.”
Artist, CEO of Queen Rose, Inc. @queenrose
Ann Klein “Make the very best of where you are; it’ll take you where you want to go.” Artist (singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist) @redcharvel1
The Truth Will Set You Free
Erin Dickins “ Tell the truth – in music and life – never sing a lyric that you wouldn’t have as an epithet. Never do anything artistically to please anyone else. It’s all you – be authentically you – in your passion, your joy and your dreams. Shine your light big and bright no matter how big the challenges. Love every minute of the journey.” (not just a) Jazz VOCALIST – Recording artist on Dot Time Records @erindickins
Aoede “Dream BIG and often! Never let a little thing called life get in the way of your grandest dreams! If you dream it, put it out into the Universe, truly believe and work crazy hard to make it happen, your dreams can come true. Listen to your muse, believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to be a pioneer; if it hasn’t been done before, pave your own path!” Award-Winning Pop and Children’s Musical Stories, Singer-Songwriter, Recording Artist @aoedemuse
Find Your Tribe
Barb Morrison “Work with people (whether it be a manager, a producer, an agent, a publicist or a record label) who GET you. Having someone fully understand what you’re trying to say with your music is crucial. It’s much more important than how connected they are in the industry.” Record producer & film score composer @barbmorrison
It’s Not All About You
Cheryl Engelhardt “Your results are not about you- they show up when you create an opportunity of value for someone else. I use this nugget when pitching music-to-music supervisors, getting a film-scoring gig, when talking with a potential coaching client, or even when inviting a friend to a movie. “What’s in it for them?” is the phrase I have running through my head before making a request of anyone.” Songwriter / Composer / Creative Career Coach @CBE
Don’t Let Your Ego Control You
Trudee Lunden “ Don’t let your own ego supersede your humanity while building relationships or promoting your business. Although music is global, people in this industry travel in a small circular world. Music and creativity in general holds a valuable place in society, however, we’re not saving lives, feeding the poor or sheltering the homeless (unless donating our time, resources or earnings for these purposes).” Singer/Songwriter/Music Publisher @GreenMusicLady
DO Your Dream
Bettie Ross “Do your dream: Know what your dream is, and work hard at achieving it. DO it, don’t just dream it. Get really good at your craft, whether it’s playing an instrument or songwriting or singing, being a manager or an attorney, whatever it is. And I mean, get REALLY good at it. Learn from each opportunity, even if it is not exactly what your dream is.” Composer, Keyboardist, Songwriter, and Music Engraver Bettie [AT] BettieRoss [DOT] com
Anything Could Happen
Sarah Petrella “If it can happen to someone, it can happen to you. We are all talented beings, and the winners win because they don’t give up.” Singer/Songwriter @smpetrella
Do What You Love
Jeanna Isham “The thing that filters out the good from the great is stamina, persistence, and an undying faith in yourself that this will happen for you. If this is what you’ve been put on this earth to do then do it and never stop. After all, if you truly love it then it shouldn’t be about money or fame. If you love it then you’re successful just by being one of the few that is living their love every single day.” Dreamr Productions
Chaise Candie “Never Stop Growing – Developing your skills and talents should be an ongoing process. Immerse yourself in the industry and gain as much knowledge as possible. Be confident and proud of what you’ve accomplished yet avoid becoming complacent.” Singer, Songwriter & Performer @chaisecandie
Hard Work Pays Off
Anna Laverty “Work hard and ALWAYS be the last one standing.” Producer/Sound Engineer @annalaverty
Never Give Up
Tania Stavreva “Never give up. In the music industry I find that there is always a path toward success that is not always easy. Facing difficulties and barriers is often disappointing but they make you stronger. Being able to remain motivated, inspired, passionate, creative and stubborn about your art and about your goal, that is what I consider the right path to victory and success.” Concert Pianist @taniastavreva
Give & Take
Holly Brewer “There is a difference between giving and being taken advantage of. Find and define the line between both and keep it balanced.” Composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and I co-own the record label Nervous Relatives Records (since 2002) @TheFolksBelow
Leanne Regalle “There’s no such thing as overnight success. Slow, steady progress over time adds up. Craft your vision and keep working towards it every single day. You will make mistakes. Leave your ego at the door, be flexible, and keep moving forward. Your contribution matters.” Songwriter and Owner at Livin’ Out Loud Music, Blogger at Make Creativity Pay @leregalla
Be Your Own Friend
Marcomé “Your best investment is in a solid self-esteem and a goal that evolves you and others. You’re the first person you get up with and the last you go to bed with for the rest of your life so better learn to become your own best friend. Without inner peace, money does not bring true lasting happiness.” Canadian new age music vocalist, songwriter, music producer @Marcome
Hit a Wall? Wait.
Dee Handyside “It’s damn tough. But when I hit a wall, I no longer continue to bash it. I take a step back and wait. A person, opportunity or event will come along and open a door so that I go through the wall unscathed. I call them my ‘wall-angels’.” Owner, Performer @DeeHandyside
Create A New Way
Zoe Boekbinder “Sure, sure, heed good advice… but also find a way of doing it that is different than the way its been done before.” Artist @zoeboekbinder
Cultivate the Powerful Women in your Life
Normandie Wilson “Make sure to surround yourself with other women! Seek out women’s groups and the advice of women who are kicking ass and taking names. Remember that you are a reflection of the 5 people that you spend the most time around. Make sure those people are the top of the top.” Entertainer @normandiewilson
Madalyn Sklar “Passion and persistence will get you far. Don’t be afraid to go big. Surround yourself with smart, motivated, like-minded people (join or start a mastermind group). Listen. Listening will get you further than anything else.” Founder, GoGirlsMusic @madalynsklar
Trust Your Instincts
Carla Sacks “Don’t look sideways. Summon your gut and trust your instincts. Try to always do right, it will make you happy and happiness is contagious.” Founder, Sacks & Co. media relations @sacksco
Fame Isn’t Everything
Hilde Spille “In the rock-music business, every artist wants to become famous, it seems. I can assure you that success is not dependent on fame. Every step counts. Too many people in the business still believe the myth that fame will solve all your problems. Don’t believe that, it adds more problems than you can imagine.” European booking agent, entrepreneur, personal e-coach for artists, and blogger @HildeSpille
Susan Fontaine Godwin “Nurture your vision. Know that it will take longer to realize your vision than you expect, and it will look different than you thought. Know that you will encounter criticism, naysayers, roadblocks and delays, but it’s part of the process that will help form and fashion your vision into reality.” Founder/President of CCS @copyright_queen and @doingmusicright
Lauren McKinley “Realize that this industry is ever changing and relatively small. Not only should you respect everyone you meet and/or work with, but also you should always offer help where you can. The people you help today will be the ones helping you tomorrow.” Owner, Clover Marketing & Management @CloverMktg or @LFMcKinley
It’s Ok to Say No
Leanne de Souza “Never feel the need to apologize for life balance choices. If you can’t take that Skype call at particular time because you are doing the school run, that’s okay! Just reschedule, don’t feel the need to justify and explain every reason and decision. Be vigilant.” Artist Manager @rebelbuzz
Be True To Yourself
Lori Bumgarner “Never try to do things exactly the way others tell you to do it or exactly the same way they did it. Promotion of your brand has to be done in a way that is true to you. Not every species of flower blooms at the same rate or under the same conditions!” Image Consultant/owner of paNASH Style LLC @panashstyle
Kindness is Strength
Natasha Bent “Stay positive, work hard, don’t expect it to be easy, and always treat everyone with respect, fairness and kindness, even those that may not show it in return; that shows true strength.” Booking Agent at The Agency Group London office ( VP) @Agent_Tasha
Take Care of Yourself
Jessica De Wal “Work hard to build your business but always make time to work on your personal growth and well-being. When I just started my own company I felt I had to put in many hours and had to be available at all times because my dream of running my own PR company was finally coming true. I never made time to take good care of myself and eventually became ill. Over recent times I have cut back my working hours drastically and am planning ‘me time’ again. When you’re feeling well, you’re company will do a lot better too.” Music publicist and owner at It’s All Happening @ItsAllHappening
Blair Clark “Pay attention ALL the time. The next big thing in social media, distribution, touring, etc could be right in front of you. Take time to keep up with what’s going on.” Artist Manager & Owner, Dance Panda Entertainment @dancepanda
Break The Stereotype
Cameo Carlson “Don’t allow yourself to fall into stereotypes. The music business tends to sideline women that are too aggressive in the “bitch” category and women that are too passive in the “doormat” category. Break the glass ceiling by being the most prepared in the room. Speak up and defend your positions passionately.” Head of Digital Business Development, Borman Entertainment (artist management company) @DigiMusicBitch
Find Another Door
Laurence Muller “When a door closes, never stand there like a dummy, find another door!” Label Manager / Manager
Kristin Yost “Someone once told me that goals without deadlines are only dreams…dreams are important, but goals are what propel us to dream even bigger.” Author of “How I Made a $100,000 My First Year as a Piano Teacher” @musicalminds
Ajda Snyder “ Be true to your vision. Have gratitude for all your blessings and let your defeats humble you and help you grow.” Voice Teacher @ajdatq
Dr. Jill Timmons “Enjoy the process and remember, sometimes you build the road as you go!” PRINCIPAL: ARTSMENTOR, LLC (www.artsmentor.com) @artsmentor
Don’t Take It Personal
Celia Slattery “Don’t take rejection personally. Keep working on improving your craft and persevere. Sooner or later the doors that are closed to you now will begin to open — or you’ll find other doors, or maybe crawl in through a window. Persist because you love music and you have a mission; not for any imagined pot of gold you think you’ll find at the end of the rainbow.” Voice and Performance Studio @celiaslattery
Music Biz Professionals
Louise Dodgson “Always put your fans first. Too many bands & artists are concerned with attracting the interest of the music industry. But the best way to do so is usually to forget all about it! Concentrate on your fans. Communicating with them and working hard to expand your fan base. Making the music and sharing it with people who really appreciate what you do is the enjoyable part. Your fans will help create the buzz for you and if you’re doing your own thing with a keen and constantly growing following, the music industry will no doubt catch up to you in due course.” Editor, The Unsigned Guide @editorunsigned
Isabella Acker “We live in an era where everyone’s constantly bombarded with the invasive nature of technology and its demand for us to always stay up to speed. This constant connectivity can affect your ability to nurture your creativity. We must allocate time, even if it’s 15 minutes a day to stop, slow down, and get inspired.” The Black Key Group @BlackKeyGroup
Make It a Win-Win
Kerry Fiero “Strive to create win-win situations. That means every relationship is about finding a happy medium so everyone involved had something to gain. It is not about today…. but about tomorrow and the years to come when building a career. The win-win builds lasting relationships. Interns become bosses. Colleagues become friends. Strangers become allies. Every door that opens to your next great opportunity will be from someone you know.” Event Planner, Music Business Professional @KalwaysSTRIVING
Lynn Spin “Never get sucked into negativity. Even though the music industry is predominately men, never believe yourself unworthy to be on the same level.” Vice President of JaHMa Music @jahmarecords
Kim Cameron “Never underestimate the power of female colleagues. They can be your most valuable allies.” Label Owner @Sidefxband
Know Your Data
Velda Garcia Fayz “Come armed with a strategy based on data. Know how to collect it, how to analyze it and how to use it so you can make informed decisions about what fans want and how they discover/buy new music.” President & Artist Manager Battlecross @GoVelda
Jennifer Allison “With faith passion & action, all things are possible. Love changes things.” Founder & CEO of EXE Media Group Co-Founder of Love The Little Ones PR for Transcendental Music @exemediagroup
Melani Ismail “Remember, it’s not about how you feel, it’s about how you believe. Keep going.” President of MAI Productions @melaniismail
Listen to that Gut Feeling
Farideh “Your business decisions need to feed your passion. Everyone has ideas about what you “HAVE” to do to make it. If you do everything they tell you to do, you’ll end up hating what you used to love. Take their advice but listen to your own gut feelings.” Founder & CEO, Sceneplay Business Strategist for Creative Entrepreneurs @faridehceaser
Glory Reinstein “While you’re building relationships with industry folks, remember they are normal people with families and lives just like you and I. Get educated, treat them with kindness and respect, don’t take “no thank you” personally, and above all, persevere!” Creative Liaison Bluebird (Music) Promotions @BluebirdGlory
Keep It Real
Jennifer Sellers “Be sincere. Man or woman, your integrity in this business makes you stand out. Your enthusiasm mixed with a determined sensibility helps you tread through all kinds of obstacles and allows room for great success. ” Talent Buyer, Booker, Marketing Director, Social Media Director, Street Team Organizer, Personal Shopper, Office Manager, Event Staff Coordinator @rocnopal
Laurie Jakobsen ““Fight fair” – today’s seeming adversary could be your colleague tomorrow; you never know who you will encounter again in your life’s journey.” President, Jaybird Communications @jaybirdcom
Hello all, and welcome to Part 1 of what I hope will be a ongoing series on how to better make money in your music career. Whether you want to earn a full time income from your music or you simply want to make enough to cover recording or equipment costs, this series should go a way in helping you achieve that.
Today I’m going to look particularly at how you can make money from gigging. I often see musicians leaving money on the table from their gigging efforts, either through shyness, or simply because they didn’t know how best to monetize their performances. With that in mind, here are some of the main ways you should be making money from each gig.
If you are yet to get many gigs, you may want to check this guide on getting gigs first. If you already know how to get gigs and you have some under your belt, then let’s move on. As always, if you find this guide useful please share it round with your follow musicians.
1. Collecting Royalties From Your Live Performance
So this is the one that a fair few musicians either don’t know about, or think is to complex to do. In reality, collecting royalties from your gigs isn’t difficult at all.
Whenever your music is performed in public places, you earn money. That said, if you don’t sign up to a royalty collection company and have them chase up that money for you, then you simply don’t get it.
The amount of royalties you earn from each performance will depend on a few things. One of the main factors is how big the venue is, and their venue capacity. The more people you’re potentially playing to, the more royalties you should essentially get.
All licensed venues need to pay money for playing music in their premises, so be sure to get your share from anywhere you perform. Even if you play small venues which don’t pay out much money per performance, it’ll still add up when combined with the other strategies below.
If you aren’t yet signed up with a royalty collection company, the first thing you need to do is find out who collects royalties in your country. You can usually find this out by doing a search on the internet. In the UK PRS collects royalties, while in the US BMI deal with royalty collection. That said, there are a few different companies around, so have a look at which is most suitable for you.
Be sure to sign up with a collection company asap; not doing so is a mistake, especially if you’re regularly gigging. A good thing about royalty collection companies is they can usually backdate your earnings. So if you’ve played any gigs in the last year or so, you may have a extra pay day just waiting for you.
2. Actively Selling CDs At Specific Types Of Live Shows (This Is A Big One)
This is probably my favorite way to monetize gigs, probably because it can instantly add a worthwhile amount of money to your gigging income. The idea is simple; during and after your performances you mention that you have CDs (or other merchandise) to sell for anybody that’s interested. You then let them know you’ll be coming around in the break, or they can come up to you directly at any time.
Yes, it really is as simple as that. Yet I’m still amazed at how few musicians I see doing this!
Now here’s the thing; a lot of people won’t come to you directly after your show. Some will, but most won’t. So by doing the leg work and going into the crowd, you will make more money then you would by standing around and waiting for people to take that first step. This is where your marketing skills come into play.
You’ll want to do this leg work during a break if there are other acts also performing. This is both out of respect for other musicians, and because you’ll appear a nuisance to people if you interrupt their music viewing with a sales pitch. That said, once there’s no other acts on stage, people are often intrigued by a decent musician coming up to them personally and talking to them.
Don’t jump in right away with the sale; ask them how they think the night’s going, or anything else you find relevant to them at the time. Soon after, remind them that you’re selling your CDs (or whatever else you have on you), and ask them if they’d like to buy a copy. Some will, others won’t. If they don’t, genuinely thank them anyway, and wish them a good night. Then move on to the next person.
It’s important you do this genuinely and appear friendly, as it’s harder to say ‘no’ to someone who seems like a nice person. That said, it’s just as important to keep each interaction to no more than around 45 seconds if there’s not going to be a sale. Some will go on a bit longer, but as a general rule you need to move around the room relatively quickly. This is because you’ll want to offer your merch to as many people as possible before people start performing again, or everyone leaves the venue if all the acts are done.
The good thing about this tactic is while you’re talking to and smiling at one person (which generally gets them to smile back at you), others in the room will start noticing this, and be more open to you approaching them next. You’ll appear intriguing.
Big Tip Alert:
Now one last point about this tactic; depending on what type of gig you’re doing, you’ll have different types of conversion rates (the ratio of how many people you approach to how many sales you make). I’ve found that showcase events with paying audiences (even if it’s a small fee) tend to convert very well. This is because the audience are paying to see new acts they haven’t heard of before, so you’ll get a lot of genuine music lovers who are willing to spend on acts they take a liking to. They also expect to pick up something to remember their night by, so they often pack extra change which they’ll be willing to spend on you.
Raves and nightclubs on the other hand don’t convert as well. Normally people are there to drink, and you’re just a side act. So it’ll be a uphill struggle getting them to part with their drinking money.
Like I mentioned, this is one of the things you can instantly put into practice to increase the money you make from each gig. Furthermore, if you use the tactic I mention here (links to a MP3 file taken from my Full Time Musician course, ‘right click’ then ‘save as’ to save to your computer or device), you could literally triple your CD sales at some events.
Be sure to use this strategy as it works, and works well.
3. Getting Paid Directly From Gigs
Lastly, the obvious way you can make money from gigs: Getting paid upfront! I put this point last because a) you already know it’s possible, and b) the other two are easier to do for up and coming musicians.
While it’s my view you should always aim to get paid an upfront fee for gigging (you are providing a service to a venue after all, so you should get paid for that), after talking to literally thousands of musicians in my career, I’m aware that this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. While it may be easier to get paid for a gig in America for example, if you live somewhere like Nigeria where there’s less venues willing to pay for a musician to perform, this option isn’t as readily available.
Similarly, the genre of music you play will have an impact on how easy it is for you to get paid gigs. For example, if you live in Russia and you play a certain genre of niche music, the number of venues you have to perform at (let alone ones that will pay you) goes down dramatically.
So let me put it like this: Once you have a few performances under your belt and you know you can entertain a venue’s customers well, you should always aim to get paid upfront for your service. Because that’s what you’re providing; a business to business service.
That said, if this is proving difficult due to one of the things I mentioned above so something else, you should at least aim to have your costs covered and a percentage of the door money (if it’s a paid event). If it’s not a paid event, it’ll be down to you to arrange another form of payment that will work for both you and the event organizer.
As you build up more of a name and can draw a bigger crowd, it should get easier to get paid directly from gigging. You will have more bargaining power, and be able to charge higher prices for the service you provide. So if you’re struggling to get the kind of upfront fee you feel you deserve, do some more work on building up your profile and you will edge ever closer to those desired numbers.
Other Ways Musicians Can Make Money
So there are three ways in which you can make money from gigging. If you’re not putting all of these in to practice, you’re leaving money on the table.
As I mentioned, this is just part one of a series I plan to do on the subject of making money from music. That said, if you want more information now and advanced strategies which won’t be in the series, you may want to check out this training on making a full time income from music. This is a course I put together with a full time musician, and contains a lot of practical information which you can implement to increase the amount of money you make from your music. No fluff or ‘get rich quick’ tactics, just good business advice that works.
Be sure to sign up to my newsletter to find out when the next part of this series is released, and let us know of how you like to make money from gigs.