It’s always tempting to call music “just another hobby.” You’re doing something you love, you’re probably doing it mostly on the weekends, you may have a day job that shares no resemblance to your musical activities, money seems scare and people are often trying to serve you food and drinks in lieu of pay – you get the picture. Why not call it a hobby and just call it good, right?
Original Music – Covers of the Future
But you are an innovator if you are actually writing new songs. You’re bringing something new into the world. Don’t stop! You are actually much, much closer to long-term success as a musician than any cover band that’s walked the planet.
Don’t forget that you may be writing the covers of the future. And this has a real value.
Then, when you start recording and perfecting your craft, you are rising several notches above the fray. And there will come a time when you will start to play out live and attempt to build an audience and gain some traction…or not. There will be management decisions to make, legal nuances with the songwriting rights and recording rights and digital distribution rights, there will be lots and lots of branding options, as well as tour management, possibly merchandising opportunities, and, oh yeah, trying to keep the band together.
You Better Mean Business
That’s a huge list of duties. In fact, it’s a lot of work! There are going to be deadlines and lots of selling yourself, figuring out a budget, possibly securing some financing, and hopefully you’ll get to a point when you need to meet payroll. Like it or not, those are all business terms. You might want to start thinking like a business owner – even if you wish you were just a “hobby band.”
Of course, there are all kinds of business structures: sole proprietors, partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations (S Corps and C Corps) and even nonprofits. So there are lots of ways to approach that business. Are you onboard? Do you intend to be open for business? Congratulations! The first step is developing a plan, and that’s what we’ll cover next…