5 financial management tips for independent musicians

Music is a powerful tool and most can support that notion. The creators of music seldom understand how powerful the role they play in society is and how much power they hold in shaping the world. Art drives culture and society and in the digital age that notion is quite clear. Music can be described as many things, but one of the most important descriptions of the art form is that it is a business. Understanding music as a business is crucial for a musician’s survival and the skill of financial management is necessary to keep musicians afloat as they progress.

In the case of independent musicians, financial management and being savvy with one’s finances can stand between success and failure. The first thing to note is that there is often little or no money at all to handle necessary components of the music business such as marketing, public relations and branding, just to name a few. The only way to get the most out of the money that an independent musician may have is to adequately plan for it and have systems and processes put in place to ensure longevity in .
In the midst of everything mention above, we have compiled 5 financial management tips that could be helpful for independent musicians.

In the midst of everything mentioned above, we have compiled 5 financial management tips that could be helpful for independent musicians.

  1. Organization and understanding that you’re a business. We understand, you’re excited, you’re doing what you love and you have dreams doing great things with your music but without organization that will not happen. Organization and understanding that you’re a business is where most independent acts get it wrong. Out of all things, being organized should be a priority and will allow you to see the value of the money that comes in and comes out. This also entails understanding the type of expenses you have as an independent artist and also recording them.
  2. Saving. With understanding that your musical endeavour is a business, you will know that saving will be an integral part of the managing your finances. For example, you may be planning to release a project in months to come and for the successful release of that project you need to financially plan for it. This will entail mapping out costs of recording, licensing, marketing and PR.
  3. Understand the supply chain. Every industry has a supply chain of how products and services come into being and ready for the use of customers and the entertainment industry is not exempted from having a supply chain. The supply chain of music starts from the ideation and conceptualizing of an album, which will flow into the project execution and eventually lead to the release of physical or digital project. It is important to understand the stakeholders and crucial role players in the supply chain. Break the process up into stages so it can be easy to manage.
  4. Every cent counts, so bootstrap if you can. Being an independent means that you have to wear many hats and having to take on a lot of responsibilities. You may even find yourself having to hold down a job while you pursue your dream of being a full-time musician, which means that you will have to bootstrap your way to success with minimal resources. Remember, every cent counts and understanding that is important to keep things running smoothly.
  5. Budget. Budgeting will help you map out and keep track of your finances. For successful budgeting, this will require a lot of discipline and being responsible. With a budget you will be able to make realistic projects of how much money you need to make an album or go on tour for example. A budget will help you stay within your means and with limits in resources, staying within your means is vital.

Being an independent artist is increasingly becoming a go-to option for a lot of musicians due the control that it affords artists and it is proven that going independent can prove to be fruitful if you do it the right way. Artists like Chance The Rapper have gone on to show us the benefits of independence and their successes are a result of a lot hard work and planning.

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About Author

Nkululeko Nkosi Creative entrepreneur, self-starter and writer are some of the words you can use to describe me. Inspired by the grit, rawness and passion you often find in underground and alternative culture. Based in the greatest city in Africa, Johannesburg.


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