Music artists wear so many hats
Updated: Jan 10
Artists can no longer post music content without added marketing support if they desire to expand their reach, increase their fan engagement, and realize financial gains from their music. Being an artist requires much more beyond the music creation process, and the hard work really begins after the content is created. There is no magic solution or degree you can obtain which will cover all the bases, and provide the knowledge needed to cover every part of your music career. When you review all the different hats needed to have a successful music career, it can be overwhelming, confusing and downright terrifying. Performers on the Go transitions all day long from one role to another in managing artists activities, so we recognize well the demands and juggling of all the roles of being dedicated successful artist. Our list of the various roles and demands follows. This is our first pass at making the list, and we realize within each category there are many more roles that exist and become part of your daily activities.
Email Marketing Manager
Social media content developer
Social Media Manager
Social Media Analytics Manager
Show Production Manager
Wow, where do you begin and how do you manage how overwhelming it can be, and control the many fears you are faced with? Keep in mind it is a transitional process, and as you learn to develop your own system, you can apply the same approaches to future content. It is a building block type process, and with focus y0u will surround yourself with resources, tools, and a general knowledge on the best practices.
It is hard to cover all 26 of these areas yourself, so artists will often contract with or hire industry experts and marketing providers for added support. As artists take on these roles, they are hands on in learning with each move they make, and many don't realize the education they are getting along the way. They learn from doing, and also from making mistakes. Just the process of booking shows is challenging and overwhelming, as it requires so much focus, time and effort. Artists also have to deal with ongoing rejection, as it takes a major effort to obtain shows. Here are some of the steps we follow in our booking activities. We rarely do a show where we don't touch on all the steps on the following list.
Contact venues and execute a cold calling plan
Research venue options
Record calling results and details
Negotiate payment on secured shows and review show contracts
Record show details on show calendar
Create show set list
Organize show and hire other musicians if needed
Thank venue for the opportunity
Organize sound needs
Manage show calendar on bookings
Create show flyers for social sites
Manage all communications with venue
Invite your fans to the show
Manage the venue relationship
Manage show promotions
Share flyers with venue and if needed obtain their approval
Update website and social sites with new show details (Bands in Town is a good app to share your show news/tour information)
The hardest and most demanding part is in communications, as show inquiries frequently go into a black hole which is frustrating and can can prompt you to question if you have what is needed to get the bookings. Many venues have booking managers, so you may need to connect with them. They may already have a group of artists they book, so it can be difficult to get approved. With many venues they book months in advance so you need to make sure your calendar availability is updated, so you can respond quickly to any needs.
The majority of this process is not in any text book or academic program. A high percentage of artists graduate with music degrees and they need to step into the music world wearing 20+ different hats day 1. They can collaborate with other artists and do joint shows, and can hire industry professionals to assist in the process. The LA and major music hub artist management service companies can charge $2,000-$5,000 a month to cover all these services. The other alternative is to hire professionals for specific roles, and test out the results and impact of the added support.
Another great approach is to learn from other artists already out actively performing.and marketing their music. Follow them online and track their progress, and you will see some of the effective approaches they use. Don't get overwhelmed as it is career development process that takes time, and it requires a major effort to obtain results. Don't forget to set your own goals even if you are just getting going. Every move you make, you you will learn from! One of our artists recently focused on the venue listing we prepared for him, and in his first attempt to reach venues he had three hits and one paid show booked immediately. If you let them know you exist, it is one more person/entity that knows you!
Plan, focus, and execute, and you will see the rewards of your efforts.