When you finally start making money from your music, it can be very tempting to spend it all on one piece of equipment or a celebratory night out, but this isn’t going to help you grow. Instead, you need to have an investment plan in place to strategically spend your money in ways which will get your closer to achieving your goals and give back to yours fans but also help with the development of the music.
You need to understand what you’ll be investing in, how much and the benefits of that investment because most emerging artists don’t have a lot of money to play around with, so each penny spent needs to have reasoning.
Before we outline where you should be investing your money, you need to know how much money you have to invest and your current spending habits around your music. The best way to do this is to have a separate bank account purely for your music. Most artists have a job outside of their music, so it can be tempted to mix the money but to really know how much you have to invest into your music career and also how much you’re spending, you need to have a separate bank account. This is especially the case for bands and collectives as you want to all equally be investing, not just one individual, so a shared account specifically for the music is the best way forward.
The first place you should be investing your money is into the music itself. It may sound obvious but so many artists focus on spending money on a music video and merchandise but if they music isn’t strong enough, neither of those things will be in demand. Even if you’ve written the best track in the world, if it’s recorded so badly that you can’t hear the vocals, no one is going to want to listen to it. There are two ways you can invest into the music creation…
No. 1 – Self Production
In this day and age there are so many production softwares and different recording equipment, so anyone can record, produce and master their own music from their bedroom.
This can be a fantastic investment as you’re not only saving money on not having to go into the studio and hire producers to do the work for you, but you’re also allowing yourself the time to create a product your proud of, rather than worrying that if you’re in the studio too long you could get charged more! You have complete control over how the finish product sounds and you also have the opportunity to experiment too.
Below are a few recording softwares we’d recommend:
The only limitation with this is you need the skills and the time to produce your own music. The skills part requires you watching YouTube videos, reading blog posts and listening to podcasts but all these resources are free and give you the chance to learn the skills immediately. However, if you don’t have the time to learn these skills or even record, produce and master the music yourself, then you need to outsource.
No. 2 – Outsource
So, you don’t have the time or skills to self-produce, that’s fine! Instead, you need to outsource to get your music up to standard. Going into a recording studio and hiring producers is expensive, however it’s essential for your growth and is the best place to invest your money. These specialists will have the skills to make your music sound exactly how you want it, meaning you create a product that fully represents you as an artist and you feel is strong enough to put out to the market.
Social Media Ads
With Facebook changing its algorithm in early 2018, getting your content out to your original audience can be super difficult, let alone a new audience. Therefore, social media advertising is a fantastic way to invest into your overall growth as it gets your content in front of a targeted audience, whilst being able to keep to your budget and watch the engagement closely to see how well it’s performing.
With every post you should be experimenting with your content and the audience you’re targeting to through your ads, to see which content has the best effect with each audience and each platform. We would highly recommend putting out visual content as it’s cheaper and has higher engagement. This can be anything from a short clip of your music video, to a behind the scenes shot of you at your last gig. Anything that gives the audience a taste of your personality and a sense of meaning, rather than spamming them with impersonal content such as your single artwork and a link to the track.
At the end of the day, social media ads won’t be breaking the bank but with the right targeting and messaging, you will see your engagement growing, which will soon lead to legitimate fans.
As well as social media ads, you can look at investing into Google AdWords, especially YouTube TrueView, which is Google AdWords for YouTube videos. TrueView creates sponsored videos before a full YouTube video, meaning your music video can appear before a major vloggers latest upload.
Since TrueView is PPC (pay per click), you won’t get overcharged and can carefully watch how your investment is translating into views and interaction. You can also put a cap on how much you spend, meaning you can work within your daily budget.
As long as your content is visually strong, YouTube TrueView is fantastic for engagement and overall growth for an artist.
Photographers & Videographers
Humans are visual creatures, meaning we love taking in content through images and video. Artists should take advantage of this as it’s now easier than ever to capture this content. Take control over this and hire professional photographers and videographers to follow you on your journey, create fantastic artwork and also accompany you to live events.
Although everyone can take images on their phone, if an artist has an amazing track but the artwork is a fuzzy iPhone shot, you won’t entice an audience. Instead, focus on getting photographers and videographers to create high quality visual content for you, which you can push out to your fanbase via social media ads. As we mentioned earlier, social media ads and YouTube TrueView are fantastic investment strategies for artists that want to grow their online presence and fanbase, however if the content isn’t strong enough, these ads won’t work in your favour. Therefore, outsource these photographers and videographers to create this content for you, to really see the impact on your ad investments.
These strong images and videos will also increase your chances of securing good music promotion, high follower playlists and also getting noticed by new fans.
If you don’t have the money for these people, then don’t invest and do it yourself. But, having a good quality camera can make all the difference to the final product.
People love listening to music and artists love performing it, meaning live events are beneficial for both the consumer and the creator. However, no one wants to watch and pay for a performance with poor audio, bad lighting and the instruments are constantly breaking! Therefore, you must invest money into your live events if you want to see money gained through ticket sales, more people coming to the gigs and an overall stronger performance from yourself.
Whether this be on the lighting, your instruments or the sound equipment, it’s essential you’re spending money on your live events because if your performance is poor, word of mouth will get around and that could jeopardise your musical career.
Your live performance is what represents you as an artist, so it’s key you invest here if you want to portray your real musical skills and keep growing your fanbase.
Overall, you should really be thinking about your investment strategy. Of course this isn’t the fun side of being a musician, but it’s still a key part of a musicians growth.