Five Steps to Protecting Your Music and Your MoneyWritten by Jeromie Frost
There are a lot of independent labels out there waiting to use a talented musician to make quick money. The offers may seem hard to refuse, especially if you are a struggling artist or band that has struggled to get a record deal. A little money and exposure may seem great for moment, but you run a high risk of getting contractually bound to that record label for rest of your life. If a better deal comes along later, you may not be able to accept it, or you may get robbed of your rightful percentages. All of this I learned hard way. I was very fortunate to be able to get myself out of trouble and get a fresh start in music business. I also took time to educate myself through books and experiences of others, as well as my own, to conceive a plan on how to avoid a repeat of what happened once before. This plan I believe will be very helpful for you ambitious artists pursuing your dreams. It is put into five easy steps, but make sure to read details listed within each step.
1. Copyright your music
This is one of most important things you can do to protect your music. Take time, fill out forms. There have been many instances where a person wrote a song and nothing ever came of it. Years later a signed band steals their song and remakes it. The original artist had it copywritten and sues other record label for thousands if not millions of dollars. Instant riches! Protect your tunes.
2. Understand what you really want from your music
Figure out whether you are looking to sell your songs to record companies, or be band and artist who performs songs. There is good money in just writing songs for other bands. Ask for a percentage if that is your decision, because that will generally make you much more money in long run than an up front payment. The only thing you sacrifice by writing instead of performing is fame and exposure. Also, determine how much you stand behind your music. Are you willing to allow record company to make several changes to your songs and try to mold you into “their sound”? How much do you believe in your product?
3. Get a contract lawyer and agent
You need an agent to represent your band to record labels. This person doesn’t need to be an established agent in business. It can be a friend or relative if they can talk assertively and won’t make any quick decisions without consulting band. The record companies only want to talk to one person, not three, four, or five members of a band. It gets too confusing for them and they don’t have time. Make sure they are looking out for your best interests and not theirs. A contract lawyer is especially important. Just call around and find a local lawyer who specializes in contracts. When it comes time to sign dotted line, make sure lawyer is by your side. Don’t sign any contracts or documents until you and your lawyer have taken time to read them thoroughly and make a decision. If a record company is rushing you to sign any papers, walk away. Patience should be allowed to you if they are truly interested. If they rush you, they are planning to manipulate you.
Don't Forget About Offline AdvertisingWritten by Adrian Kennelly
A lot of online based businesses forget about offline advertising. It is important to combine offline and online advertising together in your marketing campaign. You can market offline more effectively by targeting people that actually have access to internet. In all your advertising you want to include your web site address, e-mail or autoresponder addresses, and e-mail address to subscribe to your e-zine. Below are 10 offline marketing ideas:
-Place classified or full page ads in print publications. The print publications should be computer or internet related.
-Post flyers in stores. They could be computer stores, software stores, libraries etc.
-Buy mailing lists and send direct mail. You should make sure that all people on mailing list are internet users.
-Buy commercial time on T.V. They can be during shows that are targeted toward internet users.
-Pass out your CD-ROM or diskette business cards at special events. It could be at trade shows, seminars, fairs, etc.