I often say that we are stronger as a team and in this article, I’ll explain further why it is necessary for you as an artist, to build your own music team.
Why do you need a music team?
The Music Industry has evolved a lot with Digital Age. Nowadays, social networks, YouTube and other platforms play important roles to build a sustainable career. But these tools often result in a DIY approach which is not always easy.
As an artist, you have more and more things to handle by yourself. Of course, there are good and bad sides: if you have little money, you can either learn how to use these tools by yourself, or use, besides your musical talent, your own skills and knowledge to get started.
« This industry has taught me to multitask like I never thought was possible. »
— Carly Wilford, DJ & Presentor
But we all have limitations. And we can overcome these limitations by working with people who have specific skills. As I said in the post about Personal Branding, a lot of new jobs have emerged which means that skilled people can handle these things for you.
Furthermore, handling everything on your own requires a lot of time and engagement. This means that you won’t have enough time to get everything done. And you may not have enough time to create anymore and that’s not the objective.
Teamwork allows to get the work done quickly and effectively & make time for you to focus on your music.
For all these reasons, having a team is crucial. It’s also a matter of priorities.
And the truth is that no one has all the skills, all the knowledge and time, to do everything by himself AND be successful.
Think about music as a team sport: to achieve your goals as an artist, you need strategy, flexibility, hard work, time, skills, etc. All of that in the form of a badass team.
How can I be sure that I need a music team?
If you’re having difficulties with your schedule and daily tasks at some point, that you don’t know how or what to do next, that means you need some assistance.
When in doubt, take some minutes to list all tasks to do on a regular basis: create/update your website, send out newsletters, post on social networks, make (cover) videos, upload videos on YouTube, upload music on SoundCloud, create a campaign to raise money, contact promoters, send music to blogs, plan gigs, etc.
Then, analyse your budget and your sources of income. Once you have all the information you need, you can take the next step.
How can I build my music team?
Doing things by yourself at the beginning, helps you understand the importance of each position, target your needs and identify your weaknesses.
Once you have figured out these things and your goals, you can list the roles to fill. That’s why every artist needs a different kind of team.
To build a great team is important. Each person has to be on the same page, share the same vision. They should also have complimentary skills.
Then, you need to find team members who are as excited and talented as you are, who believe in you, share the same objectives and bring the best out in you.
These people should be talented, passionate, self-motivated, driven and competent to fill each role required.
« You need a great team if you want to win »
— 9th Wonder, music producer
Having a weakest link in your team slows you down while a strong team boosts everyone and raises the quality of everything you do.
You can either hire your own employees, or work with freelancers, or people from agencies. You can also work with friends or family. It is up to you and your current situation.
To choose the right persons to join your team, there’s no secret formula. You need to trust yourself and trust people.
Don’t forget that it is really important to assign roles and responsibilities. It should be clear to you and to all persons you work with. Each person should have her own role clearly defined or else, you end up with a mess.
In fact, there is no rules that says each roles needs to be filled by one person. At least to begin with, one person can wear several hats. And as you grow, you’ll need to bring in more help.
At some point in your career, you’ll need the help of…
… A manager
Outside of people you make music with, a manager is the most important member of a team. A manager notably helps you with your career and advises you on the business side of it. It means that you can focus more on your music, on your work as an artist.
The manager also helps build the rest of the team as you grow and connects your team together. In short, the manager makes sure that your whole infrastructure is working well and that the strategies put in place are followed.
… A booking agent
It is not easy to find a competent booking agent with a good contact list. But when you find that person, she will book your tours, manage to get you on tours with other acts and negotiate on your behalf resulting in boosting your visibility.
… A lawyer & business manager
These people usually join a team when you start to earn a lot of money and get new opportunities. A lawyer (or music attorney) can take care of any contracts you get and receives a fee on all earnings you make with his help. He also shop your music for licensing and record deals. You can count on your manager to let you know when the time is right to add a lawyer to your team.
… A social media manager
Social medias play a significant role to meet success nowadays. It is imperative to understand how to enhance your online presence to reach a wider audience, retain your audience, get interesting opportunities to make more money from your music, etc.
… A graphic designer/web developer
t is smart to employ or work with a talented artist who will be in charge of all print and digital layouts you need: your website, posters, banners, album/single artworks, album booklets, tour books, merch, logo, etc.
Instead of working with different persons, working with the same artist can save you money. It also guarantee a coherent, consistent and identifiable identity in all your communications which is really important.
Of course, there are different types of teams in music as it depends on you, what you do and your needs. So, take your time to identify your needs and establish your goals.
Once your team is established, discuss with them about your objectives, be respectful and open to their suggestions and always give the best of yourself. Don’t forget that you work together.
A group dynamic can be an energy booster and help you grow and evolve in an unexpected way. Always be respectful, embrace this great experience and enjoy every step of your way to success.
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