Last week, we continued the series “Three Steps to DIY Success” for music careers. Thanks to the digital revolution, musicians no longer have to depend on traditional record labels. With your own motivation and work, you can build profitable avenues for delivering content to fans without the assistance of a music label.
At ChaseLawyers℠ , we sometimes draft a three-month DIY schedule for clients to help them start getting more exposure for their music and to begin building a fan base. Begin following this schedule after you have secured a producer and recorded your demo songs. This week our entertainment lawyers in Miami will focus on the goals you should focus on during the first month of the schedule.
Develop a detailed day-by-day calendar for the next six months. Each day should include how much money you can spend to stay in budget, along with goals that you must meet in order to stay on schedule. An important detail to also include is contacts you should make to promote your music, such as local radio station salespeople. However, don’t quit your day job, no matter the time constraints, because you don’t know how long it’ll take to start turning a profit as a musician.
Use our “Three-Legged Stool” approach to develop your custom-planning outline. The three legs are live performance, Internet-based and brick-and-mortar sales and promote your music on social media promotion. Combined, these elements unite as a strong artist platform for launching your music six months after you begin this plan.
Begin estimating and saving for the budget needs of each leg of the six month plan. Save as early as possible so you’ll be able to cover any unexpected expenditures that may arise. For example, you will want to consider producing a music video that you can upload to YouTube and other popular sites. Coincide the video launch with unveiling your live act and launching your online and physical sales (more about this later).
Producing a decent quality music video costs money, which is one of the reasons you need to start saving as soon as possible. Put aside enough money (around $750) to hire a Miami entertainment lawyer to review any contracts before you sign with a music producer.
Make sure your newly released music can easily be found through multiple outlets, such as YouTube and iTunes. “Online aggregator” services like Tunecore and CD Baby can place your music in the digital marketplace. A commercial online presence will be crucial to making sales and money as an independent musician.
Evaluate who your likely audience will be for your specific style of music. Before launching into plans for radio ads or DJ spins, you must first decide what radio station(s) is the best fit for your music. Learn each local station’s audience demographics; this information is available from stations’ sales departments. Familiarize yourself with rates for advertising time-slots and when your part of the station’s demographic is most likely to be listening.
Begin brainstorming on developing a logo design and choose a performing name (if you haven’t already created these details). Use a qualified lawyer’s work-for-hire form in order to protect your logo and/or name. By doing so, you will own the intellectual property rights for your logo/name.
After finalizing your name and logo, talk to Miami entertainment lawyers about trademark registrations for each. Applying for a U.S. Trademark will cost about $750, including the $275 government-filing fee. If you decide that you need to own the trademark for both musical purposes and, say, T-shirts, the costs will increase.
Strongly consider taking an internship at a major recording studio (or a record label) in your area. You’ll meet people and learn practical information you’ll need down the road to build your independent music career. Networking and making contacts with industry veterans will also be beneficial in the long run when you’re in need of advice or tips.
Chase Lawyers is a boutique entertainment law firm that advises and represents clients in legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters and intellectual property. If you are planning a music career and have questions about music copyright, contact our entertainment lawyers in Miami today to ensure your path to stardom is a smooth one!