The Essential Guide to Musicpreneurship in 2020
The definitive free guide to treating your music career like a business.
By David Andrew Wiebe
You’ve heard it once. You’ve heard it twice.
“If you want to do well in today’s music industry, you’ve got to treat your music like a business!”
And, I’m here to tell you that’s absolutely true. The problem is that – unless you’ve been at this for a while – you probably have no clue how to do this or where to start.
Good news – first, it’s not your fault that you don’t know, and second, if you want to learn, you’re in the right place at the right time.
The following guide covers all the essentials you need – most importantly, how to think like an entrepreneur. And, it’s packed to the rafters with additional links and resources.
So, let’s get started.
What is Music Entrepreneurship?
At Music Entrepreneur HQ, this is how we define it:
Music entrepreneurship is the act of taking a business-based approach to your music career to create faster and better results, more opportunity, more revenue streams, more impact and more freedom.
We don’t discount other ways of looking at it. But this is the foundation our resources we’re built on, beginning 2011.
So, if it doesn’t align with this definition, in our opinion, it’s not musicpreneurship!
1. What is a Musicpreneur?
Music + Entrepreneurship = Musicpreneur
Plainly, the term “musicpreneur” is a combination of the words “music” and “entrepreneur”.
It refers to one of three types of people:
- A music business owner.
- A musician taking a business-based approach to their career.
- A combination of the above.
Here’s a caveat:
Anybody in the second category could have a business outside of the music industry that enables them to earn an income and pursue their passion in music.
I’ve heard of a story of a man who owns a Harley-Davidson dealership. Though the dealership doesn’t earn him a dime, he can pursue his passion of motorcycles because of his corrugated cardboard business. He’s able to support his passion through a separate enterprise.
When we think of musicpreneurship in this way, it means we can have assets and business income outside of our musical pursuits to fuel our music careers. It’s not cheating!
On The New Music Industry Podcast, I had the opportunity to interview Bob Baker, notable music marketing expert. He said:
I combined my passions for music and writing, and started publishing a local music newspaper. I had no previous experience publishing. I never worked at a school paper. I never took journalism classes. I just kind of jumped into it but I learned a lot during those years. I learned how to serve an audience. That eventually evolved into columns and tips for musicians and then workshops and the work that I’ve been doing for the past two-plus decades.
There’s plenty of room for invention and innovation. It’s mostly just a matter of being willing to put yourself out there, give something a try, and see if it resonates with your audience.