Thursday, August 19, 2010

The business of being a artist

Have you stepped back and taken a look at your looked at your art AS a business?  
If you don’t have a “business background” or know where to begin, or you feel business and art have nothing to do with one another,  you may not have done this.

If this is the case, how is this working for you? 
Are you happy with where you are professionally as a artist? Probably not, 
It's ok- you one of hundreds of thousands  who are not getting what they want from their creative pursuits, and as a result are not able to make a living wage doing what they love.

You realize you can do something to change that?
Let's back up and start at the very beginning to  do a little “check up” to see if you are ready to start a business?

Answer yes or no to the following questions:

1. Do you think your ready to start a business?
2. Have you ever worked IN a business similar to what you are planning?
3. Would people say you are well suited to be self employed?
4. Do you have support from your family & friends?
5. Do you consider yourself a leader and self starter?
6. Would OTHER people consider you a leader or self starter?
7. Are you willing to invest a significant portion of your savings or net worth  to get your business started?
8. Are you prepared if needed to temporarily lower your standards of living  for a couple of years until your business is firmly established?
9. Are you willing to commit long hours to make your business work?
10. Have you ever written a business plan?

If you answered NO to more than 3 of these questions then perhaps the making a living as a self employed artist  isn’t something you are suited for- and you can continue to languish in obscurity.

  If you answered yes to many of the questions, and want to take steps to change the trajectory of your artistic career, then re-framing how you view your music, as a BUSINESS and creating a business structure around it will insure you  have more success. 

The degree of your success depends entirely upon you having a GREAT product, GREAT plan, & lots of hard work on creating a foundational plan to build your career upon.

I have listed these items in the order they should be addressed each step is dependent upon the next to be successful

    This will help you distill and clarify what it is your doing, what space your competing in, what value you are providing your audience, & why they should care about what your doing.

    When you write your own bio, you know it, and so does everyone reading it.
The information you provide your readers is vital to them understanding who you are-  Listing the unique facts about you, relevant experience, and phrasing it in a clear concise way that compels the reader to want to know more about you
Carefully cultivating the unique qualities that make you different than everyone else.

Every SUCCESSFUL business has a plan-& goals. It doesn’t matter if you are the only person in the business you still need a roadmap detailing what your business does, what direction your headed in, who your customers are and what core values are important to you and guide you.

  This simple tool is often over looked- and a key tool to show that your serious about what you do.  Often I get a card and  find it is missing a website, or email address, last week at a conference I got a card that just had a name on it. that's it.  I nearly tossed the card, then I googled the name thinking ah a clever ploy to get me to the artist website. NOTHING, not even a facebook page.  I tossed the card, and that artist probably doesn't realize how many opportunities that have been missed by trying to be cool and different.  Clearly missed the target.

Use a standard sized card- if it doesnt fit in a wallet it will get tossed or annoy people that it wont fit in their wallet.
Print on ONE SIDE, on a NON GLOSSY card,   when people who care about you get your card, & if they want to make a note about you on the back of the card, for possible follow up.  They can’t if the card is two sided or glossy.

(the tag line comes  from your work on your artist id)

You can order great cards from

 If you are not easily accessable, you will miss opportunities and not even know it.  A prospective client talking with you, hearing beeps and clicks as you hit the keypad, and then dead air because you hung up on them.
 With today’s technology you need access to your phone calls, & emails-and RESPOND to requests within 1 business day unless you are "out of the office" then you have a message indicating that you will be returning on a specific date and will be returning messages THEN.
   At this writing Whether you are with ATT or Verizon  get either a iPhone or a Droid-  they both run multiple apps are dependable (as much as the two largest wireless providers can be).  And most importantly they make you available to do business.   Do not mess with bargin brand phone service, or pay as you go services-  You get to WRITE OFF this expense when you do your taxes. YOU CAN"T AFFORD NOT TO HAVE ONE.  Do not short change yourself, in having a key communication tool available.

The bottom line is, You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression-  by having the correct  BASIC tools, shows the outside world you are:
-       Organized
-       Open for business
-       Have a Plan 
-       Serious about your career

If your potential customers or fans are unsure about you or the service you offer they WILL NOT BUY your products, it is up to you to clarify and make it easy for them  

If you need help getting organized, clarified, and realize the success you imagine, contact me I can help you put the correct pieces in place for YOU to make a powerful impression on your prospective fans, business partners & investors. 
In teaching you how to succeed these tools can be used in ALL areas of your life, it happened for me, it's happened for my clients, it can happen for you. It just takes the acknowledgement that you want to, and are ready to make a positive difference in your life.

Tamra Engle is a performing songwriter and business strategist who offers business solutions for creative minds to help them succeed in the evolving music and entertainment industries. As a performing singer-songwriter,  she has worked as a studio musician in Los Angeles; toured the U.S. and enjoyed the placement of her songs on television and nationally aired commercials. Her recent album was on the final round ballot for the 2008 Grammy's in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category.

Helping others achieve success doing what they love.
Insuring music education remains accessible to school age children.
Ending Violence against Women & Children.
Reef Preservation/Restoration
Deep Sea Diving

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