We all know that it used to be better for musicians in the past, but that doesn't mean you can't make a decent living now. All businesses have had to adjust to economic changes in recent years and diversify themselves: why should the music industry be any different?
Many musicians aren't that great at taking care of the business side of things. Somehow, those tasks essential to starting and running any business (such as the balancing the books) seem awfully mundane when compared to the fun we have actually playing music!
How many musicians do you know who have taken that first, most basic step towards starting any business endeavor: writing a business plan? A business plan is a roadmap to how the business is going to make a profit, but you might be hard-pressed to name a musician who has actually written one!
The Business of Getting More Gigs as a Professional Musician covers all the basics. Bob has lots of great ideas on how you can market and promote yourself, presenting such things as how to use voice mail, make a demo CD, design an effective website, and keep a good mailing list in a lively and readable style. He even devotes an entire chapter to making a great business card!
"Business cards can help to bring in gigs; they're great for referrals; and they can be one of the best methods of personal advertising you have. Take a look at some of the business cards you have collected yourself. If your business card doesn't match their uniqueness and go beyond their creativity, now's the time to do something about it."
The Business of Getting More Gigs as a Professional Musician is a great read for any musician interested not only in working more, but making more money while you're at it. Order the book from Amazon.com.
Brad Howland is the Principal Trombonist of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.