Building Your Resume As An Artist

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As an artist, it all seems so simple, write and record a crazy song, on a fire beat, and you’re going places. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You have to have a plan, a budget, and a product. In this article, I am going to break down these three things to further help ensure your success. As an independent artist, you have a lot that needs to be considered in every step. And often this means that there is no financial backing support, so you have to make do with small budgets, sponsors, grants, fundraising, and often times bartering.

A Plan:  After you have recorded your music, your plan of action is super important. When are you going to release your new music?  Where are you going to release your music, are you going to have a listening party, are you planning to have a release party? Do you intend to do a media promo run, meaning hitting up every media available to you, such as magazines, newspapers, blogs, radio, podcasts and TV? Do you plan to have a digital release, or are you going to sell physical copies as well? Are you able to get on to shows where you are opening for a big headlining act, which would help on your resume? Your resume, or as we in the music industry call it your presskit should have all the biggest, and relevant information on you. This is used to get you the bigger gigs. So, in your plan, make sure to document everything that you do, so that it can later be used either for proof or promotional materials.

A Budget: This is the most important part of the equation. You need to have a budget for marketing, promotion, radio ads, newspaper ads, hiring a publicist, big name features (the right one can really help, just make sure they promo the track) photoshoots, music videos, music conferences, and fees for music festivals. Each month you should be putting aside some money to be used for your artist budget. Create your budget by doing an “if then statement”. If I have ??? amount, then I can do this. Example, if I have $500 I can do a digital release, get a press release created, and get a media blast. If I have $2,500 I can hire a professional publicist for a month, organize a release party, and create merchandise with my logo. Once you have completed a budget, even something simple, then you at least have a much better idea of what you now have to work with. This will help you decipher what is important, and what can wait for the next round of funding.

A Product: Often when I tell artists that they need to have a product, it is misconceived as me saying you need to have CD’s. When I say you need to have a product, you need to have something that is ready for investors to make money off of. A great show, great music, events that you do with your fans, and even tours. Every time you perform as an artist you are basically auditioning for whoever is in the audience that may have an opportunity for you. This means that going on the road may lead to many other opportunities. In order to get the big opportunities, you first have to rock the small stages and impress the people with the medium stages, and then from there, you go for the promoters with the big stages.

Building your resume as an artist is an everyday thing. Whether it’s taking pictures with celebrities, taking pictures with fans and supporters, sharing videos of your performances, networking, and building a budget. It is an all-encompassing process that one should approach strategically. Look at what other artists have done before you, and tailor it to your needs. Get the most out of everything you do, and document everything.


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