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Written by Ramsey Brown.
There is a point in every artist's life where they must come to a decision — whether they want to do music as a hobby, or if they want to make an actual career and sustainable profession out of it. If you are looking to advance your music career seriously, you will inevitably need a support system in order to do so effectively.
Ask any successful musician and they will tell you — they didn’t get to the top all by themselves. The music industry is notoriously difficult to navigate, especially for those who are new to the game.
In reality, it’s impossible to take your music career to the next level without a strong team around you. Between creating, releasing, and promoting your music, to booking, promoting, and performing shows — on top of managing every day personal, career, and financial matters…. an artist’s plate is constantly loaded.
Which is exactly why having a fantastic artist team is necessary to win in the music business. Teamwork in its truest definition means “combined efforts, or the actions of a group, to achieve a common purpose or goal.”
However, you don’t want just anyone or any group of people around you on your way to the top. The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your future — and you will always only be as strong as your weakest link. Therefore, it’s important to pick and choose your team wisely.
Have you been considering building your own music team, but aren’t quite sure who, where, or how, to start? If so, you are about to learn today!
Throughout this article, we are going to share the blueprint and foundation for building the artist dream team you’ve been needing. We go over 7 tips on how to choose the right members, what to expect from your music team, and how to get the most out of having one.
A music team looks differently for each and every artist depending on the level of their career and the needs or wants they have. The roles that you need to fill on your team are on you to decide. You may have a manager, publicists, booking agent, or personal assistant — all of whom perform very different tasks.
Although you will recruit a variety of members to fill specific roles, there are certain aspects, goals, and understandings that everyone should share in common. When you are building your music team, keep in mind these following 7 tips to ensure the greatest overall success of the team.
When you are beginning to form your music team, you always want to look at the people around you who already believe in you and support your music. In any sort of team, productivity can’t happen until everyone is on the same page. So, you want to find people who are just as excited and eager as you are.
You can always recruit people who are highly skilled or knowledgeable in the music business, but if they don’t believe in you or your music — you’ll oftentimes get put on the back burner. You would rather team up with a friend who is passionate about your music but has no music business experience rather than a well-connected industry professional who is emotionally uninvolved in your project.
Along with finding people who believe in your music, you also want to ensure that your goals, values, and perspectives are aligned as well. It is always easier to have a successful team when everyone is on the same page. Plus, these are people who you will frequently be around, so you need to enjoy being around them.
You’ll find that when you are around people who share the same goals as you, everyone works harder and pushes one another to achieve those goals. This will also prevent complications in the future when any discrepancies or disagreements arise, which is inevitable to happen in any sort of team environment.
It is much easier to have an effective music team when all members know exactly what is expected out of them. If you hire someone to be your manager, they will likely have a contract to sign and outline their job duties. Although it doesn’t have to be as formal as crafting up an actual contract — each member of your team needs to have a specific written down agreement confirming commitments.
The lack of clearly understood expectations is the source of much strife in relationships and teams. As the leader of your team, you have to clearly vocalize your expectations of others, so they know how to succeed. Once your expectations are set, sit down with your teammates to discuss and encourage them to perform well.
There are many roles that make up a music team and each artist will find they need unique members to fill unique roles and tasks. Playing to each member’s different strengths is the key to success no matter what sort of team you are in. First, you’ll need to look at what jobs you constantly need done or the tasks you need help with.
If you find that your social media is lacking, you’ll want to find someone to help manage it for you. Again, look within your inner circle when building your team. If you have a friend who is already active and popular on their own social media pages — ask them if they can help manage yours.
It is also not necessary to have a skilled professional to fill your roles. If your buddy is interested in videography but not quite experienced enough to be ‘skilled’. This is a perfect opportunity to bring them on board your team to practice capturing footage for you.
In any sort of team environment, incentives and rewards are used to increase productivity and member loyalty. More so, rewarding your team is a way to show that you value them and that you appreciate their hard work and efforts.
As an beginning independent musician, you probably won’t be generating enough revenue to pay all of your team members, if any at all. But rewards can come in the form of praise, recognition, experiences, or any other gesture that will help them continue to stay motivated. Maybe it’s buying coffee, getting team t-shirts made, guest-listing them to events — you’ll be surprised how far small acts of kindness and appreciation can go.
It’s common for people to want to achieve their goals in the quickest way possible. However, there is no instant success in the music business. It is very important to ensure that your team members are in it for the long run and not just a quick sprint to the top.
Running a marathon requires endurance, mental toughness, and the ability to push forward during the times it’s most easy to quit. This is the same mindset that your music team will need to have. It really boils down to your team having the common understanding and dedication to the larger goal at hand. This will prevent members from becoming unmotivated or discouraged.
Remember, the shared goal of your music team isn’t solely to make you a successful artist — it’s to make the artist team successful. An effective music team will work for the best interest of everyone involved. They will also understand that when one teammate wins, everyone wins.
Your team must operate as one unit and do things to promote and build up each of its members. It can be easy for an artist to fall into an individualistic mindset being the team leader. However, if you focus on your team as a whole and aim for the success of everyone and not just yourself, you’ll find that it will be easier to achieve your goals and maximize your results.
Building a team as an independent artist takes some time and effort to do correctly. You may go through multiple different individuals before finding your solid core team, but when you have the right people around you all functioning fully in their roles, it will truly take your career to the next level of success.
No matter where you are in your music career, planning and building your team accordingly should always be a number one priority. Just remember, not all company is good company. Keep people around you who are just as dedicated, passionate, and motivated as you to win. Combined common efforts will always be greater than the efforts of one.
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