Today we will discuss investing in your band.
Luis Giler of Discord Theory, who I had the great pleasure of hosting at last nights show, gave this topic to me. His bands performance stole the show and I knew I made a smart decision booking them. It was the first time I had them on a show and definitely not the last. Check them out here!
Investing in anything is something I feel incredibly confident with. I have been an investor since I was 18 and that was the business of my first company that I owned on my own (property investing). I love investing, personally. It is like a big puzzle for me, one that takes being creative yet logical reasoning.
So, how do you invest, in a smart way, as a musician?
There is MANY, MANY different ways you can do it and do it properly, but I’m going to discuss what I think is the best options available right now.
Social media. Love it or hate it is one of the best methods of investing for your band. By this I mean sponsored ads. I utilize sponsored ads to promote shows or advanced ticket sales and I have seen an amazing ROI (return on investment – what your investment brings back to you) from it. I also use sponsored ads for promoting my company and finding new talent/clients.
On a side note, I have a marketing guide I created for anyone who wants it. It is about 11 pages on Microsoft Word, very easy to read, real, and raw. I will send it to anyone who wants it. Email me at Henry.Protage@gmail.com and ask for it. I’m in this to help great musicians reach their full potential, regardless of whether or not we work together. I updated it every couple months so a couple times a year I will send you the updated version (as time passes, so do the methods we use to market ourselves). This marketing guide shows step-by-step how to create a well-performed ad on Facebook and Instagram (among many other things).
Another thing you want to invest in is quality merchandise. Did you know that you have great artists available at your fingertips all around you? They go by the name of tattoo artists, and I have used them for making flyers, custom band logos, and more. You can contact any tattoo artist, tell them you need a design for your merchandise, and 9 times out of 10 they will agree to it, for a price of course. If they tell you they want their social media tag on the shirt, as a means of advertising for them that is up to you. I personally wouldn’t recommend it. You want people to look you up, not someone who you once paid for a job, but there could be benefits to doing it, such as mutual promotion (they may allow you to sell shirts out of their studio, or post flyers, whatever).
I personally think just a band logo on a shirt is pretty boring. Get creative! You are artists after all. Make a statement with your merchandise that aligns with your brand. Put the design on something that has quality, such as Hanes or American Apparel shirts instead of Gilden. Gilden shirts are low quality meaning they will rip, get holes, and annoy your fans. The print itself needs to be of quality, something that wont crack the first time it goes through a washing machine. Clothing aside there are multiple different options you can put your band name on, some expensive, some not. For instance, lighters. A lot of people smoke. How great would it be that every time someone lights a cigarette they think about your band? Pretty good idea, huh?
A quality and creative music video WILL NOT be cheap but it WILL be worth it. Spend $500, take two days, and create something that really tells the story of your band/song. Make sure you find a professional, someone who does this kind of work for a living. Even my personal clients have been taken advantage of or straight up robbed by phonies who act like they are videographers. Do your research and find a reputable company to produce your work. And don’t be afraid to spend some cash in the process. You get what you pay for, always!
This one gets me the most because it is so obvious but so few people actually take the time to realize how important it is – quality recording. If you spend $200 for your EP or LP, everyone will hear it. You could be the dopest band in the land, but if your music sounds like shit on record, why would anyone want to listen to it? Now, do you necessarily have to go into a studio to record an album? No. But you should absolutely send it off to get mastered by a studio (you don’t want the person who recorded it to master it). I think most recording artists will charge in the $75-$150 range to master a song, and it is so vital to a final product. That is money well spent. Forget about saving to go on tour, forget about stage props, make sure your record, what your fans will take home with them after seeing you live, sounds good.
Quality gear goes without saying. If your instruments sound like shit, just... start over. Go back to square one re-elevaute what you're doing.
I’ll wrap up here. Always keep in mind the three-fold rule. Any investment in business should make you a 200-300% return. If it costs $50 for 25 custom Bic lighters with your logo on them, you should make $150 from it. Price accordingly and create a plan of attack so that you are investing smart.
Be courageous enough to make this risk. Risk the money, and work for the reward. If you are smart about it, it will come back to you.