In the wise words of Jay-Z, “I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man!” Whether you’re an artist or a producer, I can’t stress enough that you are a business. All businesses have expenses and all must create a budget to effectively use their resources to grow. You, my friend, are no different.
Where to start?
Simply put, a budget is an estimate of your income and expenses over a period of time. The goal is for your expenses to be lower than your income. If you’re a new artist you may be asking, “How is this even possible?” Where there is a will, there is a way.
The first step is to write down all of your monthly expenses. Do you pay rent? If yes, write it down. How about electricity? What about your cell phone bill? Tally up all of your recurring bills and write this number down. Don’t forget long term recurring payments, like car insurance, or day to day expenses that add up, like groceries, gas, restaurants or coffee.
The next step is to calculate all of your sources of income. Once you have those two numbers, you should have a clue as to what your monthly expenses vs monthly income look like. When your income is higher than your expenses, you now have money to budget toward your music career.
The Music Budget
Within your overall budget, you should have a section dedicated to all things music-related. This could mean buying instruments, renting studio time, paying for ads to market your music and much more. Think about all of the things that will help accelerate your music career and give you a good return on investment, or ROI. Account for them in your budget.
I really want to stress something to all artists and producers: include expenses in your music budget that are non-negotiable. The costs for music creation and marketing should be a priority in your budget. I’m going to say this again. YOU ARE A BUSINESS. Your music is a product. To be successful, you will need eyes and ears on your product.
If you’re looking to cut back expenses I can’t stress enough how much collaborating with others will help. You can also learn the art of mixing and mastering which can save you money on studio time. For a deeper dive into what kinds of expenses to budget for, we recommend this article from adamharkus.com
So what is your budget? Answer this question and become the boss of your own situation.
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