I met Kris several years ago when I played her music on Women of Substance. Kris Bradley is a musician who learned how to produce her music from home out of necessity. Now she produces for others and makes a great living doing it and is teaching artists like you how to do the same. She’s doing so many awesome things to help other musicians. She’s going to talk about more cool and even more interesting ways musicians can make money.
All musicians have a hard drive graveyard where they keep their songs. Sometimes we make them for ourselves. Sometimes we pitch them and they don’t get chosen. We don’t realize that we’re accumulating this vault of music. If only you have the opportunity to produce songs and start other things with them such as custom songs, sing demo vocals, work on podcasts, etc., you can turn them into something that will give you income.
If you have a home studio and handle yourself like a professional, this is an advantage. Kris believes in “talent stacking”. It all comes to perspective. Who for you is more valuable, an expert mixer or a pretty good mixer who knows how to run her business, create systems that work for her, and other things?
What kind of systems do musicians need to create this for income generation?
1. You need to have a home studio setup.
2. Know the name of your company. You can also use your artist name but as your skills add up, it would be easier if you have a company that becomes an umbrella.
3. If Kris has tasks that she does on repeat, she automates them.
4. She also has a file system where she keeps new clients as well as project management boards where she keeps systems of what she does to take a client through a process.
5. She also has email templates that are ready to go.
These systems create structure in your business. You need to value your time as an entrepreneur. Get really intentional about what you spend your time on. You need to break down your time, your tasks, and your goals. You do the math. If you need to get paid $50/hour to reach your goals, ask yourself what tasks you are spending your time on that is not worth $50/hour which you can outsource. If you have multiple projects in your pipeline, which tasks are worth outsourcing?
You need to be able to release your ego in thinking that something will be more valuable if you work harder than working smarter. When somebody comes to you to have their music produced, you can tell them to find someone else to do the mixing, etc since you are not good at that. Or you can create an experience for the client and find someone else who can do the things you are not so good at and be a one-stop shop.
At first, it might not make sense since you are not paying that much. The experience is worth it though. That allows you to increase your value and eventually increase your worth.
If you stand out in the market and you play the discount game, you just keep on lowering your price to compete with your people because that is all you got. If you play the value game, all you do is come in and provide more value.
Kris also teaches how to find virtual assistants that are unicorns who can do admin, graphic design, video editing, and web design.
You can also do other digital products like beat leasing and song leasing. People can use your song and pay you $1000 just like song licensing.
Kris also got hired to record songs for children’s songs which paid $100-$150 each song and she had to do about 20 songs.
Get out of the mindset of trading your time for money. Also, think about digital products you can sell.
Part of building our company is to have a portfolio to show what you do. Make sure to have a really amazing portfolio of 3-5 demo reels. If you’re a songwriter, then make 5 great songs. There are other websites like Soundbetter, Beatstars, or Airgigs where you can ride their traffic so people can find you. If you’re bummed about the fee, you can just add it to your fee for your clients.
You have talent but being a great business owner can be your advantage on why people will choose you. It’s all about the service you provide. Talent stacking can get you the job.
Kris shares the change in mindset she has from starving artist to boss producer. The starving artist thinks like “Why won’t people pay me for my music?” and I wasn’t getting answers. Then her question changed to “What can I do to make music with my money?” The starving artist is focused on herself. The boss producer is service focused. It involves dealing with your ego and you have to get past that.
You cannot want your music to earn income and be anti-commercialization. Take, for example, John Mayer. His music is blues, but he had to come out with “Your Body is a Wonderland” to reach the target audience. That’s what people do, just look at Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and other artists. Don’t be afraid to keep one foot outside the box and one foot inside the box.
It’s something like using a reference track and basically following the pattern of a song and then inserting your own sound. It will still end up sounding like you. It can also help you get out of being stuck when creating a song.
Kris will have a 5-day free Bootcamp where she will teach the path from amateur musician to pro musician, so you can have a clear-cut path. She will also show you how to make money online.