Recording artists: How to manage your music like a business

Are you trying to get your music out there, but not making much headway? Try looking at it from a business perspective. Are you doing everything you can to promote your brand, know your audience and build industry connections? Find out below.

Know your audience

When trying to get people to discover your music, think like a retailer. After all, you are trying to get audiences to see your music as goods worth investing in. And what is alpha and omega for any retail business to succeed? Market research. Know exactly who your target audience is and what their listening habits are.

For instance, make sure you know exactly how they prefer their live performances. What kind of experience do they want out of a night on the town, and how does your setup fit into this? If your audience is older, they should be able to sit down – and might also enjoy buying wine , craft beer, snacks or even dinner – while younger audiences will usually prefer cheaper beverages and being on their feet.

But while many musicians do make a big chunk of their income from shows, it’s also important to make your music available for streaming. IFPI’s industry data shows that 65% of global industry revenue currently comes from streaming – making it extra important for your music to be on platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music, so that streamers can listen when going about their daily lives.

Create a strong brand – and promote it

Besides streaming services, you should also have a strong presence on all relevant platforms. Start off with a solid website presenting your business and its mission. Your website should as a minimum make it easy for listeners to find your music on streaming services and in stores and clearly state tour dates.

Since you’re promoting an artistic product, carefully craft your visual identity and business name to fit the spirit of your music. If you’re stuck, get music business name ideas from Business Name Generator or consult a developer or graphic designer for help. Once you have your brand down pat, make sure to get on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok – or whichever social media platforms your audience uses.

Expand your network

Connecting with your listeners is, of course, extremely important – but it’s not the only professional connection you should be nurturing. Building a strong network of like-minded, inspiring industry professionals will allow you to continue growing as an artist and reach new goals. Especially if you’re in a new city to pursue your career, you should make it a point to attend industry functions and meet other artists.

Forget the notion that you’re competing against them and start thinking of them as peers to be inspired by and create exciting new collaborative projects with. Write, play and compose for each other, exchange industry tips, vent your frustrations – and open doors you couldn’t have opened without each other’s help.

Be patient and sensible about it

Lastly, you have to prepare yourself to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. Overnight success stories are far and few between, and most successful artists will have to struggle to make ends meet for many years before making it big. Be practical and save as much money as you can, limit your spending and don’t quit your day job before you’re financially stable. Of course, you shouldn’t work yourself to death, so make sure you get a break once in a while – but running a successful music business while keeping your creative spirits up takes a herculean effort.


Since 2005, Singersroom has been the voice of R&B around the world. Connect with us via social media below.

View all posts by Singersroom →