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Making Money with Music

Lesson 35 of 35

How Do I Get Started: The Sequence

Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan

Making Money with Music

Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan

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Lesson Info

35. How Do I Get Started: The Sequence

Lesson Info

How Do I Get Started: The Sequence

How do I get started? We've talked about an awful lot of topics here we've talked about enormous amount of things and you've been saying things like how do I do all of this not only is the question how do I do all this and difficult thing to wrestle with? But what order should I do it in? We like doing checklists, we like doing things in order, we want to give you a sequence based on everything that we talked about, which is not necessarily in the same order that we covered it why's that well, we covered some little pieces is something that should be joined together, and second of all, there's some concepts that make more sense if you've had some understanding, but that doesn't mean you should do them in the same order that you should learn them. So you start with the legal entity, the tax I d that you've set aside right is this is the thing that you're going to be entering and most of the sites that we've been talking about, and for those joining us now I mean it throughout this cours...

e we've been giving it web sites that will ask your text, I d because they will be sending you checks, they will be paying you well in order to do that the tax idea that you put in is important as we discussed it's really a good idea to talk to an accountant if you have any questions because you want the money coming in to be offset by the write offs that you do is a business to make sure that they match you make in prep your music that's all the stuff that we talked about in the second session on the first day, but there's a lot more to it than that there's a bunch of stuff in the indie band survival guide about how to record music, different ways to collaborate, different types of things you can put together around your music that's beyond what we talked about here because here we talked about preparing the music that you had for licensing and royalties, but actually the process of making the music is someth think it's a broader topic and I just want to remind you about that you make in prep your brand material. This is something that we talked about yesterday because the brand material remember is not only the ingredients for merchandise it's actually the ingredients for your web presences because you have an avatar in there, your bio will go in there. Your bio was part of your brand, your story there's a lot of other aspects to it and that's the time to put that together besides, you can't release your music into the world without images on it released you shouldn't and the brand actually helps you do that and empty threes and I d three tags and all that kind of stuff really are in a related all these things actually go together then you can set up your web, social and mobile presences and we have a six step guide for that but we didn't want to talk about that here because they don't directly make you money in fact, the very first thing we have ah social media sequence that we teach in chicago and what we say when we started is you want to spend his little time as possible doing social media because it doesn't directly make you your income if you're serious about music business than you want your time to actually make a difference for your revenue we talked about the parts of social media that do we talked about howto fashion a message that makes sense to your audience and gets them to take an action we didn't talk about how to set up the web presence our book has this and of course our e els is excellent for this a swell which was the giveaway for this and congratulations to the prize winners by the way then he registered your music we haven't said to release your music yet you register your music it's everything we talked about seven the seven registrations you should do before you release your music into the world is one of the key ones for that that was in the nestle the second session, another very first day and sign up for all the affiliates. We talked about that, and the reason why we're doing this early is so that when you first sell your music, you're getting both cuts get your music for so the affiliate one and this one could happen in any order. The point is, you actually don't release your music until you actually have everything that you need and you have affiliate links to promote it. Using the affiliate, you create your merchandise center, all that stuff up. We talked about that in detail on the second day how to do that for zero dollars, by the way. And then we talk about promoting your music, getting your music played marketing and pr all the stuff we talked about today, we talked about marketing, and then the other book end of this day was on npr all of that stuff will be part of this whole cycle. Now you can play with this sequence as much as you want, you can do it in a way that makes sense to you, but you want to think about the sequence is it relates to the fact that you can't do marketing npr really? Unless you have brand material to fit within it. If you don't have your bio yet, you really can't do pr. Sorry if you want to do marketing material but you have none of your logo's or imagery, you're going to just say I should do that. That's what we found out we did things way out of sequence because we did it like all this crazy stuff. So backing up this is why one of the earlier parts of the indie band survival guide one of the earliest chapters, right after music, I believe, is brand pretty sure that's the sequence so it's actually team team oh, that's, right? You talk about you and you needed the team, and then you need the people, any of the people which the people will help you make the brand. Yes, and in a lot of ways, when you were talking about the suggested sequence, that should be the start because you can't do all this year, so we don't know anybody who could do all of this, a single individual we never did, and we've had multiple people, especially students, as we teach this regularly in chicago. How do you do all this stuff? Because we've done even more than we've talked about here, we just keep getting involved in all these things. And I said, well, because it wasn't just me it was a whole bunch of people that we pulled together, and the second city thing wasn't us. It was a whole comedy, troup who helped promote it and do this, and we just walked in and played for that one. It was pretty straightforward for us, you know, as much as the rehearsals costs and us and everything in terms of time, we could do that, and this is where working with a large group of creative, committed people were really interested in getting their stuff out in the world is a great thing to do, and we highly recommend it. Okay, so how much does it cost to start a new business music business you've heard has hinted this forever. Of course, the answer is that you can get started for zero dollars, nothing that means that you actually make money on every sale, the very first sale. And how can a business fail if you don't spend any money on it now, just a couple words about this. Yes, it costs you money to buy your instruments. Yes, it might cost you money to record your music, and it costs you time, which is valuable, weren't we're not going to dispute any of these things? That said, I could for zero dollars, borrow somebody's, crappy guitar, find somebody with a tape recorder like that old style tape recorder, put it in the court of the room and hit record making album, and then do the rest of this for zero dollars. And you might say, well, who's going to want to buy that, and then you realize that the whole punk area was based on exactly that idea, and a lot of the recordings were literally a tape recorder in the corner of a garage while they played, so it depends on what you want to spend on the production. I want to start your business just to be clear, because there's so much variable in there from you've got music. Now what you've got music now, what is where we're starting it we could, if you want, spend time on how to make your production is cheapest possible, if not free, but it's not particularly interesting it's about finding equipment that's cheap or free it's about finding recording tools that are cheaper, free things like that. So going forward, we actually mentioned all these digital distribution for zero cd and dvd manufacturing for zero merchandise, video, licensing, music, royalty, income, how to get the press and media to notice you in promotion, let's, break this down. How to get digital distribution for zero dollars we talked about this early on the first day route note dot com cost you nothing you could be on itunes you're going to be on there percentage model if you remember that and the percentage model says that they'll be taking a cut of every sale but you'll be in good shape for that cd and dvd manufacturing and fulfillment for sarah dollars lulu dot com creates space and they handle fulfillment and shipping and everything else so that that's what fulfillment spaced on that means if you're fans order it they manufactured on spot and they ship it to your fans so what does all that mean well it means you actually have cds and dvds for free guys just have to upload the content and uphold the images and you're all set merchandise zazzle cafe press spread your district lines and mohr there's a bunch of places that do merchandise on demand you upload the artwork you choose what kind of thing that they're going to stick the artwork on on top of and you open up a store on your website cost you nothing remember this from before yeah ok good video licensing income for zero dollars youtube dot com content I d cost you nothing you sign up anybody uses your videos now you're making license you're making advertising revenue based on your work that's that was impossible to get before this kind of thing existed music royalty income for zero dollars soundexchange remember that's the sound recording pro doesn't cost anything your music starts getting played you'll start getting income I'll remind you that the other kind of pro just do you remember the other kind of pro those of you who are here there's this there's a sound recording pro and something else pro song composition you know it's brilliant thiss song composition pro only costs like about fifty dollars to join and it's very inexpensive so the truth is you're now your music businesses all of fifty dollars in the red it's pretty easy to make a handful of cd sales and make that back that's it's one of your first things you want to start this for zero dollars you can ramp up into this pretty easily how to get the press and media to notice you well we talked about this all those new media just have to send him an email and you could start getting coverage this is well within your reach and of course one of the bigger ones one of the really large things that we have within our reach is social media and networking this is word of mouth amplified this is an enormous number of people each of your fans by the way having something between maybe one hundred or two hundred two thousand followers talking about you this is really powerful the tap this is why arial high this book is an excellent thing to try and look into and it's an area that's worth building out because it actually can mean that you can get the kind of promotion that somebody from thirty years ago if you tried to describe what the future would be like would not believe they wouldn't believe that you could get worldwide digital distribution for their music for zero that you'd make money on every sale and that and in its worldwide it truly is and by the way, the second you get on the internet you are a worldwide audience during the song of the day and this was even in two thousand seven we were looking at the web statistics as the numbers start to ramp up as the song of the day progress, more and more people would tune in and keep watching and it got to the point where every hour of every day somebody was listening to one of our songs and then every hour somebody at least once an hour somebody was listening to our songs and even more often than that and certainly at the beginning of the day when the new one would be released we'd have a huge hits I mean and then you look at that that's incredible but then you go to the website statistics and throughout these websites statistics one of the things you see or the countries that people come from it's a reasonable guess people can spoof it and there's ways around that kind of thing is an I t guy. I know what those methods are, but most people don't try and hide it during song of the day, and this is just a little past half way. I think we had some seventy two countries of people checking out our music now we've I've never been to estonia of you no o k, c and he's a lot of it has been quite a few countries he's never been to estonia, their people in estonia that have listened to our music practiced about it, like countries that I don't know I could even visit safely and yet, you know, our music's there and people are listening are stupid songs, and I can't figure out why, but you know, it gets out there, you really are a worldwide musician and going back worldwide digital distribution cost you zero dollars. This is ridiculous. I still can't believe when we run into industry people saying this new industry is so terrible what everybody can participate basically the on ly way to fail is to spend more than you should, right? And that might be zero you can't fail and if you use the model that we've talked about up to date. You can actually use the profits from your earliest sales in order to fund the money that you need to spend going out no need for a kickstarter campaign no need to borrow any money no need to do very much out of pocket at all you can start making money off this and to the extent that you follow everything that we've talked about to date and everything that we've handled here little by little expanding them out, finding out which ones become really successful maybe a good good at licensing music maybe you could get a commissioning music you can expand them out and actually build the rest of your your music on the foundation, your music business on a foundation of the parts that are truly successful that's how this stuff can come together. So our key message for this is to get out there because you now have everything that you need to do it for more ideas, you really need to see the indie band survival guide which will get you started. We also have an electronic musician article called starting a music business for zero dollars, which is exactly what we're talking about here and partially based on the talk that we gave to the grammy association a little a little less than a year ago now so it was definitely something that has a lot of traction and we definitely want to make sure that we incur leave this if you want to contact us, just email contact us sit in the guide dot com or on twitter where at indy guide and we wanted to leave plenty of time to ask and answer any questions that anybody had on any of the topics we've covered since the beginning um I'm wondering I guess I'm on the question of the phrase this question as usual with my question is about like like how there's there's you know there's there's these two kind of um uh to kind of ah diversion themes like there's the um the idea of like abundance of all these things we can be doing and all these like and all these like things we can have our armisen and then there's also the idea of like uh like parallel to that maybe like that making it seem like it's a little scarce like there's there's only so much like you khun like uh the like there's or maybe it is scarce chinoy is scarce is you're saying it's like you make a new album that's limited or you have only so much time you can spend on the campaign uh the cake store um how do you find a balance and that are if that's that's a tough one you know what your scarcest resource is usually are our time more so than money even but might be a kid could be the reverse money in time my meantime that's, what you need to basically work with you you guys got introduced are involved with electronic music makes because you guys don't necessarily make elektronik music. No, jason, tell them well, electronic musician magazine that covers like all parts of music, it's like instruments and hardware and software and all that kind of stuff. But it also covers, uh, in this d I y approach and that's a big theme that they also hit so it's, not just elektronik music. Um, how we got involved with them is an interesting story because what happened was many years ago uh, they contacted us two d'oh to write a piece about the advance of other guy they wanted to interview us. Yeah, they just interview us about the first edition minivan survival guide. You found out how that released we didn't plan on being writers. We didn't play. I mean, I love teaching, but I wasn't teaching at the time or anything weird positions, but we're musicians and we just wanted to share with other musicians all these ideas, which is the only reason why we're here that's what we dio and they picked it up and said, hey, this could be a book and we said it is a book but getting back to electronic musician magazine, right, they interviewed us for a column called industry insider history and so much is, which is where, if you know, the definition of irony definition of irony, if he actually used correctly it's like we're not industry insiders at all were actually from the outside, but he didn't care. He was like, no, no, no, this is important stuff. This is where everything is going. Ah, and so we got interviewed, and it was during that interview when we got done with the interview, I said, geez, we should write for you. I just I just pitched that it just keeps opportunity. Why not? Yeah. It's like cheese. We could be righting for you. Um, actually, this is the way the world is going to see the rest of the rest of it was like, hey, we know a lot of people that we had interviewed for the first edition book we have these contacts so, you know, we could interview ex winds that we actually mentioned certain names and he's like, oh, yeah, what was his problem get into his head? Well, he had to have content for the industry insider column every month, and he had to be the guy who wrote it and he was the editor and he was right, and, uh, did he say yes at first? No in fact, he just said, well, ok, I'll think about it a bit and then we followed up with an email and said, look, these are the things that we could be writing about we've done all these interviews are ready for the book and there was silence way didn't go off and cry and didn't affect their self esteem and then we pitched it again just following up maybe you didn't see this and we got caught in your spam filter, which is randy's trick for system yeah yeah and then uh then he wrote back and said, hey, you know what? What if we set you up and you guys took over the industry insider column were like, well, and then we said no way said, yeah, sure, this parcel listen where lead from there was interesting because after doing that for a while we actually pitched him like a week into a column we don't have to just interview people we've got all this great material make great article material and then that became a column which we ran for over a year and then they then they went through a change of you know, as the magazine's dio but then they look back and look for content from us again see what you have an existing business relationship it's about keeping it in, enhancing it and keep pitching of things keep getting in their head what's your problem all they need content, they need regular content, and in their case, they needed regular content because a lot of the electronic musician readers, the actual musicians who make that because that's that was part of your question, I want to aim this answer at it is that they make a lot of music because they do it on their computers and they've got all this stuff, but they don't necessarily know how to register, sir there's stuff, so they get the most royalties they don't know howto make necessarily the best merchandise they don't know how to do, and they may, but I mean, all pretty much all the pieces of advice that we've given based on the same stuff we've been talking about here has been really well received. It's a good question and it's okay, maybe it's not about music, but it speaks back to using your skills as a musician because now all sudden we're writing about music. Well, we did that with music many times too, it just happens to be and the lessons, and this was going to say the lessons they're are all everything that we did in that space is the same that you could do for your own music, and we did it multiple times for all the music well, yeah, absolutely that's what we have all our stories crazy story is crazy creative stories for how artists have made it in creative ways hannah was asking about that she was loving those stories oh well ok so jonathan colton is probably a neat one that comes to mind yeah way this's great minds think alike so we we decided that we're going to do one song for every day of two thousand seven but then lo and behold jonathan colton in two thousand six decided he was going to do a thing a week and so all that being so yeah I think a week and so he released fifty two songs wants every week and he was ahead of us and he really grew his following from that he's the guy that we talked about who I would spend three hours a day in a coffee shop e mailing his fans and working on his block and asking directly his fans like hey, I want to be a rock star I want to do this like does anybody have any ideas? And he actually pulled out of the people who started tuning into one like yeah, I hope you can I could do that I think I got some ideas and that's how that kind of generated well well then but there is one thing that blew him up which is goes right along with some of the things that we've talked about here he wrote a great cover of baby got back just fan it is it's like very melodic and it's him in this guitar focusing and there's some interesting story about that because on lee recently glee did a cover of baby got back and it was his is very close to his arrangement and there was actually if you look online and search on jonathan colton baby got back and glee you'll see part of the story any way this was such a nice gentle smooth version saying all these rap lyrics and you know that song it's it's a brilliant son he's just such a great vocalist that it blew up all over the place and remember we talked about the number one way to jump start your sales for your online stores and its covers cover stocks there's another part of that now um he this is about the press now since we were just talking about pr haywood then because that baby got back actually blew up in the blogosphere and everything and then the radio people would actually be playing it they would sometimes contact him out of the blue and say the producer of a radio show talk show someone say hey look I want can we interview to talk about the song so this happened to him a couple times but his you remember him talking to us it was like one time he gets into one of these gets on the call and he's talking to the radio shock jock and the guy's like I love your song that he got back was so great and everything like like that he's like oh yeah tell us how you wrote it because I wrote it like you know I didn't write it I mean how did you cover it? I am doing this is what I was thinking about ok we're going to play it they played it the deejay played it and it was somebody else's cover baby got back it wasn't even him like don't be like that wasn't my song so the press and the media doesn't necessarily get the always right they misspell our name that they get the album to get fact based throng and these things happen but you know that that comes with the territory also there are you know we have learned too that some immediate I think going off of a question that was asked earlier there were some media they treated us unfavorably because they weren't the right out for us now that I will say is the case you can have some media that just won't be friendly to you because they have a certain idea about how the world works all right any other crazy fun creative ways artists thinking done some through there's been a bunch question you talk about ask haven't be among yes it did yes we did ok ok I'll just wander and do you have to go through them before you come on these sites for the get royalty income uh do you have to do it? No no do you have to do to get income right performance royalty for the composition? Yes it's a way for you like on life sound x changed on exchanges is for the sound recording so this's something we talked about on the first day second session and it's something that would take a while to explain that there's two copyrights that you get when you copyright your music when you make a new original song sound recording in a composition the composition has a whole set of royalties that you make and the sound recording has a whole bunch of royalties you make now what a royalty is it's it's an income that gets triggered when your song is performed and performed I'm going to put in air quotes because it's played and in order to do that you need to get off of the composition you need to belong to one of the composition pros which is as you said ask kathy am I or see sack or if you do worship music it's the one I could never think of the name of which is in her book and then it hearing candidates so can and if you're overseas is a whole bunch of other ones you d'oh no question asked what is the big difference between the at least those two asked having being line that wasn't a long question so it was a short question it's a long it's oh the answer is maybe what about yeah that would be a long answer yeah yeah you know you could talk to you after yeah let's talk about especially if you're really interested I want to be sure because they said it's probably a flying start coming don't wantto cover it going over time yes in the chat room and they want to know do you have any specific advice for musicians interested in library music or film and tv composition? You've got to play very quietly in the library are plugged in the headphones with your guitar library music and electric film and tv composition we talked about this okay? So getting breaking into these type of things that get it well yes, we did cover that in which day it was day is less than three day one yes less than three day one we talked about there are companies that specialize and are always looking for they create libraries of music in a certain genre or style or whatever and there are companies out there looking for musicians to actually create that those tracks and usually there work for hire um and that and then I'm really work for hire but they'll take a lot of licensing fromthe ones that you already have it exists that's true too and then with tv and media in some way we did talk about some of the uh it's people you know and then but things like taxi yes like that there's there's certain services that are out there that that will tryto match make so the tv industry and the film industry is looking for a certain style of music something original or something and then they try to match make people tio create the right music in the right fit I was on a panel once in chicago with I think it was music players dot com would have to look it up which is another place where people like people are looking for music go and people who have music the license go and meet of course there's always networking this is one of those things where you those middlemen that anybody can go to or not always going to give you the baddest terms is when you can actually do business face to face it's just going to be the case well guys as where leading into the end of the day I thought this final question might kind of lead you into your final thoughts if you if you had one megan patel said for a young soul artist just starting out how do you look at yourself and work out your brand position voice et cetera that can grow and evolve as you grow up and I thought that was a kind of interesting perspective that you guys might feel that yeah, yeah ok that's a good one so somebody's just starting out wants to get the brand stuff that we talked about to develop their voice uh but wants the brand to kind of they can grow into so they don't develop who they are now and as they grow suddenly it's a different different brand wow if you if you go too far out of reach than you may end up causing other problems because you're making something could grow into and you're not big enough you know what you need to do you need to try a lot of stuff that's within your reach not try too hard to get something outside your reach now are there going to be cem decisions that you'll make around your brand that could crimp you later yeah, but you khun adjusts especially here especially as you're young it's more important, I really what we've heard so many great questions from people that we're really interested in making sure they did make like the wrong strategic decisions early on. And yet if you spend a lot of us figuring this stuff out was just stumbling on long and making mistakes and then adjusting as we want and if you're not out there actually doing it actually putting it together it can be an issue I mean it's more important to do less but do the things that they're within your reach you didn't build it on a solid foundation then it is to try and create this whole structure you're gonna grow into that's what I was so e guess then with this it's like work your brand based on which you are now yeah ah and then you can make adjustments as you go as you go forward you don't have to think of where you will be just kind of grow with it it's ok to make some of these adjustments for for that young band that's just starting out and they sat down three days ago and turned on your court and now they're ready to get out there and really make this happen do you have any final thoughts for them now that they're going to go out there in the real world and take your tips and put him to use yeah tell us how it goes right right way do get a lot of feedback we get a lot of reader comments and stuff uh people who share um you know, ideas things that they've tried and has actually worked which is fantastic but I guess uh if we think a step back what we advise them well it's, I mean it starts to learn from our mistakes and don't make you have and, uh, apply what you can but don't get overwhelmed so it's another thing uh, you know, do things that are within your arms reaches our constant theme yes, do things that are in your arms, reach and then be genuine. So let's, your music and your art and your, you know, your essence and all that kind of stuff actually drive where you want to go this like again, our whole goal with this course is to show you what's possible. It doesn't mean just because it's possible you have to do it. Um and so, you know, it goes with the overwhelming thought, I guess as well, but choose what you'd like to do and make sure that it's in tune with who you are fantastic advice because we've all taken in a lot of info, but that now you as you go for? Yeah, exactly that's a good way of saying I would give one final note, which is really this is a the heart of it don't try and do it all yourself, you will kill yourself in your neck and I said, no, I'm c it's like the one thing that I see over and over and over again like, ok, cool. I've got eighteen hours of material of stuff that I've learned that has another three weeks of work to do it. You can't, it just can't we couldn't have done it if we had done it alone.

Class Description

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s easier than ever to record, distribute, and market your own music, but what about actually making money? During this course, longtime industry professionals and best-selling authors Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan take you step-by-step through their proven techniques for establishing steady revenue streams in the music business.

Drawing on their combined experience of over 32 years in the industry, Jason and Randy will teach you how to rise above the rest, landing your music on all the popular radio stations, selling your albums in stores, making the most of digital distribution, and licensing your music for commercials and movie and TV soundtracks. You will learn how to maximize the money you make from your music and minimize the money you spend promoting it.

Jason and Randy also outline how to set up the right support team through networking, giving back to your fans, and identifying the right collaboration opportunities. By the end you’ll have an extensive playbook for making money from your music and scaling your business.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Links and Resources.pdf

Day 1 Keynote.pdf

Day 2 Keynote.pdf

Day 3 Keynote.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Chapter 1 of The Indie Band Survival Guide 2nd Edition.pdf

First Ones Free.pdf

Master Class-Be Heard.pdf

Master Class-Starting A Music Business for $0.pdf

Mixing Your Music For Licensing.pdf

Monetizing YouTube.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Charles Galvin

As robust a blueprint as you're likely to get anywhere. Applicable to every genre and with the growing importance of authenticity to fans, this is the way you start, maintain and grow your music business free of corporate intervention. Great job guys!


Absolutely fantastic course from start to finish. I thought i knew most of the tools, methods and ideas of the modern musician - but i was wrong. This course filled me with food-for-thought and instantly inspired me to do more and try harder. Well worth it. Thanks guys!

Tony Gonzo

One of the best classes I have ever taken as far as how to make money in music. I highly recommend this for anyone who works in the music field as an artist - manager or independent label.