HHD History

Identity Crisis: Music or Business?

When I first began my musical journey, it was based on the love of creating music and a lack of appreciation for commercial repetitiveness heard on the radio.

While I was attending CSUF waiting for my bachelor’s degree, I started exploring the business side of music. This old music industry model seemed like it was being tested with increased piracy issues and crooked labels exploiting young artists.

As a musician seeking independent success, are you prepared to make your music operation into a business?

The simplicity of this question is a tough one many bands encounter. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and seen some musicians not want to think about business plans because it was viewed as selling out their creative process, taking something away from their identity. I’ve also seen too much of a concentration on business that leaves your music hurting because you are just focused on output, creating song after song without much quality control. Where do you fit in?

Music Business Plan

write down goals and specifics to achieve those goals
write down goals and specifics to achieve those goals

I came across a great article on Music Think Tank by Kevin English entitled “Template for Writing a Music Business Plan”. This template covers some very important aspects any music operation can implement, if not doing so already. One key point stressed by Kevin is that the planning process will enforce studying and researching your ideas in order to avoid costly mistakes later.


The template goes on to help you get focused and “be able to explain your goals you want to achieve, how you plan to reach them and specific ways you will measure success”. Do all of your band members share the same vision?

Creating a music business plan is important in the evolution of your music business. You are taking control of your marketing vision and implementing plans to achieve your goals. Many bands struggle just to meet up for rehearsals or sessions, I could imagine asking them what their music business plans are. Take charge.

What it came down to is focused energy on a plan. The big difference this time is this new music model has evolved into an artist driven machine. Indie artists still face many challenges but can now make an impact with a minimal budget.

If you don’t feel that music business planning is important, then don’t complain about low album sales and being broke!

The music business plan can also serve many purposes for you. If you are seeking signing with a big label, it can display your seriousness and potential, increasing chances for future investment.

My label partner and I focused on our business plan and saw our blog subscribers and visitors increase by 6x. Correlation: planning, specific goals, consistency, and grading your performance all improve your business and let you focus more of your time to your music.

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  • eleetmusic

    Hey Mario. Thanks for covering my template!!! It looks like the link is broken. Can you use http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/template-for… instead? Thank you sir!

  • Hi Eleetmusic,

    I fixed the link as you requested. I swear it was working the other day, but thanks for the heads up.
    I am a fan of your work and look forward to more of your informative music marketing ideas.

  • eleetmusic

    Hey thanks man! The feeling is mutual btw. I've been subscribed to your RSS feed for at least six months now. Email me when you get a sec, I'd like to work on somethings together.

  • Will do, sounds great

  • this is great!

  • Thanks Chicano Rap for the comments!