There’s a lot that goes into building a music career if you’re going to make money with music. Fortunately, “do-it-yourself” doesn’t mean “do-it-alone.” In fact, there’s no longer a singular music industry, instead, there are industries around music. These industries offer solutions and expertise that, not long ago, only a music label could handle. Today, you can leverage these services and resources to offload work to a team of experts that you normally would have to do yourself. In this multi-article series, we’re going to explain all the major music business roles, the work each role performs, why what they do is helpful for your career, and give you options to outsource the work or empower you to do-it-yourself.
DIY is a team sport
If there’s one thing we hear from musicians once they find out what it takes to sustain a career in music, it’s, “There’s too much to do! How can you handle it all?” Musicians need to handle distribution, engage in social media, manage merch sales, book shows, perform live, produce and promote videos, pursue music licensing, and so much more. And that doesn’t even take into account making the music in the first place.
But instead of trying to get it all done alone, your success will come from prioritizing what you work on, focusing on one thing at a time, and delegating. In fact, the most successful musicians we’ve interviewed do the following: