BUSINESS ADVICE: WHY I GIVE IT AND WHAT IT’S BASED UPON

All professional artists are running a business. And each of these business has its own strategies and styles in how that business is approached.

A huge part of the professional services I provide as an agent is offering advice and business guidance to those artists based on my thoughts, beliefs and experiences.

Through this Forum I am offering the same sorts of advice without charge for anyone wishing to partake.

I encourage all composers at all stages of their careers to always be open and expansive in their approaches to creating their art AND running their businesses.

I believe great careers are based on smart and open fluidity of thinking.

APPROACHES TO EXPAND

There are multiple business approaches employed in opening doors, establishing new relationships, gaining more experience, venturing into new territories, acquiring new customers and reenergizing careers. They include promotion, marketing, parlaying, partnerships and pricing.

The practice of working without upfront fees is one of the available approaches in expanding opportunities. It is nothing new. It has existed forever. It has and does exist for both emerging composers as well as those well-established.

It might be interesting to note that agents earn their livings by working for free on the behalf of our clients without upfront fees or guarantees. It is all work done on spec.

Agents work hard on pursuing multiple projects without upfront fees in the hopes that some of them will yield financial results knowing the vast majority will not.

It is a constant, unpaid fishing expodition where a handful of catches cover all of the time, energy, risk, resources and expenditures spent on pursuing dead mackerel.

Agents also don’t get paid on projects we do catch for which the composer receives no financial compensation.

But we encourage it anyway.

WHY ENCOURAGE CERTAIN PROJECTS EVEN THOUGH THE COMPOSER AND AGENT MAKE NOTHING ON THEM UPFRONT?

The long term success of an agent is tied to the long term success of our clients. And we are wise enough to know that success is defined by a wide range of factors and follows many different paths including ones that do not have obvious, upfront financial upsides. Providing a balanced portfolio of types and quality of projects and expanding customer bases can be just as important as the financial terms of any individual deal.

It is also worth noting that just because a deal is not structured around an upfront fee it does not mean it cannot be ultimately financial lucrative. There are many ways to skin a deal.

WHY DO I POST HERE?

I offer my advice on this Forum because I sincerely believe in what I am sharing.

I developed these philosophies when I was poor and saw how they worked for me. I then incorporated them into the guidance I have given professionally throughout my career. I share them because I believe they work.

I have reached a point in my life where I don’t want to limit my coaching to the handful of composers I represent. I want to give back and share. I have a great deal of knowledge and experience (and opinions!) and I want to make them available to anyone who is interested.

And it’s a buffet. Pick what you want. Ignore the rest.