A Guide to Music Entrepreneurship: Important Aspects

All the examples are based on a well thought-out and well executed idea at all levels. Here I show you the aspects to take into account to develop an innovative proposal like them:

Define your idea or “product”.

The idea: the first thing is to be clear about what you want to do within your capabilities and possibilities. There is nothing better than getting to know yourself and your fellow travellers very well.

As you can see from the examples, many times it is not about doing something radically different, but you can achieve great results by making small changes to an existing idea, presenting it in another way, or with a different story behind it. In the case of “Piano Battle”, they have only taken up a tradition from 200 years ago and have updated it to our times.

The niche: if you distinguish yourself with your proposals and occupy a unique place in the music scene, you won’t have to worry about the competition. All the examples I’ve shown you in the series are somehow unique in what they do. Sara Águeda, for example, has opted for a very specific niche: historical harps, and has linked it with theatre.

Authenticity: one of the main characteristics of the groups is the participation of all their members in the decisions that are made. This creates a very strong union within the group, which is transmitted very intensely on the stage itself.

Here is the key to “authenticity”, which is often talked about: congruence and alignment with your ideas, your goals, what you are and what you want to convey. If it is shared by the other members of the group, the final result is much more powerful. This is the case of “Berlin Chamber Players”, the “Ensemble Resonanz” and “Spark, The Classical Band”. All of them also play without a conductor.

Congruence: in turn, it is important that you are congruent with what you are doing. It’s the best and only way to be successful in the long run. We’ve already seen in another post the importance of why when it comes to getting on stage. It’s not what you do, but why you do what’s fundamental when it comes to communicating and reaching your audience.

Quality: another aspect that I would like to emphasize is the final quality of your proposal. Nowadays there is a wide range of music, art, leisure, etc. As you have seen in all the examples I have shown you, there is a very high minimum of quality and professionalism in any of them. The public has become very demanding: they have access to music and videos 24 hours a day: Spotify, YouTube…

For this reason, what they pursue when going to a concert is not simply listening to music, but living experiences that take them out of their daily lives and transport them to other worlds. You must therefore seek excellence in everything you do.

Experimentation: you can’t afford to present something “normal”. To do this, try, experiment, find what works for you, fail and try again.

Take care of marketing and your image

A lot of musicians don’t like marketing and we don’t like to sell. That’s logical, because we’ve been away from this chapter all our lives, devoting ourselves entirely to perfecting our musical skills.

A professional musician should be distinguished not only by the quality of what he does, but by the way he presents it. This can be achieved by taking into account the following points:

If you look at the examples in the series, they all have a very neat website, professional photos and a logo. In this way they convey a unique and distinctive image of their projects. This is what in other fields is known as “branding” or “personal brand”. It’s nothing more than differentiating yourself and making you unique.

Many of them have professional videos to present themselves or their projects. The role of video today is fundamental. Through YouTube we can reach any viewer, and if you like can be viralized. Besides, music is much more than sound. A video can convey many more things. Again I emphasize the importance of quality: the production of the videos is very good in the examples of the series and gives off professionalism. Keep that in mind for your projects.

Another essential is the recording of a CD. The objective of a CD nowadays is not to sell thousands of them, as it could have been years ago, but to serve as a letter of introduction to your work. Of course, you can also earn some income from selling them.

In some cases, you can also access an artistic dossier or portfolio in PDF, which summarizes the most important information about the project, the artist or the group. A great example is the Tropos Ensemble dossier, where you can get a very quick idea of who they are and what their proposal is.

It tells a story that defines who you are, what you do and why you do it. In this way you will be able to transmit much better the essence of your proposal and your personality.

Find and define your audience

Not so many years ago culture was very hierarchical and society was divided into more homogeneous social groups. Classical music, opera, art or museums were “cult” territory for the affluent class: the so-called “high culture”. Then came popular culture and popular music, in their different manifestations, with jazz straddling each other.

But all this has changed at great speed. The new generations do not distinguish between “high culture” and “low culture”. Museums and the arts have opened up to the whole of society and music is no exception.

As you have seen in the series, all musicians have a very definite image of the target audience. Many of them also have different concepts and concert formats according to the audience they want to reach. This is the case of the Ensemble Resonanz, the Esslingen festival or the Brossa Quartet. The Ensemble Resonanz is undoubtedly one of the best examples of how to open up to all kinds of audiences with its “Urban Strings” proposal.

It is therefore essential that you put eyes and face to the audience that is going to attend a concert of yours. This does not mean that you have to define your proposal accordingly. It is more important in this sense that you decide what aesthetics, format and presentation you are going to use. The same music presented in another way, in another context or in another space completely changes its meaning.