Outsourcing: How To Know When Your Band Needs To Hire Outside Help

Anyone who is serious about making music knows that it takes more than great songs to become successful. If you want a meaningful career in an industry as competitive and tumultuous as music, you’ll have to develop skills that have nothing to do with writing, performing and recording songs. But while every band brings different talents and skillsets to the table, there’s some things that your band simply won’t be able to do well without help.

How do you know what your band can successfully do by itself and what it can’t? That completely depends on your goals, resources and experience. For example, if you’re planning a big album release, your band will obviously need outside help if you plan on putting out your record on CD or vinyl––unless one of your bandmates somehow knows how to duplicate CDs or press vinyl. But things get a little bit more complicated when it comes to everything else it takes to make an album release successful.

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Sure, your band might be great at posting pictures on Instagram, but do any of you have the equipment, skills and vision a professional photographer does? Probably not. And while a band photo might not seem like a huge deal in comparison to the music you’re releasing, it actually is. You might not want to cough up the few hundred bucks it takes to hire a solid band photographer, but you’ll probably be taken much less seriously by fans and press unless you do.

…but what you’re really paying for when you hire professional help with promotion is connections, contacts, and industry credibility

This same idea applies to setting up PR and radio campaigns to help promote your album. Yes, your band can do it in-house, but how successful can you be without outside help? You can craft compelling email pitches and send off your album to radio stations by yourself, but what you’re really paying for when you hire professional help with promotion is connections, contacts, and industry credibility. And because your band only specializes in making music, you probably won’t have a lot of those things.

Hiring the pros to help your band can make a huge difference as far as getting the word out about your music, but lots of bands simply can’t afford the thousands of dollars it takes to run professional PR and radio campaigns. The best decision for your band depends on your goals and resources, and the best solution for you might be a mix of hiring outside help and doing a few things by yourselves. If you have absolutely no money at all, which is not an uncommon thing for musicians, then you might have to do everything in-house until you start selling music or making money at shows, and that’s okay. Plenty of bands have done great things with no money and some great music, but if or when you can afford it, handing off some of the non-musical aspects of your music off to the pros could do big things for your band.

Patrick McGuire is a musician, writer, and educator currently residing in the great city of Philadelphia. He creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

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RebeccaOutsourcing: How To Know When Your Band Needs To Hire Outside Help

5 comments

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  • Brian - December 14, 2017 reply

    Yes but who do you speak to about marketing

    I have songs on radio / instores and dispensaries
    I have 3 animated cartoon music videos
    I have 13 music videos on world star about to be 14

    I hide outside professionals for photos / vids / cartoons
    Film in 4k with drones and stabilization systems
    Only record in the BEST studios / mixing / mastering etc

    My issue is my put literally every dime into production of a quality / great product then run out of money for pr or promo and I don’t even know where to begin

    I’ve been featured in blogs and weed mags
    I’m a BMI/ Tune core artist

    I have sound cloud / reverb / datpiff/ Facebook / ig / twitter

    I have 17000 spent in Facebook adds

    And only 2000 likes , 2000 followers across all channels

    Thank you
    Brian w

    James Carbonaro - December 29, 2017 reply

    I use to literally spend hours every week (for 2 years) posting on various FB pages to try & promote another (literary) piece of my creative work. This has gotten me sent to FB jail 6 times over the last 9 months. Some people get pissed off when you try to talk about yourself on their site. Within the next year & a half, I plan on getting a literary agent to pitch my 4 novels, 3 novellas, & a collection of short stories to book publishers. As far as my music goes, only 2 songs have been completed, & another 2 just need the back-up vocals recorded. But my aim is to complete an EP of 6 songs every year over the next 4 to 5 years. However, I figure that if this also is to succeed I will have to hire an agent, manager, & publicist to promote my musical endeavors. Hopefully I will be able to find people who are willing to work on a strictly commission basis. Otherwise neither of these enterprises will see the light of day. Virtual reality is great. But we still exist in the physical universe.

  • Kathryn Ratledge - December 14, 2017 reply

    Nice article.Got some information. Thank You, Rebecca

  • ZL - December 14, 2017 reply

    Great article. I agree with the main argument, my question is though – how do you go about finding reliable/trustworthy/etc PR firms or publicists to help push your release?

  • Israel Jacob - December 20, 2017 reply

    wow, that is a good one, thanks.Like you rightly said one of the major challenges of musicians is funding their music in terms of promoting it or some other areas like recording and so on.My personal challenge now is that I have done the recording but how to promote it is the issue.please I need help.

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