1. You don’t treat your gift as a business. Nothing is promised or given. You get what you put in. Think about who your target audience is and who’s going to buy your music? Develop a business plan and short term/ long term goals.
2. You sound like everyone else. Why would someone want to listen to your music. Whether you want to get signed by a major record label or go the independent route – Be Unique!
3. Not joining a Performing Rights Organization (PRO). You are leaving money on the table without joining a PRO. PRO’s collects money or “Performance Royalties” and funds the songwriter or copyright holder. Three PRO’s in the US are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. For digital royalties, join SoundExchange to collect performance royalties when your music is played on satellite radio, internet radio, etc.
4. Not copyrighting your music. It’s easy to register your music online at www.copyright.gov. This helps protect against someone stealing your work.
5. Not having a budget. A budget will help keep you on top of your financials. You have to spend money in this industry. There’s marketing, promo, studio booking, etc. You do not want to overspend which makes having a budget a necessity!
6. You give all your cookies away with nothing in return. Stop giving all of your music away for free! You are throwing away money. You paid for the beat, recording time, mixing, mastering, marketing and promo without anything in return. Its a win for them and a lose for you. It’s okay to give one or two songs away for promo but not the whole album. Collect email addresses and build a fan base otherwise you’ll be left with just crumbs.
7. You put your music career in someone else hands. It’s your career, you should be able to make your own decisions.