Top 14 Smartest Investments To Advance Your Music Career

These 14 smart investments will help musical projects gain more fans. For any artist, band, or DJ, the only way to get your music career to the next level without opportunities luckily coming to you is to create a path to make the opportunities come to you.

What does that mean? How is that even possible?

To bring the right opportunities to your music career means to attract the right people in the music business.

To attract the right people in the music business, your music must create a big buzz with many die-hard fans flooding every show.

To create a big buzz with many die-hard fans packing out shows, you must make an imprint on each person that sees you live or on social media. They must clearly remember your band, artist, or DJ name after the show.

How do you make the most out of every show to gain as many fans as possible to build up a large buzz?

We created a list of 14 tips and investments to help you maximize the number of potential fans to turn them into followers to shows and social media to eventually create a massive buzz.

1. Banners

How many shows have you been to where the band was incredible, but you couldn’t remember their name the next day? Unfortunately for me, it happens far too often. Even if the singer continuously repeats their band/artist name over the microphone, it’s still hard to make out the wording or how to spell it with a screaming crowd. Considering most music groups have unique names these days, this becomes an even bigger issue for the potential fans when trying to spell it out on social media the next day.

With two big beautiful banners on each side of the stage, not only will this issue evaporate but they also add as nice props on stage. In my personal experience, the day people in the audience quit asking me “what’s the band’s name again?” after every show, was the same day we invested about $120 into two banners.

Without a doubt, this budget-friendly and straightforward investment significantly increase the conversion rate from leads to followers every single show. It would be even better if the singer commanded the crowd to follow them on social media on the spot while pointing out the name the banners. We customized our banners with Vista Print.

2. Save Your Money For High-Quality Singles, Not Medium Quality Albums

My fellow musicians, it is time to face the music business reality of 2020 by admitting the disturbing truth we have tried to bury for far too long…….nobody cares about albums anymore, not even my mom for my band’s album. My incredibly supportive mother hasn’t listened to my band’s entire album front to back ever. Instead, she repeats her three favorite songs that happen to be our hits.

The majority of the more prominent names in the industry are catching on to this trend. Releasing high-quality singles rather than albums is catching steam. There are ways to jump ahead in the over-saturated music and social media age. The best choice is to take the money you were planning on putting down for a medium quality album or EP and spend it on the best song you have at the highest quality studio you can find. Leading to our next tip, once the hit song is finished, you must make a music video for it.

3. Make A Music Video

To touch on the over-saturated social media age again, the chance for an unsigned artist or band getting recognition by releasing a song without a video is little to none. Unfortunately, most high-quality music videos released from famous artists start around $20,000 and goes up from there. When most unsigned artists or bands are typically left broke after recording their music, a meager budget generally is all they have left for a music video.

But good news!

There are more than enough ways to make the highest quality music video possible with a low budget. We created 20 Tips To Shoot The Highest Quality Music Video On A Budget Here. If you’re not at the point to shoot a music video yet, I advise you to save that article in your reading list for when you’re ready.

4. Business Cards

I know what your thinking, business cards are outdated and annoying. Well, your 50% correct.

In the 14 years of my music industry experience, I have learned two consistent patterns when it comes to business cards. (1) When you annoyingly give out your business card to somebody who doesn’t ask for it, that person throws it away every single time. (2) The only people who come up to you or the band and ask for a card are always the exact contacts that you need to boost your music career.

The people who ask for your card typically have opportunities or have friends with opportunities in one way or another. If you don’t have a business card when the right person in the audience asks, you’ll likely be viewed as unprofessional and will miss out on that opportunity. Luckily business cards are not all that expensive. Make sure you don’t go out on a pointless card giving frenzy, one bulk payment of 100 cards will last you years. It’s best to keep them in arms reach every show you play. We customized and got our business cards from Vista Print.

5. Flyers (Hear Me Out)

Flyers are outdated, old school, and nobody does them anymore. So why do I say hear me out? The very reason that nobody does flyers anymore is the very reason why your band will stick out by posting flyers. This phenomenon hit me when my drummer in “Madame Vega” invested money in flyers. He and I got into an argument as I claimed that flyers were a waste of money as he stood his ground on old fashion guerrilla marketing.

To say the least, the show was utterly packed. After the show, a fair amount of people in the audience told that they looked us up from seeing the flyers. The same people who looked us up said they loved our music video, so they came out. This is another excellent reason to invest in a music video.

My hypothesis to this story, the pendulum of music marketing has begun to swing back to old school guerilla marketing from the saturated social media. Posting or passing out flyers play a significant role in guerilla marketing.

6. SoundSwitch (DJ’s)

Soundswitch is a software program allowing DJ’s to customize lighting for their music. It may take a lot of work during preproduction, but it’s highly worth it. After you customize the lights in the software program, you run your lights into the computer as the light settings follow the song as to how you set it up.

Considering the majority of DJ’s don’t do this, your visual show will definitely stand above the rest with Soundswitch. The video below will best describe how the software works.

7. Get A Video Production Team For A Big Show

If your 100% positive your band has a massive show coming up, it will be an incredible investment to hire a video production team. The most important thing to booking agents, promoters, and venue owners that consider booking your band a gig is to see the crowd you draw and the crowds reaction.

If you can get high-quality video and audio from your band’s big show, you will be able to use that footage in your EPK pitch to all the string-pullers in the business. Make sure the video production company is able to retrieve good audio, that’s unless you have a different solution for audio.

Better deals will arise if you ask the video production company for all the footage and audio of the show where they don’t have to edit it. This saves them time from editing and gives you the authority of the videos final outcome. It’s best you learn if you don’t know how to edit video as it becomes a massive benefit to unsigned artists in the music industry.

8. Merchandise (Think Creative)

Clearly, merch is an incredible investment for every music group. Most bands obviously decide to stick within the expected shirts, CD’s, and free stickers. However, have you ever tried to get outside of the box?

Mugs, hats, Koozies, hoodies, tote bags, beanies, scarfs, thongs, and I even know a band that has custom condoms with the band name on it. People in the audience must require something more than a shirt or sticker. It’s best they get a product they need with your band/artist name on it.

9. Kick Drum Cover

Just like banners, a kick drum cover of the band’s name is handy for the audience to remember and know exactly how to spell it out on social media. Kick drum covers are not as effective as banners, in my opinion, considering the letters may be too small for parts of the audience to read.

Especially if your playing bigger venues or festivals, big banners is a must. The ultimate solution would be to use both methods simultaneously leaving the audience no choice but to have your bands/artists name drilled in their head.

9. Fiverr

Fiverr is a website that features a massive variety of freelancers, all providing a unique service. You can find social media marketers, graphic designers, bloggers, and so on for reasonable prices. Be skeptical of the freelancers who claim that there going to give your music video 1000’s of organic views when really there fake bots. Please don’t be the band that pays for fake views to look cool. It will literally get you nowhere. Bots don’t go to shows.

10. Get A Wireless Guitar/Bass System 

After an extensive study conducted by The Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, they reached the conclusion that non-musicians unconsciously judge a band more on the visual performance rather than the music when hearing the music for the first time (potential fans).

In other words, its been proven by research that stage presence is vital to gaining new fans. In my 14 years of live performing experience, the fastest and most efficient way to boost your stage presence is to free yourself from your leash on stage. Once you’ve gone wireless, the inner Saiyan rockstar potential that you have hiding deep within your spirit will gradually accelerate every show.

Getting a wireless guitar system isn’t usually the quickest decision to make. Most musicians that have never used a quality and reliable wireless are slow to the idea of getting one due to the poor reputation from the past. 

Fear not, technology has made some incredible leaps in the wireless world in the past few years. The benefits of using a quality wireless guitar system today far exceed the negatives on a massive scale.

A few benefits of using a wireless guitar system
  • Unlocked my true potential of performing (you’ll know it once you go wireless)
  • The consistent thought of “am I going to trip on my cable and unplug it amp” was gone
  • Able to add spin moves (you’ll see what I mean)
  • Increases overall visual of the stage, spaghetti all over the floor looks tacky
  • Able to do “behind the back solos” significantly easier with more congruence
  • Able to go out in the crowd and perform solos
  • All of the above created a cleaner conscious the second I stepped on stage, a cleaner conscious is vital for a live performance. More congruence in a performance rather than the fear of tripping the cable. 
  • If you don’t have a wireless guitar system yet, only invest in a quality wireless system. Take a look at our top pick of 2020

Investing in a wireless guitar system is essential. But it’s even more important to get a high quality reliable wireless guitar system that does not break, dropout, hurt your tone, or is a massive hassle to carry around. Our Top Wireless Guitar System Pick For 2020 will not fail you as it has never failed me either.

11. The Budget-Friendly DIY Film Your Own Shows Package

There are 4 things you need to get high-quality video and audio of your own shows for years to come without paying a videographer. This approach gives you the ability to add multiple videos for your social media page that are of decent quality.

  • Arkon iPhone Tripod
  • Shure MV88 
  • iPhone
  • Lens Pen (optional)

Most iPhones these days shoot high-quality video, but the audio lacks. The music gear company Shure created a mini microphone that connects to an iPhone 5 or later called the Shure MV88. This mini microphone comes with an app with a feature specifically for live music. Not to mention, it sounds great.

Now that you have the video from your iPhone and audio with the Shure MV88 that attaches to your phone, next you need a tripod.

The Arkon iPhone Tripod is the cheapest and most effective tripod I could find. I have been through 4 tripods all on the budget-friendly side. Most of them break or don’t work correctly at all, considering you usually get what you pay for. In this case, I think I found the gem, a quality $20 tripod that’s actually durable and works great.

Last, if your planning on recording video for your bands live performance or wanting to take quality pictures of the tour to boost your band’s social media, it will be best to have a clean lens for the best possible outcome. To be quite honest, I never expected to see the amount of difference. My phones pictures and videos look much better using the lens pen to clean it rather than my shirt. The Lens Pen at $9 on Amazon is an optional choice, but the return on investment is astounding.

Video Example Using/Setting Up The Lens Pen, Arkon iPhone Tripod, and Shure MV88

12. Quality Music Gear Only!

You only sound as good as your tone

Never waste a dollar on a piece of music equipment that isn’t up to par with your dreams as a musician. In other words, if your vision is to tour with national acts at sold-out venues, wait till you can afford the $1200 guitar you really want rather than the quick fix at $300. Cheap music equipment in any form always ends up breaking or thrown out from unsatisfaction. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way far too many times.

Keep in mind that the tone of your instrument is in direct competition with every famous band that you’re trying to become. If you decide to take the cheap road with crappy equipment, it will most definitely slow down your journey to success. It’s always best to wait until you get the funds for the top-level music gear than the quick fix.

13. Photo Shoot

Clearly, a photoshoot is needed for all bands and artists. For the best ROI, it’s best to get as many pictures in as many different locations as possible with one only photoshoot. The more photos in different areas you have, the better. You have more room for flyers, social media promotion, pictures for your website, press releases, and EPK’s you have to work with. It will be even better to bring multiple outfits with you.

Bands and artist look much more professional when consistently updating social media, flyers, and website with a different picture of various locations. It’s easier than you make think to get multiple photo locations in a small vicinity. Try to set up a photoshoot in an area with many diverse places. You can then use pictures from only one photoshoot for a long time.

For examples on multiple locations in a small vicinity, the pictures below were all taken in a span of 2 hours in a 5-mile radius.

14. Lyric Videos 

A lyric video is an excellent solution if you want to give one of your songs publicity, but you don’t have the funds or resources to make a music video. Lyric videos can go along the way without having to spend a dime. There’s a huge chunk of music listeners that prefer lyric videos instead of music videos anyways. Even if you do have the funds and resources to make a few music videos of your five-song EP, it will still be an excellent move to create a lyric video for the songs with the best lyrics.

Here are the various ways to make a lyric video

  1. Add lyrics in a still video that captures the emotion in the song.

2. Creative animation lyric video

3. Add a picture of you (artist) or the band and add the lyrics

4. Plain lyrics

To Sum It Up

All of these investments through time and money are designed to help further your music career. However, if I were to be blunt, none of this matters if your music, live performance, or work ethic sucks. Nothing good in life comes easy. Skill, discipline, perseverance, and work ethic trump natural born talent and luck any day. If you’re interested, How Wim Hof Breathing Significantly Boosted My Life & Music Career.