Sometimes the cash is tough for many of us independent artists and we are plagued with choices. The choices are: leave everything and go on tour and go for broke or spend wisely. I say you can do both, wisely, and win. WIth $5000 for the summer investment, I think it's time you think of how you can invest that bad boy. Obviously this is not the exact way it might go down but just something I am thinking of.
Feel free to rearrange it anyway you want. I do know that I particularly need health insurance, car insurance, a phone, cds, fliers, pr, and a music video. The Pollstar and NACA thing is optional for some of you, but necessary for me. you might also want to consider getting a flip cam for more content.
1. Get a flier design made for $50 bucks and press up 5000 copies for $175 - Everywhere you go you can put up fliers and pass em out now. Have some press quotes on there and some eye catching pic of you performing. Total Cost of Operation: $225
2. Get 500 cds made for $250. Plenty of places don't mind having cds printed up for 50 cents a pop. You can make demos here and buy your own designs from promo. Here is an easy way to make money. 25 cds times 10 = $250 . You have a lot left to do what you do. Total Cost of Operation: $475
3. Buy a roll of 1000 stickers from Jakprints $99. Here are the next inserts for your 500 cds. Make sure it's Brand Worthy. Mine is Kosha Dillz is Everywhere, and I put the stickers, "Everywhere". Total Cost of Operation: $574
4. Online campaign for 4 weeks of pushing for $1000 (250 each). Sometimes you have to relax and let the PR work for you. Make it cohesive while you work on your tunes. Figure out a plan of how you can push it and think ahead while you create. If you make songs about drinking green beer, you might want to release it during St Patty's day. People understand what you are doing and it makes sense to do a post about something like that. See if you can get a deal if you pay all up at one time or in cash. Total Cost of Operation: $1524
5. Fill up the gas in my car and go to every coffee shop in town and other towns $50. Nothing wrong with building your local brand and putting up some fliers. People look at those boards all the time. I do that in every city. I find events, contacts, and people I can stay in touch with. Total Cost of Operation: $1574
6. Film a high def music video for $500 bucks. Most of my original videos that made it to MTV were 500 bucks, filmed on Canon 5d/7d. What is stopping you from doing that? Don't be cheap. Total Cost of Operation: $1974
7. Hit up video publicity to submit video to MTV for $300/$500 There are ways to do it. This is good firepower when you tell people your shpiel when selling cds. (Shpiel is yiddish for a lil' sales pitch). Total Cost of Operation: $2474
8. Use $100 for consulting with someone awesome like Martin Atkins or Brian of Thorny Bleeder - Sometimes you can get a million dollars worth of advice for $100. The difference is when we get it for free we don't see the value of it. Spend something. My brother once spent $3000 to talk to someone at Taco Bell. My bro makes over 6 figures and that guy makes 8 figures. Where do you want to be? Total Cost of Operation: $2574
9. Pay my phone bill - $150 (month) /pay health insurance ($200)/ car insurance $650 for 6 months. You can't talk the talk if you don't walk the walk. If you get injured performing or traveling to perform, how will you survive? Health insurance has saved me tons of money and not having it has ruined others. Don't you ever see those benefit concerts for artists with no health insurance? You can't tour with your own vehicle if there is no insurance on it. I sure as hell won't tour with you! When we get in an accident and you get hurt with no insurance you are screwed totally and stranded in the middle of no where Utah with no one to help. Now you are legit! Total Cost of Operation: $3574
10. Triple AAA membership $100 - broken down on the road? Don't worry. Triple AAA saves the day. Total Cost of Operation: $3674
11. Stay on the phone and call up schools everywhere and anywhere in the country and say you do music classes and performances all day for 2 grand to recoup all the money you just invested in yourself. My first tour I played a synagogue in Boulder, Colorado for 2k and it really anchored my tour. You can do this at a school, college high school and it really helps funds everything when you hop in your car. (time to make money here) Total Cost of Operation: $3674
12. NACA Membership. - (National Association for Campus Activities) Some of us can only do gigs and cap out at $300-$500 dollar gigs if we are lucky. It's hard to promote, be famous and do this all ourselves…can we agree? Buy this NACA membership and apply to all NACA regions. You get a yearly membership. This gives you access to all college bookers via email and you can go ahead and contact them. How awesome is that!! Last year I booked two gigs for over $4000 bucks and I didn't even showcase. Some people make $40,000 in a region. For $586 a year that's not too shabby. Total Cost of Operation: $4260
13. Pollstar Membership: Do you want a link to all the bookers of everywhere in the world on line? Do you want to know the direct line to each and every player in the game and all the agencies? For $750-1000 a year, its pretty awesome. If you can't do that use indieonthemove.net which is FREE. Total Cost of Operation Tops?: $5260
Total cost of stocking up on CDs, stickers, tees, music video, online publicity, tv publicity, health insurance, car insurance, phone bill and getting a proper booking connect to help route, a tank of gas and some consulting from the top people in the game? Less than $5000 most likely. You can really get away with doing all of this for almost $3000 and even afford yourself a couple cups of coffee in the morning while you sleep in your car in some 24 hr. Denny's parking lot. (Probably not the best decision . I recently got my car broken into while i was sleeping in it in a parking lot at Denny's). Get yourself a couple nice hotels if ya can.
I wrote this article because some of us have no clue what we'll end up doing with our summer and we are really focused on earning $$ or pursuing our career. Here is a basic financial plan that gives you enough firepower for some hand to fan combat.
I hope you enjoyed this. Now you can watch my new video!