The Importance of Record Keeping For A Band

Article is property of Musicthinktank.com.
Originally published on November 8th, 2018.

If you’re an active musician who enjoys payment in any way, you’ll probably have to do taxes eventually. Unless you’re giving all of your music and merchandise for free, you may have already missed an important amount of work that could get you in trouble with the government. That’s normal — musicians don’t always think about it, happy their art is finally making back more than what they’re putting in. But eventually, it needs to be addressed.

See, when you have a band, in a lot of ways you are running your own small business. You are selling a product, no matter how much integrity you have in putting it together. And where there’s a profit, there’s taxes to be done and records to be kept. If you don’t get this taken care of, it could ruin your band/music later.

Read more about the importance of music records (not those kinds of records) right here!

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Maintaining Transparency as a Leader

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Article property of About Leaders.
Originally published on November 8th, 2018.

Transparency is important. This does not mean your home life has to drip into your professional life or that you need to tell your employees every single problem you’re currently facing after hours.

However, the manner in which you handle issues with employees, share company struggles with them, and how you handle your own mistakes, are matters you can’t overlook.

It all comes back to transparency. Stay in control by showing some humility and practicing honesty. Stay a transparent leader, but a leader nonetheless.

Read the rest of my article at Aboutleaders.com!

Musicians and Their Online Personas

Originally published on Musicthinktank.com.
Published on September 26th, 2018.

Almost two years ago, I wrote an article for this website about how the internet has a tendency to hurt your musical career. I stand by this article, but I think it’s important to continually change and recognize your approach to the internet as an artist. Because as much as it has made things harder, it has probably made more things easier. That’s right folks — you have to take the good with the bad. Ultimately, your online persona is your first impression for most people who may become your listeners.

Younger me was pessimistic and unfortunately took pride in being so. Older, wiser, more prestigious me is a bit more thankful. Or maybe I’m just writing that to fill this paragraph. Oh well! Here is the lowdown on the importance of navigating your music career through the internet: what you need to do with it, where we’re going, and how to maintain a reputation.

Read the rest of my thoughts about how musicians should present themselves online here!

Catering E-Mail To Its Audience

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Article is property of Shiftcomm.
Originally Published on August 20th, 2018.
Picture courtesy of Shiftcomm.

Marketing e-mails are fairly easy to fall to the wayside. You and I, despite our best spam filters, get them all the time from people we don’t care to hear from or have any business dealing with. The concept gets turned onto its head when those emails are necessary and sincere, whether this means marketing or not, but they’re disregarded due to association with spam. Even when someone is put on a mailing list, for instance, you messages may seemingly get the “delete” or “read” button just because they blend in so well with the others.

So how do we as marketers, thought leaders, social media experts, and other business professionals differentiate our emails from the other millions that hit inboxes every day? It comes down to first impressions and substance. There are a few ways to control this to the best of your ability, so focusing on those primarily is what will get your emails opened and hopefully responded to. These little tweaks can be the difference between a successful campaign or business venture and an unsuccessful one, so listen up!

Read my thoughts on how you can write the best e-mails for their intended receivers here!

Things to Consider When Setting Up a Business From Home

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Published on August 10th, 2018.
Article originally published on Business Achievers.
Picture chosen by Business Achievers.

Before turning your home into your workplace or office consider whether or not you literally have the room for it. A lot of factors come into this — for instance, are you only working from a computer? Do you have employees? Do you store inventory at your home as well? If you can’t store inventory there, do you have the money for a place to store it?

Is the room you are considering working in comfortable, not too dark, not too bright? Does it have plenty of sockets for plugging things in? Do you have a comfortable workspace and chair?

Will you be able to write off tax against using a room or rooms in your home for your business?

Will you need to or want to refinance your mortgage to help fund the business?

What insurance considerations are there? Many home insurance policies don’t cover businesses run from the house.

Read the whole thing here!

The Journey of Turning Your Side Gig Into a Lucrative Career

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Published on May 9th.
Article is property of Business Achievers.
Picture was chosen by them.

A lot of us are in the position of having side gigs that we could make more money at, but it seems too challenging and risky to try and take a step toward that. After all, financial security is important — bills need to be paid, families need to be provided for, and there needs to be some safety nets for the future!

But the great thing about a lot of side gigs is that they often start as hobbies that have simply proven to be a little bit more lucrative than we ever thought. It seems a shame to not at least inspect the possibility of making something we love into our careers, doesn’t it? I want to explore this with you, as I’m in the same boat. When it’s done, feel free to leave a comment with your opinions or advice. Maybe we can learn from each other!

Read the rest over at business-achievers.com!

The Legalities Of Touring

Originally published on June 19th, 2018.
Article is property of musicthinktank.com.

Band or Business?

If you’re selling merch or getting paid for shows, then your band has officially become a business. If you start getting a lot more than you put in — as in, you’re netting over $400 — then you are legally required to pay taxes on that. Thankfully, there are some easy write offs in this case: vehicle maintenance, travel expenses, and food.

Now, if you’re selling merch, you and your bandmates may want to talk amongst yourselves about whether or not you want to register the band legally as a business. You may have to adhere to certain laws — for instance, if at any point you were making a killing and had people working for you full time, you may have to get them insurance coverage, like any other small business. So think carefully before you make this official, because while it may be a good idea on one hand, it could be a lot more than you bargained for.

Read the rest of my financial tips over at Music Think Tank!

Soberly Spiritual – How a Substanceless Life Can Play Into Faith

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Originally published on May 4th, 2018.
Article is property of Progressivechristianity.org.

Spirituality through history has never been completely free of substances, and that includes Christianity. Despite the Moral Majority’s efforts to demonize all drug use outside of prescription medication, and some religions’ desire to prohibit different kinds of medical care, it’s hard to get away from the use of alcohol in the Bible. Those of us raised in modern-day churches most likely know the story of Christ turning water into wine, as well as his benediction at the last supper in which he used wine as a metaphor. The Apostle Paul even tells his student Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach, using it as medicine.

However, with all of that said, alcohol and substance use should never be expected of a Christian. Some believers, upon reaching the “aha” moment of understanding alcohol isn’t sinful, have a tendency to become pushers on those who don’t want to partake, or even worse, they become irresponsible in their usage.

Friends, this is unbiblical. Some people are simply uninterested in drinking. Some simply follow the wisdom in Peter’s words to be “of a sober mind” and enact that mindset in a very literal, teetotaler way of life. They find their lives as Christians are best enhanced when they are substance free!

Read my personal opinion on Christian sobriety here!

Financial Lifehacks For Musicians

Originally published on April 12th, 2018.
Article is property of Musicthinktank.com.

Healthcare

I remember quite a while ago reading about Rock for Health, a now-defunct organization that worked hard to get professional musicians healthcare. When music does pay bills, it doesn’t leave much left over. Healthcare as we’re defining it here it is more than doctor’s visits and emergency surgeries, but things such as over-the-counter medication, glasses, prescription medication and birth control — in the United States it’s all incredibly expensive. All of this can be upwards of $1,000.

Companies like TuneCore and the Music Health Alliance are doing their best to offer advice and healthcare assistance to touring musicians, because so many insurance companies don’t want to take a big risk on someone whose income is so sketchy. If you feel like saving, there are preventative measures you can take now to reduce healthcare costs in the future. One example that’s spendy but potentially could benefit your bank in the long run is LASIK surgery. Another would be disease preventative shots. Insurance is vital in the case of emergencies however, so take a good look into these resources and take advantage of them if you can.

Read the rest of my musician lifehacks here!

US Artists Touring Abroad: What You’ll Need and How to Procure It

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Originally published on March 12th, 2018.
Article is property of Soundfly.

For many artists, it’s a dream to see the world through the windshield of their vehicle. Touring and making a living on the road is an exciting way to travel, meet people, develop deeper relationships with your cohorts, etc. And for American artists, it’s a dream come true when they’re finally able to take their live show overseas.

But for so many, it remains a dream for way too long. There’s a defeatist mentality among aspiring American musicians, who just assume that you need to be successful here before touring abroad. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true.

Playing music in other countries is far from impossible for independent artists, in fact, it’s often easier for the non-represented, but it does require a lot of knowledge and research beforehand. There are some things you need to look into before booking a tour — a checklist of preparations, if you will. So read this through, take note, and when you think you’re ready, go for it.

Read the rest of my tips here.