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Producer Business 101

Alright y'all, I’m so pumped for this because the blog you’re about to read today is part three of five in a powerful series I’ve put together especially for my aspiring producers called “Boss Producer Business.” If you haven’t checked out the first two parts of this series, I want you to go and read them now. It’s the two blogs just before this one and I’ll also link them below:

LINK TO PART ONE

LINK TO PART TWO

In this series, I’m going to walk you through the steps it takes to go from being an unpaid amateur to a paid professional.  

I’m also going to give you a sneak peek into how I run my six-figure production company at a high level of performance & profitability. 

I want you to get the absolute MOST you can out of this series so I created a handout for you to help you implement everything I’m covering. Just head over to www.producelikeabosspodcast.com/business to download! Also, if you make it to the end of this series I will have an entire workbook chocked full of goodies, recaps, and worksheets for you!

So let’s jump in!

Boss Producer Business:
Part 3:

Producer Business 101

Today I want to talk to you about setting up your business so you can start monetizing your skills as a producer! It’s really easy to put the cart before the horse and start seeking opportunities to get paid without actually having a system in place first. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve known producers or singers out there trying to “get paid work” and the second an opportunity comes up they’re turning around going, wait, how do I know what to charge? How do I collect payment? How do I manage multiple jobs? What should I say in these emails?  These are all the ducks you’re gonna want to get in a row before you start pedaling the pavement for customers.

So let’s start with #1 which is setting up your production company. Setting up a production company just means setting up a company that allows you to provide services as a producer/musician. You can listen to my podcast, episode #44: “5 Skills You Need to Run a Production Company” to get the skinny on what it takes to set one up. I’ll link it below

LINK TO PODCAST

Next, you'll need a catchy producer name, a logo, bio, portfolio, website, grab all the social media accounts, take promo shots, (your iPhone is fine). You’ll also want to create a pricing guide so you’re always ready to answer what your rates are. I would create a filing system whether it’s in google drive or on your hard drive with all of these assets in one place so they’re easy to locate. In addition, create automation and templates for tasks that you do on repeat to streamline your workflow. I will get more into automation later in this series.

I know I’ve mentioned batching before, but it’s worth repeating as you HAVE to start batching once you start wearing multiple hats or you’ll find yourself running around like a headless chicken between tasks. Batching helps to maintain your state of flow. For example, it’s easy for me to work on multiple sessions in a day even jumping from producing one track to tracking vocals on another and so on, but when I switch from a creative musical task to something like marketing or business, I have to use a completely different hat for that and the costume change literally throws my mojo off. Rather than suffer from context switching, I tend to batch out my days.

For example one day I may just work on sessions, producing, and songwriting. I’d call that an ‘artist day’. Another day I will focus solely on marketing and social media. Another day I will focus on reach out and business. Another day I will just focus on building kits, templates, file organization, and so on. Those would all be business days. However, you decide to do it, batching tasks is a game-changer that allows you to enter into and maintain a flow state more easily.

Next, let’s talk about actually setting up your business. So many people ask whether they need to set up a DBA, an LLC, or a Corporation and I am just going to speak from personal experience, so here it goes:

I didn’t start my LLC until I was making over $80,000 a year. This was actually the advice of my CPA in Nashville. First, there are annual fees and those can be high depending on your state. Secondly, “liability” wasn’t a concern in my business as I work remotely. Lastly, I could still write off business expenses as a sole proprietor, so I did. I eventually became an LLC only JUST a few years ago. I actually file as an S-corp now, but I didn’t do that until I got into multiple six figures.

That is just my story, of course, consult your CPA about this as the laws vary in different states and countries.

Speaking of expenses, did you know that you can write off things like your computer, your software plug-ins, your gear, and even part of your rent if you have a home studio? That’s right. And once again, I was able to do this as a sole proprietor for years before I became an LLC. I also wrote off things like makeup and clothing (not 100% of course, but a small amount) because I’m in the music industry and because I’m on camera for my job. So you’re going to want to start keeping track of all your expenses and receipts. An easy way to do this is to use one credit card for all expenses, then they’re easy to keep track of. Here’s where having an LLC can be helpful because you can set up a business bank account, then set up a business credit card & that keeps things super clean *BUT* I just want to be clear that I was still able to write off expenses, even without a business bank account or a business credit card. I actually used the self-employed app by Quickbooks for a couple of years which was attached to my accounts and I could go through my transactions -- just swipe left or right for business or personal.  It also allowed me to track mileage which I could write off as well because I was traveling to gigs.

The reason I’m giving you this “out” and saying don’t rush to set up an LLC is because I know that can stop you from taking action. I’m always going to be the voice of JUST START and then you can PIVOT as needed. When you NEED to become an LLC you will, don’t let that stop you from starting!

And once again, consult your CPA, the laws are different for every state.

So, to recap, here’s what we covered today:

  1. Set up your production company. Go listen to podcast episode #44 - “5 Skills You Need to Run a Production Company” for more deets on how to do that.
  2. Pick a catchy producer name, get a logo, write a bio, build a portfolio, website, grab all the social media accounts, take promo shots, and create a pricing guide. Also, keep all these assets in a folder neatly labeled.
  3. Batch your workdays so you don’t get stuck in “context switching” which will break your flow states.  (i.e. artist day, admin day, marketing day, etc.)
  4. Talk to your CPA about whether you absolutely need to set up an LLC; most likely you can JUST START as a sole proprietor
  5. Keep track of all your music-related expenses so you can catch those business owner tax breaks -- woot woot!

Don’t forget to head to www.producelikeabosspodcast.com/worksheet to grab your notes for this series & some checklists to help keep you on track and accountable with your new business.

So, I gotta check in with you. How are you feeling? Are you digging this business series? My goal is to arm every singer, songwriter, producer, an entrepreneur with the tools they need to run a successful business from their home studios.

Like I said in the last blog, this takes WORK and while I pride myself in being able to SIMPLIFY things, I never said this was easy. I can sit here all day and give you the EXACT steps I have taken to build a six-figure business but the truth is most people won’t do the work... BUT not you my friend! You’re reading this because you are my PEOPLE and I know my people are ready to LEVEL UP & take their careers into their own hands.  That’s why I’ve created the Boss Producer Bootcamp which starts September 7th!

In this 5 day bootcamp, you will discover

  • The mindset takes to go full time as a producer
  • What it takes to run a business from your home studio
  • The path from the amateur producer (unpaid) to pro producer (paid)

I’m going to show you…

  • How to increase the quality and speed of your productions
  • How to make pitchable, placeable, profitable music
  • Ways to make money online whether you’re a singer, songwriter, producer, mix engineer, or instrumentalist once you learn how to record

We’re going to give away tons of prizes, there will be contests & even scholarship opportunities.  

Now, this bootcamp is 100% FREE, but don’t get it twisted, this isn’t your run of the mill “fluff” filled freebie where you show up and give your time and don’t actually receive any real value. You are going to leave this bootcamp with a plan to start your production business today! So I want you to treat this training like it costs you thousands of dollars because that’s how valuable it is!

Just head over to www.producelikeaboss.com/bootcamp to reserve your seat!

Alright, my friends, I hope you got a lot of value out of today’s blog!  

 

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