Do you need a big budget in order to succeed?
One of the most common topics up for discussion in the music industry is whether having a lot of money can aid you in advancing your career more quickly. Every artist has a different path to success, whether aided by money, talent, or contacts. Money can often be a big factor in whether an artist succeeds quickly. Many underestimate the costs involved when starting your career as a producer, but is money really essential in becoming a successful artist?
There are many artists out there who started from nothing but are now dominating their own genre. Many of these artists found success a long time ago, meaning that it may not be so easy for an artist with a smaller budget to become successful in this day and age. With the industry as saturated as it is, having a bigger budget can greatly aid your success. But just how much difference can the size of your budget make?
Every artist will require funds to start off their career as a producer. Software, plugins, samples, all of these cost money. Simply put, you cannot simply create music without investing any money at all. Naturally, artists with more money to spend will have the freedom to purchase more plugins, giving them more creative freedom to experiment further than those on a limited budget. Studio equipment also costs, from the chair you sit on to your MIDI keyboard to your speaker system. Most artists will start off with the basics and purchase more expensive equipment as they advance.
On the other hand, music can’t buy talent. In order to kickstart your career as a producer, you will need to have some kind of raw talent. This could come from regular practice, or it could simply be a gift that you have always had. Some people simply have an abundance of creativity while others do not. Take a look at Avicii for example, his ability to craft unique yet euphoric melodies enabled him to create some of the biggest hits of the modern day music industry. Another example is Steve Angello, who applies his creativity to each of his products, whether it is a new album, an item of clothing or a marketing campaign. Talents like these don’t come from money, you cannot buy creativity.
While money can’t buy talent, it can buy a lot of other assets. These include powerful marketing campaigns and great branding. Although spending more money on a big branding agency to create your identity may not create better results than enlisting a freelance designer, often you will be provided with a more solid set of guidelines. Creating a logo is just one-minute aspect of creating a brand identity. Your logo doesn’t define who you are, all of the minute details that feature across your promotional materials do. When you pay a vast sum of money to a branding agency they will provide you with guidelines that when followed will ensure all of your materials fit together and align with your core identity. This is an asset for all artists as it reinforces your branding constantly allowing it to be much stronger.
Having a larger budget can also buy you a PR agency who can handle all of your press releases and secure coverage by major media platforms. That being said, if you are working on a smaller budget, hiring a freelance writer to put together a press release for each track you drop is a great option. If you to choose this option, just make sure that your writer has the writing skills necessary to maintain your reputation. Simple spelling mistakes can damage your image in the eyes of the media and can limit your potential.
Other costs like hiring an entertainment lawyer also require a budget, but like many of the other costly ventures, you may not need to spend a great deal on this until later in your career when you can afford it. Most of the time you won’t need a lawyer until you are signing a deal with a label, which should mean that you can afford to hire one even if you started off your career with no funds.
If you are limited with your funds you can always look into cheaper alternatives while you are still getting started and re-invest when the money becomes available. You could hire a freelance designer to create a logo for you and later on hire a branding agency to create a new identity. Although having a big budget can greatly improve your chances for early success, there are always other options available.
Don’t be disheartened when you see artists spending on big campaigns and surging past you in the path to success. Ultimately, talent is what will enable you to succeed and stay successful for a long period of time. Your success may take longer, but it is also likely to last longer if you have the raw talent. If you’re lacking funds, look into alternatives to keep you going until you reach the top. Hire freelancers, use the free tools available to you. You may not be able to produce content that is as high quality as those spending big, but with time you will find yourself climbing to a point where the budget is available to you. You can’t rush success or income, be patient and soon it will be you enlisting the major corporations.
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