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Click to email ChrisAn Artist/Band Inventory:
Organizing Your Career

by Christopher Knab , January 2011

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There are many things independent artists and bands need to do to put their careers on the right track. Think of this list of topics as an organizational tool for your career. Just like that messy closet at home that needs organizing, your career plans need to be put in order. Use these topics as a way to keep track of your business needs. Make notes under each topic, type or scan them into your computer, use them as categories or rank them by levels of importance. But first, glance through all the topics and see which ones jump out at you. Those are the issues you need to deal with now.

1. Goals and Ambitions
Goals for next 3 years
Longtime career goals
Independent label affiliation plans
Major label affiliation plans
Self-owned label plans 

2. Live Performance Opportunities
House concerts
High schools/colleges
Festivals and fairs
Benefit concerts
Retail stores and Shopping malls

3. Attitude Toward Music and Business
Creative philosophy
Business philosophy
Current image
Desired image
Point of view on current career status

4. Songwriting Issues /Copyrights
Publishing companies
Personal publishing company
Administrative publishing company
Trademarks/service marks
Performance rights organizations (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC)

5. Recording Issues
Song selection
Home recording studio
Professional studio selection
Mastering issues

6. Product Design
Graphic needs
Graphic artist
CD/CDR Tray card
Business card
Stationary letterhead
Website artwork
Press kit folder
Mailing labels
Bar code
Printing contact

7. Manufacturing/Duplication Options
Manufacturing formats:
Mini disc
Cassette tape
Converting files to MP3
CD pressing plant
Tape duplicator
Shipping arrangements
Merchandise (t-shirts etc)

8. Performance, Instruments and Equipment
Rehearsal space
Tour itinerary
Per diems
Sound check requirements
Equipment insurance
Performance contracts/riders
Additional performance needs

9. Publicity/Media
Press Kit
Fact sheet
Cover letter
Press clippings
Photo duplication
Business card
Broadcast media
Commercial radio connections
Non-commercial radio connections
Internet radio connections
Satellite radio connections
TV/video connections
Print media connections
Music industry trades
National, regional,local consumer publications
National, regional,local music publications
Online/Internet website design and hosting issues
Creating social networking opportunities (Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc)

Live shows
Record store consignment
Mail order
Rack jobbers
Online/Internet sales opportunities

11. Administrative/Business
Record label contacts
Publishing contacts
A&R Representative contacts
Entertainment law attorney
Band agreements
Management contracts
Record label contracts
Publishing contracts
Merchandising contracts
Video/Film contracts
Advertisement/endorsement contracts
Music business accountant
Bookkeeper/tax preparer
Artist manager
Business manager
Tour manager
Road crew (roadies)
Music equipment store contacts
Music instructors/coaches
Music instrument repair contacts
Music business consultants
Independent promoters(radio)
Booking agents
Concert promoters
Venue contacts


Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: chris@chrisknab.net

Chris Knab's book,
'Music Is Your Business' is available from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.

Visit the
FourFront Media and Music website for more information on the business of music from Christopher Knab.

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