Questions You Should
Be Able to Answer
About Yourself or Your Band
by Christopher Knab ,
Back to The Academy
As a music marketing consultant, whenever I take on a new client I go through the following questions with them. For newer artists or bands especially, the depth to which you can answer most of these questions will go a long way in helping you 'take an inventory' of what you have done so far in your career (and things that you haven't done yet). I suggest that you take your time to answer the following important
questions. Give thoughtful, honest, and detailed answers and they will help you when you write your bios, fact sheets, and press releases necessary for marketing and promoting your music, and they will also help you evaluate your current career status.
As you will see some of these questions are easy to answer, but I give hints to you that many of these questions need discussion, contemplation, and really need to be taken seriously. So, dive in and give these questions your undivided ttention...
Good Luck!...Christopher Knab
- Name of artist or band? (Include all band members names and instruments played.)
- Is your stage name trademarked?
- Have you registered your songs for copyright protection?
- Have any of your songs been published? (If so, by whom?)
- Have you affiliated with a performance rights organization? (Which one—ASCAP, BMI?)
- What is your background? (Who are you and your band members? Tell your story.)
- Do any band members belong to the Musician’s Union?
- Do you have a written band/partnership agreement?
- Why do you want to record and release your own music? (Be very honest.)
- Who is your fan or customer? (Analyze this question thoroughly.)
- Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
- Who are your musical influences? (Cite specific examples.)
- How do you describe your music to people? (This isn't a short answer.Discuss it.)
- What image do you think your music conveys? (Do not avoid the image issue!)
- What are your immediate music career goals? (Next one to three years.)
- What are your long-term career goals?
- How would you define the word “success”? (This isn’t a short answer. Discuss it.)
- Do you have any personal contacts in the music business?
- Do you have an entertainment law attorney to consult with?
- Are you looking for an independent label deal or a major label deal? (Why?)
- Do you have a demo or press kit, or any promotional materials?
- What live performance experience have you had? (Any industry showcases?)
- How do you rate your live performance ability? (Be very critical. No clichés.)
- Have you recorded any previous CDs or demos? (Which studios? Who was the producer?)
- How did you sell your CDs? (Consignment? Over the Internet? Live sales? Distributor?)
- Have you had any previous print or broadcast media exposure or reviews?
- Are you financially able to fund the costs of establishing your career? (In debt?)
- Do you have a business license? (City, state, federal?)
- What is your current business form? (Sole proprietor? Corporation? Partners?)
- Have you set up a system for tracking your financial activities? (Software system?)
- Are you aware of the tax deductions available for musicians?
- Do you have insurance on your band equipment and vehicles?
- Have you created an exciting, well-designed website?(Aware of new design software?)
- Do you have a presence on the Internet that is active and aggressive? (Looking for new opportunities?)
- Who handles your daily business activities? (Bookings, promotions, etc.)
- Have you created an actual career, marketing, or business plan? (Is it in writing?)
- Are you actively involved with updating daily your social networking sites, i.e. Twitter,My Space and Facebook, or any other such networking tools?(If not, why not?)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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