The music business can be cutthroat. Regardless of your line of work in the industry, mastering the art of closing negotiations is one of the best ways to ensure your survival. Below you’ll find some useful tips to help you find success in the music industry. 

Nurture the right relationships

Hitting the bigger goals in the entertainment business is rarely achieved on your own. The nature of the music industry necessitates an intricate web of people contributing to a song or an artist’s success. The network may include:

  • Artists
  • Studio owners
  • Managers
  • Designers
  • Radio personalities
  • Influencers

To navigate these complex relationships, it helps to master the art of negotiating.
The negotiation process you follow with an artist may be vastly different from when you’re dealing with a manager. You will frequently handle multiple deals at a time. 

Taking onsite negotiation training to learn about the different negotiation styles may help increase your chances of success when juggling these negotiations to get the best value from each discussion. 

Maintain flexibility 

Rates in the music business are seldom set in stone. It helps to be pliable when it comes to your rates. If your rates are rigid, it could cost you in missed opportunities. 

You may also stand to benefit from having a transparent rate card. How much will you charge for a one-hour engagement, or what percentage of the fee? Having set rates gives you the advantage of setting the initial offer during talks.  

When you offer first, talks are more likely to gravitate around your figure. On the other hand, if you wait for the other person to make the first offer, they may anchor a lower figure. A low anchor makes it harder to get back to your desired amount.

Be sure to review your rate card regularly. If your rates are outdated, you could short-change yourself. What should you consider when updating your card? 

  • Your experience in the field
  • Improvements in skills or from training
  • New or differentiated services

Consider all expenses

The music industry isn’t always just about the music. Music industry success requires effort on multiple fronts to package, promote, and present the finished product. At each stage, there are usually substantial expenses. If you go into the negotiations with an unclear grasp on all the costs involved, you may be at a disadvantage.  

Go into talks well equipped with the knowledge of all the costs to avoid the extra expenses hitting you in the face. For example, as an artist, you may clinch a deal with a club owner for a percentage of the takings. It helps to consider all the additional expenses like promotion or costumes before you conclude any deals. 

Leave your emotions out

It’s often the case that emotions cloud judgment in the negotiation process. In most business settings, negotiations take place in a business meeting room or a boardroom. In contrast, negotiating in the music business often happens as a chat in an informal setup. 

The relaxed nature of some talks creates a friendly atmosphere that can make you lower your guard. Without the formality of a boardroom, it’s easy for unproductive emotions to come up that distract from the primary goal. 

In most cases, keeping a handle on your emotions contributes to a more successful outcome. Negotiation training may be a worthwhile investment to help you focus your perspective on handling your emotions. 

Be strategic

Setting yourself up as with the right connections in the industry may leapfrog your chances of success. Target the right players in the industry who could blast open doors for you. For example, strategically handpick artists or deals with powerful connections and reputations that can potentially open up endorsements.

A big-picture outlook helps put you in the eye of the right connections, positioning you for success. When your network has access to opportunities like professional gigs, it increases your exposure to higher-paying breaks.

Wrap up 

Success in the music business is largely a result of cooperative relationships with all stakeholders. It’s crucial to skilfully handle interactions and negotiations to forge a win-win outcome. Keep in mind the costs involved and maintain a level head.