Who Should You Have On Your Team As A Music Artist?

The Independent Artist Team

This is a question that we get a lot from artists on a weekly basis. This is not a simple answer, but we're going to break it down for you you this way. We're going to tell you the people that would be necessary for you to have on your team as if you were already a superstar, because we're sure that's the status you're aspiring to get to. This would apply to whether you're independent or under a label. The exception is if you're independent; you'll have to build out these positions your self overtime. Let me first tell you the departments, or sections of your business that you will need human resources for. But before we list these departments out, it's very important to understand that in the beginning you are probably going to have to play all these roles yourself, but all these roles are also not important in the very beginning. At the end, we're going to tell you which role you would need in the beginning stages of your career.

So your 1st department is the artist development. For this, you can have an A&R, your brand architect (which hopefully is you or sometimes your dedicated PR agent can play this role), providing you media training, product release strategy and similar support. 

2nd department is your production department. This should be self explanatory. This is how your songs and content gets made. This involves writers, producers, mixing and mastering engineers, videographer/director/video editor, graphic designers and similar. 

3rd department is the marketing and sales department. This is your digital marketing team, your physical marketing personnel (like a street team), graphic designer, and web developer for your merch store can fall under this department. The marketing side of publishing can also fall under this.  

4th Department is Branding and PR. This is your PR team, your publicist, an interview booking manager, your brand architect, (someone that's going to continuously help you shape your brand & make you attractive to other companies to do business with you). As you can tell, this department will have many overlaps with the Artist development department. 

5th department is distribution and publishing. Here, you will have the admin people that take care of all your distribution and publishing administrative tasks.  Maybe even an occasional lawyer that's an expert on this subject should be a part of this team.  

6th department is your operations team. In a traditional company this would be your COO, but here you may have your personal manager, you business manager, your HR person (that can hire interns), employees, security guards, and so on. Also your tour manager and most of the people involved in touring & show logistics, including merch sales and distribution for the physical merch sold during your concerts. 

7th is your finance/accounting department. This is where your CFO will eventually sit and lead this department. You can also have your business manager here, your bookkeeper, and at the end of the year, your accountant for tax purposes. Artists have complicated taxes because of all of the thousands of potential income streams. You want make sure you don't go to jail because you owe money to the IRS year after year. 

8th department is legal. This is where your attorneys that you will have on retainer will be, and other specialized resources particular to the different aspects of your career when it comes to avoiding liability. 

9th is the exec team. This would be you and your COO or vice president of your business, keeping all managers accountable that oversee the 8 different departments that we mentioned. Your investors will be here as well as your business partners, and even representatives from other labels or companies that you have a partnership with that may have enough equity and votes to be a part of your exec team. 

Again, these individual positions within these departments will scale along with your career, but in the beginning, what you need is to be handling the product creation and distribution. Either you are going to have to become an expert at marketing or partner up with someone competent that will handle all initial marketing for you. This person needs to know enough about not getting scammed by anyone and can also handle your business like a business man or a business woman, especially when it comes to communication. No real company wants to deal with an immature artists. If you have enough income to be able to hire any resources, first thing you want to hire is someone that can market the hell out of your brand and music, because once you create a movement or a demand for your music, all the other positions we mentioned above will slowly come into place over time and actually will be inserted or have a realistic incentive to work with you on something meaningful!!

If you are looking for help with strategies to take your music business to the next level in the realms of marketing, contact us today to get started and hop on a strategy call with the team at Digital Science Media.

If you don't have the budget just yet for a full blown marketing campaign but want to learn about the business basics, make sure to check out our Indie Artist Accelerator where we have modules that go in depth about the very topics we discussed in this blog post, live Q&A's, a private Facebook group, & more.