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In today’s newsletter, I want to talk about 3 pillars you have to build upon in order to establish value not just for your creative business, but those of your client’s and teams.
I speak to quite a few artist managers who have built the pillars I’m going to discuss. However, if you ask them, they will tell you they’ve built them through frustration, trial, and error.
I have too.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to.
In my early years as an artist manager, I was “flying by the seat of my pants” with everything. My business development wasn’t systematic at all.
My job as an artist manager was long and hard and even harder without a system.
Setting these pillars in place will help you realize your worth, your unique insight, and how to use both to create a firm foundation for growth.
It took me a long time to realize how much I needed these pillars and how they separate me from others. It took longer still to commit to personally developing them.
It doesn’t have to take you as long as it took me.
You can really experience growth a lot faster than I did.
Most managers neglect their business development because the industry doesn’t require it of them.
That’s why you got to want this for yourself.
These 3 pillars I have developed are important to building and establishing value for a creative brand.
1. business creation
2. value proposition
3. value add
I had to create and develop these pillars in real time as an artist manager.
I was referred to manage “Syd”, a pop artist newly signed to Columbia Records at the time. My referral, another artist manager, spoke to the artist and told her of my previous work. He suggested I would be a good fit.
I knew I was. I needed the artist to see I was too.
I want to make sure that whoever works with you, can see it too.
Here’s the setup.
The first pillar, business creation, is important in building and establishing the value of your business.
Business creation is the process of discovering, creating, launching, and growing a business. This process is the same in every industry – including creative businesses. Artists recording careers are creative businesses with hub and corresponding spokes (check out my “Hub and Spoke” model in my previous newsletter, “How I Made My Client $56,875 in 4 Hours”).
Business creation is what creates sustainable revenue for an artist.
When we met, Syd was just focused on releasing music and her songwriting.
She was signed after writing songs for several artists which landed on Billboard 200 chart. She loved to write and sing. She didn’t think of anything outside of the box. However, she wanted to begin to offer her fans some other things that she felt really represented her.
We talked about those ideas and came up with some cool ones.
All the cool ideas we discussed, we turned into business models.
From knit caps, beanies, and wraps (she had a lot of hair) to knitted shawls and exclusive vinyl records, we talked about how each of these could generate money from her fans. Her excitement grew because she realized that her art was driving business creation.
Cool ideas become business models and the right business models generate revenue.
The second pillar, value proposition, is an essential building block of business.
Typically, people dismiss it to marketing companies. It’s a statement of the benefits that a company delivers to customers who buy their products or services. However, value proposition is an important piece in any creative business – particularly those of a recording artist.
Artists and their supporting businesses need a value proposition to build their fanbase.
Syd needed her artist brand to SAY why she was different.
We used her value proposition as a way of expressing – in words – what made her different. We used a simple sentence to capture the essence of her artistry. It gave a clear expectation of what fans would receive when engaging with her brand.
Syd’s value proposition gave her a clear direction to whom her brand speaks.
The third pillar, value add, rounds out the building blocks of business.
Value add refers to features that are added to products in which customers are willing to pay an increased price. When a business consistently adds value to its products, the organization can earn an above-average profit over the long term. Creative businesses can incorporate the value add concept to increase the visibility of the brand.
The value add sets an artist brand apart by giving fans more than what they actually ask for.
Syd already knew the importance of adding value.
As a songwriter, Syd focused on giving artists demo tracks that incorporated her vocal notations for breaths, pauses, crescendo and/or decrescendo. For producers, she would specify her key and whether the song should be pitched up or down for better performance. Syd encouraged collaboration in writing sessions by pushing stronger ideas from fellow writers to be considered.
Syd added value to her songwriter brand.
As a newly signed artist, it was time to add value to Syd’s artist brand.
Through the creation of her merch, in particular, Syd gave fans a handwritten note thanking them for their purchase. She also gave fans an access code to digitally download her songbook and a discount code for the purchase of her limited edition journal and accompanying stationary.
Syd’s value add was her welcoming her fans into her world.
These three pillars should yield results that benefit the business.
For my work with Syd, putting these pillars in place yielded the results in the following graphic:
Each pillar relied on the other to fuel Syd’s artist business. Without business creation, there isn’t a need for value proposition or value add. Without a value a proposition, a value add couldn’t be enforced. Without a value add, business creation and value proposition would be stalled.
Syd’s artist business generated $536,784 with the release of her album and additional supporting businesses.
These pillars provided the foundation for a successful beginning of Syd’s artist business.
They can do the same for you and your client.
Hope this helps.
See you next week.
3 pillars to building and establishing any creative business:
1. business creation
2. having a clear value proposition
3. presenting added value
Whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you:
1. For a LIMITED time, I’m offering a Growth Strategy Session. Let’s put together a growth strategy for your and/or your client’s business for FREE.
2. I’m also conducting a FREE Systems Audit to see what systems you are using and optimize them.