I was in the music industry for over 20 years, and my first mastermind group was a music biz group.
If you’re in a band, the ideal people to form a mastermind group with are band leaders from groups musically similar to yours. It’s not essential, but being in the same or similar genre opens up a lot of opportunities for gigs and other promotions that won’t work if you’ve got a mastermind group where one person does country, another does jazz, another blues, another rock, and you’re a rapper.
Same thing goes if you’re a solo artist or a songwriter. If possible, work with people either in your genre or one that shares a similar audience.
For one thing, you can pool resources. You can negotiate better deals with rehearsal halls, music stores, and recording studios. In the case of the rehearsal hall, you can also share with some or all of the other members.
On the other hand, if you’ve got four, five, or even six bands with similar-size followings, you can promote the groups as a package and guarantee a much larger audience.
Here’s why things will be different if they book you. And by the way, you can set up a short-term mastermind with several groups or artists for the sole purpose of promoting an event like this.
You’ll also be able to send out a sharp-looking postcard advertising the show to the combined mailing list of all the groups. You could also consider purchasing 30-second spots on late night radio. Usually those spots are cheap, sometimes $5 or $10 each, because the only people listening at that hour are night owls and hardcore music fans. That may not excite the station’s usual advertisers, but those are the exact people you’re trying to reach. Radio ads would normally be out of reach for a single group, but by pooling your money, you can afford them.
My friend Roger Igo managed and played in a funk band in Houston. He worked together with a couple of other local funk bands to put on a series of shows, which they called The Texas Funk Syndicate. Kind of a local version of Lollapalooza or Lilith Fair.
The fun doesn’t stop there, either. You can make your show more professional, more organized, and more entertaining using the power of the mastermind.
First of all, do you have to rent a trailer, van, or truck when you do a gig? Instead, have everyone go in on one truck. Or there might be someone in your mastermind group that has one. Even if every band has its own van, you can save gas money by using fewer vehicles and hauling each other’s gear.
Do you have a road crew for your band? Maybe you have one person who helps out. By pooling your resources, you can put together a good crew and hire someone to run sound and lights who’s familiar with all the groups.
If you’re playing for the door, you probably know it’s a good idea to have someone on your team working the door with his or her own counter. But you may not always have someone you can spare to leave on the door all night. Now you will. With four or more groups working together, one or two people can cover the door for everyone.
This is a great way to broaden your fan base and expand your circle of gigs. It’s also a win-win for all the bands involved. More legwork is involved, but you can still combine resources and print one poster for all the gigs.
Let’s say one member’s bass player is also a graphic designer. Or maybe the singer’s boyfriend works for a screen printing company. If so, then let that group be in charge of designing the posters.
Things may not divide out evenly, but can you see the general idea here? It all starts with taking an inventory of each group’s resources, both human and material.
I’ve focused primarily on a live event scenario here, but there are far more potential benefits for a musician mastermind group. You could record a CD in a similar fashion, with each group having two or three cuts.
You can compare notes with other members about what certain clubs are paying, which agents are ripping off bands, where to find great deals on gear, and which local journalists are friendly to local artists.
Form a musician mastermind group now and you’ll be amazed by the results. And, by the way, if you’re in the music industry and have a mastermind group, post a comment below and tell us a little about your group.Tweet