The bartender, the waitresses, the owner, the electric company, water company, the people who sell them napkins – they all get paid. They don’t work for exposure either. Why? Because the odds of someone coming in and saying, “You are the most amazing waitress – I want to offer you a better deal!” are astronomically slim. That just doesn’t happen very often. So, here’s what I encourage everyone to remember. People die from exposure. That means you have to be careful working for it. It’s not a great currency to be bartering in. If you love playing your songs at bars and are willing to play for free because you enjoy it, that’s awesome. If you are looking at that as a business move, you are going to be disappointed. The same for letting people use your songs for free in TV or movies. They are taking advantage of you. They are getting something for nothing. So, you should only do that if it brings you joy and not doing it for money. It’s not likely to help you in any professional way. Business is business and if you understand that you are selling a product – which is your songs and entertainment – same as any other business you must get paid in return of your product and your services.
In fact, the problem with this model is that it establishes the value of your music at zero. Once you set that price point, it’s hard to raise the price later. The only people you really need to expose your music to are people in the business that are decision makers. They aren’t at writer’s nights at dive bars around town. You have to figure out how to get your music to them in other ways. Don’t let people take advantage of you. And don’t de-value your music. It’s worth something. I’ll go to my grave fighting for that idea. And remember – People. Die. From. Exposure.
Leave a Reply.