Happy new year 2023! I wish this new beginning brings you a lot of energy to continue with your projects, and also the motivation to start those others that you've been storing as dreams in the backburner.
As I've mentioned before, I tend to write my yearly music business plan around this time. While planning an entire year sounds daunting, I've found that doing it helps me achieve more without compromising my health or wellbeing. It allows me to distinguish between the urgent and the important, and know which actions take time because they need to and which do because I'm not being efficient. With a plan, I can also tell what opportunities align with my goals, which prevents distractions.
If you don't know where to start with your own yearly plan, have a quick model I use to write mine:
As a musician, having a presence on YouTube can make all the difference. Every year, the platform adds new ways of interaction that benefit music creators, like the brand new "YouTube Recap", a customised summary where users can check the musicians and songs they listened to the most during the year and share them with their friends.
Managing online platforms and social media websites can look daunting, but don't let that stop you from sharing your music and build your career. Getting started with YouTube is easier than you think! To learn how to do it, you can get the course "Mastering YouTube for Musicians" right in this website and learn:
Millicent has been part of the Musicians’ Union’s Executive Committee for a few terms now. The current one finishes at the end of December this year, and she has taken the decision not to continue because she successfully got on the NatWest Accelerator programme offered by NatWest Bank, which runs for six months.
The programme supports and empowers entrepreneurs of the United Kingdom to scale their businesses to the next level. Millicent joined to boost Success Beyond The Score as a whole, but in particular Time For My Music, the online community for emerging female musicians that you can find in this link.
The NatWest Accelerator sessions run on Wednesdays, which makes them overlap with the monthly sessions of the Musicians’ Union’s Executive Committee. Given that Millicent has already had the opportunity to contribute to the union through that committee for a meaningful and rewarding time, she decided to step down and focus on the NatWest...
As musicians, we require that the venues where we play provide us with certain things in order for us to be able to offer our best performances. Some examples are tables to locate our equipment, dressing rooms to get ready after a long ride to the venue, parking space near or in front of the venue with the possibility to offload, ramp access, etc. While some might think those are a given that all venues offer by default, the truth is that many of them do not. This is particularly troublesome for musicians with disabilities. After all, if you require certain accommodations due to a disability, you might be hesitant to try your hand at gigging due to fear of venues ignoring your needs.
First of all, rest assured knowing that all musicians have the same right to perform at public venues, no matter whether they have a disability or not. To ensure that this is a reality, the key is that artists and venue owners communicate in advance to clarify the needs of the show and take...
Here is the transcription of episode 1 of season 3 of the podcast "Success Beyond The Score". Happy reading!
- Watch the video of the episode here: YouTube
- Listen to the audio of the episode here: Kajabi
This is “Success Beyond The Score”, a podcast giving insights and tips to help you learn how to build your music career, from the best in the field, by Millicent Stephenson. Millicent is a multi-award winning saxophonist and endorser of Harry Hartman's Fiberreeds who is currently serving on the executive committee of the Musicians Union. With over 40 years of experience in the creative industry, Millicent has honed her performance and business skills. She provides personal development, training and coaching via her online platform: www.successbeyondthescore.com.
Hi! I am Millicent Stephenson and there are three things I absolutely believe in (apart from technology, which would the fourth thing). Number one, I believe every...
Li Proverbe au Vilain is a fascinating collection of medieval French poems, first published around 1190. The end of some of these poems is marked with an humorous note that says "or so the peasant says", while some others feature popular sayings and proverbs.
One of those proverbs is "Rome was not built in a day". I like how it says so much in such a brief manner, and how it reminds us of the importance of patience and awareness of ourselves in a gentle way.
When we are building a music career, many times we want it to happen yesterday. We want to be a worldwide famous star in the matter of a single year, and because of this, frustration lurks right behind our backs. It's important to remember that, in a way, if we want to make a life out of music, we're in for a lifetime. We need time for improving our artistry, learning how to balance our craft with the other things going on in our existence, making contacts and growing the business side of it all... Things don't happen...
Gigs! I’ve had the opportunity to play so many this year that I can’t do nothing but feel blessed (and a bit exhausted, haha!). No matter if big of small, I bring everything to the stage and I have the time of my life, as you can see in the header photo of this post. It was taken during the Birmingham 2022 Festival by Laurence Stephenson. The event was incredible! If you want some specifics on how it went, I wrote a little recap on my personal website.
Such occasions would not be possible if I was not confident in my ability to pull a crowd and make the experience unforgettable for them. It is incredibly rewarding, and that’s why I want you to be able to do the same: to appear confident and get people’s attention, to make them remember you, look you up after the gig and talk to their friends about you. For this reason, I put together a course called “Showtime! The best ingredients for giving a great performance“, in which you...
Recently, I have had quite a lot of gigs. The occasions are different and so are the circumstances. Sometimes, I am playing on a terrace, some others, on a function room, or a hall, or at a bar... As I have to bring my own PA system, every time I have to think about the safety of everybody involved, including myself, when I set it.
A few weeks ago, in London, I arrived to the venue where I was going to play when the guests were already at the bar, coming from the wedding ceremony to attend the drinks reception. I had to survey where the plug points were, and think where to set up, without the guests seeing me directly. I had to make sure that my speakers were firm on their stands and that the cables connecting them to the console were not a tripping hazard for me or other musicians coming on stage.
Sounds a bit nerve-wracking, doesn't it? Well, it is not too bad, especially not after years of practise, but you have to be attentive and careful, and always make sure...
Some time ago, Sharon attended one of Millicent's "getting paid" webinars. She applied the principles discussed during the session and got good results, so she wrote to Millicent to tell her all about it. We are very happy for Sharon and want to share her words with you:
Thank you so much, Millicent!
I really should have messaged you before, but here it is: I am so grateful for the tips you gave on the webinar. I followed your advice about mentioning expenses and I received £60 and food for a community event . In the end, it was only required to do a play/workshop for about 15mins. The organiser was very happy . A young woman came to me afterwards and asked if I would record her playing the djembe. She had played dhol drum years back and experienced low self esteem, largely due to family dynamics. She left the event with her recording and beaming . This was a fantastic exchange and made it all so worth it
Thank you so much again, Millicent!
Best wishes for...
We have the firm belief that every musician should be paid their worth. Even if you do music as a hobby, your effort, dedication, skill and passion deserve recognition. Now, it is easier said than done, right? When it comes to the business side of music, many artists get lost in calculations, transactions, invoices, and the uncertainty of how to communicate fees and conditions to potential clients.
Don't get overwhelmed, though, there is a way out! In the e-course "Maye Your Music Pay", Millicent will teach you how to:
- Set your fee and get paid regularly.
- Build your confidence to say your price without anxiety.
- Negotiate a win-win for your fee.
- Collect your fee with no drama.
- Set up a money management system.
- Prepare for your tax return.
- Grow a fans mailing list.
With this, you'll understand the steps you can take now to work out your gig fee, collect your payment and manage your music money. Sounds good? Click here to watch the introductory video, get more information...