What Does a Leader Look Like?

‘What Does A Leader Look Like?’ was the theme at a conference for South West arts organisations in February 2014.  Farooq Chaudhry, who became the Producer for English National Ballet in October 2013 gave a great talk about his experience and thoughts on this, alongside Sue Hoyle OBE, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme and Claire Hodgson, theatre/dance director and conference organiser. Lots of input and discussion came from around 100 cultural leaders involved in dance, theatre, music, circus, film, museums, libraries, freelance producers, Arts Council England and local authorities.

We talked about ‘cultural leaders’ and how to bring the next generation on. I thought I’d write a blog to give a flavour of the day for our Young Music Leaders and others involved in pushing creative ideas forward (e.g. on the Youth Music Network site). Through the day, words kept coming up that help define the qualities of a good leader. These are some of them:

Personal characteristics:

Attitude – Leadership is about attitude and approach, not qualifications and training.

Vision – filter all your dreams down to one or two that you and your team really love.

Excellence: Strive for the best.

Confidence. Have confidence in yourself and build it in others. Lack of confidence is the biggest barrier to action.

Trust your team – why are they with you if you don’t trust them?

Risk taking without gambling recklessly, experiment, try, believe in success.

Rebelliousness – don’t accept convention is best. Challenge the norm, push boundaries.

Make a difference. Stand up and be counted.

Empathy towards people.

Listening – your way may not be the best.

Respect for others and differing views.

Enthusiasm – communicate your belief in your vision.

Commitment and determination to see something through.

Perseverance to overcome problems.

Stamina – in it for the long haul.

Calm – panic can lead to bad decisions and wobble team confidence.

Honesty – openness identifies challenges that can be resolved.

Integrity – to your values and those of your team.

Patience – problems always arise and may delay progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Judgement – when exploring something new, you may not know the answer and there may be no right or wrong way; use your experience and knowledge to guide you.

Responsibility – own up to things that go wrong.

Leave ego behind. Its not about you, its about an idea.

Project delivery:

Teamwork – build a team that shares your vision, working for an idea, not you.

Diversity in your team – gives new ideas, ways of working, culture and approach.

Reducing barriers to become involved could involve approaches to work such as employing someone to achieve a task where payment is not based on the hours they work but on the value they bring to the project. This gives team members the flexibility to do the job in the time of their own choosing, not restricted to regular office hours. As long as they deliver the work by the deadline you have, they can work around commitments in their personal life such as childcare and looking after family elders.

Collaboration – other individuals and organisations can help you and add excellence. You don’t have to be alone.

Decide – the team can advise, but you should be decisive when needed.

Priority/select – lots of options may be open to you. Diluting your efforts could lead to loss of excellence. Stay focused.

Then there are all the normal processes of project management that are embedded in Youth Music’s and other good project work:

Research; plan; action; monitor; evaluate; share; adapt; repeat on a loop.

You know the score – it’s all in ‘Ideas Into Action’.

Can you add other leadership qualities?

Resource Links for Event Promotion

The following links and advice will help you promote an event you are organising. Publicity for a ‘one off’ gig uses different strategies to the long-term promotion of your music as an artist.

Advice about a long-term publicity campaign to promote your music and yourself as an artist can be found on B Sharp’s Links for Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard

EVENT PROMOTION ADVICE

B Sharp has written a publicity guide for promoting gigs, as part of its free online short course on event/project planning. It covers strategies to co-ordinate a multi-media campaign using press, social media, posters and how to create content that will connect with your audience etc. The guide will help you use the links below to tell your story.

Promote a Gig advice by , About.com Guide.

Watch the 2nd video (under 5 minutes) at the bottom of the page in this link, of Harvey Goldsmith, one of the UK’s iconic event promoters, giving great advice on the most important parts of event promotion. Excellent music business advice! It’s not all about publicity, it’s about problem solving and communication between a team to create the best possible experience for the audience and performers.

JamMob has useful blogs about music marketing. It has various categories such as concert promotion, social media, radio, mobile marketing, publishing and more.

The Youth Media Agency is the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting over 300 exciting media platforms. They deliver campaign and media training, working with 16-25 year olds.

PRESS RELEASES

Sending in a story of around 300 words to your local press will often get you free editorial coverage. Many more people read their local newspaper than national ones, so it is a good way to reach a potential audience who are near your gig venue. The first paragraph should use the 5 Ws rule – who, what, when, why, where. More advice about when and what to put in a press release can be found in B Sharp’s publicity guide. In addition, good advice about writing press releases has been written by Ideas Tap  and can be seen here: How to write a press release. They have also blogged Five common press release mistakes.

A really good contemporary piece of advice about press releases has been written by . It makes full use of links to social media, images and story telling. She says, “The content and structure of press releases have a far greater influence on the visibility of the message, and as competition for attention increases, the formula for a successful press release is changing. Here are some ways to freshen the news releases your organization publishes, and get more results for your campaigns.”

WEBSITE

Having a website as a promoter, or an organisation running events is an important way to keep people aware what you are doing. Your website is the place where you can tell your story in its fullest form, using text, video, audio, photos and has the ability to be designed and navigated to attract and lead viewers to what you want to say. It is important to keep it up to date. All other campaign tools can direct people to your website so you can tell your story in full. You can create QR codes for print material so that smart phones can be directed to your website on the spot, from wherever they see your poster, newspaper advert etc.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Great advice on how to use social media to promote events/organisations/projects by SoundDelivery. It explains the pros and cons of various social media sites, etiquette, and how to tell your story and interact with your audience. Some sites help you track how effective your posts are so that you can evaluate what works and prioritise your tools and time.

Facebook. Social media site to share information with friends/fans. It is an important tool to let potential customers know about what you are doing. You can create an event page and invite friends who can then invite their friends. It can be interactive and updated as news develops about your event. Facebook tools:

Twitter. Social media site for short blogs of up to 140 characters. Useful to link your more detailed story on another site.  For concise advice, see this infographic on how to create the perfect Tweet.

YouTube. Video sharing. The second biggest search engine (after Google), so a very important tool to tell your story. If you are promoting a small event, you may not have the resources or time to make a promotional video. However, one or more of your artists may have uploaded a video of their work and you can link your publicity to this. Videos are easier and more accessible for viewers than text. To make a video, see

Vimeo Same principle as YouTube. Video sharing – Upload, share, connect on your TV and phone, sell your work, promote your event.

Soundcloud. Link your event campaign to any uploads by your performers on Soundcloud. It is an online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. SoundCloud enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their originally created sounds across the internet, in a simple, accessible and feature-rich way. As an artist, it’s a good way to get feedback on music you are producing/remixing. Twitter: @SoundCloud

Mixcloud‘s mission is to deliver great radio, for everyone. They describe themselves as “Re-thinking radio, joining the dots between traditional shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. Still curious? Check our FAQTeam page. Upload your own music, interview your band etc to make a small radio show.” You could make a short audio piece about you event and direct people to it e.g. through Facebook and Twitter.

Audioboo allows people to record and upload audio that can then be shared via other social networks. Audio can be recorded and uploaded straight from your phone or computer, allowing you to become a “social reporter” at events – where a group of people interactively and jointly contribute to some form of reporting, in text, photos, images or video. You could make a short audio piece about you event and direct people to it through Facebook and Twitter. An example of Audioboo at work is Zoe Ivory from the Big Lottery talking about the importance of blogging. Twitter: @theboobot

Blogging – opinion pieces, behind the scenes, what’s happening. They give more information than Facebook or Twitter. You could blog about the artists in your event, why you are putting the gig on, funny things that have happened when organising it etc. Lots of tips about blogging can be found on these links: basic blogging and blogging resources.  How to become an online ‘influencer’ Blog with 10 tips on how to become an influencer, as a ‘taste maker’ and opinion former.

Linkedin is a network for professionals to interact, get advice and support and make connections and endorsements. Useful for promoters, musicians and the music industry. Check out the range of groups with mutual interests e.g. Event Peeps: For Live Event Industry Professionals. The groups have lots of discussions and you can ask questions and receive advice from experienced peers.

MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. There is MailChimp for Music.

Storify users curate what people post on social media and turn them into stories. Create your own stories about what you do, your music etc.
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Addthis. Merge tag tools for sharing – allows readers to share your music/story/campaign with their friends by connecting your posts to other sites. Add ‘follow’ and ‘share’ buttons to your social media sites.
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Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Control all of your accounts on the move with the mobile version. You can set up times for posts to be released, so that a social media campaign can be coordinated to ‘amplify’ your story at times most likely to be read. Twitter: @hootsuite or @HootSuite_Help

GigaTools manages your gig promotion publicity across several social media sites. Designed for artists, DJs, bands, labels and agents to manage, promote and share their upcoming gigs online. A little like Hootsuite.

ReverbNation – Similar to Hootsuite but designed just for music. It can update all of your online profiles with new information from one central location and track stats from all of your social media sites. Reverb Nation also gives you multiple ways to sell your music, from linking to your offsite shop on your Reverb Nation profile with a free membership to having your music on iTunes and Amazon in exchange for a nominal membership fee.

Digital toolkit – websites for modern musicians seeking to promote and distribute their music, or for music entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses.

GIG LISTINGS

Lemon Rock. A site that automatically finds your location (it asks for your permission) and then gives a local gig guide. Register your gig.

South West Music Services This is your portal to concerts, gigs and other music related events in the South West of England. If you would like a reciprocal link please get in touch. Bands, Jazz, classical and more. Register your gig.

Gig Guide provide information on Gigs, Live Music Venues, Wedding and Function Bands, Music Festivals and a host of other music related businesses in the UK. Register your gig.

Music Glue has event listings and offers services to support gigging artists. Register your gig.

Vocalist Gig Guide Add Your Gigs FREE to our online Gig Guide.  Amateur to Professional Solo & Duo Singers, Vocalists, Musicians, Songwriters, Venues, Pubs, Clubs, Covers & Original Acts.

PUTTING YOUR SHOW ON THE ROAD

You may want technical expertise or other resources for your event, whether it’s at home or you are taking a show on tour. To find what you need, you could use Showcase, the International music directory. Find contact details for a vast range of specialist suppliers to the music industry – concert services, venues, equipment, recording studios, music business services, media, musical equipment and musical equipment hire.

Links To Youth Enterprise And Music Business

These links should help you as a promoter or artist explore and progress your understanding of running music projects and businesses. You don’t have to be a musician to be in the music business (see the different types of organisations that make up the music industry), but musicians should have a basic understanding of business principles and the music business. Not all the business links below are directly related to music but the principles are transferable.

Jim Mawdsley of Generator (the UK’s largest music development agency) said in a Youth Music blog, “The music industry has changed irrevocably over the last decade; despite what many skeptics say, digital hasn’t killed it off but it has largely forced a reinvention by introducing new creation, distribution and consumption models. That elusive first ‘deal’ no longer exists – record companies and publishers are no longer the risk aggregators they once were.  They are looking for young artists who already have cross-platform visibility, a fan-base and performance experience – those that are ‘industry-ready.’ B Sharp believes there is a real need to support young artists, promoters and music entrepreneurs in understanding the importance and techniques of using digital technology to promote their music; tell their story; build and interact with fans/music press/radio/bloggers and influencers; increase exposure through gigs/tours and festivals and turn themselves into a small business with a business plan.

Many musicians have a variety of work in music. They may teach in the day and perform in the evening. Some of these jobs may involve being self employed. This brings new responsibilities and work for you – finding customers, keeping records of income and expenses and paying tax. Independent musicians need to think of themselves as small businesses and learn some basic business skills. The links on this blog should help you with this.

Youth Enterprise And Music Business Resources:

‘Ideas into Action’. A series of notes, written by B Sharp, to help young people plan events and projects.

The BBC breaks down the Business Studies GCSE into bite size pieces.

Brief notes covering the principles of business, to A Level standard.

University guide 2013: league table for business and management studies. Covers business studies, management studies, finance, accounting, marketing, human resource management and business and administrative studies. The links to the Universities in the league table give a summary about fees, accommodation, bursaries and the University’s history.

Open University free business resources Numerous topics on business management, project planning, managing people etc.

How to Plan a Creative Business is a useful blog for beginners, by Ideas Tap.

Everything You Need To Know About Band Management Part 4: Revenue Part of an insightful series of articles explaining the music industry and how to survive in the digital age. Worth a read. It has numerous useful links to more information such as tools for working out how you can create a music business using the Business Model Canvas and lists 42 different ways to make money from music.

Bemuso gives detailed advice to the self-employed independent musician. A brilliant resource.

Songhack helps artists “hack the music industry”. It’s a consumer guide to over 100 digital products and services targeted at musicians. Songhack features news, resources and coaching content to help musicians make money.

Berklee Music College have various free video lessons on music business, promotion and careers.

The Unsigned Guide An online music industry directory with more than 8,800 UK music business contacts spanning 50 areas of the industry. A subscription website with some free documents. Worth checking out.

Artists House Music educates the musician and entrepreneur to build sustainable music careers. It is an online, non-profit musicians’ Website where all musicians can receive informational support, guidance, and expert resources to help them navigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities available to them within the music industry. Twitter: @artistshouse

Youth Enterprise’s mission statement is “to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.” Its guiding principle is to do this through “learning by doing”.

Young-Enterprise. Business and enterprise education charity made up of 12 regional organisations and operating through support from the business community and Government.

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme supports unemployed young people aged 18-30 to work out if their business ideas are viable and whether self-employment is right for them.

The Young Enterprise QuickStart™ Music Programme will offer groups of up to 35 students aged 13 to 15 the experience of setting up and running their own real mini music enterprise in school. Working in company teams students take on the full spectrum of music industry functions and roles to put on a music event or produce and sell a music product.

The Academy of Contemporary Music delivers programmes for serious students looking to become music industry professionals. Our faculty includes lecturers that have performed and recorded alongside some of the biggest names in music and worked in every area of the industry.

Business and Finance Resources – grants, funding and business advice. Links compiled by the Vocalist.

Start Up Support and Funding – 10 resources for new businesses – funding, mentoring and advice, picked out by Ideas Tap.

Joining The Dots is a new initiative by The::Hub to provide artists, promoters and others working in independent music in England with ‘seed corn’ funding of up to £10,000 to test alternative models they think could help make live music more financially viable. The project focuses on 3 specific aspects of live music:

  • Financing touring, commissioning and presenting live music
  • Using digital technology to increase live attendance and income
  • Developing young adult audiences for specialist independent music (eg. jazz, folk and electronica)

Guidance on contracts by the Incorporated Society of Musicians. What are they, why have one, what should be in it? See also the lowdown on freelance and employment contracts – a blog by Ideastap.

Business Link Information for new businesses and start-up companies.

The Creative Capital Fund Seed investment and business support.

Creative Industry Finance Arts Council England initiative offering busines development support and access to finance for creative industry enterprises in England (London, Yorkshire and Humber).

Creative Industry Finance useful links Useful links to other sources of support for creative businesses.

Cultural Industries Development Agency (CIDA) Support agency for the grassroots creative and cultural industries in London.

MeWe360 Funding, mentoring and development for creative businesses.

AIM Startup Loans Delivering loans, mentoring and support for entrepeneurs and startup businesses.

Creative Industry Finance  Delivering loans, mentoring and support for entrepeneurs and startup businesses. Relaunching later in 2014.

Ecomodo is an award winning website that simply enables people to confidently lend and borrow their goods, skills and spaces with others locally. Instead of wasting money purchasing items, Ecomodo can help you to source the things you need directly from your local community at a low or no cost.

Musicians Against Playing for Free is a Facebook page with lots of examples of promoters trying to get professional musicians to play at their events for free with the lure that the performers will get future offers of paid work – getting your name about etc. Strong arguments supporting resistance against this. Why is the musician expected to be the first to not get paid at an event? A great email by Whitey to a London TV company wanting free music sums it up. Related is an article ‘If Other Professions Were Paid Like Artists‘.

How much should I charge? Musicians can offer a number of services – performance, teaching, composing and commissions etc. The ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) have surveyed members to see the range of fees people charge to help you be competitive, realistic and sustainable.

Event/festival support: Festival elves, pixies and the odd gnome ( trolls need not apply) This friendly Facebook page with over 2,000 members is primarily about joining up people for work at festivals – carpenters, transporters, stewards, bar work, promotion writers – anything that makes an event happen. Positions can be paid or voluntary. If you are putting on an event, it’s a good site to ask questions and find resources. The site has a Files Page that has UK contacts with CVs for everything you may need to make an event/festival happen.

Showcase, the international directory of the music industry, with over 10,000 professional contacts to choose from e.g. backline rental in Berlin through to a New York recording studio. Scroll down the categories on the left of the listings page. See the bottom of the page for common search listings – everything from tour buses, catering, legal services, stage crew and much more. A bit of a resource gem!

Here is a good Festival Directory of Suppliers for those thinking of putting on large scale events, compiled by the Association of Independent Festivals – a non-profit trade association created to represent UK independent music festivals. 11 pages in alphabetical order.

The Business and Artist Development Centre (BDC) bridges the gap between education and the music industry.

The Lowde Music Trust is dedicated to supporting, motivating and funding young creative and entrepreneurial talent in the music and creative performance industries.

The Lowde Music Enterprise Awards. In the current economic climate it is becoming increasingly difficult for young creative entrepreneurs to secure investment. Such investment is key to the future development of the music industry, in terms of music creation, recording and performance. The Trust has established a series of Awards targeted at supporting young adults who are interested in setting up business in the music industry.

AIM loans: a new Government-backed scheme offering access to finance for independent music companies and entrepreneurs. The AIM Start Up Loans initiative will see the trade body be responsible for assessing applications and approving personal loans ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000 for business purposes. The loans can be paid back in 1-5 years, with interest fixed at 6%. The average loan amount is £5,700.

Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) use social enterprise to create new opportunities for young people and adults, making real change happen.

Social Enterprise Qualification and ideas relating to the qualification and framework RIO have established, to allow young people to establish real socially enterprising activity.

Live UnLtd is another support organisation for young social entrepreneurs. It backs people aged 11-21 who want to change their world for the better. Live UnLtd do this by providing cash Awards and support to launch projects. If you can see a challenge that you want to take on and turn into a project then Live UnLtd can help you make it happen. They have an interesting document 2020 Vision for Social Entrepreneurship.

Sound Rights is a free online learning resource produced by UK Music, written by professionals in the music industry and music education expert Leonora Davies to answer the national curriculum’s new requirement regarding the music industry and copyright.

Watch the video here (under 5 minutes) at the bottom of the link (in task 3), of Harvey Goldsmith, one of the UK’s iconic event promoters, giving great advice on the most important parts of event promotion. Excellent music business advice!

Tips on Sharing Your Success – a Youth Music blog with a download of 20 questions to ask yourself about what you are doing, and tips on how to present what you say so that you can share your successes and tell your story well. The blog is aimed at professionals sharing best practice but is transferable to building any business brand.

Creative Dorset is an independent not for profit company which is set up to develop and promote the creative sector in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. It has the support of the local authorities in the area and board members are drawn from these authorities and from creative businesses in Dorset. Their website aims to provide you with useful links, news and business funding sources as well as the opportunity to sign up to the creative industries business directory. Has a useful links page especially the gateway section at the bottom of the page.

Dorset Community Action support the development of the voluntary sector through information, networking, representation, building capacity, and filling gaps as well as supporting and enabling initiatives in rural communities. They can give advice on business planning for social enterprises and other third sector organisations.

Start Ups community group Blogs and advice for new businesses, on Linkedin

Tips on business plans and marketing strategies.

Project management, tools, process, plans and project planning tips.

Mind Tools is a good site for tips on business management. The full Mind Tools toolkit contains more than 700 management, career and thinking skills. Use the buttons to start exploring them. An example article is Team Management Skills

Open Colleges management courses. One of Australia’s leading on-line colleges, with courses on business management.

Linkedin is a network for professionals to interact, get advice and support and make connections and endorsements. Useful for musicians and the music industry.

The Dorset Business Mentoring Programme (Dormen) provides one-to-one mentoring support for small businesses across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.

Mentorsme connects companies with mentoring organisations that can support and guide their growth. If you are a business that needs support they can help you connect with a mentor.

Transmit Start-Ups specialises in business support within the creative industries (e.g. design, music, film, TV, radio, software, games, publishing, arts and crafts).

Brightside is a business mentoring charity.

Instutute of Enterprise and Entrepeneurs The IOEE is the UK’s first institute dedicated to ‘learning by doing’ for anyone thinking about, starting or running their own business and those who support them. The IOEE provides an online, member-to-member mentor introduction service, mentor directory and mentee bulletin.

Get Started – Start up loans, support and learning for young entrepreneurs.

Self employed e-course for HM Revenue & Customs, about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.  The course is aimed at musicians.

Tax allowable expenses for musicians A guide by ISM on the most common things you can claim as expenses as a self employed musician to reduce your tax bill e.g. equipment and repairs, travel, working from home, insurance, administration etc.

Debt problems. If you find it difficult to manage your money, you may go into debt. This can be stressful and affect your mental health. StepChange is a debt charity to help you manage debt issues and negotiate solutions. They have a free phone number from landlines and mobiles: 0800 138 1111.

GRANTnet helps small businesses, charitable and community groups find suitable funding. It has more than 5,000 funding schemes that are available in the UK from European and national sources.

Funding Central is a free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. It lists thousands of funding and finance opportunities, plus a wealth of tools and information supporting you to develop a sustainable income strategy. Run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

International Business Seed Accelerators Over 170 links to business investors/accelerators around the world. Q: What is an accelerator? A: A program that works with entrepreneurs to take their products to market – fast and furious. Some are for-profit, others not-for profit. Some provide equity investment, some provide onsite team building. All provide mentoring and most connect entrepreneurs to exceptional networks – market and medium related. Thanks to Alice Loy, PhD on LinkedIn for this list.

How to Crowdfund, where creative people sell perks and rewards to fans in order to fund their project. Advice with further links:

  • 7 Crowdfunding Tips Proven to Raise Funding – definitely worth reading. The scale of investment they use as examples may be larger than you want, but the principle of paying attention to the incentive and what the donor gets out of funding you is universal.
  • Crowdfunding Tips
  • Pitfalls of Crowdfunding
  • We Did This – a crowdfunding broker for the arts – part of Peoplefund.it
  • Crowdfunding Guide – a list of more crowdfunding organisations.
  • Songhack recommends 11 Crowdfunding organisations.
  • Songbacker – for music video production. USA based.
  • Crowdfunding ‘Term Sheets’ resources. Investment terms, company valuation, and the longer-term implications of investment terms are not “one size fits all.” In fact, these are some of the biggest areas of confusion for early stage founders. To help with that, here are. some great free term sheet resources available to startup and small business owners looking for guidance and sample term sheet agreements.
  • Pitching for Investment. Tips by Crowdfunder on key elements of a pitch to potential investors. What should you talk about? A good download document.

How to set up a Paypal business account to support your business/crowdfunding project.

How to design a good buiness card – a blog by Ideastap.

Music facts and statistics for the UK Interesting data about music in the UK, covering UK market size and value, digital music, live music, export performance, research and publications. Compiled by The Creative Industries.

A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in  Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey.

Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey

B Sharp has created a number of blogs that aim to help young people (and others) progress their musical journey beyond the activities we offer.

The blogs give links to websites that may be useful to them. Safety on the internet is particularly important for children and young people, and we have posted safety guidelines here.  B Sharp has come across these sites while looking for potentially useful information and has posted them here in good faith.

The links have been grouped into topics, and can be found by clicking on the topic titles below.

Links for Singing

Links To Buying Musical Instruments and Equipment

Links to Funding Support for Individual Musicians and Music Entrepreneurs

Links to Music Training and Colleges

Links to Music Jobs and Volunteering

Links to Early Years Music Resources

Links to Music Resources and Support

Links to Music and Health

Links To Youth Enterprise And Music Business

Resource Links for Event Promotion

Links for Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard

Links to Music Blogs/News/Discussion/Interaction

Links to Finding/Discovering Music

Links to What’s On? Music Listings

Links to Music Festivals

Links To Classical Music

Links to Organisations Supporting Young People’s Music Education

Links to Music Industry Organisations

We hope these posts will be useful and enjoyable to explore. We look forward to your feedback and receiving additional information that we can pass on.

B Sharp has also posted notes on event and project planning. They are aimed at young people who want to make thing happen, and to encourage innovation and enterprise in music. The notes are under different topics such as aims & objectives, budgets, marketing, etc. They can be found in Ideas Into Action.

This B Sharp resource website has been developed as part of our current project, The Big Mix, funded by Youth Music, West Dorset District Council and Lyme Regis Town Council. We are very grateful to have their support.

Ideas into Action

Welcome to B Sharp’s ‘Ideas Into Action’.

These notes aim to help young people who want to make things happen, and to encourage innovation and enterprise in music. Once understood, the principles can be applied to any type of project. The notes have been divided into different sections and can be explored by clicking on the subject headings in the table of contents.

More music resources, compiled by B Sharp, can be found in Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey.

Contents

Introduction to Event and Project Planning

Aims and Objectives

Actions and Timetabling

Management, Communication and Teamwork

What Does A Leader Look Like?

Resources and Budgets

Marketing

Publicity

Responsibilities and Safety

Results, Monitoring and Evaluation

Social Enterprise and B Sharp

The B Sharp Resources website has been developed as part of B Sharp’s project  Young Leaders @ The Hub, taking place in The HubLyme Regis. The project is funded by Youth MusicWest Dorset District Council and Lyme Regis Town Council. We are very grateful to have their support.

Social Enterprise and B Sharp

Social Enterprise

There are many ways of organising projects and businesses. How they are structured will depend on the aims of the organiser.

Economies may be considered to have three sectors:

  1. The business private sector, which is privately owned and profit motivated. The profits are distributed between the owners (a private enterprise) or between investors who have shares (a public company) and share the profit in proportion to the number of shares each investor has.
  2. The public sector, which is owned by the state on behalf of the people of the state e.g. the NHS and comprehensive schools.
  3. The social economy, or third sector, which embraces a wide range of community, voluntary and not-for-profit activities. The third sector is based around the idea of doing good things for people or the environment.

Brief explanations of different business structures can be found here.

A good blog about choosing a legal structure for a creative buisness, outlining the pros and cons of each model can be found on Creative Choise’s ‘How to set up your own business’.

The third sector can be organised in different ways.

It could be a not for profit organisation such as a charity, community organisation, or club. All their money is spent on their cause and they rely on donations, subscriptions, grants and volunteers to provide a service for people or the environment.

It could be a Social Enterprise, which is generally half way between private enterprise and a volunteer/community organisation. Social enterprises are defined by the government as  “businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.”  Basically a business that trades and is driven by a mission to tackle a social or environmental issue, and invests all profits back into the cause.  People, planet and profit, also known as the triple bottom line framework, is at the heart of a social enterprise.

A social enterprise can have various organisational structures e.g. a Community Interest Company, a Co-operative or a company trading for charitable purposes.

In all the business models mentioned above, people can be paid for the work they do or volunteer their time. The difference is about how money left over is used, after all expenses are paid.

Because the social economy is about benefiting people and the planet and relies on good will and trade to do it, the sector needs to measure these benefits to show what difference they are making. If they have evidence about their value, it’s easier to tell their story and gain support for their cause and efforts.

Benefit and value are not as easy to measure as quantitative data such as the number of people who come to a show. Benefit and value are subjective quality judgements made by individuals and groups. Techniques for measuring qualitative data are talked about in the monitoring section.

B Sharp sits in the third sector. It believes its work adds real value to the lives of young people by engaging them in creative activities such as music. It is a charity that wants to develop its social enterprise activities so that it doesn’t rely so much on donations and grants – spreading its financial risk. This is why we have started to charge young people to take part in B Sharp’s workshops.

B Sharp is particularly concerned about making sure opportunities for all young people are there if they want to take part in its activities.

People may not feel they can take part if they feel unwelcome, can’t afford to, or can’t access the venue because of physical limitations. All projects under the B Sharp brand must pay attention to these considerations and design activities to be as inclusive as possible.

B Sharp is aware that charging people to come to its workshops may put some people off because of financial hardship. One of the aims of this ‘Ideas into Action’ course is to give young people an understanding of what B Sharp is trying to do and its dilemma of creating incomes so that it can continue its work yet still be inclusive. We are pleased to be able to subsidise or give free places to about a third of our participants.

Partnerships

Private and public businesses driven by profit tend to compete against each other, with a culture of ‘winner takes all’. They rarely co-operate.

3rd sector organisations driven by a mutual social goal are more likely to co-operate. If you are in the third sector, there may be other organisations, businesses and individuals that are willing to help you. They could share resources, give advice and training, or help you find customers. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations says, “Working with others can help you to deliver new, improved or more integrated services whilst sharing knowledge, information and experience. Collaborative working can also deliver efficiency savings and help organisations to develop a stronger, more united voice.”

Dorset Loves Arts has written a useful download for organisational collaboration: Dorset Loves Arts- a collaborative charter and the Harvard Business Review has a 15 Steps for Successful Strategic Alliances (and Marriages) blog.

You may want to work with another organisation as a partner. The principle of good communication applies to your new team member. Misunderstandings about what each partner will bring to the project can happen and people fall out, leading to organisations falling out. It’s a good idea to write an agreement outlining what each partner will do and their responsibilities. An agreement could be a Memorandum Of Understanding (an informal agreement of intended actions) or obligations and responsibilities could be more formally drawn up as a legally binding contract.

To find the list and links to all B Sharp’s posts about event and project planning, go here: Ideas into Action

Links to other music resources, compiled by B Sharp, can be found here.

Results, Monitoring and Evaluation

When you start making your project happen, you will want to know if it is working. To do this, you need to find ways of measuring your success. There are various tools.

Outputs

Outputs are a project management term for immediate results and can be measured. For example,

  • 126 people came to the event.
  • 86 people said they had a good time.
  • Ticket sales totalled £608.

Indicators

An ‘indicator’ is almost the same as an output, but hasn’t got numbers with it yet. It is a piece of information that can be measured and will show progress towards achieving your outputs and outcomes. If you are asked, “What are the indicators you’ll use to measure the success of your event?” you could say, “People who turn up, comments about the event and the income generated from the event.”

Outcomes

Outcomes are a project management term for long-term results and can also be measured. For example, if your first dance night is a success, they may become a regular event. Or, 3 years after the first event, gigs aimed at young people take place in Lyme Regis 4 times a year.

Outcomes do not depend on outputs, but outputs help outcomes.

Outputs and outcomes can be shown by analysing data collected by monitoring your project.

Monitoring

Monitoring is about gathering information as your project progresses, so you can

  • Measure if you are achieving your aims, objectives and predicted outputs and outcomes, and understand the reasons for the results.
  • Improve how you do things in the future.
  • Build a database of potential customers so that you can let them know about any future projects.

There is no point in collecting information unless it can help you, so think about what you want to do with data before you start collecting. It should be collected in a way that can easily be interpreted.

Someone should be responsible for collecting and interpreting the information and if there are a number of people involved with this, the interpreter needs to make sure the person(s) collecting data gathers it in a useable form.

There are 2 types of data you may want to collect:

Quantitative – numbers of things such as how many people came to your event, how many people engaged with your social media campaign, what ages the audience was, how far they travelled to get to your event, how much money have you made?

Quantitative data can be gathered in a number of ways e.g.

  • Ticket numbers/audience count
  • Registration for workshops
  • Membership/mailing lists
  • Surveys/questionnaires
  • Sales register
  • Online statistics e.g. the number of visitors to your blogs, found in the blog administration tools.

Qualitative – measurements of opinion – did people enjoy what you did, was there something they didn’t like, would they come again, have people learned something, how else did they benefit?

Qualitative data helps you know what people think about your project and brand. It’s important if you want to continue doing more things, because previous customers may or may not return, depending on their experience and they gossip. This data is not so easy to gather – you have to be proactive in seeking it out.

Information can be gathered using e.g.

  • Questionnaires that include scales of opinion e.g. from 1 to 5, where 1 is terrible and 5 is excellent. A good blog by Youth Music, with scales to download is here.
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Posts on social media sites
  • Samples of work – recordings, video etc
  • Records/minutes of any meetings

Questionnaires with scales can be used to measure progress or changes over time e.g. a self-assessment questionnaire using scales of, say 1 to 5, can establish a baseline understanding of knowledge/confidence at the beginning of a project and then the questionnaire is repeated at the end. You can then interpret change over time with charts/graphs.

The data protection act restricts sharing information you may have about people. As a default policy, you should treat any information given to you as confidential unless individuals give permission for you to share it with others.

Evaluation

Evaluation is about interpreting the data you have gathered. By looking at the information you have, you can compare the results with what you hoped would happen in your plan and see if you met your targets.

To help you, data can be shown in visual ways such as tables, charts and graphs.

Interpreting the information should help you understand the results and the reasons for them. It will help you improve the way you continue any future work.

It is a good thing to periodically evaluate your project as you progress through it, so that you can improve its delivery as it evolves.

Conclusion

Your mission is to explore your ideas. The Ideas into Action guidelines will not self-destruct. They will be available for you to look at, any time you like.

Good luck on your mission

It’s not impossible

It’s logical

To find the list and links to all B Sharp’s posts about event and project planning, go here: Ideas into Action

Links to other music resources, compiled by B Sharp, can be found here.