If you want to further your career, it could be a good idea to collaborate with other musicians.
For one, you can get more attention from journalists. What is more, the fans of the collaborating artist might start being your fans as well.
However, many musicians have a negative attitude when it comes to collaborating with fellow musicians. I do not understand this sentiment too much but my guess is that many musicians find it scary because they’ve never tried it. The old notion that the music industry is a hardcore competitive place also lingers on. Many might also worry that if they collaborate with other musicians, the workload might get out of hand. Already stretched to get even the minimum work in for their own project, many musicians might be overwhelmed by the prospect of collaborating.
Here’s the thing, collaboration is nothing that needs to scare you. On the contrary, there are so many benefits to it!
The word collaborate comes in many different shapes in nowadays music business. For example, on social media, you are much for likely to hear the term ‘cross-channel promotion’. On YouTube, you may come across a ‘Channel Takeover’ from another creator and so on.
Important to realise, all those words mean collaborating at the end of the day. Why is this important? It’s always critical to be clear about the ramification of a joint venture. What is more, having clear communication about your desired outcomes from a collab is also important so you can keep your expectation in check.
When you jam with other musicians you can hone in on so many benefits!
Collaborating with other musicians can come with so many benefits. For once, it can broaden your area of exposure. If you collaborate with another artist you can get so much more leverage out of the campaign.
For example, if two social media channels are promoting a new single you immediately trigger the algorithm more. Also, if you have two YouTube Channels that promote the new music video you will also gain much from it.
What is more, if your industry team joins forces with the team of the other artist you can get quite the synergy effect. Here’s the kicker, perhaps the other artist has other experts on their team than you. For example, perhaps you are quite on the DIY route and the other artist has already established a bigger team.
Then you can profit from the expert input into the campaign. What is more, you can get a feeling of how it would be to have an industry team behind you. Perhaps it could be interesting for you in the future or you think that you would rather stay DIY. Either way, it’s always good to gather as much information as possible.
Broaden your sound and expertise when you collaborate with another musician
Here’s the deal: when you collaborate with other musicians it’s not all about marketing and promotion. You can also learn so much from each other. What is more, you might even broaden your sound and gain further expertise. Let’s say you are a guitarist and you collaborate with a songwriter/lyricist. Then you can learn so much about songwriting and lyrics that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Likewise, the songwriter might learn some guitar licks from you!
Collaborating at best should always be beneficial for both sides.
Particulary in the EDM, pop; R&B, and hip-hop world, collaborations have been responsible for breaking many new artists and sending songs up the charts.*MusicIndustryHowTo
Ways in which you can collaborate with other musicians
Firstly, you could work together on playlist pitching. That might seem counterintuitive, however, in case you work in completely different genres it wouldn’t matter at all that you are ‘competitors’. This is wild, even if you would play in the same genre of music, you could still collaborate on playlist pitching.
One partner could research viable playlists using tools like Playlist Supply. The other side could find the matching social media account and could vet that they are alright.
The best way forward would be to simply record a song together. Now, working together on playlist pitching comes naturally. You could extend the joint work by sharing resources like data analytics software (Chartmetric or Soundcharts). Or you share the premium account of Canva for a couple of months.
There are so many software applications that could help your music career that is normally a bit outside most people’s price range. However, if you can share the price it might become accessible.
You can collaborate by swapping job expertise
Most musicians have a day job when they’re starting out in their careers. For example, I know a lot of musicians who also work as photographers.
Let’s say you need professional photos taken but can’t afford them right now. Then you could ask a musician friend if you could swap expertise. Maybe you have a car and could offer to drive some music tech through the city in exchange for the photos.
Things to keep in mind when you collaborate with other musicians
As I already mentioned above, having clear expectations of what you want from the collaboration is key. Not only to keep your own expectations in check but also those of the collaborating musician.
Being able to communicate properly is key in the music industry anyway, however, more so when you collaborate with other musicians.
Next, having a money talk before you start the project is also vital. Not only for you to know and to plan what monetary resources you have to invest but also that you have a legally sound contract with the other person.
Collaborating should never feel like a scam or that you helping someone out a huge time. Of course, helping each other in the music business is super important, however, don’t be naive and let people take advantage of you.
Collaborating with other musicians can be so much fun!
At the end of the day, most musicians make music because they simply love it so much. That’s why if you collaborate with fellow music lovers & nerds you get so much more back than you invest. Playing music with colleagues, broadening your horizon and doing promotion at the same is simply awesome!