We are in a “singles” market. Each artist should be looking to create the one HIT that will open up a fan base and create enough motion and commotion that labels, sponsors, investors and professionals will want to look and listen to what you are doing. After speaking with a few professionals in this business, I am finding that new artist as well as existing artists really do not know who, what, where, when , why and how to spend what money they do have, properly. There is no “right” path to follow. There is no “secret” formula to this business. But there are certain things that must be considered and followed through with in order to gain the attention of an audience and the powers that be. Most of you will spend the money to record, mix and master a record. Then you will go on and pay for a video, models, drinks, locations and have a party when it is all done. But where did that really get you? Your boys know about it? Your girls know about it? How does that make you money or get you the right exposure…? It doesn’t. It only lets you throw a party with your hard earned money that only your circle knows about. If you want to spend $500 to $10,000 to do that, then go right ahead. But I will tell you now – you are throwing away your money. When building your “plan” (I speak on that all of the time) you should be creating a budget as well. Your budget should have the following included: Recording, mixing, mastering, copyright fees, digital aggregation fees, graphics, video, advertising, social media, website, travel, conferences, ect. The list is long. But what I am getting at is that you budget MUST cover all of that; plus more. Today’s market is harder than before. We are working with dimes and nickels verses whole dollars… then again this business was built on pennies, nickels and dimes… But anyways, you should plan on spending 1/3 of your budget on recording (production, recording, mixing, mastering ect) , 1/3 on materials for marketing and promotions (video, pop, graphics) and 1/3 for a marketing and promotions budget. I think 1/3 is a little low for marketing but to keep the numbers even we will use that. Most major labels with majors artists spend about300k- 500k on production, recording, mixing mastering, ect (for a full album), 200k-500k on materials and 500k+ on marketing and promotions. That means close to 1million or more is spent on an album. But the formulas are still the same. Your budgets may not be as large as a major, but every dollar counts and you MUST spend money in this business to support your record. Decide if your budget will be based on local, regional, multi regional or national. Money must be spent. There is no getting around it. Educate yourself on this business or hire a consultant to do it for you. Many times what you spend on a consultant will be as much or maybe less than what you will spend on mistakes you make. Either way, it’s your business, so handle it appropriately.