8 Steps to Creating a Successful Team for a Music Artist or Band

By | 2021-08-09T14:24:39+00:00 August 3rd, 2021|Artist Development, music career, musician career|4 Comments

8 Steps to Creating a Successful Team for a Music Artist or Band

by Kari Estrin


Indie artists have to do it all – from writing their songs, practicing, performing, recording, booking, travel, publicity and promotion, not to mention all their own admin; it never seems to stop. Should you create a team to help you? Here is an 8-step guide to help move your career forward by finding the support you need.

1) Determine what you have time to do and what areas with which you need the most help:

Know what it is you are best at and the difference between that and tasks that weigh you down. Besides being the artist, what else can you easily accomplish without help, that you wouldn’t mind doing if you didn’t have to do everything else? Then think about those jobs you also don’t want to or ideally, need to do, that someone else could do at least as well, if not better and more efficiently. For instance, some artists may enjoy posting and doing their social media, others may be intimidated by it. Perhaps keeping records is easy for you, or you may realize your financials are in a mess. Maybe you are organized in your office, but need additional help booking. So make a list of all the jobs you have – those you enjoy, those you want to delegate. This can be anything from as just mentioned – to tour management, creating videos, management or coaching/consulting, and/or organizational help in your office or digitally workable, etc.

2) Take a critical look at your finances:

If your finances are limited, you will have to look at what could be available to you to move your career forward. Oftentimes artists feel that they would rather do something themselves than have to spend money for someone else to do that same task, but the danger here is that you become mired in seemingly endless tasks that don’t move your career forward. It may take you hours to do a task that someone else can do in either a quarter or less than half that time. If there is an area that you feel that you need help, that could exponentially free up both time and relieve anxiety, that will allow you to move your career forward in other areas, including artistically and creatively, then consider delegating that to a paid pro. This is a actually a case of using money to make more money – by getting the help you need to not just maintain, but grow your fan base, gig opportunities and online options for greater visibility and profit.

3) You may not be able to have a full team right away – determine your most important area of need first:

Having taken an initial look at your finances, you then begin get an idea of what you think you could free up financially, in order to alleviate yourself of areas that are keeping you back when you do them yourself. However, even if one needs several areas of help, in order to start, if finances are potentially are limited at first, determine what is the most important area that is taking up too much of your time, may give you the most anxiety to do, that perhaps you don’t understand fully and therefore may be impacting your progress generally. What is the most urgent area that you get under control first? You can look at putting together a team step by step if your finances are somewhat limited, but if you determine that you can, for instance, handle most areas, but that you need help with social media, remember, the money you invest in someone should exponentially benefit you with more followers, thus more opportunities for increased fan engagement and eventually profits.

4) Now go back and look again at your finances!

You’ve taken an initial look at some ways to free up some money to hire a team member, but now that you’ve determined what are the most important needs that will help you move forward, remember – you are hiring a team member with the goal to allow you to make more money in your career. Spending money is the one area that tends to hold us all back. So now that you have determined what kind of relief/gain you may get by investing in the first area/team member, take a deep breath! Your music career is a business and a wise investment will reap benefits exponentially with time. Trust your gut – not the fear – if hiring a team member or more than one team member could make a realistic difference in the efficiency and growth of your career, you will create the ways to free up or even attract more income to pay for it. Commit to the idea first of what you need – you may not know how to make that happen yet, but if you commit to it, you will find the practical path(s) to make that happen. Keep going in the process to now making the list of tasks you want someone to do – putting it in writing makes it more real and attainable.

5) Make a clear list of the tasks you are asking someone to do:

When looking to hire anyone, it is important that you put in writing exactly the kind of tasks, or range of tasks, that you are asking someone to do for you. By being able to write down and then more succinctly verbalize the specifics of your situation, you will be clearer with whomever you are looking to hire and will have focused before you are speaking/emailing with them for greater results.

6) Do your research to find the right people:

This may feel daunting – whom does one hire? Of course, one can search the internet for others doing what you are looking for and for recommendations on who has does these type of jobs, but your own contacts, friends and social media followers may be able to recommend various people to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask – and if following up on something you see on the internet, research as much as you can about what is offered, then use your points of what you are looking for as a base for an initial inquiry.

7) Hiring some to help you:

Here is where one must trust their instincts and ask questions about what a potential team member may offer, talk about what you need and get a feel for that person. Don’t dismiss red flags, stay alert and see if both personally and professionally you might be a good fit. Ask for references or testimonials and after speaking with someone, don’t hesitate to take some time for yourself to either think about it or interview several others. By interviewing more people for the same job, you will learn about the range of what is offered in the area you are looking for and be able to weigh services from one person to the next, while considering whose style will best suit you.

8) Self-Evaluate how you and your team member are working:

When bringing someone onto your team, make sure the communication between you continues to be clear, don’t leave things up in the air if you’re unsure, and anticipate whether or not you’re giving the other person enough information for them to do their job for you well. If something doesn’t seem to be working, take a step back and determine what it is you need to express and if you can revise course if need be. Sometimes communication is confusing, so even if someone is an experienced pro, if you are not sure about something they tell you or ask of you, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or ask them to state more simply in order for you to understand. If something doesn’t feel right, take some time to put your thoughts into words, and bring it up the next time. Don’t let assumptions lead to misunderstandings. In doing all of these steps, hopefully, you will have found new team members that understand your needs, have expertise in helping you achieve them, and in doing so will help you make more money as a result.

As a result of the steps above, and as your business grows, you will be able to hire or attract those that can help you build your future, for more efficiency, financial gain and satisfaction. You don’t have to be perfect at building a team, but you will gain experience in finding those professionals that will become invaluable to your career momentum and sanity. Good luck, take a deep breath and commit to the process of building a support structure and team for your music career.


Acoustic/roots industry veteran Kari Estrin is known for her integrative, strategic & holistic approach to artist management; helping the artist define their vision, then creating marketing plans to bring it fruition. In 2022 Kari celebrates 50 years in artist management, tour management, concert/festival production, CD production/A & R, as well as being a publisher/writer and more. With expertise reflected in her innovative artist career consulting, Kari established her system prior to the coaching movement. Holding a track record as a respected acoustic music/roots radio promoter for the past 20 years, Kari doesn’t just promote releases, she builds careers. www.kariestrin.com

For more information on the 18th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to: https://inacoustic.com/enter-here/


  1. Andrew Ralph Passero August 4, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you for the great information. My son is an Audio Engineer and Artist who has performed in some events. He creates and produces music on a computer. His advice to me was “All you need is a musician who plays the Chimes one who plays the saxaphone and one who plays the trombone. That is it. He will come with me to the studio and give it some fine tuning.
    the song will be the the next furure Christmas hit “SANTA” I am sure you will here it this Christmas season.

  2. Bruce Bragg August 5, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Great info., but it’s missing point #4

    • Iama August 9, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you for your eagle eye, we have fixed it.

  3. Jonathan Ditto August 8, 2021 at 3:10 am

    Good one !!!

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