Bernard's Hot Tips for the Biz










Music Connection Feature Story

In the music business you often hear the phrase, “You’ve got to pay your dues.” While that may be true (to a certain extent), it doesn’t have to be painful, or last a long time. There are many ways to achieve your goals; and, with “Bernard’s Hot Tips” you’ll find shortcuts and reality checks that will make your “dues” go down easier.   


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Investors & Sponsors

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Twelve Tips for Pitching Investors & Sponsors

Investors and sponsors do not want to receive requests asking for money when you have no definite plan or defined proposal. They want to know, right from the get-go, what you can offer them and how you plan on using their help.


1. List Your Assets. What are you offering the investor or sponsor? How many fans are on your mailing list? Do you sell out venues? Who is your typical fan– what’s the demographic: sex, age, income, etc. Have you been reviewed in the press? Are there any high-profile articles about you and your act? The stronger the numbers and more interesting the story, the more likely a potential investor will be interested.


2. List Your Track Record. What have you accomplished so far? Do you show a pattern of success? Have you received awards or accolades?


3. Define Your Goals. What do you want to do? How will it make a difference in your career? If you plan to break into new markets, explain why you need to do so and how you will do it.  If you need recording funds, explain why a new recording is necessary.

4. Identify Your Audience. What kind of music do you play? Your genre may determine the types of investors/sponsors you approach. Try to match them with your target audience. Be creative – don’t just focus on the obvious.


5. Identify Your Market. Is your market local, regional or national? Investors will want to know how you plan on marketing the project.


6. Define & Itemize Expenses. You need to know exactly how much everything will cost. Break down all expenses in an itemized list showing how the money will be spent.


7. Acknowledge The Risks. You should make it clear that investors may not see a quick return. If repayment is required, regardless of the outcome, make it payable in stages.


8. Estimate Return Time. Assuming the project is successful, you should estimate how long it will take before investors see a return on their investment. Sponsors will want to know how often their message will be seen by your audience.


9. Design A Promotional Plan. List every possible promotional option and research the costs and benefits of each before presenting your ideas to an investor/sponsor. Some may be willing to offer cross-promotion. 


10. Express A Good Work Ethic. Explain what you will do to make the project a success. Investors/sponsors may not support you unless a certain number of shows are performed per month/year.


11. Explore Cross-Promotional Opportunities. Sometimes an investor or sponsor won’t offer you cash, but may be interested in paying for an ad or a radio commercial promoting your act. They may also provide merchandise that you can sell or give away. The possibilities are endless… The more open you are to receiving various forms of support (not necessarily cash), the greater your chances of getting help.


12. Offer Extras. Treat your investors and sponsors well. Offer them backstage access, send them newsletters detailing your progress, mention them whenever you can, throw parties to thank them (and show them how popular you are). Let them feel like a part of your team, and that they are involved with someone special.


By: Bernard Baur






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