Are you contracting outside service providers for any aspect of your career?
There are many kinds of contracts you’ll be dealing with in this business. You are already familiar with performance contracts for your gigs. There are management contracts, agency contracts, record contracts, publishing contracts, contracts with band members and then there are short term contracts for specific outside services.
When you are contracting outside service providers, you should get a written contract to define the services you are expecting the contractor to provide. Hiring a radio promotions company; a publicist; a road manager; a tour bus company; a sound engineer for your tour; a producer for your recording; a security company for your large shows, all require a separate contract spelling out exactly what they will provide and what you expect.
When contracting outside service providers, you get to examine your goals and expectations and match them with the services the provider is offering. You can ask for additional services and if agreed to, include those in the contract.
Just like creating a contract for your gigs, these contracts are historical documents that provide evidence of your agreement. If any part of the agreement is not fulfilled, you may return to the document and show what was originally agreed to and what then was done or not done based on the contracted expectations. You don’t have to rely on hearsay or memory of conversations long since forgotten. Your service provider says they will do something by a specific date and if it’s not done, you can refer to the contract and question them about their lack of performance. Without the contract, it would all be much harder to challenge them.
So if you plan on contracting outside service providers to help with various aspects of your career, make sure you clearly state your expectations. Match those expectations with the service provider’s offerings and write it all down in a concisely worded contract of agreement, dated, signed and copies exchanged. If you have an entertainment lawyer that you work with, I recommend using them to create your contracts with you, as many music business books mostly cover management, agent and record contracts and not service contracts.
I like to enter into agreements with outside service providers for services I know they excel at and I do not. If they specialize in some area, like social media marketing, for instance, I expect them to bring their years of expertise, connections and enthusiasm for my project to the table and put it all to work for me.
Before contracting outside service providers, know what you would like your end results to be and make sure they can get you there. Compare multiple service providers before settling on one. Really examine your goals to determine if the service provider can meet them or is the right one for you and your situation. Use your written contract with that provider to remind them of your expectations and their commitment to help you achieve your goals.
Are you contracting outside service providers for any reason? Do you have a contract that you use for those situations? Have you ever been burned because you did not have a contract?
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Here’s past Biz Booster you can use now…
Result-Based Decisions: Hiring a Publicist
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