You’re a musician and you’ve been around the block a few times. You’ve had some success already but the momentum you expected wasn’t there. The support wasn’t there. The fantasy of making music while someone else took care of your career has vanished. You’ve tried to promote and book yourself, but it’s slow going and money’s still tight. You’re frustrated and you don’t know what to do.
You want things in life—to get hitched, build a tiny house, raise kids, get a miniature goat—but you don’t know how you’ll ever do it without giving up music. Giving up the dream.
And yet, there’s a voice inside your head that insists this is the thing you were meant to do.
This is who you are.
Every musician knows that. What they don’t know is what the old guard—the agents, publicists, managers, and record labels—knew all along. That is, how to actually run a business.
Maybe you’ve already tried being a do-it-yourselfer, so you know all too well how hard it is to figure things out. You probably wondered if you were missing something huge. You were.
And you’re not alone. Most musicians are sailing along in the dark when it comes to their careers (though, they say “a smooth sea never made a good sailor”).
This comprehensive course changes that. Compose Your Career is for musicmakers like you who want to make the music you love—and a living at it too. It offers secrets and strategies that come from a team (of Grammy and Juno Award winners)
who have stopped at nothing (okay, almost nothing) to design a workable system for independent musicians. It provides a disarmingly honest look at what’s really happening in the music industry and what it takes to propel your career forward.
As artists, we need to re-think and re-imagine what it means to do business. An artist’s business model is fundamentally different than that of a record label or booking agency. The good news? We have more latitude, choice, and creative freedom than ever before.
Compose Your Career puts tools and resources back into the hands of independent musicians. It shows you that your career is the ultimate improvisation—the grand music project that includes businesscraft too.
“Jayme thinks outside of the box. Always inspired by him as a musician, composer, and producer (and overall human, really), his counsel in my career continues to blow open my world and the way I think about the music industry.”
“I was astounded by the intuition, drive, and clarity of purpose Clay employed marketing, branding, and booking his band on his own.”
That was a huge compliment, but it was also sobering. We're moved by the astounding creativity of our friends and peers. How talented they are. And yet they ask for help because they are desperate to know how it all works. To stop struggling.
We understand. We’ve been figuring out how to do this without a guide for over twenty years. We’ve signed with record labels and have had managers and agents, but we’ve mostly done it ourselves. We’ve released albums independently, raised over $80,000 on Kickstarter, instigated a decade’s worth of collaborative projects, and booked thousands of concerts ourselves.
In 2015, Jayme began teaching a workshop called “How to Book Yourself Without an Agent” to answer many of the questions that fellow musicians had. Based on the success of those workshops, we set to work on a more comprehensive course—this course—that encompasses everything it takes to self-manage your career. What we're offering is the hard-won knowledge we’ve accumulated that can uncover valuable opportunities for others.
As artists, we can do a better job of representing ourselves and managing our own careers than most agents and managers because no one will care more than we do. We’re in it for the long haul and music isn’t just a living, it’s a life. There is no one better to represent our inner vision—our passion and our drive—than ourselves.
“Unmatched in his ability to envision and articulate a creative path through our evolving industry: that sentence was cumbersome. How would Jayme phrase it? Trust me, you will want to know! Don't sleep on this course: within lies a wealth of actionable knowledge and ideas, waiting to take the unique shape and form of your career ambitions.”
“Clay Ross’ ability to connect people has earned him a very special place in the world music scene and beyond. His gift for helping musicians take agency over their careers without losing the soul of their projects is inspiring and liberating.”
“Jayme Stone’s ‘How to Book Yourself Without an Agent’ is a must-do for any artist who wants to get their act on stages and into festivals across North America. So much info is geared toward the ‘Sonicbids beginner artists’ out there, it’s hard for mid-level artists to find mentoring—but Jayme’s workshop is perfect for the pro artist who’s ready for the next level. Jayme is full of useful, creative, non-cliché info. Bring a thick pad of paper, you’ll want to take lots of notes!”
“Jayme Stone is not a human being, he’s a laser beam. A pure, focused stream of creativity, positivity, and productivity. Do not let the fact that he plays banjo dissuade you, he’s the real deal.”
“Musicians looking out for musicians is what we need, and Clay is doing it!”
“The most organized musicians on the planet.”
“Jayme Stone’s workshop is the real deal. No platitudes or clichés about the music business; just shrewd insight into building a touring career. If you aren’t afraid of the truth or hard work, this workshop will move you forward. Most importantly, Jayme’s workshop gave me permission to embrace the truth about who I am musically; and the means to frame a career around that truth.”
“I attended Jayme's workshop and have also sought his expertise in one-on-one coaching sessions. Working with Jayme gave me the confidence to think outside of the box. I've approached him with questions regarding touring, gig contracts, personal branding, website building, etc, and each time, Jayme is bursting with creative, unique ideas that are simultaneously realistic and attainable. Jayme is thoughtful, honest, personable in his approach, and genuinely excited to share with those yearning to cultivate their own creative enterprise.”
“It’s good to read books, but better still to embody that knowledge. Clay has done the work of building a sustainable music career and he can show you how to do it too.”
“Clay Ross has figured out the means for artists to navigate the music business on their own terms. He has developed a wealth of knowledge, molded by his own fastidious research, touring, recording and Grammy success, plus good old-fashioned street smarts.”
“Jayme is professional, energetic, and interesting to listen to. With his real life experiences, he helped shed light on parts of the industry that once seemed inaccessible. He breaks down the invisible walls we put up for ourselves and logically puts things into perspective to make you realize a career in music is possible. His insights took my game to the next level.”