Band Apps: 4 Apps that will get your indie band more money

Instead of just texting the girlfriend you miss back home or playing Angry Birds, get together with your bandmates to be proactive about how you make money. These are 4 apps that can change your band’s financial career with the swipe of a thumb.

If you’re already addicted to your smart phone, these apps will become second nature. (If you’re just a freelancer in the arts, these apps come in real handy too.)

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This is my new favourite thing. Take a photo of a receipt once you receive it and select whether or not it is deductable, reimburseable or “not sure.” It then gets filed into an online secure database according to category. It allows you to make notes on it, e.g. Subway restaurant March 23 for 4 band members = deductable expense as artist per diem (If you’re a Factor-funded artist, this little gem will SAVE your life when you’re partially or fully-audited).  It’s not just for bands though; you can use it as an individual say if you purchase a new Korg keyboard and you deduct a taxes from your job as a musician- your writeoffs are there for you super easy! The best thing is that if you make a habit of using it whenever you purchase something, you’re done.  You can even send email invoices directly to them to file into the same account (so eco-folks, no paper is necessary.) BONUS:  You make more money because you have everything accounted for!

Square

At the bar people want to spend their cash impressing their friends or last $10 on a cab ride home. Don’t lose out on potential gas money because you don’t have a credit card swiper tool called Square. They charge 2.75 % a swipe but the App AND device are FREE when you sign up and there’s no contract.  Everything gets deposited into your account in 1-2 business days. Come on.  If you’re traveling internationally without reliable wifi or don’t want to use the Square brand you can find others under $15 on Ebay and very easy to use (like Roam Pay).

Fresh Books

Ever forget when you have a bill coming up?  Need to build a budget for the band? Fresh Books sends reminders and lets you know how much money you have left to go towards gas or an automatic withdrawal for your jam space so not to spend that extra $20 in your pocket (so go beg for more extra beer tickets).  BONUS:  If you’re self-representing you can send invoices in seconds from your phone to get paid from promoters or agents.

Mail Chimp

If you don’t already have a newsletter sign-up, get thee to Mail Chimp! All major publicity firms and promoters use this free service because you can send out thousands of emails in gorgeous and easy to format set ups that allow you to embed photos, music videos, links AND be able to tell who has opened your emails. It might seem like an out of date way to reaching bands but unlike Facebook or Twitter, if a cool band’s newsletter pops up in someone’s personal account, chances are they’ll be opened. People are bored on the train ride home or killing time between meetings. Give them an excuse to care about your band. You can get them to sign up at your merch table through their mobile app or get them to scribble down their contact info the old fashioned way and input it on the long drive between Quebec City and Ottawa.

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Please note: this post is geared towards people who use Iphone and Android mobiles. If you still have a flip-phone, get the band member who DOES have a smart phone to download them.  If unlimited wifi is too expensive for you as a band, select one member’s phone to use and chip in to cover that mobile phone package when he’s on tour.