The Importance Of Working Out A Deal Before Starting A Project

Whether you are hiring someone or someone is hiring you to work on an album or EP, make sure you have worked out a deal beforehand so both parties know what they are walking in to.

Otherwise, there can be some stressful moments for the person not knowing or thinking that he will get paid when in reality, from the “employers” perspective, you are doing them a favour.

If you are working for friends it might be that you start a project without talking about payment, for example, maybe they hung out in your studio, one thing led to another and 20 hours in you are suddenly the producer of their album.

Not to say that isn’t a great way to start a record, you just got to be aware that you have to agree on something before you are way too deep into a project. This will help clear out any misunderstandings that can happen during and after the project is done.

This situation was something a Reddit user experienced, take a look below.


I hope you don’t take on that much work and spend that much time on a project before you know that you are, in fact, getting paid and know how much you are getting paid.

A situation like this can have some unwanted effects on a friendship or a professional relationship, but it can easily be avoided, you just got to work it out beforehand.

A tip here is to also have it in writing, even if you don’t want to make it too formal by having a contract, a simple email stating what you have agreed upon beforehand will be sufficient (The goal here is that you can prove in writing what has been agreed upon).

Put it in writing.

Put it in writing.

Also, looking at a situation like this from a bands perspective isn’t great either.

As an artist, you don’t want a money situation hanging over you after you have poured sweat and tears into a project, so working out a deal beforehand is good for both parties.

The deals you make doesn’t always have to be about money, initially, but a way to secure future work.

For example, let’s say someone wants you to do a mix for them, it could be a friend, a relative or a client, you can definitely offer them a free mix but the deal is, if they like it, you get to do the rest of the album, EP, or whatever they plan to release - for a price.

However, before offering them such as deal, probe for more details about what their plans are for the future, are they hoping to release a full album or EP?

If no, it might be worth sticking to a money deal from the beginning.

Another great deal you can make with your friends or partners in the music world is to exchange favours, for example, and this is something I use with my friends, where for one day of my engineering I get one day of producing back.

This deal works great for both of us because he gets what he wants and I get what I want, “for free”.

It’s a win-win situation.

The important thing to take away from this article is that don’t work blindly or under the assumption that you will get compensated for your work. It doesn’t always have to be about money, as you saw above, but make sure that you know what the deal is before, either if that’s future work or an exchange of favours. Put it in writing if you can, you never know if you need to go back and prove what was agreed upon.

Now, have you been in a situation where you didn’t agree on a deal beforehand and it just ended up being super stressful for you? Let me know in the comments below!