The business of music can be overwhelming and sometimes downright daunting. Marketing yourself, connecting with fans, creating your art and so much more is involved. Without guidance, you could be left sitting there not knowing what to do or even worse, never starting at all.
Becoming a skilled musician is hard enough, but what’s even more difficult, is becoming successful to the point where you can live off your passion.
The music business can be relentless and without a plan, you could be in for a rude awakening.
You don’t have to write a business plan, though that wouldn’t be an entirely bad idea. But it’s good to lay out some goals and prepare yourself for the ebb and flow of a music career. There will be good and bad times but if you’re ready with the right plan in place you might just have a chance.
There are countless resources online that can help you succeed as a musician and many of them are free. But if you don’t have the determination and passion to see through the hard times you might not be cut out for a career in music.
Let’s assume that you have the skills to be a musician, have been playing an instrument or writing songs for a long time and have all the fundamentals in place. But when it comes to the business side of things you could use a little help.
These are 5 of the most important things you should learn to do and make a priority.
- Time Management – Most of us have a lot on our schedules which is why it’s important to only be working on what’s best for you and your career. You must be able to separate your personal life from your business life and get set up to work. When speaking of a career in music though this can be easier said than done. There’s a lot of overlap in this industry and you’ll be spending a lot of your personal time working on the business, whether it’s attending events, networking or just taking gigs on nights that conflict with your life. But you have to keep it together and make time for family, friends, loved ones and yourself.
- Networking – Learn to network, share your talents with others and reach out to people so they may be inspired to support you and your work. Connect with music labels and producers that would be able to see your potential and develop relationships that last. Social networking and word of mouth are 2 of the most important avenues to market yourself and it’s almost imperative that you do them well. Immerse yourself into the industry and dont burn any bridges. Sometimes an introduction might not seem opportunistic at the time but you never know who you’re talking to or who they know. Stay humble and be approachable, and people will like you.
- Take care of yourself – The music business can be a wild ride and with that can come a lifestyle of epic proportions. But if you keep your head on straight and put your well being first you might be able to survive the mayhem. Late nights are part of the business and it’s almost impossible to avoid it. So be in control and make your health a priority in life. It’ll pay off in the end and you’ll be able to enjoy all that success into your old age.
- Marketing and promotion – The number one reason most musicians don’t make it or don’t ‘make it all’ is they don’t put effort into their marketing. Nowadays you have to be on social media and be able to prove that you already have a fan base for most record labels to even consider you. Gone are the days when you could just be playing in a bar and an agent comes over and changes your life forever. It’s just not like that anymore. Labels expect you to have some level of marketing and success already under your belt. So find where your audience hangs out most and start there.
- Mastering your Craft – Even though you know how to play or write you can never stop creating and improving upon your skills. As an artist you must grow and evolve. So it goes without saying – But, you need to make time to work on your music. Because let’s face it, without any music you probably wont fair too well pursuing a career in music.
Maintain your passion, perseverance, and keep promoting yourself as an artist. But never base your success on the outcome of what others are achieving. Your success comes from being able to make things happen in your own way. You cannot assume that things are going to work out for you just because another artist like you has come out and people are listening to them. Create your own path but learn from those who’ve been there and done that. If you follow these principles you’ll be well on your way to becoming the next big thing.
Now go out there and achieve everything you want out of life. Keep making music and never forget why you started in the first place.