Artists of all types have had to overcome many obstacles to break into the music business. There are thousands of musicians competing for gigs and attention. This is on top of the artistic challenges of finding inspiration, the right beat or melody, and dealing effectively with band members. It can all seem overwhelming when you consider the constant changes in the music industry.
However, Rodney Alejandro, composer, and producer, says that “no band has ever been successful by chance.” Passion, planning, and perseverance were the keys to success. Getting into the music industry took passion, planning, and persistence. Here are some essential tips to help you make a career in the music business.
1. Make something that your audience will love.
You must make music people want to hear to have a successful career. Producer Julie Pyle from Jayde Monroe Productions says, “Gone are those days when record labels created rock stars.” A band must be its CEO to create a unique brand and become a success in today’s industry. You must channel your passion and find the right music, topic, image, sound, and audience to create the music. You can’t make your music brand different from other brands, so you must do market research.
- Which audience are you targeting?
- What age is your audience?
- What music are they listening to right now?
- What are they looking for?
- What do they loathe?
- Where can they find music?
- Where can they purchase their music?
2. Let them know about your brand.
Despite your creativity, your desire for uniqueness, and maybe your inability to please the masses, you are not like any other brand. You must be relatable. First, create great music, and second, present yourself in a way your audience can relate to. This will help you attract people to you. You should be personable and show your personality.
Mike Varney, Shrapnel Records, says that it is important to create your own style. As other bands are ahead of the curve, you take the risk of being left behind. You can hopefully see the curve and create music that is original and different from what was popular in previous years.
3. Promote your music on the best online channels.
While it is important to market yourself online, it is even more important to choose the right channels. While having a website is essential and being active on social media is important, you should also make sure that you appear on Spotify. Spotify is the leader in online music, and you will be able to get into other people’s playlists.
4. You can also promote your music offline.
While online is the best way to reach your biggest audience and follower, radio still plays an important part in the music business.
After you have established yourself in your area and played many gigs, you can ask local DJs to spin your song. Local DJs will soon be playing your songs on larger market radio stations.
You should aim to have your songs played on the radio. However, it is not enough. Interviews and live sets are also important. Interviews on local radio stations should coincide with major gigs. This will allow you to not only spread the word about your show but also increase your exposure on the radio. Interviews can help you connect with your audience and show that you are more than just another name.
5. Be prepared for bumpy roads.
You need to make a living and earn money from music. It’s not easy, so be prepared for the worst but expect the best. You can keep your day job and write new songs or play live gigs while building your reputation in the local music scene. Once your music is earning you a living, all other obligations can be dropped, and you can invest fully.
It takes time to make it in the music business. It is important to stay with the business for the long term — sometimes, it can take 10-20 years or more. It is important to realize that while financial difficulties may occur during your journey, you can still make it through with just one break. Alex Grossi from Quiet Riot says, “If music is your passion and you want it to be great, then anything is possible.”
6. Diversify to keep alive.
You need to find ways you can make money if you are going to leave your job and pursue music professionally. You can get your name out and network with people at the right music industry events and gigs. You could also offer music lessons, perform at weddings and other events, or run sound for local gigs.
7. Be proud of who you are
We all strive to be the best we can be. The media is known for focusing on the negatives, so you must ensure that there are no negative things to be discussed. Keep your sanity by smiling and being kind to others.
The music industry can also have a negative impact on your personal life. Keep your balance by making connections outside of your industry.
8. Do not try to do it all alone.
When it comes to music, the phrase “It’s not what I know, but whom I know” is particularly relevant. You can’t succeed by yourself; you must meet the right people to help you get a foot in front of the right people. Artists are notoriously introverted. You need to be able to create and have downtime. But make it a point of meeting like-minded people, making friends, supporting other artists, and forming alliances. Although it may seem silly, attending conferences and other gigs can help you achieve your goals.
9. Never complain.
An old saying says, “Want an artist to complain?” Give them a gig. You can only complain about the music industry if you are fighting for what you believe. You won’t be able to voice your opinion on artistic matters, share your vision, and get the respect that you deserve if you complain about venue management, streaming payouts, or not being given a chance.
You must be willing to work long hours. It’s great to have a team who works hard and pushes you beyond your limits. This is a sign that they not only value you but also believe in you. Once you are more experienced, you can say yes to any music-related opportunity.
10. Change the world.
True artists are always looking for ways to improve. Artists are driven to improve themselves and their audience. It is obvious that your songs have a lot of popularity. This means that they are making an impact on people’s lives. You don’t need to second-guess yourself. Don’t be afraid to ignore the hatred and connect with people on a level that positively impacts their lives.
It is difficult to get into the music industry and even harder to stay there. Don’t be discouraged. Many musicians have gone from a hobby to making a living in the music industry. You will need to have more than talent if you want to be successful. It’s important to network with the right people, be proactive and have fun along the way. You will succeed in 2017 if you work hard and meet your goals.