Breaking into the Industry
This may be hard to believe, but it’s true: 95% of musicians with record deals fail. So, don’t get hung up on getting signed. Instead, be prepared to work hard and break into the music business on your own. The best advice to follow is to always be optimistic and gather as much knowledge as possible. Then, study under teachers who are well-versed in music theory and music appreciation.
Build, Build, Build
The biggest mistake new musicians make is playing free shows and giving away their music for free. If you give away your most important resource (your music), what else do you have? Other than the music itself, the most important things are touring, publishing, and branding. Touring – If you promote a tour on social media, you are more likely to get followers and have high attendance at your shows. Promoting yourself on social media is an excellent way to get you and your music out there. Publishing – If you spend the time and money writing and recording original music, make sure you have the rights for all work you do. Branding – Your image can be just as important as your music. This includes your logo, look, beliefs, etc. Think of it as the business plan and yourself as the business.
Follow the Money (but Watch Your Own)
This goes back to not playing for free unless it’s for a charity event or cause you believe in, or example. (You can’t survive on “thank you”). Also, check out the site Legal Zoom and invest $500 to structure your music career as a business and have all your legal paperwork in order.
Learn to produce your own music. Sure, it will take some trial and error, but you’ll be able to make the music more authentic to you. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run. Buying your own music recording equipment is now more affordable than ever.
Get Credit (Where Credit is Due)
While there’s nothing wrong with giving away your music for free, you don’t want to make a habit of it. There are many companies within the music industry that will help with distribution of your music online to sites, such as Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes, since streaming is how people listen to music.
Once you find success, it won’t hurt to maintain it. Also, consider mentoring a fledgling musician and don’t forget to let your team know how much you appreciate them and their hard work. Without them, you wouldn’t be where you are.
A long, profitable music career is about more than just picking up a guitar. Each element we discussed is like a cog in a machine – each piece must be just right for the whole thing to be successful. By following these tips and putting in the long hours and hard work, you’ll be on your way to achieving your dreams just like Capshaw.
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