Starting and maintaining a career in music is tough especially since tens of thousands of songs are being made every week that now you’re starting to wonder if it’s worth pursuing. Yes, you have the talent and you’re earning from your music but it’s not enough and you’re slowly getting tired of the hustle. If you think it’s worth it in the long run, then you gotta apply these tips to ensure you’re still doing what you love ten years down the road:
#1. Think of your audience
Create something that you love but that your audience will also love. To truly have a lucrative career, you must create music an audience wants to hear because they’re the ones that will feed you. This is really plain and simple. Sometimes, some artists forget this because they just want to do their thing without pleasing anyone but at least consider your audience because that’s the way to have a career. Sure, you can experiment and rebrand like crazy when you’re already made.
#2. Make online and physical format
Do Spotify and other streaming services. Do music downloads. But the real money is touring+ physical products (CD, vinyl, USB, merch and more). Make sure that when you’re doing your CD or vinyl, that you make it a little extra. After all, that’s what makes fans buy the hard format. The novelty and value of the actual music that they can touch and put on their shelves.
#3. Have the right attitude, develop your personality
Talent is cheaper than salt but the right attitude can lead you wherever you want to go. Having the determination and willpower to achieve the steps and not sulk when things go wrong, being nice to people, and just developing a good work ethic can pave your way to success. One contact leads to another. The world is small so you have to be nice and really do good work. People talk to each other and the ones who like you will definitely want you to succeed.
#4. Promote online, promote offline
It’s not enough that you have one. In order to get a better change at having a long-term career as a musician and band, you have to do both online and offline marketing. Online= website, Youtube videos, podcasts and more. Offline= posters, flyers, meet & greet, freebies, and more.
#5. Keep your day job, diversify you income sources
Until you’ve reached the level wherein your music can feed a family of five (lucky you, why are you reading this article?), then you have to cling on to your day job and other sources of income.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.