So you want a career in music. Great! It’s an exciting time for the music industry. It’s also pretty competitive out there. So, what does it take to turn a passion for music (or media – these days the two are pretty interchangeable) into a successful career?
Here are ten tips for music industry success from the Nimbus community:
Ten Tips For A Successful Career In The Music Industry:
1. Be Authentic
In the music industry, being real and authentic is vital. If you blow smoke, it will repel as opposed to attract. Be honest with yourself about where your artist/band is at. Be honest with others about what your talent brings to the table. Remain as objective as possible with the material/art. If you’re new at something, ask questions: don’t pretend you know everything.
Nimbus Business instructor, Amalia, said: “Use your skills to get involved in things that interest you, regardless of what it pays. When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, people are drawn to you and want you on their team! Keep your ear to the ground for community engagement projects, fundraisers, podcasts, blogs etc. and offer your services.”
2. Be Likeable & Professional
If you are a positive and flexible person to work with, people will want to work with you again.
Professionalism and clear communication (both verbal and written) are keys that will open doors of opportunity for you. Don’t forget to spell check!
3. Never Give Up
If you dream of a career in the music or media industry, know that it will likely take some time to make your mark and really achieve your goals– but it’s worth it!
Try and try again and never give up. You have to be working harder than everyone else around you.
There will be times when you will be rejected. What will make or break your career is how you respond to those moments of rejection, and what you do next.
4. Never Stop Learning
Be that eternal student of life. The day you think you know it all or stop learning should be the day you die.
Always be open to new ideas, they may come from people way older or way younger than you, so don’t discriminate by age or any other factor. The idea you put down without trying may be the key to your success.
Don’t let your pride stop you from gaining new knowledge.
5. “Wear Many Hats”
You should have a speciality, or an area of expertise, but it’s also important to be knowledgable about as many areas of the industry as possible.
You may be doing it all when you first start out. Know how to do many things well, and don’t shy away from diving in to do whatever needs doing on a project, and you will stand out.
6. Be Part Of The Industry
Go to local shows and media events as often as you can. Support local artists by attending gigs and helping get the word out about their shows on social media. Talk to people and actively listen.
Be a human being, not a schmooze machine!
7. Don’t Make Excuses
Don’t tell yourself “I have no time,” “I don’t know how to start,” or “I don’t think I can do this.” Believe in yourself!
Finding success in the creative industries involves a lot of hard work and dedication. If you need to, disconnect wifi and/or all electronic devices if you are a procrastinator on a deadline. Do whatever you need to do to get the job done well, and on time.
8. Think Outside The Box
The music industry is rapidly changing and evolving. Be forward thinking and watch for shifts in the tide. Those who can keep learning, adapting and “rolling with the punches” are the ones who will find true, lasting success. Read industry blogs, follow influencers on social media and make sure you are staying up on all the latest conversations.
Many artists are changing the way people consume and support music (e.g. Independent artist, Amanda Palmer, launched a successful career from creating her own community via Patreon and Kickstarter — from thinking outside the box and trying something different). With the way online communities are evolving, who knows what options might be available in the future. Be flexible!
9. Be Excellent:
There’s going to be a lot of other people out there trying to do the same thing you are doing. This means, your goal should be excellence in everything you do whether that’s recording, writing, editing, singing, producing, engineering, beat making, sound design, managing artists or anything else.
In order to succeed, you will need to practice excellence in all areas. But don’t worry, if you’re not excellent yet, go back to number 1.
You’ll get a long way toward success by being an authentic, professional, likeable, multi-faceted, hardworking human being.
It’s less who you know, and more about who you can open yourself up to meeting. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people, make those connections, follow up with people and solidify those relationships! You never know who may know someone else or who may have an opportunity that allows you to further your career in the music industry!
This also means, get on Social Media – as a music or media industry professional. Know your brand, who you are and what you want the world to see and build a community around yourself. Music is about connection, so make connections with fans, artists, mentors, and influencers!
Do this authentically and you will have a community of loyal fans and advocates who will do anything to help you succeed, and that is priceless.