There are many struggling musicians. Most of them have talent but just do not know what it takes to establish a successful career in the music industry.
How do you achieve a competitive edge over all these other people who want the same thing that you do – a fruitful, productive and rewarding career?
“Career” is the key word. You do not want to just get a job — or several jobs for that matter. You want to establish a long-lasting career. You have to market your talent – which you must have, in the first place, otherwise all else will be pointless – and package yourself as a good investment so that people in the industry will take notice of you. It is not about producing a single record and investing all your time and effort to see that it sells. It means establishing a strong network with people who matter, people who can move your career along, people the likes of thriving bands who may need someone like you, managers, promoters, and record companies.
Seek informational interviews and attend music conferences. Get all the knowledge you can about the industry. Cultivate the acquaintance of people in the industry. Exert the effort to understand the business that you want to get into. Find out how record companies market their artists. Inquire from them what they think are the major changes that the industry will go through. Ask them about the advantages they enjoy over their competitors. Ask them how their artists have managed to establish successful careers.
Talk to a lot of people – recording labels, talent managers, distributors, booking agencies, online marketing companies, and fellow artists. The wider your network or base of contacts is, the better for you.
When you demonstrate that you have a sincere desire to know how to go about establishing a successful career, these people will see you as a valuable business prospect, and not just a run-of-the-mill talent. Concentrate on developing your knowledge and skill, even as you explore job options open in the industry.
Do not wait to be discovered. Take your future into your own hands by creating and actively looking for opportunities. Use all social media platforms available to you – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others. Create a website. Expand your presence in the different social media platforms. Keep a keen eye on projects available and do not tire of applying for them. And when you do get a job – be it an album, a small gig, or a live show, promote, promote, and promote. Create conversations about your work. Interact with your contacts and publicize your projects.
Keep in mind that the things that you do are not merely single, disconnected actions. You should see them as part of an actual long-term well-thought out strategy to sustain your career in this industry.