8 Strategies For A Successful Music CareerMay 13, 2021
#1: GET TO KNOW YOURSELF.
- Why are you pursuing music?
- What do you love about music?
Have you taken the time to think about your career path and why you've chosen it?
Further, have you ever thought of what being a successful musician to you actually is?
Does being a successful musician mean being able to live solely on your income as a musician, or does it mean being a music superstar?
The chances of being famous are small, but the chances of making a living with music are well within your reach. Are you okay with that?
Take time and really think about embarking on a music career. Although you may love to do it, there's a lot of hard work in front of you besides just music.
Remember, it's called show business for a reason. You may have the musical talent, but you'll have to develop business skills if you want to make money at it. If you're willing to take on the business aspect, you're halfway there. Take a few minutes to journal each day. Ask yourself these questions.
- Why am I pursuing music?
- What do I love about music?
- What does the ideal music career look like?
- What am I willing to do to get that career?
- What am I willing to sacrifice?
- How will I know I have the career I dreamed of?
#2: DISCOVER YOUR VALUES.
Values are important because the more you align your life with your values, the more motivated you will be to pursue your goals.
For example, if a person takes a time-consuming job for the money, but she values autonomy, she most likely will not enjoy her job. Or perhaps you like a freelance lifestyle, but security is essential- there may be some conflict there.
Figuring out your values can help you in many ways, they can:
- Provide direction in your personal life and career.
- Enable you to make crucial decisions.
- Help you to feel more engaged in your work.
Aligning your life with your values, you can cut through the confusion and make decisions that feel right to you. You will be more content. You save time because you don't have to worry as much or second-guess yourself.
Look at the value list below. Narrow your list to 20 values, then to your top 10, top 5, and then finally top 3.
These three core values will help you stay focused.
Some examples of values are:
- Building / Creating
- Creating Beauty
- Creating Social Change
- Family happiness
- Financial security
- Helping / Serving Others
- Influencing People
- Improving / Perfecting
- Learning / Growing
- Mastering Technique
- Personal Development
- Physical Activity
- Receiving Recognition
#3: BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE.
Get off your butt and start practicing! It’s as simple as that!
If you want to be great, put in the time. Action builds confidence. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to master your craft. How close are you? If you want to be a professional, you've got to do the 3 Ps.
- Practice and make sure you are actively practicing, taking notes, and perfecting things.
- Prepare and not solo. Nope! Not by yourself, but with other musicians, a coach on a stage or rehearsal room with sound.
- Perform every chance you get! Whether it's a live stream, at a club, on the beach boardwalk, or at the local school.
So how much should I practice?
How good do you want to get?
The truth is you should be practicing every day, no matter how skilled you are. I'm sure you know your favorite artists practice and are prepared before they get to rehearsal.
You must spend the time to build the confidence to do the things you need to do as an artist well, whether it is for an audition for a music television show, for the record deal, or getting up on stage.
Every time you do one of the 3Ps, you stifle some of those negative inner voices that can derail your confidence. Pretty much every successful artist has complete confidence in what they do.
So, if there is any one thing that can help get you to the next level, remember the 3Ps of confidence. Practice. Prepare. Perform.
- Which of the P's are you struggling with and why?
- What about each one of the P's are you successful at?
"I went to college on a classical piano scholarship. My grandmother made me practice one full hour a day. Every day. Man. I thought she didn't want me to have any fun. Next thing you know, you have a music career. Not that everybody's going to be Mozart or Michael Jackson. But music makes you smarter." - Jamie Fox
Practice every day. Whether it be piano … guitar … voice … songwriting …
And whatever it is, put in the time!
#4: CREATE GOALS.
It's not where you start. It's where you finish.
So, start by creating yourself a three-month goal and then break it down into monthly, weekly, and even daily goals. This will help you create a pathway for success.
Keep a log of exactly what you did and how long you practiced. Mark on your calendar exactly what you practiced and how long you practiced. Track it from this day forward to see how much effort you are putting into your practice.
Confidence comes from taking action -- and not the other way around. So, whatever you do, don't let your daily practice slide. Find the right time, put it on your calendar, and be consistent. Before you know it, you will be 10x better than you are now.
#5: FEATURE YOUR STRENGTHS.
Take an honest look at where you are in your craft and career and then:
Write a list of what you'd like to be better at?
Vocals, Songwriting, having emotion while performing, guitar, keys, kazoo, style, etc.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses (what I like to call “room for improvement”).
Be your worst critic. You want to build on your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. If you're a great vocalist, you should feature your vocals and if you're a John Mayer on guitar, make sure you show off your skills!
Have others weigh in.
Ask your friends and family what they think your strengths are and ask them to be really honest because this is valuable information to improve your career. You can also ask them if you want to get better, what your weaknesses are. Remember, don't take it personally; you're doing this to grow, so you have to know what you're working with.
What are some of your strengths?
How can they be used to further your career?
#6: GET SOCIAL.
- Get out there… more than you are now … take a risk.
- Whatever you are waiting for someone else to do it, do it yourself.
- Good. Content.
Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are creating stars every day. Are you using them to your advantage?
To get discovered, all you need is a good phone and a computer!
Write five things you can do right now to get out there bigger than you are now. Things like … Should you contact that booking agent you've been avoiding, or start playing colleges, go to a local songwriters night or set up a house concert tour?
And most importantly … KEEP A TO-DO LIST!!!
Always keep a running list of goals with a due date. It's fun to look back a year later -- or even a few months later -- and see what you've accomplished on those lists!
#7: YOUR NETWORK IS YOUR NET WORTH.
- Create a team- building a successful career in music takes a lot of creativity, management, and time. Find people to do the things you're not good at or don't have time for, like Social Media, flyers, website, bookings, accounting. Also, find people to work on your music, too, such as songwriters, producers, and coaches.
- Network with other supportive, like-minded artists. Go to other artists' shows and introduce yourself. Go to some Meetups. (Whether virtual or in-person!) Perhaps you will be able to pull your resources together and create a stronger team.
- Go to an open mic. (Or a virtual one these days!) That is one of the best ways to begin building a fan base of people who might not otherwise find you.
- Get feedback. Create an inner circle of people who will listen to your music, go to your shows, or review your materials. Ask them for their honest reviews. Do not let your ego get in the way! Listen to what they have to say and then find solutions.
- Get a music mentor or business coach who knows the business! Coaches like myself can save you years of struggling and thousands of dollars.
#8: LIVE YOUR MUSICAL LIFE FULLY AND COMPLETELY.
Figure out what's important to you! It doesn't matter what it is. Forget about being status quo. Your family, friends, and society, in general, all have their opinions, but you have got to do what's right for you. When you do what makes you happy, everything else seems to fall into place.
Don't be afraid to take lots of risks. Risks help you grow, there may be a bit of danger in life, but there's usually a reward that comes with it. A baby takes risks every time they try to walk. If babies don't take the risk of falling, then they'd never learn to walk. Just think, if you didn't take that risk, where would you be right now? If you do not take risks, you never get anywhere. Who wants that?
Let people know you love them. Family will always appreciate hearing it, and it will brighten a stranger's day. Go ahead and tell your significant other our spouse. There are many ways that it could end, and only one of them keeps them in your life forever. So, go for it! Just go for it!
Live in the moment. Your past is necessary to learn from, but don't dwell on it. Your future is more important, so work towards it. At the end of the day, the only thing that exists outside of your head is the present.
Ignore the haters. Unfortunately, there's always someone around to point out all of your failures or things you're doing wrong. Hear this loud and clear: every winner loses, but not every loser wins. No one starts off successful. What makes people successful is that they keep pushing through failure.
Speak, sing and create through actions. It's not what you say but what you do. If you have an idea, put it into action.
As always, feel free to comment below or hit me up by dropping me an email.