So you have decided to pursue a career in music. Well, whether you want to be an artist, a producer, or a composer. You will need this guide on how to become successful in the music industry.
Similarly, we want to prepare you and give you all the important tips and advice to advance your music career and its success.
Remember that to be successful in this rapidly changing music industry; you must constantly learn new skills and improve them.
It would be great if you could just drop a simple beat that becomes an instant classic and lives in lore forever. And pays you millions in the process.
However, that is not typically the case, and it usually becomes obsolete after a while. This means that you have to keep producing popular and catchy music to keep your career-relevant and on track.
Don’t forget that breaking into the music industry is not easy to leave alone having a long and successful career. Just check out the alarming stats below.
Important Music industry stats that you should pay attention to if you are to be successful
Did you know that about 91% of artists are undiscovered? Only about 7% are in development, 2% are recognized, 1% are mainstream, and only 0.2% are considered superstars.
So when your parents say your chances of success in your music are less than 1%, that’s actually true.
Similarly, 15% of artists only sell one album per year, 82% are unsigned, 33% have never sold an album, and 24% of musicians have fewer than 50 mailing list subscribers.
These percentages represent the majority of each category. In other words, the 15% of singers who only sell one album per year make up the majority of that category. The same is true for 33% and 24%.
Similarly, from the above stats, you can tell that you are in for an uphill battle to become successful in the music industry.
What you need are the right skills and attitudes that we describe below.
Skills that you require to have a successful career in the music industry
The music industry is primarily artist based and by this, since music is an art, you will need to be highly artistic in your skillset to succeed.
Being a musician takes time, and success in the industry requires someone with specific skills and qualities. If you are considering this career, you need to have the following:
Musical talent cannot be easily described or measured, but there are some signs that musical talent exists.
Similarly, some people have a natural talent for music, which is the natural ability to learn music and perform better in the field.
However, it turns out that anyone can learn to sing and play an instrument.
In other words, if you can sing and understand music better than others at the same level of practice and preparation, you may be very talented.
Singing is usually performed in early childhood because it can start the day you learn to make a sound.
If the child sings fluently and the singing voice is not trained, it could be a sign of talent. This kind of musical talent can also be found later because playing an instrument has to be learned.
So if you have a natural talent, that’s really cool. However, if you don’t, don’t stop yourself from achieving your musical goals.
The question is: do you want to be a musician? If your desires are stronger than your doubts, your chances of success are high.
Social media has opened unprecedented levels of censorship and criticism to users. For artists to thrive in this climate, they need to develop tough skin. They need to know that everyone has their own opinions, but the ultimate success factor is what they do.
Artists who don’t make their dreams come true in difficult times are 100% more successful than artists who make their dreams come true. That’s why resilience is very important to the would-be musician.
Yes, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you will be disappointed at one time or another in this industry.
Even though their abilities may be low, the musician’s ability to dust off and recover from disappointment will soon stand out from the flock. If they are willing to accept it, they can learn almost anything.
If the artist lacks a strong passion for music, it is better to stop pursuing a career as a musician. Passion is fuel, passion is armor, and passion is power.
People emerge from the darkest background, with almost no resources or skills, just pure willpower. Artists need to find passion from various channels instead of just relying on the love of craftsmanship. Artists like Jay-Z are passionate about his desire to leave Brooklyn. Drake often talks about his mother’s medical bills, and I’m sure he used them to boost his career.
Some industries refer to this as the “cause.” Artists looking for reasons should know this little tip for me.
Pain is part of life. Artists who really want to be successful need to turn pain into fuel. They must learn to turn negative factors from the past into positive ones in the future.
The usefulness of the music world will only become apparent after you really need to make sure the song is working as intended, and this also includes understanding rudimentary music knowledge like pitch and bars.
Similarly, understanding the relationship between labels, distributors, or retailers can only be truly “understood” before experiencing it internally rather than as a fan. The two worlds are very different.
There is no question: if you want to be successful in the music industry, you have to love music and know it well. (Well, you don’t really need it; some people in the music business don’t know much about music, some people skate through it, but in the end, they fail).
However, please don’t enter the music industry with the idea that being a fan or music lover makes you an expert in it.
Not only will you frustrate people, but you will be completely wrong and miss the opportunity to really learn how to make things work.
5. Become A Student of History
From getting noticed on social networking sites to a certain marketing campaign, you’ll get an array of musicians and record companies that were once big deals. This kind of thing is exciting.
However, it is not very suitable for replication.
Just because you can list 25 bands found on Facebook doesn’t mean you have to expect it to happen to you.
Also, just because the XYZ band was successful and their path led them through an Indy period doesn’t mean you can follow their path and replicate the results.
There is no rule book on how to be successful in music, and past successes cannot guarantee future success.
You’d better learn from the experience of others but come up with your own musical goals. Don’t let anyone sell ideas that they know how to repeat these past successes.
Watch out for talent evaluators that sell you a bill of goods and others who want you to pay and show you the performances of some of the most successful bands.
6. Resources Acquisition
The more resources an artist has, the more likely they are to be successful.
Building a musical career is a very expensive undertaking and usually requires an investment. For artists, a lot of money means better production, better promotion, and more opportunities. Whatever talent you have, this can far separate undiscovered behaviors.
The connections and networks that an artist can (or has) established also play an important role in the extent to which an artist can push himself.
An artist full of humor and charisma can put himself and his music in a good position. Yes, high-quality music is important, but actually, people are buying more from people than from any product or service.
This is why the image appearance of the artist’s profession is so important for maintaining and nurturing.
Fortunately, some artists are born with one or two of these, while others are not. Fortunately, we live in an age where we can obtain certain resources with a little discipline and energy.
7. Have a good attitude, good work ethic, and listening skills
You’re unlikely to find a textbook to explain this, but the music industry is very active and people-oriented.
Therefore, your attitude and personality are important aspects that motivate people to collaborate with you over and over again.
Even if you have good ears and a lot of musical talent and audio technical skills, but with a bad attitude, you will quickly become shunned, or even if you have an overall temperament or you are better than anyone else.
Anyone you work with will always talk about your attitude and professionalism when you work together with tells others about your qualifications and experiences.
Similarly, don’t be a dropper or flashy self-promoter. Instead, listen and learn to focus on what the people who work with you are saying.
If what they say prompts you to ask a question, ask directly and courteously. Demonstrating that you can truly listen to what the professionals tell you and give you instructions is far beyond what any of you can do. Beyond that, understand the label.
8. Be agile
Success in the music industry requires agility, and people often forget to mention it.
Think about the music of the last 20 years. From the ability to make music outside the box and creating hits.
For the past 20 years, artists have been able to use studio recordings to produce music. With the advent of CD printing technology, you could rip CDs and distribute music (at least locally). Now all music has moved online, with streaming services leading the way. And effectively engage in the music business, you must be a music entrepreneur. And cast your net as wide as possible.
In addition, it greatly improves beginners’ ability to do business and get involved with composers who have been involved in the game for many years.
9. Start from within the world of music
The little-known secret of success in the music business is to enter the music business from an employee perspective.
There are two ways to do this. The first is due to research-based trial and error. This could be a way to get closer to your current career.
So you can start as an intern in the record label or work with a talent evaluator. This way, you can understand the inner workings of the music business before launching your career.
10. Seeking out and Accepting a Mentor
Utilizing a mentor is a great way to get started in the music industry. It is a way to let an experienced and knowledgeable personal music teacher help guide you.
True music professionals who have been in the industry for many years will establish strong ties with musicians, from execs, talented people, and musicians to producers, agencies, record companies, and distributors.
This music teacher (or tutor) will alert you to the correct channel and help you avoid common beginner mistakes you might make.
If you are serious about building your business and succeeding in your music career, it makes sense to learn directly from professionals who can convey the wisdom of life and show you the chords.
Other Basic skills and qualities
Dedication: In this fierce competition in the industry, many young artists have been turned down over and over again. Therefore, it is important to have thick skin and patience until you realize your dreams.
Discipline: Musicians must have sufficient discipline to continuously practice and improve their skills, style, and performance.
They cannot rely solely on their own talents to achieve their goals.
Trust: Without this, it would be difficult to be successful as a musician. You have to believe in yourself and your talent: if you don’t believe in yourself, who else will believe it?
Interpersonal Skills: Musicians need to maintain good relationships with people of all kinds and have pleasant personalities. Good social skills are essential for building good relationships and connecting with other music professionals.
Pro Musical Skill: Professional musicians must have the ability to play and create music
Physical Endurance: Musicians usually perform and perform a variety of activities. Therefore, they must be able to withstand frequent travel and erratic performance schedules.
Self-Promotion Skills: Artists need to be tech-savvy to enhance their personal brand. At the same time, you also need good self-promotion skills to help you build a huge fan base.
Repetitive success: Creative competition in the music industry requires creativity. Artists must add their own footprints to each piece they produce to create real music. For long-term success, you will have to create hit after hit. And not just be a one-hit-wonder.
How to get started and make a big difference in today’s music industry
It has been said that the journey of one thousand steps starts with one. So before you succeed in the music business, you actually have to start in the business, and your starting base will be critical for your success.
Below is the best way to get you started in your career as a musician. The right way…
Suppose your dream of success includes a microphone, a recording studio, and/or a stage that only shines with light. You may want to know how to make this dream come true in the music industry.
Over the past decade or so, this exciting and diverse way of success has evolved. In short, you can be successful from the methods used by iconic characters like Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
The secret has evolved considerably.
So how does the music industry work? Below is a summary of some steps to success in the music industry.
11. Make a plan
Determining the industry development path will help you plan which is the most important next step.
On the independent path, you can create and distribute your own music and shop for your independent record company or with the help of your manager.
To join a large record company, you almost always need to allow a manager or lawyer to negotiate the contract on your behalf easily. But how do you get the attention of managers and lawyers?
Live broadcast to keep in touch with the industry and your fans.
You will be one step closer to attracting managers and fans in each performance, attracting managers, record companies, booking agents, etc.
Similarly, as the foundation develops, this demonstration will become the next clear step.
The infamous road can be frustrating. Many intangible assets can influence the music career development process, but tenacity and dedication are the keys to success.
Define your goals, make a plan and start broadcasting live. And find out how to best respond to the unique opportunities they create for you as a growing artist.
12. Whether to choose a major record company or an Indy career
When you are serious about making records in the music industry.
Your first important decision is whether to do it yourself and start an independent music career. Or a large established record company.
Who do you prefer to work with? For example, if you want to get into a certain popular genre, which is heavily influenced by record companies. You may not be able to find a foothold as an independent artist. And vice versa…
13. Understand this is a business and you will be constantly rejected
Unfortunately, record companies partner with people who can sing and play instruments and offer record deals.
Most importantly, the record companies are making money, and you also have to prove to them that you are an investment. So you need to have pretty good business instincts.
Also, understand that you may be rejected … a lot! You are not alone, so don’t be dejected. After all, record labels, executives, or people managed to meet and reject now-famous artists such as U2, The Beatles, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Elvis Presley.
Did they give up after the person/label told them “no”? And what would the industry be like today without these iconic artists?
14. Make Building your brand a priority from the beginning
Just as successful companies build their brand, which is generally accepted, so does music. Social media is a tool you can use to achieve this. For example, you can let your followers know that you want to release a new song on a certain day.
It doesn’t matter which platform you choose. Create tribal “loyal followers” and slowly but surely increase your brand influence.
At least be your spokesperson until you can hire an expert to take over. However, you may want to continue your communication on social networks, even if you have the option to outsource it.
Imagine those very successful artists. They are still expressing their ideas, and thousands of fans are following their every move. Let’s talk about brand building!
15. Know that the game has changed
Decades ago, the artist signed a contract with a particular record company to collaborate in making a copy of the entire album and selling it in the format that was popular at the time (8 tracks on CD).
Today, we sell personal songs and albums in the form of digital download, mainly through platforms such as Spotify.
Therefore, when it comes to delivering music to customers/fans, such platforms have replaced physical stores.
Keep in mind that this does not mean that you have lost your chance to make money. Sure, you can profit from concert and merchandise revenue, but according to Statista, it’s a significant income, thanks to 70 million people who paid for Spotify or another 140 million people who signed up on the platform.
It has great potential for income generation. From a single platform, this can generate over $ 8 billion in revenue each year, followed by Apple Music.
16. Much work is still needed
How you increase brand awareness and how music reaches your audience may have changed, but one thing hasn’t changed.
You have to work hard to do it. The world is full of equally talented people who want everything you want. The only way to keep up is to be willing to be busy with contemporaries.
Also, you need to play as much music as possible to post potential tags to listen to. When you have the opportunity, you can perform live anytime, anywhere, and you can do more than you think.
Even if you are just preparing the equipment for another artist, never refuse (for whatever reason) to perform a performance.
Never think that you are in a particular place or job. You are feeling that every opportunity to play or work with someone in the industry can be a step that will ensure that the right person finds you and gives you plenty of rest.
17. Learn from others and find mentors
If possible, find out how the current successful artist got started. At least, you can copy or use some of these methods.
At best, you can let them know how they achieved the success they enjoy today and provide you with guidance.
In other words, you want to know how to do something, ask the man/woman who is doing it.
Without others telling you how to tie a knot, it’s nearly impossible to learn the essence of the music industry.
Imagine, for example, Justin Bieber without Chris Brown or Kanye West without Jay Z. Each of these artists was very successful only after getting a mentor who already knew the industry.
18. Keep your passion for music
Above all, to be successful in the music industry, you have to love the art. If you want a record company or the only reason for success is the money and fame that comes with it, you may not succeed.
To overcome the difficulties you face, you must maintain a passion for art and music. Music alone is enough to draw you in. If not, we recommend that you consider another career path. However, if you are faster than music and play less music, you may need to succeed in this highly competitive industry.
19. See excellence and Create excellent craftsmanship
It all starts with the music you listen to. From time to time, society can persuade us to be mediocre, thus training us to lower expectations. Strive for excellence in your music.
Learn carefully from a music teacher who is experienced in music theory and listening to music. You study people who have been successful in music and their achievements.
No matter what genre you like, you can listen to everything and try to understand all the beauty of music, regardless of your taste.
The foundation you are building now by accepting and understanding these basic elements defines you as the foundation of your music career.
20. Stay in the loop
The music industry is constantly evolving. To catch up, you must always be informed. This is equally important for professionals and artists in the music world.
To find a licensing, product design, or marketing job in a place like Spotify or Apple, you need to talk about the changes that are driving the industry.
Likewise, successful artist managers must adapt to changing perceptions of industry preferences and trends, emerging niche markets, and artists’ commercial profitability.
The path that most of the senior managers and artists we know today are following is neither narrow nor direct. Like them, your journey involves continuous learning, commitment, and investment in yourself.
In recent years, the way music is distributed has changed, eliminating the need to deal with major record labels for artists to be successful.
21. Meet others in the industry and Network
To build a career in the music industry and build a personal brand, you need to develop your ability to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships.
I have repeatedly heard that “networking and creative alliances are important”. Why? The music industry is booming like any other people-centered industry. Where do you start from?
Use regular face-to-face communication with colleagues, colleagues, and professionals, while leaving the studio or away from the keyboard or microphone.
Industry conferences, trade shows, and festivals provide the perfect entertainment and organic interaction environment, but they are not the only channel of communication.
Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram make networking easier than ever. If you are not already using these or other platforms, create a profile and initiate a connection.
Whether it’s direct or digital, you need to be patient in making new connections. Track the benefits of keeping in touch with the people you meet.
22. Invest in the future through an internship
If there is one thing in the music industry that is valuable, it is experience. How do you gain experience? And where do you start?
Search and apply for jobs, internships, auditions, and performances among Berkeley’s professional managers.
Two ways to impress potential employers are internships or school jobs. Internships are an invaluable opportunity to test career opportunities, develop skills. And gain insight into the work and lifestyle of industry professionals.
You can easily travel to major hubs like Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville and even overseas to international hotspots like Beijing and London.
Employers often take advantage of internship opportunities to test prospective employees. If they are impressed, they will immediately offer a job opportunity and will not lose a promising talent.
There are countless opportunities and ways to gain relevant experience. Internships and student employment are just two aspects that impress and attract employers.
23. Know your competitive advantage
The list of skills is extensive. Summarize your experience and what makes you unique. You need a well-designed marketing plan to explain your identity to the world and articulate a unique combination of your skills, experience, and existence.
As a musician and artist, you will be an incredible improviser, singing the songs you are writing, holding your guitar, and preparing to take the stage to be friends with the show.
You will also gain solid project management skills. I learned time management skills such as marketing future campus plans, event logistics, organizing, and rehearsing band members for performances.
Similarly, Pay attention to detail and recognize the importance of being a team leader and team player.
What does success in the music industry look like?
First of all, everyone’s definition of success in the music industry is different.
Second, it never looks exactly like the outside. Many people are concerned about the public eye.
So you will often hear about a famous hip-hop artist wearing $250,000 worth of Jewelry. But as you get closer to this story, you will find that they cannot sustain this lifestyle and have to sell a share of their work to survive.
Success for me means that you can live the life you love, take care of yourself and your family financially, and save some money as insurance if you want to pursue such a long career.
To do this, you need to understand how to sell yourself and your music. And below are the best sources of income for your music business
- Brand promotion
The top three sources of income in the music industry above cover a wide range of subtopics, but it is important to understand how to profit from these three main sources.
Tours: The on-site tours and the game are self-explanatory. Especially in the case of festivals, there are a lot of current participants. It’s about attracting fans to your show and getting promoters to take you to the stage.
Publishing: Creating and recording your own music gives you ownership and performance / mechanical rights and allows you to publish and manage your work.
Branding: Branding must have a clear image and portrait (logo, identity, image to represent) and be consistent with similar products that can enhance the musical mission.
Marketing tools useful for musicians to help sell their music.
Presence on professional websites and social media sites is key. The three major social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But there are other platforms available for specific artists.
Instagram and Tumblr are definitely worth exploring. Owning a video is a valuable marketing tool. People need to see their marketing efforts as a long-term strategy.
24. Create and keep a mailing list
Perhaps the most important strategy is to create a mailing list. As an artist, you can live or die through the mailing list.
Fan funding activities are currently very extensive, and when a fan-funding platform decides how much money people think they can raise, the first thing they see is the size of the mailing list.
It is important to have a presence on social media and interacting with your fans via Facebook, Twitter, etc., but email marketing has been found to have higher conversion rates than social media, so the mailing list is golden.
25. Join a community
Nowadays, many people always think of “attracting fans directly” just by targeting them, but they forget that they should build relationships with other musicians.
As an artist, this really helps in creating and joining a community. This allows you to market to other artists’ fan bases and does the same with the crowd.
People also forget how easy it is to get involved in social media. It’s very important to get out of the world and shake hands with people.
26. Great reviews do not automatically lead to more sales
At least not always. It might be helpful to get reviews from industry critics. However, it will not affect your die-hard fans, and the percentage of artists who have won the game based on these reviews is surprisingly low. Radio plays are much more effective at selling music than printed reviews.
So reviews are only part of the big picture. You can use them to draw attention to labels or to book a show.
But even if you’ve received reviews on all the major publications and websites in the music genre, don’t think it’s time to buy a new luxury car. If you don’t plan on using them for other things, they will just be a minor onscreen glitch.
27. The fundamentals are still important
Recently, great attention has been paid to social networking apps and tools for musicians. These tools may have a place, but they are second only to basic tools.
Good songwriting and performing are still the foundation of a true music career. Without special marketing software, you can still make music. But without music and performance, you can’t make any money with music. At least not for long.
Also, no one said: “I’m not very interested in their music, but I really like this group’s ideas on social networks and music promotion. When will they be played?”
Well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t Self-educate about the problems faced by the industry. And shouldn’t be actively involved in shaping the direction the selected industry should take.
However, great songs are more powerful than blogs, blog comments, headlines, new software programs, or new social networking sites. If you are a musician, you should put your music first every time.
Being successful in the music industry requires hard work and a lifetime of commitment to improving your craft.
Each path is unique, and while to might be easy for others, it is extremely hard and frustrating for others.
From what we’ve seen, most emerging music artists lack the education and skills for success.
However, becoming a successful musician, singer, or music artist is like starting a business. If you don’t know how to paint, you can’t start a paint company, or if you don’t have experience working on a car, you can’t be a mechanic, right?
Therefore, this article above has done all the work for you by providing tips on how to become successful in the music industry.