By Tom Hess
Looking for a way to make it in the music industry? Before you can begin building a successful music career and reaching your goals as a professional musician, you must forget about everything you have heard about ‘how the music business works’. Fact is, there is a TON of misinformation on this topic that leads most musicians to fail in their careers. For example, here is a fact about the music business that you may not have been aware of:
Throughout the year, music companies around the world receive endless amounts of recordings from talented musicians. Many of the musicians who send their music to companies have been working to develop their musical skills since they were young. That said, the overwhelming majority of these musicians will not hear back from the companies they send their music to. The majority of music companies do not bother listening to everything they are sent. This leaves most musicians without a clue about why they can’t seem to ‘catch their big break’ in spite of their musical talent.
That said, there are many musicians who DO make it in music and go on to achieve great success. Building a music career and making a great living really isn’t as difficult as you might think. However, before you can do this you must abandon the methods used by unsuccessful musicians. Here are the five worst approaches for breaking into the music industry that you must avoid:
1. Thinking That A Degree In Music Will Help You Become Successful In The Music Industry
Many musicians think that going to university to get a degree in music is a great way to break into the music industry. In reality, going to university for music may increase your musical knowledge, but it will NOT guarantee your success as a professional musician. Here’s why:
a) Most music courses do not cover the specific topic of ‘how to build a music career’. Even if you take classes about music business, they will only present you with a general model of how the music business works. They will NOT show you exactly how to build a successful career for yourself (by keeping your personal goals in mind). In fact, there are tons of musicians who graduate from big music universities only to realize that they are still clueless when it comes to actually earning a living through music. If you go to university with the intention of getting into the music business with a degree, you will ‘at best’ learn a lot about music – but end up back at square one in terms of building a music career. At worst, you will also have enormous amounts of fees and debts to pay back.
b) People who work in the music industry are not concerned with whether you have a music degree or not. To them, it is MUCH more important that you know how to help them build their music careers, earn more money and become more successful (this requires a lot more than just musical talent). Learn how to become the ‘right’ musician to work with other successful pro musicians and music companies by filling out this pro musician assessment.
In reality, very few professional musicians have music degrees because they simply never needed them. They made it in the music business with music career mentoring where they learned all the skills they needed to build value for others and earn a great living in music.
2. Taking Music Career Advice From Others Who Have Never Succeeded In The Music Industry
Chances are, you have already received a lot of advice from the people in your life about what you should do to become successful in your music career. Most people will be happy to give out ‘expert’ tips or conventional wisdom even when they really have no authority to do so. Generally speaking, these people are sincere in wanting to help you, but since they have never achieved anything significant in the music industry, their advice is more likely to send you down the wrong path than to lead you toward success.
Consider this: Asking people for music career advice (when they have never actually succeeded in the music business) is like training for a marathon with a trainer who hasn’t run a mile in his life or asking your dentist for legal advice. Additionally, asking advice from musicians who attempted to succeed in music (and failed) is equally as dangerous for your music career. Although these people are perfectly willing to tell you how you should build your music career, they do not really have the authority to do so – they will only lead you down the same path they took (which ended in failure).
Truly successful musicians do not build their careers from the ‘conventional wisdom’ of people they know or amateur musicians who never made it. They work together with a mentor who has already achieved great success and can use his experience to help them effectively reach their music career goals.
3. Uploading Your Music To Different Websites Online To Earn Money And Get ‘Discovered’
One of the biggest questions musicians ask themselves when it comes to building a successful music career is “How do I get my music out there?” Most musicians believe that the answer to this question is uploading your songs to various websites online and waiting to ‘get discovered’ by new fans and people in the music industry. In reality, musicians who use this approach will only get their music heard by a handful of people at best (and NOT by the ‘right’ people who need to hear it) and will never earn a lot of money in the music industry. Here’s why:
· They do not know how to effectively promote their music.
· They don’t already have a massive following of fans who are ready to buy their music as soon as it is released.
· They have no strategy for attracting new fans while simultaneously transforming their current fans into true FANATICS.
· They do not have a strategy to help them earn a living through multiple sources of income at once.
Musicians who achieve the greatest success in their music careers do NOT merely upload their music online and wait around to get discovered. They create a strategy for working toward their musical goals while raising their personal value in the eyes of other in the music industry (by expanding their fan base and building other important music business skills). After doing this, they simply approach the companies they want to do business with and negotiate a partnership that will bring the most benefit to both sides of the deal. Learn more about this process by reading this free resource about getting signed to a record deal.
4. Working A Full Time Job While Building Your Music Career ‘On The Side’
Many musicians believe that they must work a steady-paying and secure job while pursuing their music career on the side. They think that you can only attempt to break into the music industry after spending many years working and saving the money you make at your day job. As someone who has helped a lot of musicians develop successful music careers, I can tell you that nearly all people who think this will end up working at an unsatisfying job until they retire. Additionally, these types of people are usually too busy working at their jobs to work on building their music careers. One of the worst things that can happen is that you watch your dreams pass you by and regret it later on. Truth is, the more you work in a non-musical field, the less time you have available to pursue becoming a successful pro musician.
To effectively get into the music business and build a long-lasting, successful career you must plan your time around your musical goals. Although you may currently need to work at a full time job, you can still build your music career by using a powerful ‘backup plan’. The best backup plan will be a safe and secure one that gives you the ability to transition out of your day job while gradually spending more time working on your music without leaving you financially broke. Learn how to create your own music career backup plan by watching this pro musician video.
5. Trying To Get Into The Music Business Alone
One of the most difficult ways to build a career in music is to try to do it alone. While using this approach, you are forced to advance your career through either trial-and-error or by copying what other people do. Without the training of an experienced and successful mentor, you will drastically decrease your chances of taking the right actions to move your career forward in the direction you want. Additionally, copying what others do will not help you because what works for them may not work for you (in your specific situation). When these approaches don’t work you will either:
a) Give up on making it in music and return to working 40 hours per week at a job you loathe. OR
b) Waste countless hours, days, months and years trying to make it in music… only to fail and become increasingly frustrated.
If you are 100% dedicated to becoming a successful professional musician, you MUST begin working with a mentor who can show you how to reach your music career goals in the shortest amount of time possible (because this person has already achieved them). Get music career mentoring now and start building a successful career as a professional musician.
Fill out this free pro musician assessment to learn how you can become highly valued by those in the music industry.
About The Author: Tom Hess is an online guitar teacher, recording artist and music career coach. As a music career coach, he helps musicians from many countries break into the music industry. On his music instruction website you can find out how to become a pro musician and learn how the music industry works.