Chances are you are already ruining your potential for success in the music industry because you believe in one or more myths about the music career. What do I know about that? Tons of musicians are constantly sending me emails (all looking for answers to the wrong questions). These are questions that may seem like good questions at the highest level, but they are really very damaging questions that take them away from their musical dreams.
To succeed in your musical career as soon as possible, you need to know the questions you DO NOT need to look for answers to and understand how to ask high quality questions that will put you on the right track to achieve your goals in the music industry.
These are the worst questions you should avoid asking yourself in order to build a successful career as a professional musician:
Should I become a “hungry artist”?
Many people believe that earning a living as a professional musician means two things: either you “succeed” and tour the world and sell millions of albums, or you “become a hungry artist” and have to play in crappy bars and on street corners just to get by. This myth of the music industry sabotages people’s careers from the beginning, either by making them believe that they need a full-time job unrelated to music and that they must “try to make music next door” or by being afraid to try to enter the music industry.
The fact is that the music industry is made up of a large middle class and there are countless ways to earn a living. You would be surprised to see how easy it is to make a good living in the music industry rather than succeed in an outside field. However, before you make a lot of money, you must stop asking questions of poor quality. Stop worrying about becoming a hungry artist and start thinking about all the different ways you can make money as a musician.
Since you work in the music industry, you do not have to live from one paycheque to another like in a normal day job. Instead, it is always possible to earn several sources of income at the same time. Becoming a professional musician is therefore a much more stable career choice since you do not have to depend on ONE source of income. In addition to the obvious ways in which musicians seek to make money in music (selling albums/downloads, performing concerts or recording as a studio musician), there is one thing you can do now to quickly increase your music-related income:
Start developing a music teaching business. This will immediately generate multiple sources of income (your students) for you while you work significantly fewer full-time hours each week.
When you create many sources of musical income, it is very possible (and not as difficult as you think) to earn more than $100,000 a year in your musical career (I know this, because I have helped many musicians do it).
How can I get a registration contract?
In order to understand why this is not a good question to ask, answer this question: “Why should someone give you a recording contract?” If you think it’s because you write good music…… try again. This is never a good enough reason for someone to sign a registration contract with you. No one is going to invest thousands of dollars in you just because you know how to write good music. It would be far too risky to invest (so much so that it doesn’t even make sense). Imagine that you have saved up to $200,000, would you then go to a casino and put everything on the line for a spin? OR would you rather invest it in someone who has proven that it can help you earn even more (at least at a lower level)? Without a doubt, you would make the right choice and invest it in someone who would help you make more money. That’s what record labels think. So stop wondering how you can sign a recording contract and start turning into a “wise investment” that any label would immediately consider valuable. It takes much more than writing good music, playing your instrument well or having a Facebook page.
Here are the steps you should take to make yourself a valuable investment for a record company:
1. Understand what the music industry expects from musicians before starting to work with them.
2. Work every day to build your musical career. Record companies want to make sure you have a good track record before they start working with you. The more you do as a freelance musician, the more likely you are to win the interest of a record company.
3. Get training in the music industry from a mentor who has already accomplished great things in the music industry and helped others sign recording contracts.
Once you start developing your musical career on your own, you will be a beacon of light and record companies will come looking for YOU!
How can I make more people hear my music?
The majority of musicians want their music to be heard by as many people as possible, believing that it will help them earn money and become successful professional musicians. However, the number of people listening to your music is not very important in itself. What really matters is how many people you are able to turn into very dedicated fans who will do everything to support you and your music.
Stop wondering how to make more people hear your music and start turning anyone who is already your fan into a real FANATIC. It is only once you have put in place a strategy to turn’occasional fans’ into’hardcore fanatics’ that the total number of people who hear your music will start to count.
What is the best music city to move to?
Many musicians believe that they will have a much better chance of succeeding in the music industry by moving to a “city of music”. Then, with this belief in mind, they pack their things and move, believing that opportunities will present themselves once they arrive. Once they have been in their new place of residence for some time and nothing has changed, they blame the city and look for a new place to settle (while completely ignoring the REAL reasons for their failure).
Here’s the truth about the location that leads to success in the music industry: Your location has nothing to do with your ability to become a successful professional musician. This is especially true today, when it is easier than ever to get a recording contract, get out of music, organize world tours or work as a studio musician, no matter where he lives. Successful musicians do not become successful because they lived in one region rather than another. If that were true, there would be no successful musicians living in cities that are not known for the great music scenes. The principles that lead to the development of a successful musical career apply in exactly the same way, no matter where you live.
Rather than making the massive (wasted) effort to try to search and find the best music scene, go through the following process that has been proven to work for musicians:
- Determine your specific musical objectives.
- Start working with a music business mentor to develop an effective strategy to achieve your musical goals.
- Work every day to get closer to your goals until you reach them.
- When you focus on what is most important (using the process above), you will achieve success in your musical career much faster.
Now that you’ve learned why many common questions about your musical career are leading you down the wrong path, here’s what you need to do to get back on track:
Step 1. Think more deeply about your career goals in music. Use the resources in this article to better understand how the music industry works.
Step 2. Start asking yourself high quality questions consistently when trying to determine what you need to do to achieve your music career goals.
Step 3. Don’t build your musical career alone. Get music business training to quickly achieve great things in the music industry.