There are a lot of people that dream about making music a lifelong career. After all, it is an incredibly powerful art that has the power to affect us all at some level in our lives. The good news is that there are more ways than one to make music a part of your professional career and the time has never been better. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
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Establish short term and long term goals
Having a passion for music can take you a long way, but having a clear idea of your destination will get you closer to having a successful career. There are many different ways to make money in the music industry, however, to “make it” you need to be really good at what you do.
You can make money touring and performing or perhaps you’d be happy to get your song on a movie soundtrack. Maybe your calling is to be a successful event band and you make your money playing at weddings. Another option could be starting your own label and producing music.
Set your sights on your final destination and work backwards. Determine what short term goals would make victorious benchmarks in your journey to realizing your dream. For example, if your long term goal is to tour, playing your own music, set the yearly goal to perform at a minimum of five local venues.
Map out your road to success so you have a clear plan on how to get closer to realizing your dream. If you get lost along the way, you can adjust your blueprint to put you back in the right direction. Establishing your goals will give you ground zero and a way to gauge your success.
Use professional images
Your image is an extremely important aspect of establishing who you are and what your music is about. Invest in professional shots of you, your band and any additional shots to represent your image.
When people see content r music associated with your images you don’t want to come off as amateurish with some low-quality pics. Make sure that the images you use in your social media, website and any other profile shots will convey the message you want people to get. Take vertical and horizontal shots to make sure they fit appropriately on covers and profiles.
Create a social presence
Choose two social media websites to consistently post content and engage with people. Two sites are ideal because you will need a lot of followers or subscribers and any more will dilute your efforts in making a substantial social presence.
Social media translates to social currency. Not only does it look bad if your YouTube subscribers is a paltry 35 people, but when it comes time to let people know when and where you’re performing, you won’t get a great turnout from your fan base.
You don’t need to be big on multiple social platforms, but it will pay to have a strong presence on one. Limit yourself to two profiles that you pour most of your effort into building.
Treat your music career as a business
Artists can sometimes get lost in their music and forget that there is more to building a career than just performing. Every musician needs a good team and in the beginning, you will need to do a lot of the work yourself to get your music noticed.
Make sure you take the operational side of your music seriously. Plan ahead, be organized, punctual and reliable. People will be more likely to take you seriously when you make good on your word and are organized and focused on what you’re trying to achieve.
Build a team with people who share the same passion and with whom you work well with. Just as much as you want to perform, there are people that will want to manage your bookings and fulfil specific roles that are necessary for creating a successful career in music. With the right people, your career will move forward much faster.
Perform in front of a live audience
It’s one thing to sing in a room full of friends and it’s a completely different experience to perform in front of a room full of people you don’t know. Take every opportunity to practice in front of a live audience to gain more experience in relating to the crowd and dealing with the issues that arise.
If you’re just starting out, get to every open mike night in your city. If you’re out of options, hit up the karaoke bars and get as much practice in as possible. The more you put yourself out there, the more you perfect your performance skills.
Invest in a vocal coach
Unfortunately building a career in music requires financial investments in the right areas. Hire a coach to develop more vocal control can make a huge difference in improving your sound. No matter how good you are there is always something you can do better.
If you haven’t mastered the correct singing postures, how to project, breathe and enunciate, you’re not maximizing your potential. Shania Twain attests much of her early on success to her vocal coach, Ian Garrett, (owner of the Canadian Academy Of Vocal Music) in her autobiography.
A vocal coach will put you through rigorous voice training exercises to improve your singing voice and give you more structure on how you produce your sound.
Record your music professionally
Recording your songs in a studio can be quite pricey, but the end result is worthwhile.
The experience of recording is a big step towards being a professional. Working with a sound engineer and producer on what you can do in the studio will spur on more ideas and give you the motivation to get your next track mastered.
Recording your music professionally is also the best way to get your music distributed on sites that share music. No one will post a track that is made of low quality. Once you have a few under your belt you can consider posting to aggregator sites like DistroKid, CDBaby and TuneCore.
When you have your own songs recorded and mastered and listed on aggregator sites, you’re creating more opportunities to start selling your music. The options exist to get your songs on Spotify, Itunes, Amazon Music and other media outlets that can start bringing you in some bucks.
Realize your dream one step at a time
Making a career in music is no easy feat. It takes passion, drives and a good business sense to put to establish a successful career that makes you good money. Although the process may be difficult, we live in a time where there are enough vocal tips, business tools and opportunities available that can make your dream a reality.
Put your money to good work by investing in yourself. There are benefits of voice training that amount to more than just a way to enhance your sound. Bring your music to life in a studio by professionally recording your work. Build your team and put your plan into motion to take the steps necessary to get you closer to making your music a lifelong career.