When I look back to the beginning of my career, I realize now how lucky I was. I performed around the city I was living in without much thought. Overtime, people became aware of my bands name and I was asked to perform at more venues. I didn’t have to put in much effort to get booked. The phone kept ringing, so I kept playing.
But as I grew older, and I noticed that certain opportunities don’t come on their own. I also witnessed that (sadly) talent isn’t always the reason why some bands succeed over others.
I have seen many talented musicians stay unknown because they choose comfort over progression. Success isn’t one easy straight line. It is often trying, failing, brainstorming, trying, failing, trying, and then hopefully succeeding.
In this article, I am going to present to you 5 ways you can just go for it, and in return see growth in your music career!
These 5 tips I am going to present to you are lessons I have learned from dozens of workshops and years of being involved in the entertainment industry. Although not all of them will apply to every artist depending on where they are at in their career, these pieces of advice are certainly valuable!
Without further ado, here are 5 ways you can just go for it!
1.) You Get What You Deserve
At the beginning of my career, I would get down if something didn’t work out the way I thought it would. Looking back now, those things didn’t happen because I simply wasn’t ready at the time. After a few years of developing myself and my music, these business opportunities are much easier to secure.
It can be hard to judge yourself, but if years have gone by and things are not working out as planned, I suggest taking a step back to evaluate.
Ask yourself: “What do I want for my music career? If I want to achieve these things, is there any way I can improve to get there?”
You are never too good or too successful to improve! I suggest doing these things on the regular.
- Reading music advice blogs
- Borrowing music industry books at the library
- Scheduling monthly planning sessions with your band and take action
- Attending workshops offered by your local music organizations
- Seeking mentorship or music business courses
With all of this being said, sometimes opportunities don’t work out and it has nothing to do with you or your skills. Which leads us on to the next tip!
2.) “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” – Anonymous
“I’ve never been horribly rejected in the music industry and never considered quitting.” – Said No Musician Ever
When something doesn’t work out, reevaluate the situation. Did that person tell you why? Was their advice helpful or true? Having this conversation with yourself is integral for your mental health and will help keep you motivated to push further.
I have a perfect example of this! Last year I sent my music to a nation-wide songwriting organization. They often help connect up and coming musicians for songwriting sessions. This is a common service they provide for entry level musicians and was by no means out of my reach.
I had contacted one of their administrators in regards to getting more involved in the scene. I provided a SoundCloud link and hoped for the best, expecting either a neutral or positive response back. I ended up getting a rejection email. The man told me that my “songwriting needed work”, and was not good enough to receive their entry level connecting service.
As a musician who has had songs signed to major labels, and has been in a band who has won multiple songwriting awards, I was a little set back and I will admit it got to my ego more than it should have.
Long story short: the following year we performed the exact same song to the executive team at that organization. A higher up in the company was surprised that the song was written by my band and said it sounded like a “hit” single on radio.
So please, don’t get discouraged! Just because someone is in power doesn’t mean they are always right. And at the end of the day we are all just regular people. You never know what motivated someone to say something negative or what was going on that day for them.
Take everything with a grain of salt and remember that your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.
3.) Take your career into your own hands
What do you want to achieve this year? Is it a cross-country tour? Or is it a placement in a movie?
Figure out what you want to achieve and then just go for it. Look for festivals and concert venues across the country and apply! Read interviews online of music supervisors and find their email contact!
I have realized that people are often too busy to discover your music. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be the perfect fit for what they are looking for! Make it easy for people and reach out to them yourself. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. But what if they say yes? The possibilities are endless.
4.) Be specific when pitching
Be specific when pitching your music. Why are you contacting this person? What do you want from them? How are you bringing value to their email inbox?
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had people give me their card and then proceed to tell me to “check out their music.”
Why should I? Do you have a new single out? Do you want to work with me? How can I help you?
For example: If I work in marketing and you have no upcoming album, why are you giving me your card or sending your old record? Being specific about what what you’re looking for and what you can offer will give you a better chance of succeeding with your pitch.
5.) Ask and you shall receive!
… or maybe receive! You’ll never know if you never try! In 2018 I’ve had a few “yeses” that I would have never expected. If it weren’t for me reaching out and pitching, these opportunities most likely wouldn’t of happened.
If you can provide a worthy service, create a great pitch, and fill a need within the industry, sit back and watch your career grow!
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