Every musician has dreams of “making it” in the music industry ie. quitting their “day job” and having their main source of income be derived from music.
Emerging music production technologies, controllers like the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 and social media platforms have have caused an explosion in the volume of music being released nowadays. It might be difficult to stand out from the crowd and get noticed among millions of fellow musicians, but it’s not impossible – this article touches on a few pointers and strategies that should help you find more success in today’s music climate.
Plan & Have Goals
A marketing strategy is an absolute necessity. What are your goals, and what are some actionable steps you can take to achieve them?
Don’t be afraid to start small with your goals in the beginning. For your first YouTube release, maybe your first goal is to surpass 100 views. Next release, go for 200 views. See what strategies work and try to scale them up.
Positive Mindset & Attitude
Many people release music expecting it to immediately get traction online, then get discouraged when it only gets a handful of views. The truth is, a lot of good music goes unheard on the internet for a number of reasons – poor mix quality, inadequate marketing, etc.
If you release a song and it doesn’t get much attention, this DOES NOT be mean you are a bad musician! Getting down on yourself can only hinder you. Instead, see everything as an opportunity to learn. Maybe your latest song has a problem with the mix? Maybe the artwork dissuades people from clicking on it? Maybe the right demographics aren’t finding it? These are mostly easy fixes!
When it comes to finding tools to further your music career, Google can be your best friend. And while there are a lot of good paid tools you can buy, you should check out the free resources that are available too! There is free software to record your music, free VSTs to mix your song, free soundcloud plays services to drive traffic to your new songs, free video editing software, etc. Take advantage of these free tools and use your hard-earned dollars somewhere else!
Social Circles & Networking
Interact with other musicians who are positive and have similar goals for their future. You want to open as many doors in the industry as you can, and having a strong network is the key to doing this. It just takes a little effort – be an active member in an online community, post thoughtful critiques and discussions, on social media, etc.
A common saying among musicians is “team work makes the dream work” – people recognize it’s tough to make it as a lone wolf. When you are isolated, opportunities don’t find you as easily. Get a good crew around you and you’re much more likely to find success.
Seek Mentorship & Role Models
If there is someone in your genre who is successful and doing what you want to do, reach out to them and see if they have any advice they could give you. If you are respectful and appreciative, many musicians won’t mind giving you 5-10 minutes of their time and kick a little knowledge.
Even if you can’t get in touch with the person, it can still be worth researching their career arc and finding the keys that helped them succeed. Dig a little into the past of an artist you identify with and find out what strategies they employed – maybe there are some you can replicate.
You can definitely still find success in the modern music industry, it just takes a little more perseverance now. The tools are more widely available now than they’ve ever been, and people have more devices to consume music than ever before. If music is your dream, give it a go!