Getting Into The Music Business


Every musician has dreams of making it big. But what does it take to break into the music business? If you are thinking of going professional, you need to establish yourself. It doesn’t matter if you plan on going full-time or part-time, to make it into the business, it is imperative that people get to know you and your music.

Practice Makes Perfect

But before we get into the business side of things, you must be honest to yourself first whether you are good enough to start doing this for a living. Because even if you do all the things listed here and execute it flawlessly, if your talent is lacking, it won’t make any difference. Even worse, if you rush head-on without honing your skills first, people will get a bad first impression of you.

That said, before anything else, make sure you’ve practiced enough, perfected your craft, and honed your chops to the point that you won’t be embarrassed the first time you perform in front of people. Try to perform for your friends first and get honest feedback. After all, true friends won’t let true friends embarrass themselves in public.

Find Your Voice

Now that you’re ready to perform in public, the next step is to find your own voice. By “voice,” we don’t mean your literal voice. What we mean is finding the thing that will set yourself apart form the others.

You see, talent is common. It can be found anywhere. Yet, for all the thousands – even millions – of talented individuals, how come only a small percentage of them make it to the big time? While talent plays a huge role, to gain real success you need to do something special with that talent.

If you’re a guitarist and you sound exactly like your guitar heroes, no one will doubt your technical skill. But your artistry? That’s where your voice comes in. Melding styles and creating a new one that screams “you” is what’s needed to make it big.

For singers, sounding exactly like Mariah Carey or Michael Jackson won’t get you anywhere. Sure, people will marvel at the uncanny similarities, but will they admire you for your artistry and creativity? Most likely not.

If you truly want to break into the business, copping the sound of others isn’t enough. Finding your own voice on the other hand, that’s what will bring you to the next level.

You’ve Found Your Voice, What Now?

You’ve honed your talent, you’ve found your voice… what next?

Now it’s time to widen your reach.

Thanks to the internet and social media, setting yourself up as an artist is easier now than it was, say, 10 years ago. While playing regular gigs help, setting up your online presence augments your reach by a hundred-fold.

The ideal set-up would be you touring the world. But while starting out, this can be quite difficult. Since you can’t tour the world (yet), the next best thing is showcasing your music to the world via the internet.

Setting up a website is one way. Your homepage can be the central hub from which you can operate your online presence. But how do you drive people to your site? While online marketing is a vast topic, for our purposes, what you only need to know is taking advantage of social media.

Facebook and twitter are two of the most popular social media sites today, and you’d do well to set up shop there. Chances are you already have those, but to separate your personal life from your art, it’s best to set-up new account dedicated solely to your music. Invite your friends, share your music, link to your site, and don’t be shy sharing your journey to stardom on your pages. If your music is good enough, and what you share is interesting enough, you will soon find yourself inundated with likes and friend requests.

When that happens, you know you are doing something right.

Educate Yourself

Knowing how to use social media though, can only get you so far. You also need to learn the business side of music. From finding booking agents, learning the intricacies of recording, and seeking out organizers and publishers, the next great leap toward music business domination is to educate yourself.

While you can read all about these on the internet and through books, the best and most efficient way to learn all there is about the music industry is to find a mentor who can guide you every step of the way.

A mentor can be one who’s already an established musician, or they can be a successful manager. Whoever your mentor turns out to be, they should be able to teach you things you normally wouldn’t know about if you set about learning on your own. Learning how to approach publishers and promoters is an art best taught personally, and discovering shortcuts along the way is one lesson you’ll never find in books.

To help get you started on your musical journey, get the free Music Business video training series from James Taylor here.