Many musicians ask the wrong things when trying to figure out how to move forward in their music career. These things include questions that arise from a place of fear, negativity, false assumptions and misunderstandings about how the music industry really works. By looking for answers to the wrong questions, you pretty much guarantee a failure for your music career.
To build a successful music career, you need to understand how the music industry works and ask the right questions based on that knowledge . Once you ask these kinds of questions and get them answered by a professional who has achieved success in music, your potential to build a successful career will grow rapidly.
Here are five questions about the music industry that musicians should be asking:
Question #1: Why do record labels/bands work with some musicians and not others?
Many musicians think that music companies and bands only work with those who A. are musically talented and B. are in the right place at the right time.
Record labels are actually looking for a very special kind of person to work with. They are looking for someone with the right mindset, skills and personality. Once you understand what all this refers to and take action to develop it, your chances of success in music will skyrocket.
Question #2: How can I turn everyday fans into fanatics?
Most musicians are trying to figure out how to get more fans, and don’t understand that having a lot of fans isn’t very important if they’re all regular fans. These types of fans may enjoy listening to your music, but they are not loyal to you or your band. On the other hand, avid fans are the ones who buy all your albums, carry your merch, show up at every show and (sometimes) even get tattoos of your band’s logo.
Once you gain a loyal following of avid fans, you will gain a following of people who will help promote your band through word of mouth, and your career will grow exponentially.
Question #3: What do I need to do to get the opportunities I want from music industry professionals?
Countless people enter the music business with the belief that they owe success, and expect to receive opportunities from labels, bands or other music industry professionals. A small percentage of musicians ever think of asking what they have to do themselves to earn such opportunities.
To get the best opportunities in the music business, you need to make yourself more valuable and less risky to other people and companies than anyone else.
For example, consider the challenge of getting new performances. Often musicians only think about what’s in it for them (getting a new venue to perform in) and never even think about what bookers and venue owners want (that’s getting more people to the venue). As a result, these musicians don’t get many gigs and never figure out why.
Question #4: What is the best approach for winding down my day job and winding down my music career?
It’s common for musicians to get advice from family and friends on how to have a backup plan in case music doesn’t work.
When a musician listens to this kind of advice, he gets caught up in a non-music-related day job. As a result, he can never really focus on his music career – where he stays for months or years at a time while his musical dreams are shattered.
Good news: it’s entirely possible for anyone to go from a day job to a wildly successful music career (I know, because I’ve helped countless musicians do this). First you just need to ask the right questions that will focus your mind on the result you really want.
Next, you need to learn how to increase your income as a musician and devise an exit strategy to leave your non-music job for good (in other words, completely replace your job salary with income from your music career). Working with a music career trainer will help you achieve this goal much faster.
Question #5: How can I become completely financially secure in the music industry?
Many musicians are so afraid of going broke in the music industry that they never even try to succeed (and in the process let go of their musical dreams). The truth is that the music industry is actually a very stable and lucrative industry to be in. Unfortunately, the majority of musicians never earn a good living for three reasons:
1. They think musicians naturally have to struggle to make ends meet. This mindset destroys any ambition for you to earn a good income.
2. They want to find a job in the music industry instead of seeing themselves as an entrepreneur.
3. They do not develop multiple sources of music-related income, including:
-Independent: If something happens that causes you to lose one of your income streams, the other income streams can support you.
-Congruent: All your revenue streams are aligned with your primary goals in the music business.
-Residual: You are paid time and time again (perpetually) from your income streams.
-Passive: Your income streams continuously generate money after you’ve already done all the work (when you’re not working on it every day).
Once you’ve run your music career as an entrepreneur and created lots of income streams, it’s very realistic to expect to earn 6 figures (or more) per year. Most importantly, a professional musician is much more secure than a regular job.
You now understand some of the most important questions to ask yourself about building a music career, but these are just the tip of the iceberg!
Over by author:
Tom Hess is a very successful guitar teacher, songwriter and professional guitarist. He uses the best online guitar lessons to train guitarists to achieve their musical goals. Visit tomhess.net for more guitar-playing resources, guitar-playing eBooks, and to read more articles about guitar-playing.