When you’re trying to break into the music industry, there are so many choices and decisions that you will have to make. As much as we would love to say otherwise, no one ever made it on pure talent alone. You are going to need to have a good head on your shoulders, you are going to need to take the right advice from the right people, and you are going to have to work hard if you want to be a success.
As a result, there are a lot of traps that are all too easy to fall into. Some are more obvious than others but making the wrong decision at the wrong time could seriously knock you back.
Right now, when things are as uncertain as they are with rising COVID cases and the music industry in a state of flux, it is more important than ever to make sure that you do your homework and take the necessary steps to ensure that you keep moving forward. If you are looking to take the next step on your musical journey, here are some of the classic mistakes that you need to avoid.
Not Knowing Who Your Audience Is
Any kind of artist, whether you’re a painter, a filmmaker, or a musician, is going to be asked “Oh, what kind of thing do you do?” about once a week, so we are guessing that you already have an answer ready to that question. But the question of who your audience is can be a little more complicated.
Obviously, in an ideal world your music would appeal to absolutely everybody, but if you are trying to get the word out about your music, it helps to have a clearer idea of your niche. Any marketer will tell you that trying to appeal to too many people is a great way of making sure that you don’t find the people who want to hear what you’re working on.
Thinking You’re Ready When You’re Not
It is perfectly understandable that you want to get out there and start playing in front of an audience as soon as you can. That you want people to hear your demo as soon as it’s recorded because you know that what you have is good. But there is always going to be a difference between what you hear in your head, and what people will hear when they hear you for the first time.
Remember that old saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression? Well, in the music industry, you are lucky if you get the chance to make a first impression at all.
Do not rush into anything, whether it is performing for someone who is going to take a chance on you or sending your work to someone whose opinion matters. Take the time to make sure that you and your music are as good as they can possibly be.
Not Thinking About Their Image
These days, musicians need to work a little harder to be found and a lot harder to be remembered. There are so many acts out there all trying to break through, and the democratization of the internet means that your chances of making a big splash are much smaller. There are so many different places where people can find your work, and that is a blessing and a curse.
So, if you are doing your best to get yourself out there, you are going to have to think about your image and your brand. Think about what your act’s name is and try to avoid changing it once you have settled on it. Do you know a photographer who can take some professional quality photos of you? If money is tight, then think about getting a friend to help.
One of the most important parts of any artist’s profile is their bio, but it is often overlooked. A lot of people will just fill in the basic information and list a few bands that they like, but this is your opportunity to craft a narrative for yourself.
This is where you can tell people what you are about, where you come from, and why they should listen to you. It’s also where you can let your audience know where they can find you, which is obviously incredibly important. PIRATE.com can help you to write an artist bio that will set you apart from the pack, establish who you are, and help you onto the next stage of your journey.
Listening To Everybody
For every aspiring musician, there are about 100 people who claim to know what they should be doing or who claim to be someone that they need to have around them.
One of the most important skills that you will need to develop is being able to tell the good from the bad. Be open to advice and be willing to learn but know when to smile and nod if that guy delivering kegs to the gig starts telling you about their cousin who would have been famous if they’d just listened to his advice.
Not Doing The Work
The last point is the one that everyone knows but so many acts fail to adhere to. If you are going to be a success in this business, then you need to put the work in and you need to make sure that you can put in the time that it takes. If you are doing this as a hobby, then that’s fine. If you are doing this because you want this to be your living as well as your passion, then you need to get serious.
Make sure that you are rehearsing as often as you can. Think about booking some professional rehearsal space if you can’t get the quiet and the focus that you need at home. Keep looking for opportunities to learn, but think carefully about whether a music degree is actually going to help you.
Remember that networking is a huge part of this business, so find out who you should be talking to and don’t be afraid to approach them. If you are going to be performing live, make sure that you have your set nailed down before you get on stage. Learn as much as you can about the equipment that you use because it is going to be your responsibility.
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