Deciding to pursue a career as a musician can leave you feeling nervous and overwhelmed about what the future holds. The music world is a challenging place, and as a professional, you’ll certainly face rejection and failure at times. But with some hard work and a little luck, you can also experience success.
When launching a career as a working musician, your actions will have a significant impact on your success. Even the most talented musicians in the world won’t be successful without putting the work in to back up those talents by marketing themselves, developing the skills they need, and giving real thought to how to launch their careers. If you’re ready to take your music career seriously, the following steps can help ensure that you’ll experience success.
Decide What Success Means to You
Before starting a career as a musician, you’ll need to give some thought to what success means to you. Do you have a goal of writing a hit song? Do you want to be able to perform with your band and make a living off of those performances? Would you be happy performing and teaching a studio of students? The more you can define this plan, the better you’ll be able to focus on achieving your goals.
If you’re not sure what an ideal music career looks like just yet, look to others for inspiration. Consider the musicians around you who are happy, and see if they’re willing to meet up for coffee so you can talk to them about their career paths. Ask those musicians about how they achieved their dreams and what they’d recommend to a musician just starting out on that same journey.
Once you’ve outlined your goals, it’s time to start developing the skills you’ll need to achieve them. For instance, if you’re planning for a performance career, developing your ear training skills will allow you to put on better performances, especially during those on-the-spot moments. If you want to teach, then learning about the many different learning styles will make you a better teacher.
Invest in the Equipment You Need
While it might be tempting to try to save money when you’re just starting out, investing in your career can also help to ensure its eventual success. But it’s also important to understand which purchases are necessary and which you should put off until later. If you plan on recording your own music, then investing in studio equipment is probably a necessary expense, unless you’ll be buying studio time at a professional facility.
When it comes to purchasing equipment, you can ensure your investment lasts by buying quality equipment that’s appropriate for your needs. When outfitting your studio, look for the best studio desk that balances quality and economy. The same is true of buying new instruments or performance equipment: If it’s going to make a difference in your career, it may be a wise investment, but make sure that you research your purchases carefully before making them.
Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing
In addition to investing in equipment, you also need to invest in your physical and mental wellbeing the same way people working in an office do — especially when considering how creating music is as much of a job as anything else, and comes with similar stressors. Focus on establishing daily habits that help to keep you healthy, like getting plenty of sleep and eating regular healthy meals. Learn some stress management techniques, like meditating or deep breathing, to deal with the stress that will come with any career.
You can also transform your home to improve your quality of life. If you’re working in a home music studio or are spending time writing songs at home, you can incorporate artwork to make the space more enjoyable and inspiring. If you have friends who are artists, ask them to paint a mural or transform a door in your home into a work of art. Consider creating a vision board to both liven up your creative space and inspire your career.
Focus on Your Marketing
Understanding how to market yourself as a musician is also integral to your success. Now is the time to learn about the ins and outs of marketing, from how to create a website to how to capitalize on search engine algorithms so that your website is seen. As a musician, you’ll need a website and some social media profiles at the very minimum. You can often set these up yourself when you’re just starting out, but as you enjoy increased success, you may want to invest in a professional marketer to help you maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Even if you’re just starting out, make sure that your social media profiles are professional and that they represent your music well. Take some professional headshots and start focusing on your social media activity as a professional investment.
If you want to enjoy success as a musician, that starts with truly taking your career seriously. Outline the steps that you need to take to be successful and start implementing the strategies that you’ll use to achieve your goals. A music career takes talent, hard work, and some luck, but you can increase your chances of success with the work that you do today.
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