13 Tips For Your Music Career
The thought of developing a music career can be overwhelming. Maybe we can help? Here’s a dozen things to keep in mind as you move about your musical days.
1. COLLECT E-MAIL ADDRESSES - There is nothing more valuable than a direct connection with a fan. As social media algorithms become more complex and paying for reach becoming more mandatory, a simple email address can help you stay in touch with the most loyal of fans. Cut through the clutter of social media by sending periodic (and scheduled) updates to fans and you’ll be able to count on them later.
2. COLLECT PHONE NUMBERS - The only thing better than an email address is a phone number. Get a fan’s phone number and keep track of location to text message offers on local shows or to get a direct connection to talk about new music. The technology exists to help you get opt-in text subscribers. Let Craft Services help you make this connection with your fans and inquire about our mobile marketing packages.
3. IS YOUR TEAM ON THE SAME PAGE? - Making a career out of music is difficult, but it’s not impossible. When your team (a manager, bandmates, publicist, or what have you) are working together towards the same goal, you’re guaranteed to have some form of success. It’s always a good idea to make sure everyone is working towards the same goal for your career and if not, make necessary changes.
Having a defined goal is truly half the battle at completing that goal. Knowing exactly what you’re striving for will help you plan how to get there smartly and quickly. Here are some examples of defined goals versus undefined goals:
Examples of Defined Goals:
Release a 3 song EP
Tour to four cities in Pennsylvania
Grow Instagram by 500 followers
Reach out to 4 promoters a month
Examples of Undefined Goals:
Record a record
Go on tour
Do social media
Get a record deal
Clearly defining the goals you have will help you create the proper steps. For example, “reaching out to 4 promoters a month” is an achievable defined goal that will naturally allow a band to “go on tour,” an undefined goal.
5. STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NETWORK - You never know when you might need to lean on someone you met for a helping hand as you grow your music career. Keeping the connections warm with someone you met at a conference, a band you opened for, or with anyone in your network will genuinely make things easier for when you ask for career help down the road and it isn’t just coming from out of the blue.
6. PLAN AHEAD - Time is the most precious thing you have when it comes to your career, so not wasting it and accomplishing more is exactly what you want, not to mention that services you want to include, like publicity and radio promotion, need lead time to properly work your record.
It might sound super obvious, but planning ahead is one of the smartest things you can do for your music career. Here are a few examples where planning ahead is crucial:
Studio - Studios get booked up and you need to get on a calendar - plus booking ahead could get you a deal on studio rates (in some cases)
Booking Shows - Some venues handle their calendar 9 months out. Most places are at least 3 months out. If you want to get a show or a hold on a date, get out there and ask early!
Publicity - Publicists need time to properly set up your record. Blogs need at least 3 weeks notice and long lead press (like magazines or other print) need at least 10 weeks. Planning ahead will get you the press at the time you need it most!
Holiday Music - Bands make holiday music in June. Think ahead and take advantage of similar opportunities.
7. OWN YOUR LOCAL TERRITORY - If you can be the King or Queen of your home market, the world can become your oyster. Labels and other music business folks rarely get behind a band that doesn’t have their home market completely in their pocket, so make sure that you’ve made the most out of your own backyard before you concern yourself with that expensive world tour.
8. ENGAGE WITH FANS - Meaningful connections with fans are the only way to keep them in your corner and be able to count on them when you need them. 50K Instagram followers does you no good if you aren’t actually getting comments and engagement from anyone. You need an active fanbase to keep climbing the ladder of music success. Ask questions of fans that encourage them to comment back and run contests that reward fan engagement and connectivity.
9. MAKE A BUDGET - Actually putting pencil to paper is the only way to see what you definitely need to get from point A to B on a project. Knowing a realistic budget helps you save and have something available for when those unexpected expenses arrive.
10. WORK HARD - People want to work with people who work hard. 100%.
11. BE NICE - Keep your emotions and ego in check and get it through your thick skull that nice people who work hard and are NICE reap the rewards of doing so. Yes, there are anomalous cases where people who were real JERKS along the way made it to the top of the charts, but again— anomalies. Be nice!
12. BE CREATIVE - There’s no better way to stand out than to be creative. Find new sounds! Find unique ways to get your point across. Immerse yourself in new mediums. The way you express your creativity will be unique as can be, because it’s YOU.
13. MEET PEOPLE - Humans love being around other humans. It gives you a certain something you don’t get from interfacing digitally. Go out and meet people. Tell them what you’re doing. Ask what they’re doing. Trade contact info! Keep in touch! The biggest fans I ever made were from playing shows and then talking to people outside of the venue after the show. Hell ya.
Craft Services can help you project manage an album release or a Kickstarter project. And if there’s anything you think is missing from this article, let us know via our Contact page.