10 Tips For Your Music Career

We’re nearing four weeks into the new year and you must be pumped up this year. Well here is 10 tips that will further pump you up to advance in your music career.

1. Don’t procrastinate. Just do it

Just do it. The way to get something done is to get started with it. As musicians we often get the fear and the ”I’m not ready yet’ thought coming into our minds when we think about doing up an album or completing a website for example. The real truth is nobody does it perfect so do it, make mistakes and that will bring you closer to what you want to achieve. Also sometimes over-planning doesn’t work. People who plan too much always become a NATO. (No Action Talk Only)

2. Plan To Fail. Fail To Plan

A little contradicting to the earlier tip, but you still have to plan. Everybody knows this and that they have to plan. Rather plan wisely by setting achievable goals. Do you want to complete your album or single by the mid year? Or your goals is to increase the number of fans you have by 5 times? Set the down then go and get it. I don’t care what you do but just get your goals done.

3. Tell People Your Goals

This is a sure way to get things done. Simply tell plans & goals to your friends, parents, suppliers, customers or whoever you can grab hold and often meet. Or simply post it up on Facebook or your Twitter feed. When we publicly post our plans, goals and deadlines, you are more inclined to have to finish it. You already told the world you are going to this and this, now you have to complete it don’t you. That’s good stress for you.

4. Do Something Of Your Level

Many musicians want to achieve something they see on the media. They want to be like their favorite stars, composers and singers. But it does not work that way. Too many musicians try to achieve something beyond their current capabilities and when things didn’t work out too well, they simply give up. You only have a laptop and headphones? Good enough, start working on what you have and achieve small goals before expanding and moving on to bigger things.

5. Be A Generalist 

Edward Lazear, a professor of human resources management and economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business analysed career profiles of 5,000 respondents to a 1997 survey. He found that individuals who held two roles or fewer had only 2 percent probability of being a CEO. Respondents who had at least 5 positions had an 18 percent change of reaching senior executive.

What we can learn from that is to be a generalist. Althougth most of us want to be pretty good & specialized at what we do, eg; composing, playing the guitar, producing, you have to work harder these days. In order to be top of the pack, learn and do as many things you can put your hands on. For instance, learn how to design, how to market your music or how to build and update your own website.

6. Do Up Your Accounts

The one thing that most creative minds hate doing, accounting. I used to hate doing accounting too but I recently learnt to enjoy doing it. No I’m not crazy. But when I did my accounts seriously I began to found out how much I’m making and losing per month. For instance, I found out that I was spending too much on keyboards but not getting a good return on investment for the amount I spent. Do your accounts and you might find things that you never knew. And when you do, shift some expense around and you’ll see a better career forward, guaranteed.

Personally I myself still hate the papers. I use an online accounting and invoicing software called Freshbooks.

7. Peer Pressure Is A Killer

As a growing musician, you’ll see many of your peers who are not in the music industry landing stable income jobs and making it. Then you go for family reunion and your family members ask you if you’re still living under pressure surviving with music gigs and sales. Don’t fall to that peer pressure. Peer pressure can break ones dreams and direction and you shouldn’t fall into it. If you have set your goals and direction, the only person who can give you the correct answer is yourself. So trust yourself and achieve your goals.

8. Stay Optimistic

Be optimistic. A continuation from tip number 7; you’d want to be optimistic all the time especially when you have people around you. Imagine going to a local recording studio to record your music. You met the studio producer, ask him how things are going at the studio and he replies you very dully being very negative about the industry. What would you feel? Most of us would begin to feel not so inclined to work with him anymore. Pessimism spreads like a disease. So get your optimism up and let your fans and clients feel it.

9. Network, network & network

Nobody becomes successful alone. They always had people with them or they knew someone who can help them. So this year, instead of spending countless hours locked up in your home studio starting at the piano and computer, go out for networking events. Go for concerts, plays, gigs and meet people. You never know when you’ll meet someone who will help you achieve your stardom. It’s all about networking.

10. Never Stop Learning

My personal favourite is to never stop learning. In this fast moving world today you have to keep updating yourself. Failure to do so will get your phased out. Learn new things, experiment new sounds and try different things. Bottom line is always accept new knowledge and to always learn, learn and learn. The saying that goes,’the day we stop learning, is the day we start dying’ remains true as ever.