What Can You Do Right Now To Move Your Music Career Forward?

Posted by Aaron Davison on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Under: October 14

If you’re at all like me, you’ve probably found yourself feeling stuck a few times on your path to becoming a successful musician.
  One of the really tricky things about the music business is that there isn’t always a clear path that will definitely lead to success.  If you want to become a doctor, you go to medical school, take out student loans, study and work hard and at the end you’re a doctor, one hundred percent of the time. 

But the music business is different. Becoming “successful” in the music business requires a lot more creativity and flexibility.  For some of us, this can prove to be a stumbling block.  I like to know that if I invest my time in something I’m going to get a good return on my investment.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  I don’t want to waste my time, and I’m sure you don’t either.

The problem though, is that in the context of pursuing a career in music, there isn’t always a clear return on your investment of time.  Sometimes you have to try things that don’t work out.  Sometimes you have to take swings and miss.  This is the path of the musician.  If you’re looking for a life filled with certainty and security, look elsewhere.  This probably isn’t that path.

However, to let this reality hold you back is also a mistake, if you want to become a successful professional musician.  Even if there isn’t always a clear and direct path to success, there is still growth to be found at every turn.  For example, if I save up money, record some new songs, and then fail to make a profit from those songs, I haven’t necessarily failed.  I’ve still written new material, gained more experience in the studio and have most likely improved as a songwriter.  If I spend three months pursuing licensing leads and don’t license a single song, I haven’t necessarily failed.  I’ve probably made new connections at that time, learned more about the industry and have gained a clearer idea of what to do going forward.

When you’re pursuing a career in music, it’s helpful to take a step back and simply ask yourself what you can do right now to move forward.  The big answer that will lead to fame and riches isn’t always clear, but there’s always something you can do to improve and move closer to your goals, one day and one step at a time.  The money will eventually come as well, but in the beginning it’s important to simply focus on the tangible things you can do each day.

Think about it, what can you do right now that will get you closer to where you want to be?  Here are some things I can think of off the top of my head:

1)    Write a new song

2)    Post a new youtube video

3)    Submit music to licensing opportunities

4)    Book a new show

5)    Upload music to streaming sites

6)    Work on improving social media

7)    Submit music to new music contest

8)    Reach out to music publishers who pitch music to artists

9)    Read a new music industry blog

10  Buy a music business book

11 Take a course on music production

12 Network with music producers to create collaborative projects

13 Email music bloggers with link to your latest release

14  Take a new music business course

15  Take a songwriting course

16  Collaborate and write with other songwriters

17 Busk on the streets for money and experience (A homeless rapper in Chicago just landed a record deal that is doing very well as a result of “busking”)

18 Play open mic nights to gain more performing experience

19 Take vocal lessons to improve singing

20  Work with a music business coach to learn more about the business

Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head.
  There are many more things you can do each and every day to move forward.  There are things you could be doing right now. Don’t let your fear of not knowing the exact outcome of your actions hold you back.  Take small steps every day towards your goals and you’ll find that six month from now, a year from now, two years from now and so on, you’ve made huge strides.

In : October 14 

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