If you are reading this article, it is probably because you have talent, motivation and ambitions for your musical project
(If this is not the case, then you are probably in the wrong place.)
Here we will see how to succeed in music, a subject that often comes up in the mouths of independent artists.
Is there a miracle solution? Is there a step-by-step method to follow? First of all, we need to know what exactly we’re talking about.
1. What is success for you?
Too few musicians ask themselves this question.
They put themselves at the forefront of goals and dreams that are not their own, thinking that there is only one way to succeed in the music industry.
In this case, to be very successful in music means signing a contract with a major, spending time on national radio and television, touring in the country and around the world, becoming rich thanks to your work, being known to the general public, making millions of views each time on YouTube, etc.
In short, it is a rather mainstream vision of success.
There are many other ways to succeed with your music and make a living.
After all, this last element is essential: for musicians who are not looking for mainstream success, success is more about being able to get up every morning and do something you love, without constraint and without fear of tomorrow.
It’s just a matter of making a living from your music.
What about you? What about you? What does the success of a musical project mean to you?
It is essential to answer this question first, since it is your answer that will determine the various actions to be taken.
Are you looking for glory and fame? There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to be honest with yourself.
2. The real problem: gaining visibility
Following this reasoning, if you are still reading this article it is most likely:
In both cases, the real problem is your visibility.
Indeed, no label will want to engage with an artist or a group with low financial potential.
Similarly, it is difficult to earn a living with your music when the audience for a project amounts to a few tens or even hundreds of people.
So how can we move forward as an independent company? As a musicpreneur?
The fact is that you are not alone in your case. Thousands of more or less ambitious artists and groups try each year to break through and achieve some success themselves.
Even if they should not be considered as competition, it is undeniable that we must learn to stand out from them. Your voice must be heard and recognized despite the crowd.
Fortunately, standing out does not necessarily mean making a bad buzz, wearing extravagant outfits or clashing at all.
It is above all through your branding, your universe and your marketing actions that you will give coherence and movement to your project.
It is not enough to have goals and dreams to succeed. You need an appropriate strategy and tactics.
Waiting by doing nothing will not help you.
Thus, depending on your ambitions, it is vital that you make the best use of the following levers:
- Doing concerts and festivals: the best way to build your fanbase locally
- Have an online marketing strategy: unite new fans via your social networks, your website and Youtube
- Get your fans’ email addresses: in this time of the Internet, nothing beats email in terms of return on investment and communication power. Spend time on your newsletter and your marketing efforts will be increased tenfold each time.
- Build a network: go out and meet other artists and professionals to create lasting relationships and exchange opportunities
- Form a team: it is almost impossible to succeed on your own. This can only be temporary or even a simple exchange of services, but please do not do everything yourself.
- Diversify your sources of income: there are many more ways to earn money with your music than you think. Don’t just sell CDs and play concerts.
Your success depends mainly on the strategy you adopt and the efforts you make.
If you still think it depends on luck, then it is necessary to train yourself and change your mentality.
Of course, there are many more things to do to succeed in music than the actions outlined above.
Update: Succeeding in Music: The Only Possible Method(?)
Today too many people believe that there is only one way to succeed in music.
It sounds more or less like: “I have to work hard on my compositions in order to attract managers and labels with my sound, once I have their support I could finally reach radios, TVs, magazines and tour nationally and abroad”.
But that’s not how it works.
If you look around you at the successful artists, there are thousands of them who break through without a label, without a manager, without doing radio, without doing TV, without appearing in the press or even without necessarily doing more than a few concerts a year.
How? How? Well, because they found what works for them.
The method you are usually sold is that of a cold and saturated music industry.
Everyone miraculously hopes to attract the attention of the pros with his music.
The problem is that if you do what everyone else does, then you’re not going anywhere. You need:
- To stop waiting for a miracle
- To differentiate yourself from the mass
- To find out what works for you
1. There are thousands of ways to succeed in music
You can be the artist who takes off thanks to these concerts and tours.
You can be the musician who hits the Youtube.
You can choose to focus on composition or production.
You can bet everything on Soundcloud, Snapchat, Facebook or any other social network.
If you want to grow your career, you need to understand that there are no predefined rules to succeed.
Just because artists had a huge success 10 or 20 years ago with a tactic X or Y, it doesn’t mean that it should be your goal.
Find out what works for you.
- Maybe you don’t like Facebook and Youtube too much, but you have an extremely strong network and good interpersonal skills
- Maybe you don’t make the best music in the world, but your concerts are just exceptional
- Maybe your pro network is not very developed, but you master the art of making viral videos
There are so many artists who have made themselves known only through a tactic or a platform, whether through Myspace in their time, Facebook, Youtube, Soundcloud, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, an online concert site, a playlist, a music blog, online advertising and so on.
2. Seize the right opportunities
Thinking that you need the perfect song to attract the pros who will allow you to move up to the next level greatly limits your field of possibilities.
Today is the time to seize opportunities.
Today is the day to take charge of your career and stop making excuses.
Today is the day to find out what works for you and stop following the mass.
Because there is much more than one way to succeed, if you stay open and consider the opportunities that exist today.
Therefore, I encourage you to define exactly what you want to build in your career, while remaining flexible if it doesn’t take off.
Choose a tactic or platform on which you want to focus 200%
Once you have that in mind, make sure that everything around your career goes in that direction.
Sometimes it can only be temporary, for example many musicians who have made themselves known as Youtubeurs now dedicate their daily lives more to concerts than to video production.
The key is to choose according to the opportunities that are really present and have real potential.
It is better to choose some tactics and platforms when you start, rather than scatter and do everything halfway.
3. Find out what works for YOU
Similarly, do not force yourself to do certain things to please others, if it is not what you want.
- If you don’t want to use Soundcloud, okay
- If you don’t want to play concerts, why not
- If you don’t want to have a newsletter, a merchandising store or make videos, don’t worry
This is quite possible, but only if you find what works for you, which requires openness and flexibility at first.
There are not as many rules as you might think in the music world.
If you see an opportunity that allows you to achieve your goals more quickly, then don’t be ashamed or afraid to step out of the crowd.
The reality is that the music industry has always been saturated. There are too many artists and groups.
This was already the case, long before the arrival of the Internet and the web has accelerated this even further by giving everyone the chance to self-present.
Therefore, you need to be different.
And this is not only through your sound signature. This also and above all requires the tactics you prefer and the opportunities you seize.
Find out what works for you and rewrite the rules if necessary.