Many people have big dreams of making music their full-time gig. If this is you, how do you know if you have what it takes? Committing to following our rules is a great first step, and these rules don't just apply to the rap & hip-hop game, either! We'll help shoot you straight to make sure that your goals and work ethic are aligned so that you don't waste your time.
You Must Promote Your Music Everywhere
First of all, take advantage of the digital revolution we're all living through. If everyone's online 24/7, as an artist, you should make sure your music is accessible and easy to find. Don't expect to blow up overnight if the only visible promotion you have is an obscure Souncloud page. Sorry but... it's just facts!
Nowadays, with the help of technology and social media, it has become easier than ever to promote your music. Don't be afraid to take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. You can easily create an online presence for yourself by creating accounts on various platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, SoundCloud, Shazam, Apple Music, Spotify, etc. and actively promoting your music through them. Don't forget about the OG social media channels like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, though! In some cases, you need a high follower count on these channels before you can break into music-dominant app spaces in a meaningful way.
Additionally, don't forget about traditional methods such as playing gigs or doing interviews on the radio to get your name out there. People still listen to the radio, we promise! Plus, now that people aren't staying inside anymore, booking a tour is a great way to get yourself in front of potential fans, even if it's as a small opening act. You've gotta start somewhere, and any eyes on you are better than none.
You Must Treat Music As Your Full-Time Job
A lot of artists balk at this because they feel like focusing on business kills their creative spirit. You should think about it as, "how multi-faceted of an artist can I be?", rather than complaining that business talk kills your vibe. Think of Rihanna and Beyoncé. Both billionaires, in their own right. If they managed to balance creativity and business, (or rather, they learned how to hire the right people to take certain work off of their hands...), then you can too! Even if it must be learned, having good business savvy is essential. This involves knowing how much you should charge for gigs, drafting contracts, managing your finances, allocating resources efficiently, understanding copyright law and royalty information, etc. Having basic knowledge about these topics will save you time, money, and energy in the long run! If you don't know anything about a topic, don't be afraid to devote time to researching it or asking friends and family for help.
You Must Network
The music industry is all about networking - you never know who you might meet that could be a valuable connection in the future. So, get out there and make as many contacts as possible. This could be as simple as attending industry events or joining online forums and groups. If you want to stand out from the crowd, don’t forget to be polite, friendly, and professional whenever you meet someone - first impressions count for a lot. We walk you through sending effective pitch emails in this blog post if chatting in person isn't your preference.
You Must Have Staying Power!
The music industry can be tough and it's important to remember that success doesn't happen overnight. You will face setbacks and rejections along the way, so it’s important to stay focused on your goals and keep pushing forward with determination. If you stay persistent, you'll eventually see results.
Another facet of having staying power is remaining adaptable. No matter what level of success you achieve, it's important to remain flexible and open to change. Music trends (like streaming and the rapid rise of TikTok) are constantly changing so you need to be able to adapt quickly in order to stay relevant. Also, don't be afraid to try out new things - who knows, you might create the next viral sensation! And even if you don't, putting yourself out there over and over is what counts. Consistency will take you very far in this business!
That’s it for our unspoken rules for making it in the music industry. If you keep all of these in mind, who knows? You could be the next big star. Good luck out there and don’t forget to always stay true to yourself and your art. Anything is possible if you put in the work!
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