7 Things Every Aspiring Musician Should KnowOct 07, 2022
The music industry may come off as vast and welcoming, but it can be very intimidating and daunting for aspiring musicians and music artists. It can be very hard to start with a blank slate and maneuver through an industry where it could get frightening to take the first step.
The working of the industry and its functionality may seem unfathomable and appalling. However, there are some things that every aspiring musician needs to know about and develop a skill for, which would inevitably give an edge to do better than the other debutants.
Some of them are mentioned below:
Connecting with other musicians through social media, attending events, and making acquaintances is an important skill every aspiring musician should develop. Meet new people, and try to be as authentic and professional when you leave your first impression. In the long run, these relationships you’ve built will come in handy.
Always be ready to give a quick introduction about yourself and your music at events you shall be attending, playing at, or simply coordinating. Always have an elevator pitch ready.
Yes, building a reliable and lasting network takes a lot of time, but don’t be stumped when you meet someone who has beneficial contacts in the industry. Don’t be hesitant to exchange contact information and add them on your socials, especially your LinkedIn.
Once you add them to your socials, build the connection and make it stronger. Give them shoutouts, collab with them, attend their events and show your support. The more supportive you are towards them, the more supportive they will be toward you!
Social Media Marketing
Social media doesn’t just mean Instagram and Facebook. It includes LinkedIn. Instagram is a platform to gain viewers, and followers and to make content that will reach numbers. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more professional and upfront.
Marketing yourself on all platforms equally makes all the difference. If you have a big following on your Instagram and TikTok and you have posted nothing on LinkedIn, then you have to up your LinkedIn game, since the latter is the space to increase your chances to meet professionals and make connections who would take your work and your approach much seriously than those on Instagram.
At the end of the day, music is a business, and these music business folks aren’t posting ‘selfies’ on Instagram, they’re on LinkedIn networking and connecting with other music industry folks. Don’t you wanna get in on that action?
Speaking of LinkedIn, have you read this blog post? - Music Marketing with LinkedIn: Using LinkedIn for Artists
Promoting helps you to outpower your limits by getting the news out to an audience.
Learning your laws and licenses
Make sure you extensively research and understand all the licenses you need to acquire as well as the laws you should abide by. For example, understand how copyrights work, learn to enforce your rights when you release your music, and seek advice from legal experts in the matter.
In some countries, copyrights are availed right at the creation of any original track, while in some other countries, the provisions may differ. Be aware of all the licenses when you want to make a cover and publish it on different digital platforms.
These platforms also differ in terms of operation, legal functionality, and so on, so try to be aware of all the areas in which you wish to take part. Understand your finances and how different royalties work and how you can claim every cent that’s rightfully yours.
To know more about performance royalties and how they work, check out our blog post on Music Royalties 101: How Performance Royalties Work
The only true way to know what you’re doing good and how you could improve is to be open to feedback and receive constructive criticism. Do not let success at one gig let you believe that you did everything you can as perfectly as possible.
Your efforts will be acknowledged, but at the same time, some drawbacks that you may not have noticed, will not get a blind eye from your counterparts and listeners.
Competition is healthy, however, to constantly evolve, you need to learn how to interact with your competitors and understand how they view your music.
Being open to different perspectives from different people (who may or may not have music knowledge), as well as reviews will help you gain insights into what’s currently working for you and what is not.
Greaserelease’s submission platform also provides you with honest and well-crafted feedback from curators and music industry professionals. Once you fill out the form and submit your music to us, the A&R team starts the process of targeting your song to curators and playlisters on our network. Next, the curators listen to your submission and give thorough and professional feedback which the A&R team compiles and sends to you, in case it doesn’t get placed in any of our playlists or doesn’t get accepted by any of our curators.
Still confused? Head to the Greaserelease Submission Platform!
Staying informed to stay relevant
Since the music industry is a space that is constantly changing, you need to be updated on what’s clicking for new and upcoming artists, what worked then and what works now, and so on. You must be able to discuss the trends driving the industry's expansion if you want to work in licensing, product design, or marketing at a company like Spotify.
Know your basics, and always keep a note of the latest news that is relevant to you, your music, and your production. Additionally, an effective musician should be knowledgeable about market preferences and trends, developing niche markets, and shifting opinions regarding an artist's financial potential.
Draw and know your boundaries while interacting with your counterparts and experts. Try to be formal while pitching your music to your friends, since decorum and efficient pitching will gain you a serious listen.
Professionalism also comes from being punctual with your meetings, deadlines, and others, being courteous when it comes to intimation and keeping all the people concerned in the loop, and being flexible as well assertive in your work and communication respectively.
As much as you’d like to shine as a solo artist or musician, being a team player is much liked and appreciated. The ability to gain others’ trust, and be reliable, dynamic as well as supportive are skills you can build only when you are working with a team or a group.
Your enthusiasm and interest in working with a team also hint at your professionalism.
Knowing your streaming platforms
Having good procedural knowledge of how each streaming platform works, how you could release your song on them, and the market value your song shall get in each platform is vital as well.
Understanding how to release your song on Spotify, for instance, as well as pitching your song to Spotify curators is something that you should ideally research, discuss with other artists and gain knowledge. Did you know you can now sell merch straight from Spotify? If that’s something you want to learn about, head to Selling Your Merch on Spotify: Music Promotion 101
Being open to learning from people, places, events, and experiences, apart from the aforementioned, is a major quality that every aspiring musician should hone. Gaining such knowledge and developing the required skills will get you an easier start with your music career!
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