Many experts would comment that the music industry is a tough business to start in and evolve. But putting on a GPS navigation system in the industry shouldn’t be like panning for gold. Certain ideas can make it less complicated.
While there are significant risks in pursuing a career in music, there are also ways to minimize them. Let’s steer you in the right direction by explaining some of the risks that may come to light.
1. Demos That Get Rejected
When many first start out, they focus on sending demos to as many record labels as they can find. This proves to be an utter waste of time. With high paid internal lawyers, record companies will usually return demos as “unsolicited.”
There is a high degree of legal liability risks if record companies were to blindly listen to unsolicited demos. Unless you want to waste precious time and increase your chances of failure, forget this route. It simply does not work and makes you look extremely unprofessional.
2. Marketing Challenges
I come across too many musicians that are trying to throw their music online in every direction without a focused target audience. Basically, throwing everything at the wall and hoping something will stick. Not only is this a waste of time and resources, it also may create a level of overexposure with music fans that simply have zero interest in your genre or type of music. Why start off with being seen as a negative vs. a positive musical brand?
Just remember that A&R executives, agents, managers, and other music executives will be at the receiving end of your music, brand, and image. And sometimes you only have one impression to make.
3. Over Exposure
When certain genres or styles of music become saturated, it causes a massive overexposure of musicians who may all sound the same. It is virtually impossible to succeed when too many musicians all have similar sounding songs. It can also lead to a decline in a genre’s popularity.
Remember 90s’ boy bands or 80’s Heavy Metal? RIP to both.
4. Revenue Challenges
The internet and wave of streaming music companies has proved to be challenging for many artists. CDs are long gone. So, the channels for revenues have made it more complex. Further, unless you have a large fan base, simply uploading to streaming sites isn’t too viable. And video site revenues are dismal.
1. Your Demos Should Be ‘Solicited’
Remember talent scouts, managers, agents, and others in the music industry are humans. They are actively looking to find undiscovered talent online. Keywords such as “top unsigned artists” or “hottest indie artists” will navigate them to find perhaps yourself. Using these keywords in any type of online marketing you do with SEO can greatly increase your chances of being seen in search engines.
2. Preparing for Marketing Success
You should be laser focused when setting up a marketing plan. My type of indie rock and roll is very niche, so I target that music crowd accordingly. One of the key ways to do that is to make a list of blogs, websites, and marketplaces that specialize in your genre.
Then, contact each one with a personalized email and offer to write a guest post about your experience and expertise that would add value to their audience. This can greatly expose you to their readers who may end up becoming your fans and followers.
3. Completely Avoid Overexposure
Think ahead and find ways to be unique in your sound and performance. You don’t want to follow the crowd and be like everyone else. Research evolving styles & genres and create your own unique voice and brand.
Virtually every artist who became successful had to be flexible in terms of their sound, style, and music to go with the flow and make changes if needed. Such self-awareness will help you in the long term.
4. Solving Revenue Problems
Playing local gigs or touring is still the best way to generate consistent revenues. Creating a business and marketing plan that focuses on specific areas, followed by contacting venues via a phone call or email will always manifest a positive outcome. Putting on some old school elbow grease and grit simply works. Off course, you can also find other more established bands and ask if you can be their opening act.
Final Thoughts and Suggestions
Learning some basic copyright and music entertainment law can greatly educate you about protecting your rights. Especially on the proper ways of registering your music with your country’s copyright office. If you follow this guidance and become a huge sensation, you want to make sure no one will try to steal your music.