If you think that finding the most effective ways to make good money in the music industry is "wrong", then do not bother reading this article.
Now if you are still reading-good. In this article, I am going to talk about different ways that you can effectively achieve great success while working in the music industry. This includes being able to make a stable living from your music career and(if you Act on the given advice) making much more money than the average musician.
Most musicians seek to "make it" in the music industry but have a high degree of uncertainty when it comes to the idea of making A Lot of money and supporting themselves through their music career. This causes them to push away their ultimate desire of a career in music in order to work in a "stable" job outside of the musical industry (that they usually hate). Unfortunately, these musicians end up working full time in their day jobs and experience great frustration as they realize that they are wasting their musical potential. This is something I see All The Time as a music career mentor.
In truth, achieving great financial success while working on your music career is not as difficult as you might think. In addition, you don't need to be a big time rock star to make good money in the music business. However, in order to become financially free in your music career, you will need to take a very different approach than the one that is taken by most musicians. You will need to approach your music career as both a "musical artist" and as a businessman (or woman). You must run your career as a business, where your primary goal is to add as much value as possible to your fans, other bands, music company officials, and other people in the business of music.
The reason why so many musicians do not make much money with music is because they are not aware that music is a business (and needs to be treated as such). These people fail because they are not mentally ready to achieve great things in the music industry. Find out how ready you are to reach success in the music industry by taking this short assessment on how to pursue a career in music. Important: Finish this assessment first, before reading the rest of this article.
Besides not being prepared to achieve success in the business side of music, many musicians fail to make a decent income in their careers because they make the following mistakes:
Not Taking The Time To Set Up Various Music Related Sources Of Income
It is common for musicians to treat their music career in the same manner that they have treated any other job that they have had. They expect a single paycheck at the end of an established period of time from doing a "single" activity. Unfortunately, this approach will not help you to achieve financial success in the music business. In order to make a good living in your music career, you must stop thinking from the mindset of obtaining a single sum of money as your main goal. Instead, you must work to build many different sources of musical income that go into your bank account on an ongoing, residual basis. By taking this approach, it becomes much easier to make a lot of money from music. In fact, musicians who use this method will save themselves time as well (because they do not have to continually work to get a paycheck). This enables them to have more freedom to pursue things such as writing music, touring and performing, or recording in the studio. In the end, it is important to have income coming in from both your active efforts and your past efforts that you already took the time to set up (that continue to make you money). Additionally, by approaching your music career in this manner, you will feel much more stable since you will not be dependent on any single source of income to pay your bills.
Not Working To Continually Add Value To Others In The Music Business
There is one very important concept to understand if you are going to pursue a career in music. Whether you are a touring musician, music teacher, producer, session player, songwriter, or are involved in any other occupation, the people who will pay you money to work with you will need to have a reason to pick you from the thousands of other musicians following the same path. At first, this may seem pretty hopeless, but in reality the amount of competition you face is not a major factor. Why is this? Fact is, most musicians are too busy focusing on their musical skills while not focusing on building as much "value" around themselves as possible. Your musical skills (no matter how great they may be) is only one element of "value". The other elements (that most musicians do not focus on) include your work ethic, temperament, business savvy and reliability just to name a few. To make yourself the absolute best choice to work together with a music company, you must work to build up a massive amount of value so that any of the musicians competing against you will pale in comparison. This means that when a music company considers working with you, it must be obvious that there is no other choice.
Right now you may be thinking that this is a simple concept to understand (and you are right). However, in spite of this, the overwhelming majority of musicians do not take action to do this in their music careers on a daily basis. To see if you are taking the necessary amount of action in this area of your music career, fill out this quick survey about how to build value in the music industry. As long as you have the ability to continually add high amounts of value for anyone in the music business, you will have great potential to make a lot of money. It is for this reason that I train all of the musicians in my music industry mentoring program to develop a mindset for adding value within everything they do.
Not Taking The Time To Identify Your Market
Once you have become familiar with the value you have to give to the music industry, you will you need to find and identify the people who you will give value to. For example, imagine that you were about to release your newest record. Who are the people (fans) that would be waiting to buy your new music? Do you have a way to quickly and easily contact these people? If not, what action are you taking right now to build a list of your potential customers? Now imagine that you were a session musician. Do you have an organized list of all your potential customers/business partners such as musicians, recording studios, or bands? What are you going to do today to get in touch with these people and show them how you can help them with your skills and talents?
One of the most common mistakes made by musicians is that they spend the time to create an album, increase their musical skills, or work in another area of the music industry, but when it comes time to receive the payoff for their hard work, they have great difficulty making any money. This happens because they have not taken the time to build a database of customers who are ready and willing to pay for the value that the musician is offering. Since this is such a common issue, I have made this one of my main areas of focus while mentoring the musicians in my Music Careers Mentoring Program.
Additionally, musicians will make the mistake of assuming that once they are signed with a music company that the company will take all the responsibility to further their career. This is not true. The fact is, YOU are the one who will need to take initiative in your music career in order to promote yourself and make a better living. Work on building your own list of customers and fans so that you are the one in control of this aspect of your career. This can be used as a great tool to improve negotiations with future music business partners to make more money for you (and for everyone else involved).
Not Knowing Your Goals And Not Having A Plan To Reach Them
To earn more money in your music career, you must set specific goals and have a strategy in place for reaching them. Don't simply have vague ideas of wanting to be a professional musician. Instead, you must focus on what you want out of music. To get started, answer the questions below:
What do you want your annual music career income to be?
What are the various sources of income that will allow you to reach your goal in question #1?
What action must you take in order to create these sources of income? (learn more about how to set up multiple streams of income in this music career planning article.)
What is every possible way that you can add high levels of value to each interaction you have in the music business?
What is every possible way that you can eliminate risk for other people in the music business?
Once you have answered each of the questions above, you must make every step in your music career go toward the specific goals you have determined for yourself.
The majority of musicians struggle to identify exactly "what" they must do to get their desired results in the music industry. Additionally, once they know "what" to do, they struggle to understand "how" to use this knowledge effectively. If you are in this same situation, the best action that you can take is to find a great mentor who can train you to achieve success in your music career and make a lot of money in the music industry. By doing this, you will avoid wasting your time and effort on the same frustrating mistakes that other musicians make.
Confusing "Being Popular" With "Earning A Lot Of Money In The Music Industry"
You don't need to be touring in an internationally known rock band in order to make a great living in your music career. The reality is that even some famous bands include band members who are working regular jobs to make a living. It is important to understand this point so that you can place priorities on achieving your goals in the most effective way possible. Obviously there are musicians who have achieved both popularity and great financial stability, however you should prioritize your efforts to reach your goals in the most effective way possible.
There are many musicians who view the music business as "deceptive" or "wrong" because it involves making money from one's passion rather than giving it away for free. These people likely spend their time focusing on songwriting skills or improving their abilities on their instrument. Although these are important things to work on, it is also critical to focus on improving your "music business skills" if you want to earn enough money from music without needing a day job just to get by.
Even though there is no way to predict (in a single article) the specific path you must take to make a great living in the music industry, if you avoid the mistakes mentioned here you will be much more likely to achieve financial freedom in your music career. The good news is that when you do start making a stable living as a professional musician, you will be able to spend more time on that which drew you to the music industry in the first place: making music.
If you haven't yet taken the music career surveys mentioned in this article about how to pursue a career in music and how to build value in the music industry I encourage you to do so now.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a recording artist, touring musician and the guitar player for the band Rhapsody Of Fire. He trains and mentors musicians from all over the world on how to develop a successful career in music. Visit tomhess.net to get free music career resources and to read more music career articles.