26 More Nuggets Of Advice For Musicians
Last week I gave 25 music business tips from my ‘tip of the day' series over on my music business Facebook page. If you haven't already joined that page, Like it now to be kept informed on the latest as it happens.
Today, I've got 26 more bite sized tips which could make all the difference to your music career! So have a read below; I'm positive you've find some nuggets which will be beneficial to you. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: If you want to make your music videos stand out on a budget, you may want to consider making a green screen based video! These can add special effects to your video on a budget, and as long as you have a good video editor (which you should aim to get regardless of the kind of video you make), you can make your budget video look a lot more professional then the price you've paid! I've a guide on making music videos using green screens later, so check that out.
Tip Of The Day: When you're a relatively new act reaching out to websites, Djs, radio stations, TV channels and the like for promotion, expect a LOT of rejection!! It's just part of the game. They get people approaching them multiple times a day, and it's impossible for them to make everyone happy. But if you create a USP (unique selling point) and you pitch to them in a way in which you have their best interests at heart, you will get your chance with some of these opportunities. If you can get on 10% of the platforms you approach, you're off to a good start. As you build up your name and get more bargaining power, these numbers will change for the better. More details on this subject coming in the new post on Music Industry How To later. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: If your last single didn't reach at least 3000 people and you moved on to record and release a new single, you made a mistake. Each song you record should be promoted and promoted until you reach enough people to determine if you've recorded a hit or not. If you have, carry on the promotion even more. If not, THEN work on your next single. Don't reach 500 people and then move on, that's a waste of recording costs and cheapens your creative talent. Check my earlier guide ‘Once You've Recorded Your Song, What Next?' for the steps you should be taking after you release each single.
Tip Of The Day: Sending in demos big record labels didn't ask for is a waste of your time. They won't get listened to. End of tip. 🙂
For more details on why this is and what you should be doing instead, check our earlier guide Should You Send Unsolicited Demos to Record Labels?.
Tip Of The Day: Remember, there are all different kinds of gig out there which you can try and get. Weddings, old people's homes, schools etc. Think outside the box, and don't always apply for the same club / pub or festival type shows. And see the ‘How To Be A Function Musician – Becoming A Function Band For Beginners' posts I shared for extra tips.
Tip Of The Day: Holiday seasons are great for increasing sales of your music. Why not offer discounts for your fans this coming Black Friday through till Cyber Monday? If you have enough fans this should increase your sales, as urgency makes people want to buy while they can still get a discount. The post ‘Give Discounts On Your Music This Black Friday And Cyber Monday For Extra Sales' talks about this more, so have a look.
Tip Of The Day: Mailing lists are used by many of the world's biggest musicians (E.G. Britney Spears, Jay Z etc) and for good reason. Whether or not you like these acts personally, there's no denying their teams have good business scene. They know that mailing list newsletters can be used to easily and effectively communicate with fans, and help them to build a large and loyal following with minimum fan turnover (you don't want to lose fans because you don't keep them entertained). I shared a short yet useful guide about this topic earlier called ‘How To Earn More From You Music Career Using Mailing Lists'. If you haven't seen that yet and want to know why and how to set up your own list, check it out. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: Your music career will move in stages. It's because of this that you should break down any bigger goals you have, and divide them into more manageable short term goals. For example, instead of saying you want to have a big fan base, maybe aim for a 5% increase in fanbase in the next two or three months. Or instead of saying you want to be famous, set a goal to reach a new part of your audience you're not already targeting by a specific date.
To find out how to really break things down and create achievable goals, check our guide ‘Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Music Career‘.
Tip Of The Day: Having a mailing list is all important. It's one of the best tools for keeping your fans updated, and generally keeping them interactive with your music. That said, if you don't communicate with your list right, you'll end up losing money on the subscription fee. To get some tips on producing a better email marketing campaign (easier then it sounds), check this guide.
Tip Of The Day: Never, never, NEVER, release your album for free!! You shouldn't be giving away the majority of your music as free downloads anyway, but especially not albums. This just cheapens the view people will have of your music. So put your album out for a price, and market it until it sells. More info about this in the ‘Should I Release My Album For Free?' guide.
Tip Of The Day: Now is the time to record your Christmas songs if you haven't already. Christmas songs can get great exposure, and can be a nice yearly money maker. Check this guide for more details on this and how to get started.
Tip Of The Day: As well as doing the right things in your music career, it's important you don't do the wrong things. These will lead to wasted time, energy, and money. They could also mean you never get as far as you could have otherwise. Check this guide for 3 big mistakes you should be avoiding.
Tip Of The Day: My mailing list is one of the strongest forms of promotion I have, and it can be for you too! They're a great way to update people who are interested in your music, and keeping them involved in what you do. People miss Twitter updates if they're not on Twitter at the time. Only a small percentage of people see your Facebook updates. But emails you send to your newsletter? They go directly into people's inbox, and stay there until they've been seen! If you're not using a mailing list / newsletter to keep in contact and make your fans more loyal, you're missing out on a big trick. I posted this guide on getting your first mailing list up and running, so have a look at that if you haven't yet set one up.
Tip Of The Day: If you're making or spending money in your music career, you should be doing taxes. As a musicians you are a business. You deal with money, and most likely the country you live in requires you to report that income. If you're in this music game for the long-term, it's best to get started with this asap. Even if you're not yet making profit from music, I advise you to still fill in your tax forms. This will get you used to the process so you don't make any mistakes when you are profiting from music. See the relevant tax authorities in your country to see how to get started, and see my guide ‘do musicians pay taxes' for more info. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: While CD sales have slowed down in general, there's one place where sales of CDs still do well: At gigs and live shows! Fans want to take home a piece of your performance with them, and that's the easiest way. So even if you're not getting paid upfront for a gig (ideally you should, but that's another topic for another day) it's still possible to walk out after the gig with folding paper. Now, want to know how to TRIPLE the amount of CD sales you make at each event? Then check out audio guide ‘Huge: How To Triple CD Sales At Your Next Gig And More'. There's some really good tips in there, so have a look.
Tip Of The Day: Holiday seasons provide a great opportunity to take interaction with fans to another level. It's because of this that you should be preparing for any relevant upcoming holidays and running special promotions and events related to your music to tie in with the happy vibe a load of your fans will have. Ideas can be found in our earlier guide ‘How To Get Your Fans Involved In Your Music Career During The Holiday Season'.
Tip Of The Day: Giving out most of your music for free is a destructive move. It doesn't make that many more people hear your music, there's so much free music out there that most people ignore free downloads! The best way to get people to listen is to give them a REASON to do so. Check the short report ‘Giving Out Free Music On Your Website No Longer Works! Here's What You Should Do Instead' earlier, have a look at that for more info.
Tip Of The Day: As humans, often when we're about to try something new which we're not sure about, we get butterflies in our stomach. Think back to when you were younger (sorry to our younger readers) when you liked someone and went to talk to them for the first time. You got that feeling in your stomach right? Well sometimes when we push our boundaries in terms of what we're doing in our music career, we get similar nerves to that (first time giggers often get this for example). The important thing is to not let them stop you from doing what needs to be done! Often you have to step out of your comfort zone to move things forward for yourself. See ‘How Staying In Your Comfort Zone Can Hinder Your Music Career‘ for more information. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: I'm surprised that more musicians outside the rap / hip hop genre don't make mixtapes! They're a great way to promote your music without worrying about getting lots of unique instrumentals to record your vocals over. Furthermore, they allow people to instantly pay attention to you as your vocals will be over songs they already know and love. If you haven't made a mixtape yet, I suggest you give it a try. I've written a guide on how to make a mixtape, so have a look for tips on getting started. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: If you want to make it in the music industry, you'll need to start treating certain aspects of your music career like a business! That includes doing paper work, doing your own taxes (you will be self employed and dealing with money after all), putting in systems to make your tasks easier, and the like. While it may sound intimidating, it doesn't have to be. Start implementing the above one at a time, and soon it'll become second nature to you. 🙂 See our guide on Why All Musicians Need To Have The Business Know How for more help.
Tip Of The Day: Once you get a reliable contact in the music industry (who's helped you in some way already), be sure to keep things between you good. I'm not saying you have to talk to them every day, or even every week. But when you can do something to help them, do it. When you can get them involved in what you're doing, do so. Chances are they'll repay the favor when you again need some help in the area they have expertise in.
Tip Of The Day: One of the best ways to see what works in the music industry is to analyse what big musicians are doing that you can also replicate. If you see a number of top acts doing the same things, maybe you could also incorporate the relevant elements into your music career. It's because of this theory that I've launched my first case study: ‘How To Make A Music Website Like Ed Sheeran (Part 1)'. If you've already got a site, use this case study to see how you can better structure it. If you haven't got a site yet, use this case study to learn how to set a professional music site up quickly and easily.
Tip Of The Day: Here's one of many reasons you should have your own website. In order to get people to spend money on your music career, you need to create sales funnels. A sales funnel is a series of information and offers you put in front of your fans in order to see how far they're willing to go with you. A lot of people will drop off along the way (that's ok as you'll still catch a lot of their contact details), but anyone who gets to the bottom and interacts with everything you put in front of them is one of your true fans. They are the ones who will make you the majority of your money, so it's a good idea to find out who these people are and keep them happy. Now the thing is, it's not possible to create an effective sales funnel without your own .com type website and having a mailing list on that site. Not having a website means you're leaving money on the table by not finding your true fans. There's more information about creating sales funnels in my course the IMA Music Business Academy. I also shared a guide on setting up a professional music website fast earlier on, so have a look at that if you haven't already built your own site. 🙂
Tip Of The Day: If you want to make money from your music, you need pay tax in your country. In most countries, if you're currently not making much money (or you spend more then you make), chances are you won't have to pay any tax for that year. That said, it's still important to fill in the appropriate forms so you get used to the process. You'll make more money the longer you make music, so it's best to get into good habits for now. Check the guide ‘Paying Your Taxes And Making Things Official (For Musicians)' for more details.
Tip Of The Day: The biggest mistake you can make after investing a load of time and money into making your album (or similar project), is to not spend a equal or greater amount of time and money marketing and promoting your release. Simply putting it out there isn't going to get many people seeing it, so be sure to invest the time and money needed.
Tip Of The Day: If you want to make it as a musician, don't let laziness ruin your chances. If you know you should be doing something to push your music but don't do it because you can't be bothered, you're already heading for defeat. If you want to do well in music, you have to work for it. If you don't put enough work in, someone else will. Who do you think will get furthest?
More details here ‘Why Laziness Is A Career Killer In The Music Industry.'
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!