I’ve been involved in the music industry for over 14 years now. During that time, I’ve learned many things which aren’t really general knowledge, and aren’t generally known to those who are just starting out. In fact, many musicians who have been making music for years don’t know some of the things I’m about to share today, so I guess you could call them music industry secrets!
5 music business secrets successful musicians know which most don’t – Tweet This
P.S. Number 5 is probably one of the biggest secrets I’ll share with you on this site, and it’s one which can move your music career at least twice as fast if you’re not already implementing it (which most musicians aren’t). So read on till the end for the good stuff. 🙂
Music Business Secret 1: Having More Fans Won’t Mean You’ll Make More Money
This is one that many musicians learn the hard way. They spend years building up their fanbase to a decent number, only to realize their earning don’t increase by a relative amount. The truth is, having 10 times the fanbase you have now won’t make you 10 times the money!
Musicians, increasing your fanbase by 10x won’t increase your money 10x! – Tweet This
As I’ve mentioned here, the strategies that often make the most money in music aren’t the same things which will get you the biggest fanbase. Well, at least for most independent musicians.
So does that mean you need to pick between either making money or building a big fanbase? No, not at all. Both things have their benefits, but it’s important you know which activities bring you which results. That way you can focus on them as much as you want according to your main aims.
I’ve looked at some of the things which will make you more money from music, you can see that on the full time musician page.
Music Industry Secret 2: Marketing Can Be More Important For Success Than Talent
While I cover how to do many different things within the music industry on this site, there’s one things I always refer back to:
This is simply because without marketing, your music won’t get anywhere. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say marketing is probably more important than talent!
Let me ask you this, have you ever seen just above average acts doing well in your genre? Of course you have, there are acts like this in every genre of music out there. How do these musicians get to where they are? Simple, good marketing and promotion! Either they know how to promote themselves well, or they have people behind them who know how to do that for them.
That’s what record labels have now effectively become: marketing companies. No longer are they picking up raw talent and developing them; instead they focus on using their money and links to better promote acts who are showing potential.
On the other hand, have you ever heard a top quality musician in your genre who doesn’t get many views or doesn’t seem to be moving forward any time soon? Again, I’m sure you have! They may be talented, but without them having the knowledge to market themselves they don’t get very far.
Don’t underestimate the importance of what I’m telling you here, you can’t just be talented and put out songs. Instead, learn to properly market your music if you want to get anywhere. These guides will help.
Secret 3: You Can’t Do Everything By Yourself
So there’s been a big hype about the independent musician over the last few years, and how you don’t need a record label behind you to do well.
While you don’t necessarily need a record deal to start making movements in your music career, it will get to the stage where you need some kind of support network behind you.
Believe me, as you start getting more shows and are more in the public spotlight, you can’t do everything by yourself.
Some of the things that need to be done for a musician growing in success include:
- Show booking.
- Show performing.
- Artwork design.
- Music marketing.
- Networking with companies and other musicians.
- Finances. Yes, that includes taxes.
- Writing songs.
- Recording songs.
- Fan interaction.
- Video shooting and editing.
- And a lot more.
While you can do much of these things yourself on a small scale, as you start getting bigger, handling all of the above and more will become an impossible task. You’ll find you’re spreading yourself thin and don’t get time to do most of them properly. At this point (or hopefully before so you don’t reach this stressful time in your career) you’ll need to get people to help you out.
Whether or not you eventually want to sign to a label, know that you can’t be a fully independent musician forever. So get a team behind you as more hands make lighter work.
Secret 4: Record Labels Don’t Invest Money Into Developing Musicians Anymore
So, independent musicians can only go so far. If you heard that and decide it’d be best to sign to a record label as soon as possible, there’s something you need to bare in mind:
Record labels don’t generally sign unproven acts!
While they would once sign talented acts and then develop them, this is no longer the case. With there being less money in the music industry than say 20 years ago, they have to be more selective with who they do business with. So why would they spend thousands on making a musician more talented (not to mention months or even years for this to happen) when they could sign someone who has already proven they’ve very talented by themselves, and have a proven fanbase behind them which they worked on getting? Signing like this would save the record label a lot of money!
What I’m trying to say is, unless you’ve done the groundwork as an independent musician first and have started making real movements, chances are record labels won’t sign you any time soon. This means if you get to the stage where you need a team, you’ll have to put that team together yourself. Don’t wait for anyone else to come and help.
Secret 5: You Should Get People With Influence To Do Most Of Your Music Marketing
Ok, so this is one of the biggest secrets of all. Or at least it’s the one which most musicians never do properly.
Instead of marketing your music to individuals who haven’t head you before one by one, instead you should aim to have people who have access to your target audience promote you instead!
Not what you was expecting as the biggest secret in this guide? Regardless, this is one of the main ways you can get your music known on a bigger scale while others are grinding away not getting anywhere fast!
Now don’t get me wrong, some musicians try this strategy. They try and get on a popular music channel, website or magazine in their genre. They get rejected a couple of times. Then they go back to trying to reach out to people one by one on social sites as it’s “much easier”.
The thing is, when you’re aiming to appear on such sites, you’re going to get rejected a good few times. That said, keep at it, as when you break through the flood gates will start to open. You’ll be able to use previous achievements on your CV to get new opportunities. And each time, these opportunities will get bigger!
Don’t underestimate how important this strategy is, as it could simply be the difference between becoming a successful musician and a non successful one. So put it into practice from today!
So there you have it, 5 music business secrets which you may not have known about. Are there any you discovered which you’re going to now put into practice?
If you’ve any additional ‘secrets’ you want to share with the group, let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear your views.