If you’re just getting started in your professional career as a music artist, here are some ways to avoid making an utter fool of yourself:
Your personality and how you work with others will be a major factor in your career path. Be humble and ready to learn. Be confident, but don’t be cocky. Play well with others. If you’re a studio musician or are coming in on other people’s projects, be prepared. Studying the music in detail for your upcoming gig is a valuable part of the road of building a solid reputation. Producers, music directors, band members and band leaders will appreciate the time you put into preparation. Being respectful to the people and music you’re working with ensures that you’ll be called first when an opportunity comes up. Nurture your relationships and be reliable.
Being late or flaky.
If you want to be a professional, you need to be professional, and that means treating music as a job. Showing up late for a gig or rehearsal, being uncommunicative or unreliable is a surefire way to make sure you never get hired again. Even when you’re just meeting with the other members of your neighborhood band, it’s important to commit and get serious. Music and the artistic lifestyle may be deliciously bohemian much of the time, but if you want to be successful and get paid for your work and grow your career, it’s time to go legit and commit to your word and respect the time of those around you. Similarly, if you’re working with someone who is flaky and disrespectful with time, cut them loose and get involved with serious musicians who are willing to work.
Waiting for a “big name” production or artist to hire you.
Don’t make the mistake of pursuing success only through the old school mainstream music industry. Waiting for a major producer to come and make you famous is chasing a fantasy. Yes, it happens, but don’t rely on this rare possibility. Rather than waiting for your Princess Charming to come and whisk you away to La La Land, focus on making a realistic plan. Spend time building your own network and valuable fan base. Building your own audience is what makes or breaks many artists these days. Spend time on social media and create value there. Don’t just promote yourself. Actually interact with people. When they dig what you’re saying and trust your online presence, they’ll support you and your art as well.
Having a defeatist attitude.
I hear people all the time complaining about how hard it is to make it as a musician, how many other people are trying to do what they want to do and how few ever get to where they want to be. The truth is that most of those people don’t have the work ethic to get there. You have to be the outlier. Persevere with tenacity and commit to a positive attitude about your career. Having a positive attitude is crucial thing in the music and entertainment industry. No matter how good you are in what you do, maintaining quality relationships with the people around you and an attitude that pushes you to work harder, longer, and more joyfully is something you need to succeed. in order to make money is rather important. Plus no one wants to work with someone who has a bad attitude.
Not spending enough energy on networking.
Networking is not that hard. If you like going out to the bar with your friends, to the club, or to Meetup events, you already have most of the networking skills you need. If you really hate talking to other people, you’ll have a little more work to do, but there are ways around it. What’s most important is that you make time for it. Know and trust that when you go to events where there will be other people in the industry, everyone is looking for someone who might solve a problem or need that they have. Don’t pitch yourself, Just look for people who might have a mutually beneficial relationship with you, and make friends with them.
Basically: Work hard, collaborate with others, don’t give up, and don’t be a jerk!
Guest Post by Allie Mazon