Looking to score big in the music industry?
Economists project that the US music industry will be worth $22.61 billion by 2021, so the opportunities are out there. But when you’re starting out, it can be tough to figure out how to get your foot in the door.
Below, we’re looking at some ways you can score lucrative music jobs.
Start by getting in the right mindset. Doubt will only hold you back.
If you let imposter syndrome hold you back, there’s a good chance you’ll end up defeated by a lack of confidence before you even start out. Doubt will cause you to miss out on opportunities when going for them would get you a rejection at worst.
It’s amazing how few people realize that the difference between success and failure often comes down to perseverance. Determined people don’t experience failure as an endpoint. If they fall short of one opportunity, they move onto the next.
For some people, this frame of mind comes naturally. If that’s not you, then this is the best time to learn it. Otherwise, you’re at risk of abandoning your music career at the first setback.
Music jobs don’t always start out lucrative. Like most artistic fields, there are a lot of starving artists out there.
But that also means there are always volunteering opportunities available with under-funded groups. Volunteering is a great way to cut your teeth. You need to accept that you’ll have to spend some time hustling before you get the chops needed to make it in the industry.
Volunteering also gives you a way to make connections while you’re learning. As we’ll cover shortly, networking is another path to a lucrative music job.
Ask around and find out who’s looking for help. You might struggle to make the time for volunteer work, but a little early self-sacrifice will seem like a small trade when you land paying music jobs.
The music industry is a crazy mix of creative and corporate types. That means you can’t always expect the linear ideas of promotion to apply.
Show the right person you have a knack for something, and they could soon take you under their wing. There’s no telling what kind of opportunities will appear from there.
Perhaps you’ll end up mixing for an up-and-coming actor providing some placeholder tunes for a short film. Both could turn into lucrative work from the initial connections you’ve made.
Stay involved in the scene. Attend events to reach the most people at once. If you want to get connections somewhere specific, come up with realistic first contacts and get in touch.
Expanding your network has never been easier than it is now, in the age of social media.
Make sure you have a Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. The more platforms you’re on, the more chances you have to connect with someone in the industry. It’s a low-cost, low-effort way of marketing yourself.
It’s also a great platform to promote and share any music you create. You never know who could stumble across your work.
If you’re a creator, developing a group of dedicated followers will also show you what you can achieve. It could be the first taste of a much larger audience to follow.
Well, you won’t make it far in the music industry if you can’t listen.
You need to keep your ears open for anything that even looks like an opportunity. Social media and networking will help, but take the time to look around for yourself, too.
If your favorite music site is hiring, for example, try applying. Even if you feel like you lack the skills, you never know what will come of it.
If you’re feeling brave or have confidence in your talent, you could become a self-made star.
Platforms like YouTube and Patreon allow artists to develop and publish their talents without any middlemen. If you’re successful enough, you can live off the ad revenue and goodwill contributions of your fans.
To succeed you’ll need to offer something people want to hear, and be ready to work hard. In the early days, you’ll need to handle everything yourself, including promotion.
But that hard work could pay off if your audience snowballs into a true fanbase. It wouldn’t be the first time the internet has created an overnight star.
Music is a pretty broad industry. Isolating your niche early can help you spot opportunities as they arise.
It’s normal to be a generalist at the start. That helps you get your foot in the door. But when you can, try to focus on a particular career path. Take a long look at what skills you have, and what you find interesting. Those two things should give you a good idea what path is right for you.
Deciding your niche early gives you the best possible head start, whether it’s working for a band or scoring movies and video games. The truly lucrative music jobs come from knowledge and experience. If you spend too much time dabbling, you risk never reaching the upper echelons of the industry.
The key to a high-paying job in any artistic industry is to live what you do.
Professional musicians involve themselves deeply in music. They stay on top of industry news, from the hottest acts to new technology. They pay attention to awards and music publications.
If you’re looking for music jobs where you’re making music yourself, then you should be making time for it in your personal life, too. Most professional artists practice their art as both a hobby and a job.
It should be clear by now that lucrative music jobs come from a mix of patience and perseverance. You might not find your dream job straight away, but nothing worth doing is easy. Stick with it, keep your confidence up, and you’ll breeze past the people who gave it up along the way.
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