Breaking into the music business can seem like a daunting task to those new to the industry. Large music companies are known for being highly selective, and thanks to advances in home recording technology, there are more great musicians than ever before. The rise of smartphones and open source programs has put the ability to create in the hands of the average person; but you want to be more than average– you crave the big spotlight! Here are 3 key tools you can use to help you rise to the top and become the rock star you’ve always dreamed of being.
Get Out and Get Networking
Business journals always list networking as an important part of growing your business. Despite how much fun being a musician is, it is, after all, a business. This means that having a list of contacts goes a long way toward opening up opportunities. Going to shows and mingling with other music lovers is a simple and fun way to meet people with the same goals. Becoming part of a street team is an excellent way to physically immerse yourself in the world of music. You’ll meet other enthusiastic individuals and form valuable contacts, many of which may be with you for the span of your career.
Just be careful to try to give as much as you take; no one likes to feel used. Commit to being a true friend to all of your contacts and do for them what you would want done for you. You never know when even the most innocuous person can turn out to be your secret weapon for getting the word out about your work.
Utilize Social and Free Media
Many successful artists of the past decade have gotten their start using one of the social and free media platforms that have shown up over the years. YouTube and Instagram stars are people who were shrewd enough to use these free sites to their advantage, promoting themselves without spending a dime. Social sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can give your potential fans direct, up-to-the-minute info on your musical project. Keeping your fans engaged with teasers and original content will help to keep you fresh in their minds. Consider setting up a YouTube channel to host your videos to make them accessible to those who don’t use social media.
Connect With a Mentor
Among the people you meet while promoting yourself, there is almost certain to be a seasoned individual or two whom you hit it off with; many of these professionals are eager to pass on what they have learned over the course of their careers. Having a mentor to look up to as you work your way towards your goals will help you to avoid making common industry mistakes. Having a person in your corner who is already successful will also give you the confidence you need to carry on when things look dark.
Now you can leap forward fearlessly and seize your rock star destiny!
Josh Gruss is the CEO of Round Hill Music. Previously a partner at Gruss & Co., a private investment firm based in New York City.