There is no doubt about it, music is fun- and it should be. For many, however, music is work. For these people music pays the bills, supports their livelihood, and puts food on their table. For these individuals who work in the music industry whether it be as performers, technicians, music teachers, managers, journalists, or marketers maintaining a level of professionalism is essential.
Debunking the Music Industry Myth
Music is often seen by the uninitiated as little more than entertainment. To the outsider or even amateur touring musician the level of hard work needed to succed is often not apparent which leads to an inaccurate view of the discipline involved with being successful in such a competitive field. Because of this many romanticize about having a career in the music industry and are unequipped to engage in the hard work and apply the determination needed to be successful.
With this in mind, if you are an inspiring professional musician or music industry professional you may want to keep a few simple things in mind to increase your chance of being successful by establishing yourself as a dedicated professional:
Shake the “Rock Star” Ego
This may have worked for Jim Morrison and Johnny Rotten, but the truth is that this is good way to shorten your career and lessen the number of people wanting to work with you. Just remember that you are an artist but you are also part of business, and that your business is dependent on others who can help you get ahead. Keep a Regular Schedule Working in the music industry means the potential to be exposed in a lot of late night activities. Of course this is obvious for performers but it applies to any other professionals in the industry as well. Be sure to keep a regular schedule and don’t partake in every late night party. When you do attend industry events remember to always remain professional.
Make Friends, Not Enemies
This may seem obvious but it is quite important and cannot be emphasized enough. Like many industries, the music industry can seem quite small and word gets out quick. If you are a music writer and publish inaccurate information, plagiarize, or don’t follow through with assignments word will spread quick throughout the blogosphere. Similarly, if you are a venue with a reputation for shorting your performers when it comes time to pay up at the end of the night or a music teacher that cancels too many lessons you will find that you will have a hard time being successful.