Making it in music (whatever ‘making it’ means for you) is no easy feat. Despite all the new technologies that have come on stream in recent times, the basic formula for success has remained pretty much the same – talent + passion + hard work + dedication. Luck is sometimes part of the equation.
But when you’re just starting out, you might need a little more than a success formula to get noticed in a crowded marketplace such as the music business. Every day, thousands of people decide to enter into music. Yet, only a small amount of musicians will ever gain the recognition needed to up their chances of success.
With that said, here are five first steps you can take in order to enhance your chances of getting noticed in the music industry.
Create Good Material
The first thing you need to do to get started is to have some content under your belt. For songwriters, that means having at least 10 well-written songs that you can record into professional demos or radio-ready songs. This is material you can start putting out there for people to get familiar with what you have to offer. If you start promoting yourself and have little or no material to back up your claim, people may not take you seriously.
You won’t get noticed if people aren’t seeing you. Go out to open mic sessions, festivals, concerts, and give it your all when you do get a chance to share your music. However small or large the crowds may be, this is a good way to start growing your fan base, plus, you never know who might be listening and who you could meet. Many artist managers and producers, who may not have time for you at the office, hang out at low-key gigs where they might be more willing to give you the time of day.
Build your Social Profile
While social media has made it easier to get their faces ‘out there,’ it has created another problem of making it hard to stand out from peers. As such, you need to spend time building your profile on each social media network you’re on. Make sure you’re posting relevant content, including pictures, videos and fun stuff on a regular basis in order to keep your fans engaged. For channels where you may upload your music, such as SoundCloud and YouTube, you also need to ensure your work is of the highest quality to encourage more views and spins.
Start a Blog/Website
Starting a blog and/or a website is a major step as far as branding is concerned. Not only will a blog allow you to give voice to your persona, it’s another way to engage fans. Also, a website will make it easier for you to build your identity while making it easy for fans to connect with you. You can also keep fans coming back by offering exclusive content on your website, special deals and giveaways.
Take Some Great Photos
A picture paints a thousand words but only if it looks good. Whether you want to do a professional photoshoot with a photographer who knows what to do, or have a college student who’s looking to build his photography portfolio take some shots of you, you should spend some time getting your picture out there. People connect with each other visually, so having a few good shots to put on your social media pages and other platforms where people can be introduced to your music, will make it easier for a face to be attached to your name.
Getting noticed by the people that matter in the music industry is hard work, but is possible with this non-exclusive approach. You have just a few seconds to make a good first impression. So it's worth giving each new encounter your best shot. When given a chance, you better make it count.