5 Quick Tips for surviving in the Music Business

Photo of Drummer Tim Connors of SIVA by Erica Torres Photography.

Whether you’re a musician or other individual in the business, these tips are vital to do well and move forward:

  1. Don’t be a dick. Seriously. No one wants to work in a negative environment, I promise.   People will continue to remember you negatively which could ruin future opportunities.  Being a kind and courteous professional will take you far.
  2. Go to live shows and festivals.  Basically, be around in the scene.  When people need to work with someone in your field they’re more likely to choose someone they know well over a stranger they met online.  Arrive early & stay late!
  3. ALWAYS carry business cards.  Keep them in your car, in your wallet, in your guitar case; It’s given you’d need your cards at live shows regardless of if you’re performing or just going to watch a band, but this extends further than those places.  You could meet someone that needs you, or at least is interested, at the most random locations.  If you already do this, go one step further and include stickers for people that strike excellent conversation or are extremely interested.
  4. Meetings are just as important as Practice.  This one is more for bands, but it applies to other group efforts as well.  The only way to continue to work well together and move forward is to set goals and talk out any concerns/ brainstorm new ideas.  Practicing often keeps your sound at it’s best, but that means nothing if you’re not on the same page with what you want to do with it.  Do you want to perform live? Locally or go on tour? Are you looking for a label or a publisher? What’s on your merch table? Are you going broke due to a lack of money management?  Sort these things out.
  5. SOCIAL MEDIA.  Use what you’re good at, but as a general rule, a Facebook Page and Instagram account are a must-have.  Facebook makes your brand look legitimate & is an easy interface for people to find contact info.  Instagram is best for discovery and adds a more intimate social connection; make sure you’re account is not on private and tag and hashtag everything.  Use excellent quality photos & video.
    If you’re a band/musician, you NEED a SoundCloud or a music player on your website.  Facebook has tabs for SoundCloud & Bandcamp so you can have them up for free or paid download.
    A few others that are worth mentioning are Snapchat, Tumblr & Twitter.  Though these three work best if you use them daily.  If you’re not going to commit to daily updates or you don’t already use one personally, it might not be for you.

Hopefully these tips help.  Share away!  Please comment and let me know if there’s anything missing.  As always, you can keep connected via SoCal Indie Musicians Facebook Page.

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