When we think about a career in music, we dream of only producing our music and that’s it. However, having a career is much more than this, and today I’ll show you 4 key roles you’ll need to master to succeed in this industry:
PS. In the beginning, most likely you’ll perform these all by yourself, but eventually, you’ll need a professional to help you out with them.
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Put on a fantastic show to your fans whenever you perform at a gig. First, don’t be the producer who says ‘I’m not a DJ, I’m a producer’ since if you’ve accepted a show, you STILL need to put on a show. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing the alley next door or EDC, you need to put on a show any time you have a gig. In addition, and this is a plus, talk with as many people who went to see your show to really connect with them. Why? (1) The people who were at your gig will likely talk about your performance to others about how good, or bad, your gig was, which could bring more people to future shows, which could give you more leverage to reach out to promoters asking for bigger gigs. (2) When you create an experience that they can’t forget, they will likely reach out to your songs on Spotify and listen to them, which helps your stats. Lastly, you never know who could be at the gig, and opportunities there could lead to bigger gigs, so do the best you can.
2. You need to manage legal stuff, labels, A&R, design, and other paperwork. Perhaps you’ll find a manager who is willing to do this at one point, but until then, you’re responsible for managing it all. For legal stuff, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, or go to our post about label contracts. For labels & submissions, platforms like Submithub or LabelRadar can be really useful, but you can always ask your friends who have released on a certain label for their email, or you can just look for the label’s email or demo box online. Lastly, I strongly recommend you find a friend who works with Design and ask for help since you’ll need, at least, a logo (plus social media content, etc). A manager will eventually deal this all for you, but, remember you need to have work to be managed on a daily basis for you to justify having one.
3. Your need to interact with your community and fans. As an artist, people will want to interact with you via social media and you’ll need to reach out as well to promote your music and make your brand grow. For that to happen amazingly, you’ll need to understand how to talk to them, what kind of content you create that relates to them, the personality you’ll have on your social media content, and what is your narrative (among other things). All this content has to be in sync with your music and brand (check our post about 6 key branding elements you’ll need as an artist) for you to connect with people and transform them into true fans. Just as an example, I didn’t like FISHER’s songs, but I liked his Instagram, and his posts made me like him and, therefore, his music, so interaction is DEFINITELY a way to win fans.
4. You need to find and book gigs. The first step is reaching out to people who you know that are related to events that could help you get a gig. For example, I started djing at college parties and grew from there to nightclubs after I met DJs at these parties who played in clubs. If you don’t know anyone, try to become friends with the DJs in your city via Instagram. When I lived in Chicago, a town where I knew NO ONE, I listed all the resident DJs (6 months before going there), became friends on Facebook, started talking to them and going to clubs where they were playing, and eventually got a spot at the biggest club over there. Eventually, someone will start doing that for you, but until then, your connections are and always will be the EASIEST way to find gigs. More on that next week though.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Of these 4 roles, what is the one you absolutely hate doing?
1. Don’t like performing? Form a duo and have the other person perform what you only produce;
2. Don’t like managing all the ‘paperwork’? Hire someone to do it who believes in you and wants to start working in the music industry;
3. Hate social interactions or social media? Hire a social media manager and have this all done for you;
4. Don’t want to look for gigs? Tell a friend you’ll give him a considerable percentage of every gig he books you.
Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean that you can/should neglect it.