Launching Yourself as a Young Music Artist

One of the most difficult genres to be a young entrepreneur in is the notoriously difficult entertainment world. No matter how skilled you may be, there’s so many people trying to get noticed in the music industry, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. It’s not enough to be merely talented- you have to be a skilled business person too. It’s a daunting process, but it can be done. Here’s some tips to help you give yourself the best possible chance.

Think Digital

Marketing is going to play a huge cornerstone in getting traction as a music artist. Unlike the days where being noticed by an agent was your only hope of getting ahead, there’s a lot you can do now to get noticed. In many ways, the internet has leveled the playing field for aspiring creatives. Working social media is going to be essential, however. Work sensibly and proactively to building strong online presence on social channels, blogs in the industry, and, of course, video content platforms like YouTube and even TikTok.

In fact, take a moment to check that your digital skills are on point. There’s plenty of helpful resources out there to help you grow your online marketing skills. It’s well worth investing in your digital skill set. Not only can you make your budget stretch further if you can do it yourself, but it’s going to be a key part of any successful modern music career.

Have a Business Plan

Having dreams is great, but they don’t turn into careers by themselves. It’s important to build a clear and focused career pathway if you want to get the results your dreams crave. You need a proper business plan, with clear objectives and a strategy to meet them.

There’s many potential music-related careers. You may want to be a traveling performer, or rather seek work as a session musician. Perhaps you want to create music for ads, movies, and game soundtracks. Possibly you’re looking to get signed, grow a band, or start a music label of your own. Whatever it is, it starts not just with ambition, but a clear objective and a focused growth plan.

We won’t get too in-depth into this aspect of building your career path. There’s plenty of solid advice for creating a sustainable business plan out there, and everyone’s will look a little different depending on their endgame. Just make sure you have one in place!

Embrace the Entrepreneur Spirit

If you can’t embrace change, and balance smart risks with the potential rewards, you’re not going to make your goals a reality. Tenacity and drive are an absolute must. In short, you need to ensure you have the spirit of an entrepreneur, one resilient enough to stand up to the occasional setback in pursuit of your ultimate goals. From leveraging your business skills smartly, to working on your talents, you need to put yourself and your goals into your sights and know how to work towards them with true dedication, not mere wishes and dreams.

Keep your Passion

As important as the business side of growing your music will be, it doesn’t help if you don’t grow as an artist, too. It’s not enough to release one great piece and rest on your laurels. You need to be upskilling as a musician too. Even if you’re very skilled already, you need that work ethic and passion to further your goals. Hone your abilities and practice. Don’t become complacent, and don’t get despondent if there’s a setback or two, either. Your constant evolution as an artist, and your body of work, are critical parts of your career journey.

Learn the Art of Networking

Getting noticed is a critical step. Finding a great label or manager would be even better. Making connections in the music world is going to be essential for you. Hang out on music-focused social sites. Get to know the other performers and artists (and their tour managers) that you meet. Don’t go into it with the attitude they’re the enemy, or it’s not worth cultivating friendships and connections in the music world. 

And above all, don’t think this only applies to people you perceive as ‘important’. There’s nothing more toxic than a singer or band who will ‘suck up’ to management, but treat the stage techs, sound engineers, and roadies as ‘beneath them’. Remember that everyone who already has a career in the music industry actually outranks you as a struggling new artist! And every one of those people has their own networks that could have the valuable pair of eyes you need to make the most of opportunities. 

When you leave a positive impression behind, you never know how far that new connection will carry you. The reputation you build for yourself will often be the key difference between landing a gig and failing to thrive- no one wants to work with difficult talent.

Project Confidence

Imposter syndrome is a real thing in any industry, especially when you’re trying to break into one. Yes, you’re working hard, performing, creating, and doing your best, but it’s common to feel like that’s not enough. If you let the negative side of yourself hidden inside creep into the conversation too often, you’re going to self-sabotage all your other hard work.

Don’t forget to take the breaks you need, and keep yourself healthy and resilient in body and mind too. If you burn out before you even start, you won’t be able to enjoy the career you’re building for yourself.

A full time music career can be rewarding and exciting. You might get to be one of very few people in the world who can truly say they enjoy their work no matter what. But if you don’t look at the business side of your career as hard as you do developing your musicality, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and to be taken advantage of. By growing as both a business person and entrepreneur, as well as an artist, you can better shape a healthy and productive path to musical success.