Earn BIG Money In Your Music Career By Avoiding These Common Mistakes

If you think that making a good living in the music business by finding the most efficient ways of earning money is ‘unethical’…go ahead and exit this page right now.

However, if you have a strong desire for music and want to pursue it as a career…you’ve come to the right place. Fact is, most musicians do NOT know how to earn good money in the music business. As a result, they end up working outside of the music industry in a job that they aren’t satisfied with. In this article I will help you to avoid the pitfalls that prevent most musicians from making a living in their music career, so that you can realize your potential with music.

In reality, making A LOT of money in the music business is not as hard as it might seem (and is NOT something reserved for rock stars only), however, if you want to achieve this for yourself you will need to think with an alternate mindset than most musicians.

The reason why so many musicians do not make much money with music is because they are not aware that music is a business (and needs to be treated as such). These people fail because they are not mentally ready to achieve great things in the music industry.

Besides not approaching their music careers with an understanding of the business side of things, the majority of musicians do not earn a lot of money in the music industry due to making the following mistakes:

Thinking That Popularity = Making A Lot Of Money In The Music Industry

Fact is, the majority of musicians who are ‘making it’ in the music industry are NOT rock stars. Being part of a popular band does not mean that you will be earning a great living. The truth is that some musicians (who are very popular) still work side jobs just to get by. By understanding this, you will be able to push ‘fame’ aside in order to focus on the most effective ways to work toward your goal of making a good living in music. Of course it is possible to both be famous AND make a lot of money in the music industry, however it is most important at this point to focus your efforts on the appropriate aspects of your goal.

Not Working To Continually Add Value To Others In The Music Business

There is one very important concept to understand if you are going to pursue a career in music. Whether you are a touring musician, music teacher, producer, session player, songwriter, or are involved in any other occupation, the people who will pay you money to work with you will need to have a reason to pick you from the thousands of other musicians following the same path. At first, this may seem pretty hopeless, but in reality the amount of competition you face is not a major factor. Why is this? Fact is, most musicians are too busy focusing on their musical skills while not focusing on building as much “value” around themselves as possible. Your musical skills (no matter how great they may be) are only ONE element of “value”. The other elements (that most musicians do not focus on) include your work ethic, temperament, business savvy and reliability just to name a few. To make yourself the absolute best choice to work together with a music company, you must work to build up a massive amount of value so that any of the musicians competing against you will pale in comparison. This means that when a music company considers working with you, it must be OBVIOUS that there is no other choice.

Right now you may be thinking that this is a simple concept to understand (and you are right!). However, in spite of this, the overwhelming majority of musicians do not take action to do this in their music careers on a daily basis. As long as you have the ability to continually add high amounts of value for anyone in the music business, you will have great potential to make a lot of money. It is for this reason that I train all of the musicians in my music industry mentoring program to develop a mindset for adding value within everything they do.

Not Establishing Multiple Sources Of Music Related Income

Almost all musicians enter into the music business with the same mindset they have used while looking for a regular job. This means they only expect to make a single source of income from touring or releasing music albums.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with this approach to making money. However, relying “only” on these avenues is very limiting and makes it difficult to continually make a comfortable living as a musician. Fortunately, it is quite simple to create many different sources of income for yourself that add up to give you a very stable and sustainable career in the music business. No matter what your main goal is in the music industry, whether it be touring in a band, selling albums, producing records, etc…you will need to have various sources that are bringing in money for you in both passive and active ways. By having multiple sources of income, you will gain a lot of security and won’t need to rely on a single income stream to make a living.

Not Knowing Your Goals And Not Having A Plan To Reach Them

To earn more money in your music career, you must set specific goals and have a strategy in place for reaching them. Don’t simply have vague ideas of wanting to be a professional musician. Instead, you must focus on what you want out of music. To get started, answer the questions below:

What do you want your annual music career income to be?
What are the various sources of income that will allow you to reach your goal in question #1?
What action must you take in order to set up these sources of income?
What is every possible way that you can add high levels of value to each interaction you have in the music business?
What is every possible way that you can eliminate risk for other people in the music business?

Once you have answered each of the questions above, you must make every step in your music career go toward the specific goals you have determined for yourself.

The majority of musicians struggle to identify exactly ‘what’ they must do to get their desired results in the music industry. Additionally, once they know ‘what’ to do, they struggle to understand ‘how’ to use this knowledge effectively. If you are in this same situation, the best action that you can take is to find a great mentor who can train you to achieve success in your music career and make a lot of money in the music industry. By doing this, you will avoid wasting your time and effort on the same frustrating mistakes that other musicians make.

Not Properly Identifying Who You Are Marketing To

After you understand the value you are ready to offer in the music business, you must know WHO you are going to give it to. For instance, if you are ready to put out your new album, or create a new instructional service or product on your website, who are the people that are going to purchase it? Do you have a way to get in touch with these people? If not, what steps are you taking now to build a database of your fans/customers? If your goal is to work as a session musician, have you already spent time to write down all the musicians, studios, and bands that might be looking for someone to work with? What are you going to do today to get the attention of your potential customers?

If you are at all like the majority of musicians, you likely have not invested much time into determining who your market is. As a result, here is what is likely to happen: you spend a lot of time and energy to create music or instructional products, but don’t make much money from your musical efforts since you don’t already have a database of customers who are willing to buy what you have to offer.

Since this is such a major factor for success in music business careers, I spend a great deal of time showing musicians in my music business mentoring program how to build a database and use it to make a good living in music.

You might believe that being signed with a music company means that you do not need to work to promote yourself, build a list of fans, or find ways to earn money. However, in reality these companies are not responsible for your music career, and will not do this for you. The key to achieving success and earning a lot of money in the music industry is for YOU to take action and build your database. This way all your customers/fans are controlled by you.

Ending Thoughts

There are many musicians who view the music business as ‘deceptive’ or ‘wrong’ because it involves making money from one’s passion rather than giving it away for free. These people likely spend their time focusing on songwriting skills or improving their abilities on their instrument. Although these are important things to work on, it is also critical to focus on improving your ‘music business skills’ if you want to earn enough money from music without needing a day job just to get by.

Even though there is no way to predict (in a single article) the specific path you must take to make a great living in the music industry, if you avoid the mistakes mentioned here you will be much more likely to achieve financial freedom in your music career. The good news is that when you do start making a stable living as a professional musician, you will be able to spend more time on that which drew you to the music industry in the first place: making music.

The Top 5 Myths About Making It In The Music Business

Are you searching for ways to make it in the music industry? In order to break into the music business and develop a long-lasting, successful career, it is important to (first) eliminate all of the misinformation you have heard about becoming a pro musician. Truth is, believing in music industry ‘myths’ will cause you to waste time, energy and money while never getting any closer to your music career goals.

People in the music industry are sent tons of mail each day containing recordings and other materials from talented musicians. Most of these musicians have spent their whole life working on their musical skills in order to get signed to a recording contract. Unfortunately, 99% of these musicians will not get signed, nor will they even hear back from the companies they send their music to. In many cases, music companies throw away a lot of the materials they receive from random musicians. This results in a lot of frustration for most musicians and leaves them wondering why they work hard on their musical skills but can’t seem to break into the music industry.

On the other hand, there are plenty of musicians who DO become successful in the music industry. Building a fulfilling and profitable music career is actually not as difficult as it may seem. However, the majority of musicians do not succeed because they believe in false ‘conventional wisdom’ about the music industry that ruins their chances of achieving their musical dreams. To break into the music industry and become successful, you must avoid the following music career building approaches that most people consider ‘common sense’:

1. Pursuing A Music Degree In Order To Become Successful In The Music Business

One of the most common music career myths is thinking that a music degree is the key to becoming a successful professional musician. It’s true that you can learn a lot about ‘music’ by going to university to get a music degree. However, if you go to college to get a music degree for the sole purpose of making it in the music industry, you are almost guaranteed to fail because:

Most music courses do not cover the specific topic of ‘how to build a music career’. Even if you take classes about music business, they will only present you with a general model of how the music business works. They will NOT show you exactly how to build a successful career for yourself (by keeping your personal goals in mind). In fact, there are tons of musicians who graduate from big music universities only to realize that they are still clueless when it comes to actually earning a living through music. If you go to university with the intention of getting into the music business with a degree, you will ‘at best’ learn a lot about music – but end up back at square one in terms of building a music career. At worst, you will also have enormous amounts of fees and debts to pay back.
People who work in the music industry are not concerned with whether you have a music degree or not. To them, it is MUCH more important that you know how to help them build their music careers, earn more money and become more successful (this requires a lot more than just musical talent).

In reality, very few professional musicians have music degrees because they simply never needed them. They made it in the music business by working together with a mentor who trained them in all the skills they needed to build value for others and earn a great living in music.

2. Taking Music Career Advice From Others Who Have Never Succeeded In The Music Industry

Chances are, you have already received a lot of advice from the people in your life about what you should do to become successful in your music career. Most people will be happy to give out ‘expert’ tips or conventional wisdom even when they really have no authority to do so. Generally speaking, these people are sincere in wanting to help you, but since they have never achieved anything significant in the music industry, their advice is more likely to send you down the wrong path than to lead you toward success.

Consider this: Asking people for music career advice (when they have never actually succeeded in the music business) is like training for a marathon with a trainer who hasn’t run a mile in his life or asking your dentist for legal advice. Additionally, asking advice from musicians who attempted to succeed in music (and failed) is equally as dangerous for your music career. Although these people are perfectly willing to tell you how you should build your music career, they do not really have the authority to do so – they will only lead you down the same path they took (which ended in failure).

Truly successful musicians do not build their careers from the ‘conventional wisdom’ of people they know or amateur musicians who never made it. They work together with a mentor who has already achieved great success and can use his experience to help them effectively reach their music career goals.

3. ‘Playing It Safe’ By Working A Full Time Job And Doing Music On The Side

Most musicians think that the only way to break into the music industry is to work at a safe and secure job while pursuing music on the side. In many cases, they are lead to believe that they can only attempt to get into the music industry once they have saved up enough money (many years down the road). Unfortunately, when people use this approach they end up getting stuck working 40 hours per week and never find the time to work on music. After training many musicians around the world to succeed in the music industry, I have seen this happen countless times. The reality is, you only have a finite amount of energy to spend during your day. When you spend it primarily working at a job that is unrelated to music, you will not have any left to go toward making progress to become a successful professional musician. The worst part is, musicians who take this approach fail to become successful in music and feel a lot of regret and resentment later on in life. There is nothing worse than this.

To build a successful long-term career in the music industry, you make your music career your #1 focus and plan for it accordingly. If you work a lot of hours at your job and have little time to pursue your musical goals, there is a problem. In fact, many musicians have been in this same situation and gone on to become professional musicians. You too, can overcome this. The best way to break into the music industry while working a full time job is to create a backup plan centered around your main music career goals. This plan should gradually help you transition away from your job in a safe and secure manner while giving you more time to work on music AND keeping you financially stable along the way.

4. Trying To Make It In Music On Your Own

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to make it in the music industry is attempting to build your music career by yourself. This is the approach that leads countless musicians to failure. Why? Because when you try to build your music career alone you are forced to either ‘guess’ about which actions you should take next or copy what someone else is doing (and ‘hope’ that it works). Without the expert guidance of a mentor who has already gained many years of experience as a highly successful musician, it is nearly impossible to ‘guess’ the correct course of action you must take to further your music career. In addition, it will not help you to copy what ‘seems to be working’ for others because their situation is different from yours – what works for them will not necessarily work for you. If you use these approaches, you will eventually:

Stop trying to break into the music industry and continue working at a full time day job for the rest of your life. OR…
Spend many years trying to succeed in the music business while becoming increasingly frustrated because you can’t seem to make any progress.

5. Hoping To ‘Get Discovered’ By Uploading Your Music Online

When it comes to breaking into the music industry, most musicians immediately wonder how they can put themselves out there to new fans, record labels and music companies. In an effort to do this, they upload their music to as many websites as possible thinking that this is what you are supposed to do to get noticed. The truth is, this approach will rarely get you even a handful of listeners, will not help you earn a good living as a musician and will ‘never’ get you heard by the right people in the music industry (who can help you move your career forward). Here are the reasons why most people who take this approach will fail:

They do not understand how to effectively promote themselves and their music.
They don’t have thousands of enthusiastic fans waiting for the release of their new album.
They have no strategy for attracting new fans while simultaneously transforming their current fans into true FANATICS.
They do not have a strategy to help them earn a living through multiple sources of income at once.

Musicians who achieve the greatest success in their music careers do NOT merely upload their music online and wait around to get discovered. They create a strategy for working toward their musical goals while raising their personal value in the eyes of other in the music industry (by expanding their fan base and building other important music business skills). After doing this, they simply approach the companies they want to do business with and negotiate a partnership that will bring the most benefit to both sides of the deal.

If you are serious about breaking into the music industry and becoming a successful professional musician, it is imperative that you work together with a mentor as soon as possible. By doing this, you will reach your musical goals in much less time and finally be able to make a good living as a musician.