The Importance of Investing In Your Career
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
"Visualize where you see yourself, where your passion is, and make the investment so that it happens for you."
I often meet incredible passionate musicians, who when you speak to them, seem like the kind of people who could take their music as far as they wanted to. The kind of people who would push themselves to the limits to get to that #1 spot, to get that support slot, to play that festival! BUT, when push comes to shove, ask them to invest financially into their careers and they won't...
I am aware that every individual has a different budget depending on their position with various aspects of life, however I often ask myself, how much do I want this? What am I willing to give in order to get where I want to get to? And, if you want to make music your full-time career, what should you be doing in order to propel that career forward?
Here are four different ways (of varying costs) to invest in your music today and take your career to the next level!
1. Social Media
Create a Website
As a professional musician it is imperative that you have a website. Whilst social media platforms are changing every year in terms of how many people use them and their activity, a website is the one social media account that you have full control over. It is here that you determine what your fans see and when, whilst making your and your career look more professional and established.
Once you have paid for your domain name (which you can also use for emailing!) and paid the annual cost of the website host, there are very rarely any additional costs.
Social Media Ads
Social media ads are a smart (and inexpensive) tool to use to promote your music to new audiences. Why? Facebook and Instagram both reported >2 billion daily users in 2022 so think about how many people you can reach with an effective social media campaign?
You can use social media ads to gain new subscribers to your mailing list, promote your music, and sell tickets and merchandise. It is important to do your research with regard to which platform is best for promoting what. You'll often find that Facebook Ads are better for long videos, whilst Instagram is brilliant for short, eye-catching content.
Here is a fantastic article by Sprout Social which delves further into what you can do to optimise your social media, and check out this article by DIY Musician for the 'How To' for setting up Social Media Ads.
2. Professional Photography/Videographer
It is definitely worth investing in a good photographer. and videographer. It is really important that your social media platforms, and artwork for releases are impeccably high quality, and that the videos produced are of the same nature. This is even more important when it comes applying to festivals. I had a great conversation with the organiser of a big festival recently, and something that she said determines whether a band is booked to perform isn't just the brilliant music they produce, but how the live video footage looks. Invest in a great live video, and you'll recoup those funds in performing on those festival stages. This footage and the imagery you present will also leave a lasting impression on those that come across you and your music.
Networking at events is one of the best and most beneficial uses of your time as a musician. Over the last couple of years, the majority of us have been meeting with musicians, songwriters and industry personnel online, and hey, that's all we could do! BUT, now we have the luxury of going to gigs and festivals, there is no better place to network than where all the people you need to see will be... all at the same time!
"Although it’s entirely possible (but not very likely) to be successful by yourself, you’ll have a better chance when you build with other like-minded people related to your niche" D4 Music.
4. Professional Recording Services
As an independent musician, you may already own recording software, but it's time to invest in professional software that recording studios use, such as ProTools, Logic, or Ableton. Although the software requires the skills to use it, having this software will give you the tools to work with professionals in the studio, whilst giving you additional expertise to enhance your recording quality.
If you hire a studio musicians/engineers/producers to record your music, make sure that they know the genre! They could be the best musician or engineer in the world, but this won't help if they specialise in rock and you're a folk artist. It's like working with Scarlet River PR as a metal artist when we evidently specialise in country music..! You need to find the right studio with those individuals that share your vision. And yes! I am aware that hiring a good studio is expensive, but even if you have the most incredibly written song, it won't get the appreciation and respect it deserves if it isn't well recorded!
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What are your top tips to other musicians for investing in a full-time music career?
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