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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Everyone in the music industry knows that success doesn’t come overnight, or with ease. A successful career as an independent artist depends on the strategies implemented early on in order to achieve long-term growth.
Today, there are a ton of systems in place for musicians to launch their careers without the backing of a major label or a huge budget. This growth of opportunity has created an influx of artists who are choosing to stay independent and finding success in doing so.
However, let it be clear — pursuing a music career may seem easy with all the technologies and tools artists have at their disposal, but it certainly is not. The music industry is a highly competitive one that requires much more than talent and smarts to break into. Artists who are wishing for music success need to incorporate certain practices and strategies in order to build a strong foundation for their careers.
While there aren’t any set rules or guidelines that can guarantee a prosperous and long-lasting music career — there are some essential tips that can help you navigate the industry more efficiently. In this article, we are going to share these important pieces of advice with you.
Whether you are a rapper, DJ, producer, songwriter, solo artist, band, or anyone else wishing for a successful career in music, pay attention to the information below because these useful tips definitely apply to you!
It should go without saying, but first and foremost, your primary focus as an artist should be making great music. You can follow all of the advice we give to you verbatim but unless your album, EP, or single is well-written, professionally produced, and sonically appealing, you will always fall short of success.
Now that point is out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty — here are 7 tips for becoming a successful music artist in 2022 below:
Social media is arguably one of the most powerful tools musicians can use to launch their careers. With over 50% of the entire world’s entire population using some sort of social platform, it is by far the easiest way for artists to connect with fans and promote their music to the masses.
But it isn’t enough to just have a ton of social media followers — artists need to develop and maintain a consistent, interesting, and engaging presence across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and others.
Independent artists blow up every single day from social media. Although the fame and hype these artists receive often quickly comes and goes; utilizing this leverage and maintaining the momentum is the most important piece of the puzzle.
Networking, building connections and knowing the right people are beneficial in any industry, but for the music industry — it’s a necessity.
Connections, reputation, and word of mouth are everything in the music business. If you want to build connections, networking is a must. Once you have the right connections, your reputation as an artist will grow. After you build good industry connections and develop a good reputation, positive word of mouth comes simultaneously.
Just by knowing the right people, you can easily be put in a position for success. If you wish of becoming a successful music artist, you need to get out there and promote yourself and your music to movers and shakers within the industry. Go to networking events, conferences, shows, and seize any opportunity to be in the same room with successful important people.
Don’t ever shy away from introducing yourself and striking up conversations with anyone and everyone in the room. The way you navigate networking opportunities will impact your future for years to come. The quicker you realize this is a fundamental process of the business, the quicker you'll start seeing results in your music career.
In reality, it’s impossible to take your music career to the next level without a strong team around you. Between creating, releasing, and promoting your music, to booking, promoting, and performing shows — on top of managing everyday personal, career, and financial matters…. an artist’s plate is constantly loaded.
Ask any successful musician and they will tell you — they didn’t get to the top all by themselves. This is exactly why having a strong team around you is necessary to win in the music business. If you have a team of well-connected, like-minded individuals who are just as passionate about your music and achieving success as you are, your chances of success will automatically increase.
Artists often look to the people closest to them when starting to build their team. You want people around you who are loyal, trustworthy, dedicated, and most importantly, supporters of you and your music career.
Friends may offer to work for free or until they can get a cut of your future earnings (which is great), but sometimes you’ll need to acquire the services of professionals to help give you the edge in the competitive music market, such as actually paying for a PR person, promoter/booker, or a manager.
You’ll find that surrounding yourself with people who will go above and beyond for you and your career will carry its weight in gold.
A challenging yet necessary task that every musician must face at some point in their career is identifying their niche. Competition is fierce within the music industry, so artists need to know exactly what type of fans they attract so they can properly deliver to them.
This is exactly where finding your niche becomes essential to your music career success. It gives you the opportunity to develop and deliver your artistry in a compelling way that sets you apart from everyone else.
Once you identify your niche, you then begin to understand who you truly are as an artist. This understanding will help you fully develop your brand as a musician, better connect with your fans, and promote and market your music more efficiently.
For more tips and advice on how to find your niche as an artist, check out our article here.
Fan engagement is crucial to career success and what better way to engage with fans than through a live show or concert. Live shows offer an invaluable opportunity to show off your craft, connect with fans, and reach new audiences all at the same time.
If you hope to one day perform at huge venues, go on world tours, open up for a major act, or become a major headliner yourself — just remember that everyone has to start small somewhere. Look at your community when trying to get booked for gigs because there are probably a ton of opportunities and venues in need of local music acts that you are missing out on.
If you start by playing local shows and put on an amazing performance, you’ll begin to see a growth in your fanbase happening naturally. Performing live shows also helps keep you or your band relevant to the public, and keeps extra money flowing into your pockets. Plus, you never know who might be attending your show that could change your entire future and career path down the road.
It’s no secret that videos have become the most popular form of content consumption today. If your goal as an artist is to get your music heard by the world, then you definitely need to get on board with current trends and begin incorporating videos into your current marketing strategy.
For an artist looking to develop their brand and build a fanbase, solely uploading still photos to social media just isn’t enough to cut it anymore. Statistics are now proving that video content is capable of doing much more to engage and motivate audiences rather than text or image-based content alone.
Especially considering the amount of competition in the industry today, artists should aim to stand out as much as possible. Having impressive video content online will catch people’s attention much easier than a simple still image will.
Whether you share music video clips, promo footage for new releases, ordinary a day in the life, or behind the scenes clips — video content is a crucial tool for music promotion and maximizing fan engagement.
Having a music website is critical in this day in age. Most of your fans are going to be connecting with you online, and creating a website gives them a place where they can easily access all of your content in one spot.
Not only do websites help generate sales, but a good website also helps to provide legitimacy to you as an artist. If you are wanting to become a successful musician, you should think of yourself as the owner of your own business.
Today, it is almost impossible to run a business without a decent operating website. A company without a website automatically appears to be non-legit or unprofessional. So, keep this in mind when it comes to your music career and business.
Your website should obviously include links to your music, bios, images, tour dates, and merch shop, but one of the most important aspects of having a music website is having a mailing list sign-up form.
Email marketing offers direct access to the inboxes of people most likely to engage with your music. A message directly to your fan’s inbox is much more likely to reach them than a social post that can be easily be lost among thousands of other posts.
We can’t guarantee that these 7 tips will make you a successful artist overnight, but implementing these strategies will certainly help you get closer to your career goals sooner. It is tough to break into the music industry as an independent artist, but with the right tools, advice, mindset, and work ethic, it is totally doable.
We wish you much success with your music career in 2022 and forward!
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.