Top 10 Mistakes Musicians and Bands Make Seeking a Career in Music

If you want to become successful in the music industry, there are many

things you need to know and do, but even if you get all that right,

you can prevent yourself from reaching big success by making

critical mistakes along the way (and there are many potential

mistakes one could make, when not being careful).

After coaching and mentoring many musicians and bands seeking a

career in music, the same patterns of false assumptions, problems

and mistakes appear over and over again. Here are my top 10! I hope

they help you too, by giving you insight on what to and not to do.

Mistake #10 – Not having a compelling image that is congruent with

your music. Most musicians (and bands) severely underestimate the

importance of their image. Yes, music is about ‘music’, but music

business success is about a total package that includes music,

image and visual stage show among other things that need to be

fully developed in a congruent way.

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Mistake #9 – Trying to ‘get your name out there’. Although this

seems to be a main goal of most musicians and bands, it is the

wrong approach to start with. Before trying to be seen and heard as

much as possible, it is often more important to focus on

‘converting’ the people who hear and see you into becoming actual

fans. This ‘conversion’ is the first key to your promotional

success, NOT getting seen or heard as much as possible.

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Mistake #8 – Believing that social media websites are the keys to

online music promotion for musicians and bands. Social media

websites are a tool. They are ONE piece of the online music

marketing puzzle. Music industry companies (record labels, artist

managers, booking agents, etc.) are far more interested in the

popularity of YOUR website, not how many friends you have at

MySpace, YouTube, Facebook or any other website that you do not own

and control. Want to impress the industry with your band’s

promotion? Build a website and then build your website traffic.

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Mistake #7 – Not investing enough time into building your music

career. Most musicians spend most of their time on music, but put

very little effort into the many other critical elements needed to

make it in the music business. If you are already a talented

musician, you should invest at least 50% of your time into starting

or advancing your music career. If you are still developing your

musical skills, you should still invest around 25% of your ‘music’

time into building a future music career.

Mistake #6 – Surrounding yourself with people who are negative,

lazy and lack ambition. If you are very serious about becoming a

professional musician and building a great career in music, then

you absolutely must surround yourself with like-minded musicians.

(This one alone is just sooooo important that I cannot stress it enough!)

Mistake #5 – Having merely mediocre live performing skills. Many

musicians, who are not yet in a good band, put off developing their

live performing and stage presence skills. This is a big reason why

talented musicians don’t get into really good bands that they

audition for. Your music may be good, but a live ‘show’ requires

more than great music. If people only wanted to hear the music,

they would listen to you at home. Both fans and record labels want

(and expect) to see a REAL show. Neglecting this area results in

talented musicians and bands becoming quickly forgotten.

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Mistake #4 – Focusing on increasing the ‘quantity’ of fans instead

of the ‘intensity’ of your fans. The ‘number’ of fans you have

should always be your secondary focus (not your primary one) if you

want to become successful in the music industry. The fact is, it is

not the number of ‘fans’ that matters most, it’s the number of

FANATICS which will contribute more directly to your success (or

lack of it). This is particularly true in the beginning of a band’s

music career. Focus more effort on converting your existing fans

into raving fanatics. Learn to do this and the number of your

overall fans will increase through powerful word of mouth.

Mistake #3 – Not enough cash flow to support your music career.

Like it or not, it takes money to build a music career. Even if

other people/companies are paying for your record, tour support,

merchandise, etc. you still need to have the freedom to pursue

opportunities as they come. Sadly, many musicians miss

opportunities because they can’t afford to take advantage of

them. In addition to a decent income, you also need the flexibility

of being able to take time away from that income source to go into

the studio, go on tour, etc. That is why learning how to teach

guitar is such a great way to achieve both if you learn how to

become a highly successful guitar teacher.

Mistake #2 – Not enough depth in your music relationships. There’s

an old expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In

music this is often modified to, “It’s not who you know, it’s who

knows you.” The truth is, it’s not about either. The most important

aspect of connections within the music industry is how deep are the

current relationships you have now and will develop in the future.

You don’t want to simply know people or be known, you want people

who know you to have a real deep connection with you so that you

are always on the top of their mind when opportunities present

themselves. Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to deepen my

existing relationships further on an ongoing basis?”

Mistake #1 – Having a fundamental misunderstanding about what

record companies look for – and expect from new bands. This is a

huge topic, but in a nutshell it’s very useful to think of record

companies like a bank that lends money to people or small

businesses. Record companies make most of their decisions about

whom they will work with and what the terms will be in much the

same way that a bank will determine who they will loan money to and

what the terms of the loan will be. Both record companies and banks

basically want to see 3 things:

1. How much value do you bring to the deal right now.

2. How much risk do you bring with you right now.

3. How much potential value and risk might you bring to them in the

future after they invest in you.

If you want to buy a house, the bank wants to know a lot about the

specific house you want to buy and EVEN MORE about YOU. Record

companies are the exact same, they want to know about your music,

your talent and your band, but they also care as much (or more)

about YOU (and your band mates) as people. What about YOU makes a

record deal a good or bad investment for them.

To learn more about avoiding these big mistakes and building a successful

music career, take a look at our website

Pro Music Records primary purpose is to help independent artist and small to mid-sized labels increase their revenues and profits through the development of our easy-to-use, yet extremely powerful marketing software systems and processes that deliver effective, comprehensive online marketing solutions.

Much Love & As Always…. Grind and Don’t Stop, You Can Have Anything

in This World That You Want.. As Long As You Are Willing to Work Hard,

Kick-Ass And Stay Focused! Go Get It, The World is Yours For the Taking!