Becoming a successful singer-songwriter is a dream shared by thousands and thousands of aspiring musicians. However, getting started in the music industry can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. Let’s take a look at 10 great tips to keep in mind that’ll help jumpstart your career as a singer-songwriter.
1. Build Your Online Presence
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for any musician. Create social media accounts for your music and use them to promote your gigs, share your music, and connect with your fans. Make sure your music is available for use on Instagram TikTok so fans can use it on their videos, which will also allow more potential fans to discover you. Also, consider building your own website to showcase your music and sell merchandise.
You’ll also need to figure out a solid music distribution strategy. Many distribution services like Distrokid will help get your music onto a number of streaming platforms and also help monitor several performance statistics.
2. Write and Record Your Own Music
As a singer-songwriter, your music is your most important asset. The first step in jumpstarting your career is to write and record your own music. Spend time authentically crafting your songs and developing your sound. Invest in quality equipment and find a recording studio or home setup that allows you to create high-quality recordings that your listeners will be happy with.
3. Perform Live
Performing live is an essential part of being a singer-songwriter that helps you connect with your audience and build a following.
Look for local venues and open mic nights where you can perform your music. Consider booking your own gigs and shows, and don’t be afraid to play for free at first to gain exposure and build your fanbase. Everyone has to start somewhere!
4. Network With Other Musicians and Industry Professionals
Networking is a crucial part of jumpstarting your career in music. Attend industry events, connect with other musicians, and build relationships with industry professionals such as producers, promoters, and music journalists. These connections can open up new doors and lead to great opportunities.
5. Collaborate With Other Musicians
Look for other musicians who share your style and vision, and consider writing and recording music together. Collaborations can lead to new gigs and exposure. Again, it’s all about putting yourself out there and garnering as much exposure as you can.
6. Take Advantage of Music Industry Resources
Look for music industry organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI, that offer resources and support for songwriters. Consider working with a music manager or booking agent who can help you navigate the industry and find new opportunities without being taken advantage of.
7. Be Persistent and Resilient
The music industry is notoriously difficult to break into, and success often comes after years of hard work and persistence. Be prepared for rejection, and don’t give up on your dreams. Stay resilient, stay focused on your goals, and keep pushing forward. Remember — some of the best-known names in the world remained unknown for years.
8. Develop Your Brand and Image
As a singer-songwriter, your brand and image are essential components of your career. One could argue they are just as important as the music itself. Develop a unique style that reflects your music and personality. Consider working with a graphic designer to create a logo and other branding materials that can help you stand out in a crowded market.
9. Attend Music Workshops and Conferences
Music workshops and conferences can be a great way to learn new skills, connect with industry professionals, and get inspired. Look for events in your area, or consider attending national conferences such as SXSW or the ASCAP Expo. Also, look at major festivals — even if you aren’t on the lineup, you could book a gig at a local venue to increase your chances of someone important taking notice.
10. Seek Feedback and Constructive Criticism
Getting feedback on your music is an important part of improving as a singer-songwriter. Seek out feedback from industry professionals, fellow musicians, and fans. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to improve your craft. Not everyone will love your music, and that’s okay — but honest criticism can help you see things in your music you may not have before on your own.
A Challenging yet Rewarding Journey
Jumpstarting your career as a singer-songwriter takes time, dedication, and hard work. As a whole, it can be a challenging but rewarding journey. By following these 10 great tips, you can develop your skills, build your audience, and create a strong foundation for your music career.
Remember to stay true to yourself and your music, and never give up on your dreams. With hard work, persistence, and a bit of luck, you can succeed as a singer-songwriter and make your mark in the music industry. Good luck on your journey!