Music sales are affected by streaming, royalties go down, literally everyone and their mum could write music as long as one owns a decent laptop, some audio software and a few skills. Getting hired becomes more and more difficult because, theoretically, someone from Hamburg *hint hint* could get a job offer from a Los Angeles based company - all made possible because of Skype, email, fast servers and most important: social networks!
It seems that building a sustainable career in the audio business has become more difficult than ever.
However, exactly because of social networks there are tons of new ways to make your way in the music business. Here are five ways how to build your composing career in 2019.
1. Change your Career Approach
There is this aspiring composer whose goal is to sooner or later quit his day job to finally follow his dreams. He is contacting companies and posting some tracks online, but the response isn't that great. After a few months of having tried of getting hired he decides to continue whatever he doesn't love doing!
Please, don't be that composer!
Overcome that thought that getting hired is the only way to get your career going. While many artists out there condemning the internet being the worst thing happening in terms of making money with music, now it is the best time to brand yourself and be your very own boss.
I am not saying that this is an easy way, but it is absolutely possible. The only problem why it doesn't work out most of the time is because upcoming artists are not consistent and eager enough to build their personal brand ... and to be honest, there is quite some laziness involved, because getting hired, simply do what people instruct you to do and making money sounds so damn comfortable, right?
2. Up Your Social Media Game
I can't count how many times I've heard people saying that it doesn't make sense for them to be on Twitter or how useless Instagram is, because they have all their people on Facebook anyway.
At the same time, you should be aware that your post on your personal Facebook profile doesn't instantly appear for all people you are connected with.
In 2019 many complex algorithms are working for each of the social networks, and it depends on how many people interact with your content!
The more people like or comment ... and even more important, the more you like their comments and reply, the more people see your post!
So, you should quickly forget about "that one social network to rule them all."
How many times did you run into someone, ending up in an opportunity you would have never imagined?
How many times did you meet someone at a place or during a time you would have never expected?
Use that same approach on social networks and see which of them work best for you.
Be everywhere = get seen everywhere!
Now with this in mind, your main goal will be to have a landing page set up on each of your social networks to convert your curious visitors into curious people!
3. Build Your Mailing List
I can't press this enough. If you are about to build your followership, your mailing list is among the most important things to take care of.
It absolutely doesn't matter if you are about to sell your songs, sample libraries, courses, workshops, or webinars. You have to build a mailing list. Let me quickly explain why this is so important.
As mentioned above, social networks are subject to algorithms. If the "lords of social networks" suddenly just change a tiny bit of algorithm the whole spectrum of our visible content can radically change!
Disregarding if a person will open or read an email, if you send it out to 3000 people it will reach everyone! Even if all social networks would disappear today, your email list will be still there!
Make sure to set up a link on all your social network presences, leading to your website with a clear sign-up form. Now, be aware that people simply don't sign up to your mailing list because you ask for it. Why should they?
However, you increase the chance by offering a lead magnet, which is basically a piece of free but valuable content. Offer them a free track of your album or a small informational workbook. Better, create something which solved a problem for your visitors!
Even better, ask someone who already subscribed to your newsletter to write you a little testimonial of one or two lines. Social proof is one of the best things you can have!
4. Check Out My Track Yo
Wherever you go in terms of social networks, you see artists promoting their products 99% in the wrong way.
While on Instagram and Twitter, people literally beg you to like their profiles and to check out their latest tracks, you receive annoying page suggestions of Facebook right the moment you made a new connection.
If you are one of these people, please ask yourself, why should someone check out your music if you ask them to? Shouldn't it be obvious that you are raising awareness of your products by simply posting interesting content and information on a consistent basis?
Personally, and I think I speak for many people here, I am way more interested in someone when I regularly read interesting, entertaining or even better, "infotaining" content, rather than seeing someone who is shouting out a "YO BRO CHECK OUT MY MUSIC AND LIKE MY PAGE!!!" or just aiming to get hired by one of your top three game publishing companies.
There are also some other things you should try to avoid.
5. You Are More Than A Composer
Never forget that you are not just a composer or an artist. You are more than that! Among many other skills the most obvious one should be that you could offer teaching since you play at least one instrument, right?
Oh wait ... let me guess, your next thought:
"But there are so many teachers out there, I wouldn't have any students!"
Yep, and with this being said it will be like this!?
Wouldn't you have any students because there are so many teachers out there ... or maybe because you didn't at least try and blocked this road with your own thoughts?
If you consider this or something similar, please keep in mind that teaching isn't about reinventing the wheel or that you have to be super duper special.
You simply have to be you, because there are people out there who are interested in how you approach your instrument or skills. Don't make that mistake and block your ideas and dreams or even worse, let someone talk you out of it.
Now, let's spin this thought a bit further. How about not just giving one on one lessons but setting up a decent page with some great informational videos what you are about to offer and set up these lessons as webinars or online courses? The sky is the limit and especially social media and the opportunity that there is more out there rather than just "getting hired" is out there. You just have to work on it!
Please keep in mind that teaching is just one of many examples!
If you have some additional skills in animation, why release not just tracks, but full audiovisual stories? Why not creating music theory lessons inside a video game such as Minecraft? Why not creating intuitive little sample libraries?
If you need support or want to know more of what you are capable of, please do not hesitate to contact me!
The only way to know if something works or not ... is by finding out!