5 Questions You Should Be Asking If You Are Serious About Building A Successful Music Career

Many musicians seek answers to the wrong questions - questions rooted in fear, self-doubt, wrong assumptions and ignorance about how the music business really works. Seeking the right answers to the wrong questions is a sure way to sabotage your efforts to start and grow your own career in music.

To become a successful pro musician, you need to learn how the music business works and ask the right questions based on that understanding. When you ask success-minded questions (and get them answered by an expert), your career will grow much faster.

Here are 5 questions about the music industry that most musicians never ask (but should!):

Success-Minded Question #1: Why Do Record Companies And Bands Choose To Work With Some Musicians And Not Others?

Most musicians falsely assume that record companies and bands only work musicians who are: A. Extremely talented and B. happen to be at the right place at the right time.

Fact is, record companies look for a very specific type of person to work with - one who has a specific combination of mindset, skills, attitudes and personality. When you know what those things are and take action to develop them, your odds of making it in music go up exponentially.

Music Career Success Questions

This video explains in detail the things that record companies and bands look for in you:

(To quickly tell how close you are to developing these elements within yourself, take this 3-minute music career assessment before reading further.)

Success-Minded Question #2: How Do I Turn Casual Fans Into Fanatics?

Most musicians want to know “how to get more fans?”, but don't realize that the total number of fans you have is of little importance if those fans are just casual fans. Casual fans may enjoy listening to your music, but have no real loyalty to you or your band. Fanatical fans buy all your albums, wear your band’s t-shirts, come to your every show and (in some extreme cases) get tattoos of your band’s logo on their bodies. Guess which group will help your music career grow a lot faster? :)

When you have a loyal following of fanatical fans, not only will they actively support your music career, but they will spread the word about you and your music - helping you build your overall fan base much faster.

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Success-Minded Question #3: What Must I Do To Receive The Music Career Opportunities I Want?

Many people enter the music industry with an entitlement mindset, expecting to be given opportunities (a record deal, high-paying gigs, position in a touring band, etc.). Few people ever ask what they must do to earn the best opportunities to grow their careers.

To receive the best music career opportunities, you must add more business value (with the least amount of risk) to people and companies than anybody else will.

Think about getting gigs (a common challenge for many musicians/bands). Most musicians think only about what they want (a venue to perform in) and put zero thought into what booking agents (and venue owners) want (to drive more people into the venue). These musicians make the same mistakes over and over again in their approaches to getting gigs and miss opportunities that other bands easily get.

To learn more about this topic, read this article about how to get more gigs.

How To Get More Gigs

Success-Minded Question #4: How Can I Phase Out My Day Job And Phase In Working On My Music Career Full Time?

Most musicians are told by well-meaning (but misinformed) friends and family that they need to have a backup plan as they enter the music business.

Musicians who listen to this fear-based advice become trapped at their non-music related day jobs and are unable to fully focus on their music careers. Months, years and decades go by, and their music career dreams remain unrealized…sad, but true.

Fortunately, it IS possible for anyone to transition from a day job into a successful music career (I know, because I’ve helped hundreds of people do this). The first step towards this goal is to ask the right question that focus your mind on the result you want.

The second step consists of learning how to increase your income as a musician and build an exit strategy for leaving your day job (replacing your job’s salary with music career income). Working with a music career mentor will help you reach this goal much faster.

Success-Minded Question #5: How Can I Achieve Financial Security In The Music Business?

Most people are so fearful of going broke in the music industry that their fear prevents them from even trying to earn big money in their music careers. Fact is, the music business is a very stable and lucrative industry to be in…yet most musicians struggle to earn a great living for 3 reasons:

  1. They assume that all musicians are destined to struggle financially. This mindset kills all ambition for you to become financially successful.
  2. They look for a job in the music industry instead of thinking about themselves as an entrepreneur.
  3. They don’t develop multiple streams of music-related income, which are:
  • Independent - if something was to happen to one of your income streams, the other sources of income will support you financially.
  • Congruent - all of your income streams must be aligned with your primary goal(s) in the music industry.
  • Residual - your income streams must pay you over and over again (ideally forever).
  • Passive -  your income streams (at least some of them) should generate money continuously after the work is done (even when you are not actively working on them every single day).

When you run your music career like a business and build multiple streams of income, earning 6-figures (or more) per year as a musician is a very realistic goal. More importantly, being a pro musician is much more secure than having any job.

You now know some of the most important questions you should ask yourself about growing your music career…but this is only the beginning! To learn about other elements you must be focused on as you enter the music industry take this test to find out how close you are to becoming a professional musician.

Learn how to find work in the music business.

© 2002-2018 Tom Hess Music Corporation