I usually come across musicians that tend to be stuck at square one. They always bring up the very popular question "What Do I Need To Do To Make It In The Music Industry"? Well for starters, you need to know what you are exactly doing this for and the rest should follow. These 5 points are strictly opinions of mine that have worked for me and if you do read them and analyze them, they should be able to work for you.
So on that note, let's get started....
1) Practice and Network Everyday
In order to be a successful musician, you need to practice everyday. No matter how tired you are from school, work, etc if music is your passion and you want to make serious moves that can land you a nice publishing deal, bank account, investor etc. you need to keep working at it everyday. You are never too tired to work for what you love. Either pull out your instrument and practice new chords, get out Logic and make new beats, or get on social networking sites and make some music industry friends.
2) Get a Job
If you are not quite living off of your music just yet, you need to get a job. Don't listen to these crybaby haters saying that "If you get a job, you're a conformist and you will never make it in the music industry". I used to think those ways too, but then I realized the strength of a 9-5 is more than just the paycheck.
With a 9-5, you allow yourself to get benefits, go on vacation every 2-3 weeks out of the month, earn incentives and overall, teach you how to be in charge of not only being a musician, but as a business person too. Your end goal is to live off music, you do understand that it takes money to live right? Take money out of your paycheck, build your incentives and also learn the skills at the job. That way, when you do decide to hang up the blue collar shirt for the microphone full time, you will have the experience to operate as a business person and the money to support your career.
3) Get a Bank Account
If you are keeping money under the mattress to pay for nikes and bar shows, stop that shit now. You need to get a bank account in order to keep track of your finances and eventually earn interest on your merits, investments and services you provide as a musician. Do not have a personal checking account and operate all of your business transactions with it strictly. You can run into back taxes that you might owe the government. Once you hit a certain ledger in your bank account, make sure to carry over your subscriptions to your website and bandcamp to your business account, that way it is all on one plane and you will get less taxation due to bulk expenses.
Before you open up a checking account for your artistry, make sure you put yourself as an LLC. For more information on LLC click here
4) Buy Services
Support other artists, producers and websites. In order to make it in the music industry, you are going to need help at first. You cannot be afraid to write a check out to a book, take time to read someone's articles, buy another artist's music, or buy/lease beats from producers. When you show support for other people, they will show it back. Make sure to never squeeze someone for free services because it makes you look like you are not serious about your music career.
5) Practice Good Karma
Make sure you know what you are doing this for. If you want to do this for fame and money, then good luck no one is never going to pick you up. Ask yourself a daily question "Why am I doing this"? Outside of musicians, make sure to treat people with respect and kindness. The cool thing about life is that, when you do something good something better happens your way. Make sure to keep that in the back of your head. Never give up on what you do in the meantime.