Motivation, Not Money, Makes the Musician

It’ll take a solid plan, a bit of patience, and the right tools, but there’s no reason you can’t make a real career out of this music thing.

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Making it in the music business used to mean years of playing dive bars and waiting for a major label to sign you and take your music to the masses. But the Internet and inexpensive technology have given rise to a DIY ethos that’s enabling 21st century musicians to pave their own way to success.

It takes more than a talent for tunes and a website to be a successful recording musician, though. Here are a few tips making your musical dream a reality.

Set goals

The habits that make people successful in any walk of life apply to a career in music as well. One of the most important is goal setting. This is literally your road map to success.

Short-term goals may be things like writing two new songs per week or getting your website up and running by the end of the month. Long-term goals could include getting booked at that popular new club by next year or landing a record deal in three years. Whatever yours are, write them down and make sure to review and revise them regularly.

Show discipline

The rock and roll lifestyle of late nights and lazy days is a myth. Successful DIY artists got to where they are by approaching their music like a business. That means holding yourself to a standard of discipline.

Whether or not you have a live show the night before, get out of bed early each morning. This gives you the time you need to write and record songs, practice your instrument, and tend to the non-musical areas of your career, like networking and promotions. Make sure you do something every day to move you closer to your goals.

Improve your home recording

DIY doesn’t mean amateurish. Thanks to a proliferation of inexpensive technology, it’s expected that your recordings will sound as polished as the pro’s.

Invest in some good-quality home recording essentials, including studio monitors, a preamp, and a condenser microphone. You’ll also need a digital audio workstation such as Audacity or Logic Pro and a modern computer to run it, such as the Dell Inspiron 15. With a blazing fast 7th generation Intel® CoreTM Processor, a 1TB Hard Drive, and up to 8GB of RAM, it’s well equipped to take on your next inspired idea.

Engage your audience

Not long ago, musicians had little opportunity to connect with fans outside of touring once every year or so. Now you can reach them every day thanks to the web and social media.

Don’t take this for granted. Make sure you keep your website updated and are active on Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. Hold online ticket giveaways. Post new music videos to YouTube. The more you share your music and information about yourself, the faster you’ll build a fan base and the more dedicated those fans will be.

Forging a career in music is never easy. But with creativity, dedication, and attention to these tips you give yourself the best shot at success. With that effort and a little luck, you’ll soon be making a living doing what you love.