Considering a job working with musicians? The music industry can be exciting and fast-paced, but it is also notoriously competitive. Keep reading for some tips on finding a position and working your way up, even during the pandemic.
Whether you live in a big city or small town, it is a good idea to get your foot in the door by getting to know the people working at small music venues and other relevant businesses near you. Look for opportunities to get hands-on experience as a volunteer or intern. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. If you are in college, summer vacation, when the industry is especially busy with concerts and festivals, it could be a great time to get a job as a sound technician or promoter. With most tours and events being canceled due to COVID-19, it is still a good idea to establish connections for next year. Reach out to the staff at the places you love to express your appreciation for past events. Show your interest in the industry, and seek advice. Booking agents and managers will appreciate the compliment during an, especially difficult time.
This means knowing the music and the artists themselves. If an opening set by a lesser-known group stands out to you at a show, find them afterward and initiate a conversation! Whenever possible, use whatever connections you have to help the artists you like book more gigs and record their music. For bands from out of town, keep up with them on social media. You can use them as a jumping-off point to find other artists and, even better, industry professionals, beyond your own area. Meeting musicians at shows is a great way to network with people all over the country, giving you a leg-up when booking out-of-town bands for a venue or shows for an agency.
There are many types of jobs available in the music industry, from marketing, to sound engineering to booking. We recommend being open to different positions within the industry. Just because you are new to the music industry does not mean you cannot use experience from non-music related work to your advantage.
Although it is a good idea to build off of your strengths when looking for jobs. There will be many other candidates that are just as good at marketing or contract negotiation as you are. Jobs at venues and agencies alike tend to require many different skills for a variety of situations, give yourself a cutting edge by learning as much as you can about all facets of the industry. If you are more of a business person, knowing a thing or two about sound tech will still be helpful. If you are trying to negotiate a contract for a show, it will enable you to distinguish a high-quality setup from a low budget one.
Even if you are invested in a specific area of the music industry, we advise establishing relationships with people involved in booking, recording, and everything in between. Companies will be a lot more likely to hire someone with a well-rounded set of connections. This is because those connections will help them book shows or land record deals with new people.
The music industry is not for the faint of heart. However, if you have enough motivation, it can be highly rewarding. Just keep your cool and make the most of every new connection or opportunity. Are you interested in breaking into the music industry? Tweet us and share! For more helpful content, check out our blog.