The Do's & Dont's of a Successful Career in Music Production

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Almost everybody knows that there’s a lot of fierce competition when it comes to breaking into the music industry – particularly in the production arena. However, many people make the same mistakes year after year as they try to enter the creative job market while skipping necessary steps that could help them succeed.

If you’ve got the talent and creativity, you can make it in the music business. Still, it does require some effort on your part, and you’ll need to make all the right moves if you want to stand out from the growing crowd.

* Don’t Always Focus on New Fans

When many young producers looking to get the word out to boost sales or just let people know about their production work, they’re often looking for new fans. While this isn’t the wrong approach, it isn’t always the most effective, either.

In general, what you want to do is work on increasing the intensity of fans that you already have. That’s because turning fans into super-fans will actually help you promote your music.

Why? Because super-fans talk and spread the word for you, and that’s often much more valuable than self-promotion.

* Don’t Rely Too Heavily On Social Media

In the same vien, one of the biggest mistakes up and coming producers make is to rely too heavily on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves. Yes, Facebook and Twitter can help you find new fans and even increase sales if you’re already producing a product on your own, but social media is only one part of the larger puzzle.

However, producers should be aware that many labels and people in A&R are more interested in your personal website’s numbers than what your social media stats say. After all, it’s relatively easy to get Facebook friends and have people follow you on Twitter – even if you’re not getting them to buy your music. You need that dedicated core of fans – even if their numbers are small – to be willing to buy your music.

Also, be sure you’re promoting yourself in ways that are truly promoting your music. YouTube is a good site for this, but it’s also relatively simple to get the best samples of your music on major music distribution and streaming sites. Having your music on sites like Pandora or Spotify can definitely build up your cred. If you’re looking to actually make a profit, consider independent sites like Arena that are dedicated to giving more money back to independent artists.

* Do Spend More Money On Your Product

There are pretty much two routes budding music producers can take: buy their own equipment and set up a workable home studio or work out an arrangement with an existing professional studio to buy blocks of hours at a reduced rate. Either way, the quality of the product you make really does have something to do with how much you actually spend on the equipment and rooms that you use.

Whether you choose to make music in a home studio or in a professional studio depends on a variety of factors. However, the biggest problem home studios have is noise – noise from outside, cabling, grounding, etc.

In general, that means that if you’re recording lots of live instruments you might want to consider the professional route or at least invest in some sound reinforcement. If you’re working mostly with electronic elements and vocals, a home studio can work well.

It does take money to build a music career as a producer, however. You’ll need to invest in recording equipment or a quality studio, and those don’t always come cheap.

Remember: the money you invest in making a quality product now will help you earn more and garner more attention in the long run.

The music business isn’t something you’re just going to fall into overnight, and it’s likely going to take some serious work on your part. In fact, it takes most people years to really break into the business and start making a living as a music producer.

However, that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged. If music is your passion, keep making it and pursuing your craft, and make sure you take the time to evaluate your progress and make sure everything you’re doing to build your career is beneficial for you from time to time.


Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. She writes on a variety of music topics, from the latest industry news to health and music therapy. You can read more of her writing at

images courtesy of: Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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