If you’re a young aspiring musician or music producer, the prospect of getting a job in the music industry will be something that to you seems like nothing more than a pipe dream.
While you would love for your dream to become a reality, you find yourself asking the same old question, how do I actually make it happen?
You know that you could take the corporate route and go in at the bottom of the ladder for a brand like MTV or an independent record label and gradually work your way up.
But what about if you want to be the performer, the writer, or the producer, what are the steps you need to take to actually make it somewhere with your music?
Well lets start out by saying the music industry is not for everyone!
I don’t want this article to be littered in false promises or to give you the perception that it’s easy to pull off because in all reality imagine the hardest that you have ever worked and then triple it!
If you’re going to attempt to make a living with your music, the truth is you need a definitive strategy and the ability to be able to execute it without losing focus.
What you’ll learn today is how to define your goals and build a business online from beginning to profitability with nothing but free traffic.
In the following examples I will show you how to get into the music industry by creating your own job, I will assume that you already have a website, but if you’re just starting out the same concepts can apply.
Define Your Goals
While your dream may be to dominate the charts and become the next big artist or music producer and while I encourage you to always follow your dreams, building a business that you are 100% in control of that incorporates the thing you love the most (the love of your music) is certainly something you shouldn’t shrug your shoulders at.
Before you start mapping out plans for building a website you need to define what you’re hoping to achieve, do you want artists to come to your site and buy beats from you? Do you want to create a fan base and sell merchandise? Or do you want to teach an instrument and to learners in your hometown?
It doesn’t matter what your goals are or what you build your business around, having an actionable plan to get what your selling In front of an audience is going to buy should be your number one priority.
Develop A Keyword Strategy
In this guide, our main point of focus will be utilising SEO and the first thing to do when developing any well-rounded strategy is to start with keyword research and ill explain to you the exact reason why.
Launching your business online gives you the added advantage of being able to present your offer to people at the exact time they search for it, meaning that their likelihood of them spending money with you can be dramatically higher than in a retail brick and mortar environment.
Why you may ask? because with online you can focus all of your marketing efforts towards being in the right place at the right time when someone shows the right intent, meaning that overall the chances of having a good conversion rate can be very high.
The good news is that there are free tools out there that can show us the information we need to make smart business decisions such as keyword search volumes (the number of times a keyword gets searched a month), competition level plus peaks and dips in search activity.
Let’s use the example that you’re a guitar player and you want to start booking lessons in your local area, for the purpose of the guide I am going to pretend that my name is Bob and I’m a guitar teacher from London UK.
Let’s see how often the keyword “Guitar Lessons London” gets searched on Google a month.
The screen dump above shows search volume data straight from Google’s own tool “Keyword Planner”.
It’s important to note that the search volumes keyword planner gives a user does not correlate to the number of times a keyword is searched and a result is served via organic search, but rather the amount of times an ad is served via Google Adwords, but regardless the tool is still widely used by SEO’s to set benchmarks to predict the amount of traffic they can expect by achieving a high organic ranking.
As you can see the keyword “Guitar Lessons London” is searched 30 times a month in the UK and has low competition, this means that there is demand for guitar lessons in London but since the competition is low there are very few websites bidding on the term in there google ads campaigns.
With these metrics in mind, we can determine that “Guitar Lessons London” would be a fairly decent keyword to optimise our website.
Some other variations Keyword Planner gives us are:
It’s important to try as many variations for different keywords as possible, depending on what area of music you’re starting your business in keyword volumes will be different, once you’ve found a suitable collection of keywords list them all within a spreadsheet and then make an educated decision to decide what you’re going to optimise your site for.
If you’re concerned about low volumes, don’t be!
Your website needs to get the right traffic that will eventually turn into a sale or an enquiry, the more laser targeted you get with your keyword optimisation, generally, you will find that your traffic potentials will decrease but ultimately the visitors who will come to your site will have a much higher intent to convert.
How To Promote A Website At Home & On Your Own
Once you have decided what keywords you’re going to optimise your website for, it’s time to start writing your copy, the basic rule of thumb would be to mention these keywords at least two to three times in the body of your content, prioritising the first one to two sentences in your paragraph and your first headline.
Now that your copy is written, it’s time to put together a long term strategy for promoting your business, i.e. our goal is to rank on the first page of google for the keywords we have optimised our page for.
Quite simply, the most foolproof way to get your site ranking on Google is to pick a link building strategy and stick to it.
Matthew Woodward suggests some excellent link building methods in this post which will give you plenty of ideas for what you can try out.
In my opinion the easiest of all is to guest post on sites that are relevant to the product or service that you’re selling.
So if you’re a guitar teacher giving lessons in London, to promote your site a part of your job is to write long-form articles that are both educational and informative aimed at people who want to learn to play the guitar.
Some potential types of articles you could are for instance “Top 10 Most Commonly Used Scales To Play Blues Guitar” or “How To Play Guitar Faster”
You can keep track of your Guest Posts quite easily using a tool like Guest Post Tracker which can make the whole process A LOT easier.
Once you have some material behind you, the next part in the process is to start reaching out to relevant sites in hopes of them publishing the content.
Guest posts work great for both parties involved, the site you’re reaching out to get quality content to publish and share with their audience and in return you get a link back to your website, repeat this process over time and you’ll start to see your organic rankings rise and the traffic to your business increase.
By no means is starting your business online easy but it also doesn’t have to be complicated, next I’m going to show you how to find guest posting opportunities with ease.
How To Find Prospects For Guest Posts
The easiest way to find prospects that will publish your content is with advanced Google search operators.
Google search operators are special characters and commands (sometimes called “advanced operators”) that extend the capabilities of regular text searches. Search operators can be useful for everything from content research to technical SEO audits.
Whilst they are useful for many types of research, Using the keyword “Guitar” here is an example of how to find guest post opportunities for our Guitar Lessons business.
When searching for opportunities it’s important to use search operators in the following format “Keyword” + “Page Title”
Often when publications offer guest posting opportunities they will create a page on their site titled Write for us or Guest Post which outlines the requirements of the site to contribute.
Some other variations you can use to find relevant sites are:
- keyword intitle:”write for us”
- keyword intitle:”write for me”
- Keyword intitle:”contribute to”
- Keyword intitle:”submit” + inurl:blog
- Keyword “submit a guest post”
- Keyword inurl:/guest-post/
- Keyword “guest post”
- Keyword “guest post by”
- Keyword “accepting guest posts”
- Keyword “guest post guidelines”
- Keyword “guest author”
- Keyword “guest article”
- Keyword “guest column”
- Keyword “become a contributor”
- inpostauthor:guest keyword
- inpostauthor:”guest blog” keyword
- inpostauthor:”guest post” keyword
Trying all of the above search operators with your main keyword will give you many choices of sites to choose from and contribute to.
From this point, it’s important to list every site within a spreadsheet to track what websites you have contacted and contributed to.
Once you have made your final decisions and compiled a list with plenty of opportunities, start reaching to every site individually with personalised messages via there contact page, email, or through social media.
If you have a solid strategy to build traffic online to your business not only is it possible to create a job within the music industry but it is possible to create a job within any industry.
All it takes is putting your product or service in front of the right eyes not as many eyes as possible.
From here take this strategy and repeat it over and over again, as a result, you will build a business that can last for the long term and grow over time.