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EDUCATION BLOG

5 reasons why you are not a full-time producer yet

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Written by: Matt Lillywhite


More & more people within the music industry are looking to turn their current endeavors into a full-time job. Whether it’s music production for vocalists, music licensing to TV & Radio, or even live touring around the world, there are hundreds of ways that artists can make a full-time income from their career. Instead of being a far-flung possibility, artists from the underground scene are genuinely making thousands of dollars, even hundreds of thousands, from their artistic career.


You just have to take a look at the big EDM Spotify playlists to see new names popping up each week that are being given opportunities to generate revenue from their music. But despite all of this, there are still people complaining that they aren’t able to do it themselves. So why is this? And what can be done to rectify the problem? That’s what this article shall discuss.


You are not consistently trying to generate revenue


As any successful businessman or entrepreneur will be able to tell you, relying on one income stream is an absolutely horrific idea, especially when it’s something as volatile as a Spotify stream count. Instead of romanticizing about where your money is coming from, it’s worth accepting that you may have to do things which are not necessarily fun in order to make your artistic career a reality.


Do you really want to be trapped in a 9-5 job? Money is not the ticket to happiness. However, it is certainly the key to freedom as a music producer. If you have thousands of dollars in savings, it can allow you to pursue your ambitions as a music producer full-time. By searching for opportunities to generate revenue (such as producing beats for rappers), the music industry can be incredibly lucrative. You simply have to put in the work.


You are networking with the wrong people


Like it or not, relationships are absolutely essential to being successful as a music producer. If you are friends with Spotify curators, they can help you generate revenue. If you are friends with A&Rs, they can put you on labels. If you hang out with big vocalists, there’s a strong chance that they will introduce you to other singers. You get the idea. Instead of dwelling on your current situation, being proactive in changing it is ultimately the best opportunity to sort your career out.


By surrounding yourself with successful people, it will provide opportunities to meet others, and potentially generate significant revenue as a result.


You are taking shortcuts to try and fast-track your success


Every industry professional will have had random messages from producers asking them to “check out their Soundcloud” or “listen to their new song on Spotify”. From a producers perspective, they may just believe that they are getting their song out to as many people as possible.


When in reality, the opposite is the harsh reality. By spamming industry thought leaders & influencers with your music, you are potentially destroying any chance of a prosperous relationship with somebody that could help transform your career. Instead of randomly spamming them with links, a better solution is to chat with them and to generate an extremely strong relationship. If you are already close friends, they will know that you have a new song out (and will most likely listen to it out of respect). Taking shortcuts is the quickest way to extend the time in which it takes to sustain a full-time career.


You believe that your background limits your ability to be successful

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here have been countless occasions in which producers have given up on their artistic career due to people discriminating against them because of their location or background. The truth is that if you are good enough, you will succeed. If you have great music, great relationships, and have great communication (social media), the chances of success are astronomically high.


Ultimately, the ability to have excuses has now been eliminated. After all, if somebody in your position has achieved it before, you can too. From a remote town in Eastern Europe? There are successful producers in the same situation. Unable to travel to LA or NY? The internet has removed the excuse of not being able to travel. You are in control of your own destiny. So stop creating excuses as to why you can’t fulfil your own potential.


You aren’t utilizing social media


It’s absolutely ridiculous how many producers aren’t using social media simply because “the organic reach is slightly low”. It’s a ridiculous excuse. Are you really going to let the algorithm of a FREE social media platform dictate the success of your entire music career? Social networks such as Instagram, Facebook & YouTube allow producers to connect directly with their fans at absolutely zero cost. If you aren’t happy with the organic reach that you are given for free, you can simply pay a few dollars to increase it. Seems fair.


There are genuinely dozens of reasons why producers are unable to sustain a full-time music career for whatever reason. If you sit down and write what adversity you are currently facing, it makes it much easier to come up with a viable solution so that you’re ultimately able to eliminate every single excuse. Success does not come easy. Nothing great does. Therefore, you have to put in the work and have a positive mindset in order to sustainably create a full-time income for yourself as a music producer.


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