What better way to learn how to do something than by learning from a music industry veteran?
Full Circle Music’s “Made it in Music” podcast lets you do just that by interviewing dozens of music industry experts to find out how they made it in the music business!
On the podcast, we feature a huge variety of artists, songwriters, musicians, publishers, and other professionals excited to share their music business tips. To give you a taste, here is some top advice from our guests!
Say Yes to Little Jobs
Accept the opportunities that come your way: “Just dive in and just get in there. I wasn’t some sort of expert networker or anything, I’m actually pretty shy with new people. But some great things happened, and that just shows you that even if you’re shy, great things can still happen. You’ll run into someone who changes your life. When you look back and think ‘who changed my life?’ it’s pretty crazy to think that one thing turned into this entire river of work.”
-John Fields, an internationally recognized, multi-platinum writer, producer, and mixer.
Listen to his podcast here.
Make a Marketing Budget
“To take a (music) release and have successful growth that enables you to take the next step … have a $2,000 digital marketing budget; a year’s worth of promotion for $5 a day…that enables us to run Spotify or YouTube ads at $5 a day, and if something starts popping, we add a little more to it.”
-Ben Stauffer, creator of Counterpart Music
Check out his interview here.
Use Social Media to Connect with Fans
“When quarantine started, I just started posting some quick covers and some song ideas that I had because quarantine helped me have a lot more time for writing. Everyday I would be writing for hours, and I was just posting ideas that I had that day onto Instagram. It was such an awesome thing for me because it helped me really share my music with people who I wasn’t able to share with in live shows. At the beginning of quarantine I started doing an Instagram live every night for a couple of months. I was just so thankful to be able to get to go online and sing some songs and hopefully make a day… a little less difficult.”
-Jordana Bryant, rising artist
Listen to more here.
Seek Relationships that Build You Up
You might want to sign a publishing deal because, “This is a relationship business. You have to have connections within the business. When he [the writer] finds the person sitting across the table has the same vision and goals as him, that writer can take all of their gifts and strengths and combine them with this publisher’s contacts and business, and they each can focus on what they do best. When they lock hands, it’s hard to pull that apart, so each one is going to make the other one better.”
-Chris Oglesby, a manager who developed artists like Carrie Underwood, and member of BMG since 2013
Hear more of his interview here.
Grow Your Musical Chops
“One of the reasons I succeeded in that world came from my time in Nashville because working in the part of the industry I worked in, the budgets were not that big…I remember one session where we did eleven songs fully tracked in a day. You have to come up with your parts pretty quick, so kind of getting that behind me allowed me to show up and work with these composers where literally we’re doing thirteen or fourteen cues in a day, just writing it, playing the parts, and mixing it, so being able to put those parts together and think of parts really quickly and then nail them…I think that’s one of the reasons I was able to succeed and make my way in the composer’s world out there.”
-Michael Elsner, a successful songwriter and composer whose work is featured in over 180 TV series
Check out his podcast here.
Understand When to Find a Manager
“What you should be doing is surrounding yourself with information…most people don’t need a manager, they need management guidance, and physically I can’t personally manage every person who asks…once you start generating income and have a career that needs to be managed, the manager’s job is dealing with the label, dealing with the agent, dealing with sponsors, dealing with the road manager, dealing with the band.”
-Rick Barker, legendary manager, keynote speaker, author, and expert in digital music marketing
Listen to more here.
“Be a chameleon. I feel like I can mix a heavy record, a hip-hop record, a country record. It’s all about just knowing those styles of music and knowing…where to take the song. Listen to the rough, listen to the tracks, right, and just figure it out. I think if you just mix one genre forever, you’ll screw yourself…it’s great to step in and out of that stuff.”
-Jeff Juliano, world-renowned mix engineer
Check out his episode here.
Don’t Let Comparison Kill Your Passion
“I used to struggle with fear, and…I realized what was the most crippling to me as an artist was comparing myself to other people. It’s the most dangerous thing you can do because it’s always going to suffocate you. And what’s been awesome with Skillet [is] we’ve played to my strengths. Though, yeah, I can’t play like Travis Barker; I’ll never be able to play like Travis Barker. I can play like Jen Ledger, and it turns out people like it!”
-Jen Ledger, drummer for Skillet
Listen to more here.
“A lot of the people I saw come in and out of the room I noticed, and no judgement, but you could tell… they wanted it. And it showed. I think it makes people a little bit uncomfortable and not natural. In these situations, it’s so much less about the music and your ability to play… I think it’s all about the hang and if the personalities mix. And it’s okay if they don’t; you don’t have to be right for every situation!”
-Stevie Aiello, bassist and music director for the band 30 Seconds to Mars
Listen to his episode here.
Network in Nashville
”[Writer’s rounds are] kind of how you network. That’s like the earliest stages of networking in Nashville. When you first move to town, that’s why they told us, ‘write, write, write, but also you need to be playing writer’s rounds, write with people, network with them. If they like the song they wrote with you they’ll introduce you to this person, and it just keeps going. I think personally that’s the most important thing to do when you first move to town….because you not only start writing and co-writing songs, but you’re also networking in the process.”
-Smithfield, an independent pop country duo who moved from Texas to Nashville
Listen to more here.