Top Tips with Silv from BIY

Kick Starting Your Career in Music: top tips for getting a
job in the business side of the music industry from BIY People & Talent
 
Create Your Own Experience
I know you’ve heard this one before folks, but seriously, it’s your first step on the music industry career ladder!  Chances are you wont get work experience or an internship with a company straight off, so create your own experience starting now. The music industry is full of entrepreneurs and proactivity is one of the key qualities music industry employers are looking for. So create your own projects; write a blog about the music you love, curate your own playlists on Spotify, run a YouTube channel, put on an event with your mates. All of these things can be included on your CV when it’s time to apply for a paid role in the industry.  Go on, if you haven’t already, get cracking!
 
Personal Brand
Think about how you present yourself. The music industry is packed with people who love music, that’s why we’re all here after all. One of the cool perks of working in music is the informal culture, but don’t mistake that for an unprofessional one. Learn how to present yourself in a professional way. That doesn’t mean wearing a suit or starting an email “Dear Sir or Madam”, it means being polite, and friendly but not over familiar, being respectful and making sure you’re listening. No one will expect you to be the finished article when you start out, but they will expect you to be enthusiastic, polite, humble and willing and able to learn.  Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room, so make sure it’s positive!  Whether you realise it or not, you’ll leave an impression on everyone you meet, so make sure it’s a good one. And not just in job interviews, you never know when you might meet someone who could be a potential employer or colleague so always try to be polite and courteous. Besides, it’s a good life tip as much as anything else, be a decent human!
 
Update your Admin and Digital Skills
A lot of entry level roles and internships in music are about supporting a team, you wont get to be President of a label or manage a superstar straight away. So make sure you’re organised, have great attention to detail, have a good telephone manner and put “being helpful” to the top of your list of things to do!  Digital skills will also help you massively, any basic Photoshop, HTML, Wordpress, Facebook / Instagram / Google Analytics etc will put you in a stronger position and can be included on your CV. Excel is another must, you wouldn’t believe how many spreadsheets you’ll be responsible for when you get your first job!  Go on, get yourself an update.
 
Build Your Network
The music industry is a relationship business so build a network around you of like-minded individuals. At a very basic level that’s friends who have the same passion for music as you do, as well as people who can help you learn.   Go to networking events and panel discussions like YGN, The Great Escape, BBC Introducing, Urban Development, to name a few (and there are loads more out there!) Don’t think of it as a scary networking experience, it’s just socialising but with a focus on your career. You don’t have to give a big old sales pitch on yourself, just ask some questions and see what you can learn. Engage with people you meet and always be polite and friendly, but don’t over step the line and take up too much of their time.  LinkedIn is another way to build your network AND do your research, plus you don’t need to know someone well to connect with them. It’s a really good tool to research companies, people, and get an understanding of potential career paths and opportunities.   Go forth and network!
 
Be Aware of your Social Media Footprint
When you’re applying for a job employers will sometimes look at your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc) so be mindful that, unless your security settings are locked down to friends only, potential employer might be able to see that embarrassing video of you or the misjudged comments you’ve made previously. A bit of social media housekeeping probably isn’t a bad idea before you embark on your job hunt, or just as good practice.  On the plus side, social media provides an easy way for you to follow the labels / companies and artists that you’re interested in, so give them a follow. You never know when there might be a shout out for work experience opportunities!
 
Be Knowledgeable and Engaged
Everyone says they’re passionate about music, so back it up by getting a broader understanding of the industry in general, and being an expert in the genre you love! Read as many blogs as you can, read books about artists you’re into, watch documentaries on Netflix or YouTube about the music you love (and even some that you don’t), learn about the music industry through reading Music Business Worldwide (it’s free and you’ll get emails straight to your inbox with the latest news) listen to the CMU Setlist podcast (it’s also free and full of the latest industry news), Music Week etc, to develop your industry knowledge.  Having a good understanding of the music you’re in to and a broader understanding of the industry in general will immediately mark you out as a strong, engaged, credible candidate.  Read. Listen. Watch.
 
Do You!
We’re all unique, don’t try to be someone else because you think that’s what the industry’s about. Be yourself, be open to learning, opportunities, meeting new people, be engaged, proactive, resilient, maintain your integrity, and you’ll go far! Remember, you probably wont get every single job you go for, and that’s ok because not every job is going to be right for you. Team fit is key for both the employer and your development; you need to complement the team and vice versa. Attitude & Approach + Skills & Experience + Team Fit = Your Job!
 
For more info about kick starting your career in the music industry, go to:
https://www.facebook.com/BIYFutureTalent/
Follow BIY People & Talent on Instagram for hints, tips and opportunities @biy.people.and.talent
And why not check out our website www.biypeople.co.uk
 

 

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