Turning Your Music Passion Into More

learning a musical instrument
Okay, I admit, I’m envious.  I love music, but I wasn’t blessed with any musical talent. But if you’re one of the lucky one’s, this is just for you.  There’s a growing organization called The Women’s International Music Network  whose goal it is to help you connect with other women in all parts of the music industry.
In their own words, the Women’s International Music Network was
“founded in 2012 by Laura B. Whitmore, a veteran marketer of the musical instrument and audio industries, the Women’s International Music Network site hosts news, events, and a community forum for women from all walks of the industry.”
I was fortunate to connect with Laura recently and get her response to questions that might be on the mind of talented young women who are considering turning their music into a side hustle or maybe even a career.  Here they are:

What do you see as the obstacles and challenges they’ll have to overcome?

Doing any kind of creative pursuit for money can be stressful and inspiration-dampening. First, it’s incredibly hard to make a living solely on being a musician and you have to put yourself out there frequently. Today you also have to be a business person as well as an artist. It can be a lot to learn and understand all the options; choose the best direction and keep on top of it all.

What’s your advice on getting past them?

My advice is to do what you love and just get out there and share it. Get lots of experience performing live. Make sure you network with other folks who perform and offer to help. Write, play and share with as many folks as you can. Being someone that’s helpful, talented and willing to contribute opens doors. Make sure you are willing to put in the legwork by honing your craft, and magic can happen. Then learn about the business side of things as much as you can. Ask lots of questions from friends and associates on options that have worked for them. Learn one new thing every day and you’ll be amazed at what you have accomplished in the past year as you look back.

Describe your first paying gig, and what would you say to someone who’s got a “yes” in hand for their first paid performance?

Oh my gosh. I can’t remember my first paying gig. I do know that getting paid for doing something like making music is exhilarating! It’s cool to play no matter what, but getting paid too is awesome. It does add more pressure though, as you know you want to fill the place, please the audience, play great, and more. But the more you do it the better you get, and you’ll know your worth.
female performer

What should a young artist do to get themselves more noticed?  What DOESN’T work?

Just get out there. Be everywhere. Play as much as possible. Offer to play and sing on other people’s recordings. Make sure you have a clear and well-populated website that includes photos, a concise bio, your gigs, newsletter signup, contact info. Set up socials and post regularly, tagging as much as possible. Make sure you have a sign up sheet for your mailing list at every gig. Reach out to the media and offer to let them premiere new songs. Record frequently — you don’t have to wait to share until you finish an album any more. Join networking groups that can help get you noticed, like female musician groups, songwriter groups, and more. There are so many things!

What doesn’t work?

Don’t appear desperate. You want to be out there without being annoying. It’s a fine line. Also, be judicious about how you spend your time. If you find that something isn’t working, go somewhere else. Meet new people. Try new open mics, gig at new places. List your gigs on new event listing sites. Try different post messaging and techniques.

What are the the “big plans” for the Women’s International Music Network?

We’ve got our next She Rocks Showcase coming up on June 23 in Nashville at the Listening Room. We are planning a series of events for the fall and are super excited to share info on those soon. We also just opened nominations for the 2017 She Rocks Awards – our 5th anniversary! We showcase a female artist every week on our Radio Memphis WiMN Spotlight, and there’s even more to come! Sign up for our newsletter at www.theWiMN.com to keep up with our news and events.

Now, go pursue that music passion!

Performer Debbie Dawnslight  Guitar player Tanner Ford

Linda Allen

I'm a serial entrepreneur, with a resume that makes me look like a Jane of all trades. Pretty sure we are all reluctant Messiahs, travelling through life planting seeds where ever we can. Hopefully, most of mine have been good ones! MA from Miami University (Ohio, not Florida), BA from Cal State.

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