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How do I become a professional singer songwriter?


PAUL LEE Jamaica, NY

I am a singer songwriter seeking assistance with breaking into the music or film industry.

4 December 2018 2 replies Career Exploration



Genevieve Gillespie New York, NY

Hi Paul,

Glad to see you reaching out for assistance! Prior to working for ACP, I was a professional folk musician and had lots of colleagues who were successful singer-songwriters. My suggestions are below.

- Find weekly open mics and perform every time you're able to try out material and gauge audience responses
- Apply to and attend regional Music Alliance conferences. Not having heard your music, I'm not entirely sure which would suit you best, but NERFA is a typical one for singer-songwriters who align themselves with the Folk genre.
- Put together a digital press kit, with samples of music, photographs, a stage plot, and a short bio.
- Invest in good media - good recordings, good videos.
- Identify individuals who have "made it" in your genre that you think you have an attainable line of connection to - not super stars, but regionally successful people, and figure out where they're playing. Submit your press kit to those venues and ask if they need an opener. This will expose you to people who are already connected in the genre.
- Treat it like a business. Work on it every day, be wary of your financials, and make a business plan.
-Join GigMasters and GigSalad to get shows. They won't always be glamorous shows, but they'll help with exposure, income and practice.
- Go to everyone else's shows. If you meet a musician you respect, show up for them so that you become part of the 'scene'.
- Create incentive for your fans to become more invested. Identify perks various levels of investors will get (free download, sneak peaks at new videos, etc)
- Create a Patreon page to help cover costs for things like albums.

Good luck and keep in touch about this!

5 December 2018 Helpful answer


PAUL LEE Jamaica, NY

Thanks as always Gen.

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