7 Deadly Sins Of The Music Industry

Kodi Vonn

There are a few things in the music industry that will kill your career faster than a Lil Pump song. Here are the 7 Deadly Sins to avoid as you build a name for yourself in the music business.

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1. Being late (it’s never fashionable).

This mistake can easily ruin your reputation and, unfortunately, it’s something that may pop up on you unexpectedly. This is an industry that moves at light speed and no one has time to wait for an artist who’s still trying to break into it.

That’s why you have to plan for everything. And always arrive at least fifteen minutes early to meetings, sounds checks, studio time, interviews, etc.

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2. Taking the easy way out.


Whether we’re talking about the production of your music, releasing it, or promoting it, never NEVER go the easy route simply because it’s easy. People will notice—especially people in the music industry—and you work will suffer as a result.

Also consider the adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.”

When artists take shortcuts with their career, they end up getting scammed (like this writer for Digital Music News who had his music removed by Spotify, and this rapper who lost thousands after a fake label scam).

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3. Spam-promoting yourself.


I’ve talked about this before in A Musician’s Guide To Social Media. The fastest way to annoy your followers (instead of turning them into true fans) is to spam them with news of your next show, the release of a track/album, etc. When all you use your social media for is promoting yourself, you won’t build a following (which I gave advice on here) and you’ll actually end up losing the followers you do have.

Stick to the 70-20-10 guideline: 70% of your posts should build your brand (photos and videos of you in-studio, performing, candid photos, etc.), 20%: what inspires you, and 10%: here’s where you get to promote your new work and shows.

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4. Doing the “popular” thing.


If it’s not authentic to your brand, simply don’t do it. If you do, you’re misrepresenting yourself, your brand and it could be off-putting to your fans—and you’ll probably end up losing a few too.

For example, don’t put your work out on vinyl just to follow the trend of a very specific sub-genre. This could be a costly failure.

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5. Working without a plan.


This isn’t just a hobby anymore, this is a business and you need to take it as seriously as one. Businesses have business plans so they know what funds they’ll need and how much they can spend. Businesses set goals and sub-goals so they at least have an idea of what steps they need to take to be successful.

Write a business plan. Come up with release schedules and promo timelines. Set your goals. Know what you need to do to accomplish them.

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6. Being inconsistent.


This is where that plan comes in handy. Don’t let gaps occur in your content releases, social media posts, or performances. This industry moves fast and people will forget you. But knowing your next four or five moves keeps you ahead of the game and prevents holes from plaguing your body of work.

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7. Having a rockstar ego.


This absolutely ruins emerging artists. People hate to work with “rockstar” egos. You’ll lose opportunities to work with talented producers, engineers, record labels, etc. And you better believe people in this industry talk about the bad experiences they’ve had—you’ll quickly earn a bad reputation.

Not to mention, fans hate to watch artists act like self-centered divas when they’re not on the level of Mariah Carey. Trust me, you’re not on the level of Mariah Carey. Sit down. Be humble.