10 tips on professionalism in the music industry

Being professional sounds easy, but it’s actually a pretty hard thing to master. The music industry is a fun world, but it also requires you to have a professional attitude if you want to make it. It's something that takes time to learn, but with enough determination, anyone can do it.

Here are our 10 tips on being professional in the music industry!

1. Be on time

Punctuality is the best way to show you that you’re engaged and care about your interactions right off the bat. Mastering punctuality is well worth your time, especially if you have to balance multiple meetings in one day. Don’t forget; it’s always better to be a bit early and wait around outside than to be late.

2. Check email multiple times before sending

These days, most people meet via the computer before they meet in person. This means that you’ll need to refine your online personality and define your writing style. Do you want to be seen as sloppy and vague, or as clear and concise? By double-checking every email and making sure that that is indeed what you want to send, you’ll be on your way to developing a professional attitude and character that will last you a lifetime.

3. Be responsible

The music world runs off of self-motivated people who can take care of their responsibilities. If you want to be a professional in the music business, you have to make it clear you own your responsibilities. This means that you don’t make vague promises and follow up about things you promised people. Remember, your word is your strongest asset, and it’s critical to keep that up when you’re working in the music world.

4. Be accountable

Things go wrong all the time. The best thing to do when you make a mistake is to admit it, accept responsibility for it, and do what you can to correct it. If you want to be a true professional, make sure to stay honest with the people you work with and to make it a habit. Trust is a tough thing to rebuild - breaches of trust have broken apart some of the most famous music teams in history.

5. Be mindful about communication

Communication is a hard thing to master in the music business. It’s important to look at your position relative to the person you are communicating with, and remember to not overstep your boundaries. Annoying busy people never works in your favor, but if it’s professionally necessary for you to chase someone, make sure to stay polite and composed.

6. Be friendly

The music world is a friendly world, after all. That means that people often respond a lot more positively when you approach them in a friendly manner. It’s important to remember that everyone is working in the music world for a reason, and that’s a little different than your standard corporate world. It’s a weird and strange line to walk, but once you’ll figure it out in no time.

7. Don’t burn bridges

Burning bridges never helps anyone. The best thing you can do after a professional disagreement is to exit in a composed way, and not to make the situation worse. People may get to you, but remember, it’s not in your interest to make any situation worse or for someone to dislike you even more. Do your best to diffuse the situation, exit, and keep working with people you trust and feel good around.

8. Don’t share other people’s secrets

When people trust you with their information, you can’t talk about it. Period. Music is a world where confidentiality is paramount and where one comment can blow up on social media and destroy a whole marketing plan. Always remember to keep people’s information in confidence.

9. Don’t oversell yourself

It’s pretty obvious when someone is making themselves bigger than they actually are. The music world is particularly allergic to this, so make sure to be realistic in the way that you present yourself. If you want to be a professional, that means that your achievements should speak for themselves. Be truthful with what you tell people, otherwise you may end up digging yourself in a deep hole you can’t get out of.

10. Believe in yourself

Confidence is always a great bonus to top off a professional attitude. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and remember that you’re doing your best. It’s important to stay positive and enthusiastic about your own abilities, and that attitude will translate itself into your work if you approach it from a wholesome, honest place.

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