When you are walking through the music industry alone, it can get confusing sometimes. It would be great to have someone show you the way. Finding a mentor can be a great advantage to your career. This is the person that has been there and done that. Their knowledge can help launch you to where you want to be. Knowledge truly is power. A mentor has been around the block. A mentor doesn’t have to be a superstar either. It can be someone who has had a lot of success that is willing to take you under their wing.
So you’ve found a mentor that you would like to work with. Just because they may have built a great following and know a few things, there are still some questions you need to ask yourself. If you sing folk music and the mentor that you friended is a hip hop artist, it may not work out as you would like. They may only know how to be successful in hip hop. Each genre has its own set of guidelines that is tends to follow. Make sure your mentor is going to be a good fit for you.
It doesn’t matter if you are paying your mentor or not, you need to respect their time. The reason they are successful is because they are busy working on their career. They are not blowing you off (well, most likely not), but they are working. Don’t hound these people when they do agree to help you.
Music conferences and workshops are a great tool. They can be your mentor. So many people from the industry come to speak about how the industry is changing, what the business is looking for and what you need to do. These people know what they are talking about, so listen and follow direction. While you’re there, try to make some connections. Networking is one of the biggest ways to gain success.
If you’re not big into sitting at conferences and workshops, there are other ways to do your research. There are so many music industry blogs out there (cough cough, Stock Age Music) that you can really begin to understand and dig deeper into the music industry. People enjoy sharing their experiences, so take advantage of that. Take the time to read the valuable information that these people are putting on the internet for you for free.