How to Build a Long-Term Music Producer Career: 12 Steps to Success

The music production industry has rapidly become saturated, leaving many producers worried about their futures. However, there are proven steps you can take to build a long-lasting, successful career in music production. In this article, we’ll explore the 12 most important steps, based on over a decade of experience training music producers.

Music Producer

Step 1: Start With an Advantage

Put yourself in the optimal position for a music production career by:

  • Freeing up time and money to invest in your growth. Sacrifice non-essentials now to set yourself up for success.
  • Stacking your skills. Don’t just make beats – also learn songwriting, composing, promoting, etc. to stand out.
  • Getting your personal life together first. Focus on emotional stability and cutting out unhealthy habits that hold you back.
  • Moving to a music industry hub city, if possible. Being near the action can provide more opportunities.

Starting with these advantages makes it much easier to build momentum.

Step 2: Apprentice Under a Veteran Producer

Learn directly from an experienced producer. See how they make great songs and work with real artists. An apprenticeship expedites your learning and sets a high bar for your own work.

Step 3: Build an Impressive Portfolio

Create 3-5 songs that prove you can produce at a truly professional level. Your portfolio showcases your capabilities better than just beats or instrumentals alone.

Step 4: Increase Your Value

Understand artist development, songwriting, and the music business. Bring more to the table through your network, resources, and ability to get things done.

Step 5: Promote Yourself Confidently

Believe 100% in your skills and promote without fear or insecurity. Many producers have a belief problem rather than a business problem.

Step 6: Set Income Goals

Define clear income targets and track your progress. Quickly identify and fix problems using an advisor for guidance and accountability.

Step 7: Create Demand

Relentlessly promote yourself through content, networking, etc. so opportunities come to you. Don’t wait for your work to speak for itself.

Step 8: Implement a Sustainable Business Model

Choose a model that provides consistent income and ensures your projects can gain traction. Fairness and ethics also matter for long-term success.

Step 9: Lead With Integrity

Earn trust through leadership, selflessness, and ethics. The quick buck mentality rarely leads to lifelong career security.

Step 10: Expand Your Network

Leverage your reputation to contribute to resume-building projects. Major label credits alone don’t guarantee income.

Step 11: Diversify Income Streams

Avoid dependence on the music industry alone. Launch side projects using your brand and experience.

Step 12: Give Back

Create opportunities to help up-and-coming music makers, just as others helped you. It’s rewarding and perpetuates the cycle.

Following these 12 steps requires dedication, but doing so provides the best chance of building a thriving long-term career in music production. For guidance implementing these steps, click here to learn more.