I remember knowing I could sing but I didn’t really have a clue how I was going to sing for a living. I definitely didn’t know how far I’d get in session singing! What I did know was that nothing else would do! I would get bored doing Property Secretary temp jobs during my degree and could never stay for longer than 3 months at any company. I didn’t even feel comfortable in a business suit, if I’m honest!
I was tenacious and determined at that time but pretty clueless. So, these are the things I learned. I’m hoping to save you drama, emotional energy and time so you can enjoy building the career as quickly and smoothly as possible!
So, here are my 3 tips!
Tip No. 1: Put people first.
You will thrive in this industry if you are kind to people and treat people well. You will naturally build your key contacts because everybody will naturally want to work with you and will recommend you for other work. There are people who are less than nice, as in any industry, but you stay grounded in who you are and you’ll be just fine.
Stay open to connecting with people, stay in love with music and make yourself visible for the incredible value you have to offer (we ALL have value to offer – don’t compare yourself to others and convince yourself this isn’t so) and you will work consistently.
Tip No. 2: Always be ready to sing.
As well as singing regularly at music events, I was presented with an opportunity to sing – on the spot – at a gig I was attending. Little did I know that the drummer for that gig was the MD (band leader) for Craig David! I took the mic and started to sing from the audience level and I was booked for two world tours with him. From then I started working with Corinne Bailey Rae and Adele and the work just snowballed!
Once people know you’re a singer, you’ll be presented with numerous opportunities to sing unexpectedly. Be ready because you just love singing SO MUCH that you can’t wait to get on that microphone and express yourself! Be ready cause you never know where it will lead!
Tip No. 3: Charging the right prices for sessions
“In my opinion, the music industry is one of the most unethical places when it comes to paying people correctly. There are those out there who will try and get away with paying you peanuts if they could. The Musicians Union (MU) is there to ensure that singers get paid at least a base rate at the lowest end, however, market rate fees are usually higher than MU rates.
When you charge the right price for sessions you send a message that that is the standard you expect. Trust me, word gets around about what you will and won’t work for. Make sure you get the pricings right and don’t charge too low or too high. Ask around in your sessions community to make sure you’re bang on.” (Excerpt from The Beginners’ Guide to Professional Session Singing by yours truly).
I had to quote this for this article simply because it’s SO CRUCIAL! The last thing you want to be associated with as a Session Singer is ‘cheap’. You and your voice are valuable so make sure you charge what you’re worth! Don’t let fear tell you that you aren’t worth the price you are charging, once you find out it is reasonable. Some people won’t be able to afford you and others will and just won’t feel like paying you what you’re asking! Be aware of this and know when to walk away.
Remember, it doesn’t affect just you. It affects all those Session Singers around you who will now be potentially priced out of future jobs because of your low fees. You get your quotes right and we all benefit as a community.
Happy singing and consistent money making!
If you want more tips on how to create income from Session Singing then download my FREE e-book, The Beginners’ Guide to Professional Session Singing at www.myvocaltherapy.com/sessionsingingsecrets.
If you want to know how to make more contacts, more gigs and more money as a Session Singer then join me on Session Singing Uncovered: Live on the 6th September 2016 at 8pm BST. We’ll hang out live online and you can ask me all the questions you want to so you can get ahead! Download the book and you’ll be directed to a link to register.