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Freelance Composer Advice

I am just starting out as a freelance composer, and am looking for advice on how to do this successfully. I have composed plenty of tracks that I am happy with, what can I do to promote my music? Is it best to get in contact with music production libraries of find clients directly? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • 1 year ago
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  • 1

Hi there. I'm also trying to break into composition as a career. One thing that I've learned so far is that there is no magic solution for getting commissions. You have to put yourself out there and create opportunities for yourself. I suggest that you start with people you know - other musicians, lecturers, friends, etc. - because these are the people who will be able to help you. It may be that you start out doing unpaid work, but in turn, you will get opportunities to network through these people, and meet other musicians or people looking to commission composers.

Yes, seek out clients directly. Make sure your CV is outstanding. Find your unique selling points. Don't just say you're a 'composer' - What is it about your composing that makes you original? Apply for opportunities, competitions, jobs...You may or may not get them, but you won't know until you try. Read their specifications - but don't follow them necessarily, do the opposite and that way you'll stand out from everyone else.

I would also advise that you start creating an identity for yourself. What kind of music are you doing, and who is your market? You are more likely to get people to notice you if you have clear aims and know who your target audience is. And do not say 'Everyone is my audience.' That is impossible and unrealistic. Use your social media pages to sell your identity. Create a website, and push forward your very best work, the stuff you want people to listen to. (A tip I learned recently - less is more. You don't need a hundred mediocre tracks on a website, just one good one.)

Freelancing as a composer is difficult, and it is not going to be sustainable by itself (Unless you're John Williams or some other massive name). Have you considered also doing other things outside of composing? Most composers do other work because commissions are not regular and do not pay enough for you to live on.

I wish you the best of luck with your work.

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