10 Key Steps you must Take to Succeed in the Music Business

make-it-in-music-launchedFinally, we get to launch the site.

It’s taken at least three months longer than expected and it may well be a little wobbly and scruffy for a while whilst we get our heads around how WordPress works!

Bear with us, please. It might not look like we have done a lot, seeing as this is a simple blog with just the one post so far. But, I promise, we have done a hell of a lot of work behind the scenes and have written around 100,000 words of advice to publish here, in email newsletters and eBook guides as we move forward.

About Us

Please check the ‘About’ page and the ‘Why’ section for more background about what this is all about.

Then, please go and download the free guide from the sign-up box on the right. In many ways, that is what the work we have done to get this site up is all about. It only exists as an avenue for us to pass on advice and that eBook is the first bit. I’m really proud of it and think that there’s a lot of wise words that you won’t often hear from people in the Music Business. It’s solid straight-forward advice about what you need to do to make it as a musician and artist.

Once you’ve read it, come back to this post and leave a comment. We really value your thoughts and will do our best to find the time to respond and give as much advice as we can.

Go on – download the free Guide now.



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10 Key Steps You Must Take To Succeed In The Music Business!

Sign up to get our free acclaimed eBook plus our regular newsletter. Inside you’ll get our ten core tips that every DIY and Indie musician needs to follow to create great music, attract fans, build a fanbase, and have a successful career in music.


Ian Clifford is the owner of Illicit Media, a music management and consulting company. He is also the owner of Make It In Music, an online site that is the ultimate resource for aspiring musicians offering advice, tips, and insight on all the skills needed by modern artists to succeed in the rapidly changing music industry.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

envious Despair - January 7, 2013 Reply

I loved this ebook thanks for making it free! Since I started this band I took it upon myself to learn as much marketing skills and industry tricks anywhere and everywhere on the net. I think this is a must for bands who truly are serious about their music. From all I’ve learned I decided that our band should be independant and not signed to a label unless the contract looks really great. I now understand that a label is there to do everything for you and to back you financially and spreading your music, however in the end you still owe the label money if I understood correctly. Its extremely difficult to be an independant band cuz of financial problems and lack of contacts but I still believe this is the best way to go. Ian could you please create an article that discusses the pros and cons of signed to a label or being independent? I think it will open a lot of eyes and help me understand better and choose the best choice for my band. Thanks man

    Ian - January 11, 2013 Reply


    I’ll definitely have a look at that specific issue when I get a chance.

    In short, if you’re going to make it to a level where you are a working musician making a living wage, you cannot do it all on your own – you’re going to need a team. That may or may not include a label but it will almost certainly include a manager and an agent and probably some kind of marketing assistance. You’ll also end up with professional relationships with distributors (digital or physical) PR people etc.

    Signing to a label takes much of the need to organise that away and leaves artists free to make music which is where they started out anyway.

    I Love the DIY musician ethic and the way smaller indie labels make things happen for their artists, but the leverage, muscle and organisation skills of a larger label suit many artists in the long run for these reasons.

Thankful - January 21, 2013 Reply

Great resource. Very insightful.

VIc - February 5, 2013 Reply

Great work.

Andrew R. - February 8, 2013 Reply

Make It In Music is a fantastic resource. Thanks to you, I am more confident than ever that there is a path to success for me in the music industry.

Darrell Braden - June 18, 2013 Reply

I found the guide to be real insightful in it’s approach. S
Sounds like where the real music world is at for indie musicians who are up against the harshness represented by a youth driven business vs artistic quality or the superstar syndrome vs the reality of just being able to make a good living doing something you enjoy. Look forward to more of your advice.

armando ulloa - June 18, 2013 Reply

I always read your articles with lots of interest and excitement about the new model in music. Thanks a lot for your dedication and for keeping us inspired.

CN - June 20, 2013 Reply

I’ve found your posts very interesting and helpful. God bless you and your team.

Paul - July 25, 2013 Reply

Excellent, AAA+++, I wish this was around 20 years ago.

Thanks, and keep ’email comin’ !

Olivia - July 28, 2013 Reply

I found this guide really fascinating and very helpful and I look forward to taking these tips onboard for my music career.

Arrowma prince - August 6, 2013 Reply

Do u really need hw to play a musical intrument to be a good song writer?

    Ian - August 23, 2013 Reply

    No – not necessarily. Particularly in the modern world with software like Ableton and Logic. I know several world class songwriters who can’t play a note!

Dede - March 20, 2014 Reply

Hello, I enjoyed the blog & what I got from it are reminders of things that we are aware of but just haven’t done yet like creating a FB Fan page, and got more insight on the “Elevator pitch from the Derek Sivers video. Thanks for your information.

larry - April 30, 2014 Reply

Hi fellow musicians…just thought I’d add my thoughts here concerning these folks who have created this site and it’s useful information. They seem to be clear in follow up after you download their information, and I feel strongly that they are very interested in getting us all to a higher level of success. I would simply say that you should try out the ideas and suggestion and pay close attention. If you have been at this for some time now you have realized that you must stand out in order to forge your career further. You also know that practicing over and over is without a doubt the key that makes you a better musician. It follows that using this info these folks are offering is a form of ‘methods of success practice” in other words practice what they know about the music business (business done well) and getting yourself out there for the listeners to listen…Remember…. YOU / WE…. are all here for a reason…TO GET IT RIGHT! Best wishes to you all..Larry

MackerOdis - May 28, 2014 Reply

I love this guide! The part about creating your elevator pitch and about what a great song is, ah, GOLDEN right there!!!!! Wonderful stuff and this organization has a great group of people for giving this away to us aspiring artists

José - June 12, 2014 Reply

Thanks so much 4 this guide, it’s very useful

Ricky Star The Rapper - June 25, 2014 Reply

Ian & Amanda what can I say! You guys helped me in a BIG way. You’ve told me things I didn’t know I could do with promoting my music. Now I’m getting a little buzz! I appreciate all the advice you written in your newsletter and book. Thank you and I’ll keep reading.

Peter - August 13, 2014 Reply

Oh, yes! These guides really make you come down from the clouds and stand on the solid ground of reality, therefore being able to build a real campaign and not a campaign full of illusions, dreams, fool´s paradises, etc.

Abraham Toledo - August 31, 2014 Reply

I just love looking forward to all the articles. There’s always something to help me

dapo - October 7, 2014 Reply

thanks for this Guide…Great Stuff therein….Thanks for having us in Mind

Donald - November 23, 2014 Reply

Hello Ian & Amanda

I must say thanks to you guys for your help to me in massive way. I’ve found things in your info that showed me things I didn’t know I could do with promoting my songs. I do mostly gospel songs, which is different from pop music, I’m getting a great deal of how to go around! I do appreciate all the advice you have given to me in your written newsletters. Thank you and I’ll keep reading to get me more informative of the happenings in the music world.

A BIG thank you and all the best for the season.


Clare - February 4, 2015 Reply

This guide is invaluable to anybody seriously considering a music industry career, cannot recommend highly enough. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, it has certainly helped me at the beginning of a new career in artist management.

Best wishes,


Brendan McGreevy - February 19, 2015 Reply

This is an excellent resource for any aspiring musician. Get involved.
*Support local music*

ATLis - March 14, 2015 Reply

This Shit is crucial THANKS YALL! ANd while yall are at it check out my newest track

GjS - July 22, 2015 Reply

The 10 Key Steps…is mostly well done, greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Jerrod Belcher - July 28, 2015 Reply

I love this movement very helpful and a lot of knowledge to get to the next level if you apply it right. I like networking and I love learning new things I appreciate it all the way and keep it coming!

Kellie - July 28, 2015 Reply

‘10 Key Steps You Must Take to Succeed in the Music Business‘ is a most excellent resource. An entire guide could have been written just around Step One alone, but the other nine steps support Step One perfectly. Also, Step Five – an artist should have his or her elevator pitch spit-polished and ready to fire at a second’s notice, as a second is all you can usually hope for. Thank you Ian, for your interest in helping clear the path for hardworking musicians, and your obvious commitment to success.

Cade Mason - August 9, 2015 Reply

Thank you guys for giving newcomers into the music industry like me and my band very easy but important information about how to promote my band in smart ways! Keep up the good work!

Mo - December 30, 2015 Reply

hey! it really was helpfull for me to read the guide 🙂 thanx for bublishing it!

Jamie Greenberg - July 17, 2016 Reply

Hi Ian…This ebook is essential for anyone who wants to save time and money along with learning a streamline approach on how to launch or relaunch yourself properly in the music biz! Thanks for all the great info you dish to us.

Jamie Greenberg

Keletso Austin Moeti - June 19, 2017 Reply

Hi Ian.

I really appreciate what you did. This E-Book is very essential because it saves time and money to all those who know what they want to achieve. It is also helping me step by step and I appreciate all your hard work on this E-Book. I’m Grateful.

Keletso Austin Moeti

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