I get asked for career advice from up and coming artists all the time. Here are a few things every aspiring singer should be thinking about career wise:
1) Work your voice so you are getting the most out of your instrument! Raw talent is never enough. Keep working on your craft so your voice is always growing and becoming the best it can be.
2) Make sure your live show is top notch. No-one is surviving in the music business these days without a fantastic live show. You want audiences talking about it and telling their friends. Otherwise you are going to have a hard time making a living!
3) Be who you are. Often it can take many years of experimentation to find out what really and truly works best for you in terms of material, production, direction etc. Dig in and make sure you are being authentic in what you are giving to us. Audiences can smell it when we are faking it. We crave authenticity and integrity more than anything else these days!
4) Understand who the audience for your music is so you can figure out how best to market to them. If you are a Jazz artist like myself you are looking at a speciality market, (i.e.: people who like fine wine, are college educated, own their own homes and have grown children etc) Identifying your audience will make a whole bunch of decisions much easier, such as where to perform and how to best target the people who will be most interested in learning about you and your music!
5) Lastly don’t rush to build a team around you (managers, label, agents etc) Its always better to go slowly and build a team of true believers who really get what you do and want to be there for the long run rather than the low hanging fruit that are easy to attract! IF you aren't finding that higher level folks are attracted to working with you have a long hard look at your own development, thats generally where the problem lies!
OK there are a few things to be thinking about, hope you find that helpful! I'm always happy to consult and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org