TWFBMusicContestPicMusic competitions don’t always enter the minds of artists. Perhaps they are too busy trying to perfect their craft, or maybe they just think competitions aren’t worth the effort. Not true – music competitions are extremely helpful in growing as a performer and can help careers take flight.

1. Challenging Yourself

A competition isn’t just a place to show off your talents- it’s a place to help you grow as an artist. In talent competitions, both online and off, musicians can showcase the songs that make them special.

What you get from entering a music contest is motivation; motivation to improve your skills, give your best performance, with the opportunity to come out swinging and impress anyone within earshot.  Even if you don’t win, you may get feedback which could prove to be invaluable. That’s not something you will get if your audience consists of family and friends only.

2. Increasing Exposure

Jennifer Hudson, who didn’t even make the top 5 on her season of American Idol, is now an Oscar and Grammy winner. The American public never forgot her performance, and it paid off big time when she embarked on her post-Idol career. But even if you aren’t on a widely televised competition, you still gain exposure. Videos of competition performances, such as the videos contestants post on TalentWatch, are passed around social media with regularity. It only takes the right person to see it for a big break: like an Ellen, Queen Latifah, or a Good Morning America host – who often cull TV segments from the internet.

Industry professionals often use competitions to extend their reach and sniff out new talent. With every competition you enter, the pros take notice. Audience members turn into fans, and word of mouth increases. A talent competition is a great place to start building your fan base, and to network with people who can give you a big boost when the time is right.

3. Getting Discovered

Iceland’s Of Monsters And Men were a brand new band when they entered, and won, the annual Músíktilraunir competition in their home country; now they’ve played on SNL and you can’t turn on the radio without hearing them. Do we even need to mention One Direction? The boy band started as individual contestants on the UK version of “X Factor” and are now five of the most famous young people in the world – all because they received vital advice from Simon Cowell, who put them together as a group.

Many now-famous stars were once competition contestants: Justin Timberlake, Aaliyah, Adam Sandler, Rosie O’Donnell, and Destiny’s Child all were on the original “Star Search.” And although none of them were the big winners that day, they learned from the experience and went on to stardom anyway. Getting discovered can only occur when all the right pieces are in place – when your skills are honed from experience, and when your performance is exposed to the right people. All of this can happen if you step out of your comfort zone and enter a music contest.