Do you dream of appearing on VH1? Or maybe your goals are even bigger. Maybe nothing less than pyrotechnic concerts and 10,000 screaming fans will do. Whatever your ambitions are, these five tips can help you on your way to stardom.

1. Record a Demo
First things first: You won’t get anywhere in the industry without a professional demo. This means booking the studio, laying down the cash for a high-quality recording and paying others to help you with things like backup vocals and sound mixing. If you’re serious about making it big, tinny demos recorded in your garage aren’t going to cut it.

2. Find Musicians on Social Media
Not only will they keep you abreast of important industry news, but their passion and dedication to music will also keep you inspired. Follow people like Boyd Tinsley on Twitter so you’ll know what it’s like to live the dream. Who knows? Your favorite musicians might even follow you back.

3. Attend Professional Events
Go to concerts. Volunteer at music festivals. Grab a seat at lectures, seminars and webinars about finding success in the entertainment industry. In addition to passing on valuable knowledge, they’ll also allow you to mingle with other like-minded individuals, and you never know when a new friend will be the catalyst to great things.

4. Find An Agent
Don’t just sign a contract with the first person to offer you one. While talent scouts are interviewing you, you should also be interviewing them. What kind of promises do they make? How much money will you get upfront? What other artists do they represent? Never go into business with an agent without researching them first.

5. Embrace the Unknown
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember Boyd Tinsley, the violinist for the Dave Matthews Band? He originally had no interest in the violin at all. As a child, he signed up for classes by mistake. These happy accidents are the kinds that can turn into a successful career, so keep yourself open to new opportunities.

These are just five things to keep in mind as you pursue a career in music. Whether you’re a regular at the karaoke bar or just a solo guitarist strumming for YouTube, it’s important to remember that anyone can make it as long as they’re talented, dedicated and strong-willed.