Here are YCAT's 5 top tips for building a performing career:

1.  Maintain connections and develop a network. Keep in touch with former teachers, supporters and colleagues, and note down the new people you meet – you never know where connections might lead. If you have given a performance at a music society, club, venue or festival, write to the organiser and thank them straight afterwards. It won’t take you long, but it can often go a long way in keeping you positively in their mind for the future. 
2. Look around you for inspiration and guidance. Whose footsteps would you like to follow in? Which of your contemporaries are involved with events or projects that you would like to be part of, and how did that happen? Go to concerts and read the performers’ biographies with an enquiring mind. Seeing the steps and connections that other musicians have made can help you plot your own journey. 
3. Plan ahead with your repertoire. Many classical venues book years in advance. Try and block your programmes so that you offer people the same repertoire for a patch of time, and then build in new works gradually. Of course you won’t always be able to stick to this rigidly, but you don’t want to suddenly find that you have over committed yourself without time to prepare properly or learn new repertoire. 
4. Look after your online presence. Keep your website and social media channels up to date. If someone looks you up on Google or Facebook, what is the first thing they discover about you? It’s better to have less content than bad content; if they find a website with an old biography or an empty list of upcoming concerts, it won’t convey a strong professional image. 
5. Be honest with yourself. What kind of career do you really want, and what do you need to do to achieve this? It is important to constantly re-evaluate what you are doing and why. Priorities can change, and that’s ok!