This article by Martha Goodavage is interesting reading, but the comments are even more interesting to read. I take issue with this article in many ways, but I also take issue with what the market-based world of music hawking has become, because I grew up in a musical world that was far less crowded. I also grew up in a musical world where competence was the surest way to musical success.
There are many of us who, for the sake of sanity, keep our technology ceiling low, adding new components when they become truly useful and truly necessary. There is limited space in my head, and I want to keep much of it free for productive practicing, effective teaching, and for writing music. I am very resistant to the use of "social networking" as "professional networking." I like my friends to be people I talk to, exchange e-mail messages with, and play music with. I don't imagine I will ever tweet, but I do enjoy using the latest version of Finale, and I totally enjoy being able to use the internet to write, edit, and share music.
Goodavage does have some worthwhile guidelines, but people over the age of 25 (her target audience) need to take many of them with a grain of salt. I have learned a great deal from making string quartet arrangements of country songs, rock songs, and indie-type pop songs. Like most musicians, much of my play for pay consists of playing music that I would not choose to play under any other circumstances, but I do my best, and I'm happy for the opportunity to work.
Knowing how to market your "product" is a real plus. Most musicians I know have difficulty "marketing" what they do, because everything in music is so personal and so subjective. I don't know about you, but I have a great deal of trouble thinking of the music I write as "product." People with money can hire publicity people to market their "product" for them, but I don't know that many musicians who have that kind of money.
Choosing not to compete with the marketed masses is my personal and practical choice. If you like what I do, you know where to find me.