We all know that the music business can be time consuming. There’s only so many hours in the day, and moving forward in your music career is often a gradual process. That said, I’m sure you don’t want to be spending more time on things than you need to.
There are things you can do to reduce the amount of time you spend managing certain aspects of the music business, while still getting just as much done. In fact, you may even get more done as a more efficient work-flow mean a clearer mind and better results.
Here are three such good practices you’d be wise to use. All of them will help you better manage your time, so give them a go.
1. Keep Your Paperwork In Order
Regardless of how long you’ve been making music, chances are you’ve had to manage some kind of paperwork along the way. One thing I’ll say, is don’t look at paperwork as something that’s difficult and that gets in the way of your music career. In reality it can help you get more organized, and help you with finding and keeping opportunities that come up.
If you’re at the stage where you’re playing gigs and actively seeking various opportunities, there there will be more paper work than if you’re just starting out. For example, there are venue details you need to make a note of, licenses to sell cover versions of other people’s music, a list of your proven contacts, paperwork confirming you’ve got a certain gig, and more.
Even if you’re new to making music and are only just getting your feet wet with regards to the business side of things, there will still be paperwork which arises. The receipt for any instrument you bought for example; you can use this to claim back against any taxes you may face as a musician. Yes, musicians do pay taxes. And you’ll want to start keeping track of potential places which will play your music once you’ve got something recorded.
Fortunately, most paperwork you’ll face will be digital. This makes things a lot easier to manage, although you still have to put some effort into getting a proper filing system for it all.
For example, you may want to create different folders in your email account to separate emails from musicians, event organizers, Djs and the like. This will make it easier to find any previous communication you’ve had with people.
On top of this, you should create and logically order folders on your computer, and file your paperwork according to the folders you’ve made. Not only will it mean you know exactly where to keep all your records, but it’ll also mean you’ll logically know where to find something, even if you don’t remember when you originally filed it away.
I’ve talked about managing your paperwork a lot more in the IMA Music Business Academy, so if you want to know how to get this side of things properly up and running, check it out.
2. Create Template Emails
As you get up and running with your website and building a online presence for yourself, you’ll find that people start getting in contact with you. This could be fans asking questions and generally wanting to talk to you, other musicians who want to collaborate in some way, or others who want to work with you on a business level.
As more emails start coming in, you’ll notice that there are a few things that are often mentioned. This could be a question that keeps coming up about yourself, or a issue people have with getting access to your free song download. Whatever it is, rather then manually writing out the same response every time, there is a easier way:
Create a template email!
What this basically is, is a pre-written response to a question you know you’ll regularly get asked. It should have the bulk of the reply written out, and from there you can just copy and paste it to everyone who brings that question up.
Remember though, it’s a template to use, not the full email. You should always personalize the final email, adding in the person’s name, and also addressing anything else they may have mentioned. That said, using templates will save you a lot of time over replying from scratch each time.
3. Create A Easy To Reach Schedule
The last tip I want to give is about managing your time better. When your time is well managed, you’ll manage to fit more in and essentially get more done.
One of the best ways to manage your time is through the use of a schedule. Now me, I never used to use a schedule. I simply knew I had to do things, and I would get as much of it done as I could. There are two main problems with this though:
- You forget things. We as humans don’t have an unlimited memory, and sometime thing will be forgotten. Sometimes really important things will be forgotten. With a schedule though, you will see what you have to do, and the chances of you missing things will be a lot lower.
- It’s not as easy to prioritize. When you have what you need to do written down in front of you, it becomes easier to manage or order things as appropriate. For example, if you find out you need more time to do something important, you can simply have a look in your schedule and see what you can juggle around. This is also possible without a schedule, but it’s easier with one.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t do without a schedule. But as someone who never used to use them but now does, I can tell you they make your life a lot easier
If you have a smart phone, chances are it has a built in calender you can use for this very purpose. Otherwise, buy a diary and use that to keep track of what you should be doing.
Time is precocious, and the above three tips should help you save a lot over the years. Not only that, but they’ll help make running your music career a lot more manageable and a lot less stressful. Speaking of stress, here are some top ways to better manage stress in your music career.
Do you have any more time saving tips? If so, let us know. 🙂