Looking for new years resolutions which will help move your music career forward? Well you're in luck. Below are 5 big new year resolutions for musicians that will help you keep in mind what you should be focusing on. Put them into practice more this year than you were last, and it's very likely you'll make bigger moves in the music industry than you ever have.
Remember, if you want additional help with any of the below or generally want all the info you'll need to have your biggest year in music yet, you may want to sign up to get expert guides for musicians. These will teach you how to increase your fanbase, make more money from music, promote yourself and more. A must have for any serious musician.
Now, let's get into the resolutions.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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New Years Resolution 1: Stop Giving Away All Your Music For Free
Ok, so there's a chance you know that you shouldn't be giving the majority of your music out for free. But are you sticking to that rule? I know I know, it's easy to see low sales number initially and decide that free is the only way you'll be able to get people to listen to your music. But ask yourself this: since you've started putting your music out for free, have you made any real bigger movements?
Chances are, if you've made any bigger movements, it wasn't because of the free music. Free music usually leads to more people taking your music out of politeness; the same people who often won't end up listening to it. Furthermore, masses of free music will mean those people who could potentially get you gigs and media coverage will see you as just another up and coming musician who's not treating their music like a business. Because of this, they're less likely to notice or give you a chance.
So if you shouldn't give out the majority of your music for free what should you be doing instead? This guide has the answers.
Resolution For Musicians 2: Set Up Systems To Make Your Life Easier
One good new year's resolution you should definitely implement is setting up systems. By this I mean creating ways to do certain repetitive tasks that will both save you time and mean you'll get the same good results every time.
Good businesses are built up of systems. They know that not only will things run more effectively with them in place, but they'll also be easier for new people to come along and do as staff turns over. You should be running things the same where possible.
So what are some examples of systems you could put into place? Well:
System 1: For The Way You Record Yours Songs
While you want to keep the creativity in terms of the type of songs you make, when it comes to recording you should aim to use the studio in a certain way. For example, you may want to record all your base vocals first, followed by any ad libs and doubled up lyrics, followed finally by any additional sounds or vocals you want to add. Then the next person does the same if any one else is on the track.
This is better than say recordings everything in one verse then moving on the next. Or worse still, doing one of your verses, letting someone else do theirs, then you going back to doing another one of yours.
Having a set order will make it both easier for you to get into the flow of things, and also that the studio engineer won't have to keep readjusting levels as different people keep switching over.
System 2: For Email Marketing And Emails In General
Another system you might want to put into place is the way you handle email. Bother in terms of setting up a mailing list which goes out to fans every two or so weeks, and in terms of the way you reply to commonly asked questions.
You'll find there are certain questions which fans often ask you. If your answer is always going to largely be the same, you should have a file on your computer with the answer which you can copy and paste. Just be sure to personalize each reply with the person who emailed you's name.
System 3: Filing Your Paperwork In A Logical Way
One final example of a way you can systematize things is through the way you keep paperwork. If you're treating your music career like a business (which you should be) you'll have paper work. Even if it's mostly digital.
When you contact venues, when you arrange collaborations, when you buy things for your music career; all of these things should be documented and receipts collected.
Instead of putting all these documents randomly on your computer in the same folder, you should file them away in a logical way so they're easy to find when you need them again. This will make life a lot easier and mean things have less chance of getting lost.
I talk a lot more about this in the IMA Music Business Academy, so check that if you want more advice on getting organized.
Resolution 3: Market Your Music More
A third new years resolution musicians should aim for it to market their music more. If you have talent but don't market your music, no one will know you have talent. This means you won't gain a fanbase, and you won't make money from music. Market yourself however and both of those things have a music better chance of happening.
The simple fact: the more you market your good music, the more you'll get known. So no matter how much marketing you did last year, aim to do more this one. Here are some ways in which you can do that.
Resolution 4: Reach Out To More Influential People
I've given a few tips recently on how and why you should be collaborating with others to progress your music career. To be honest, there aren't much better ways to get known than feeding off other people's names. In the nicest way possible of course. 🙂
This year you should work your way up the collaboration ladder, both with other musicians, people with a platform you can showcase your music on (e.g. DJs, event organizers, show organizers etc) and the like.
Get out of the mindset that you should be doing as much as you can by yourself. Instead, work with and use other people to reach your goals. Just be sure that you're benefiting them too as two way collaborations are usually the ones which end up going somewhere.
Resolution 5: Communicate With Fans More
Ok, so number 5 in potential new year's resolutions for musicians: communicate with your fans more!
If you didn't reply to most of your fans last year, one of these two will apply to you:
- You have lots of fans so find it hard to get the chance to reply to them all.
- You don't see the importance of replying to fans even if it's not often they contact you.
If you fall into the first category, fair enough. Maybe hire someone to help you with replying. If you fall into the second however, you need to do better this coming year.
When you've a small fanbase, you've more time to make each fan feel special by replying. As you do, they'll become more loyal to you and be more likely to stick around for the long run. This is an easy win for you, as it's a lot easier to keep existing fans happy than it is making new ones.
If you're not sure how you can do this, read this post for some great tips.
Above are 5 potential new year's resolutions you could do for yourself. So, how many are you going to do? Or do you have another other music related resolutions in mind? Let us know in the comments.