New Year’s Resolutions for the Emerging Musician

We’re at the beginning of another fresh, new year, bubbling like champagne with possibilities for success and happiness.

But… enough of the cliche stuff. It’s time to get to work! For musicians and creatives, we must work every day to bring ourselves one step closer to the lives we envision.

With that, we’ve compiled a list of steps that anyone can take to raise the bar in 2019, and to ensure that more eyes and ears engage with their content than ever before. Let’s go!

Release something! In our digital age, more musicians than ever are releasing more content than ever. You need to do the same if you want to stay top of mind.

We do encourage you to release something from a studio, while understanding these take a lot of precious time and money to complete. If you find yourself strapped for one or both of those things, technology affords you many ways to roll out content for little to no cost. Release a weekly video performing some of your favorite songs. Start a podcast. Collaborate with other artists on their projects. All of these things will keep your name and talents in the conversation, and will help lead you to new opportunities.

Keep your social game strong! As we shared a couple weeks ago, you’ll want to identify which social networks work best for you, and make sure you have a consistent presence. This goes beyond simply posting, to ensuring that the quality of your content is top notch, in terms of its presentation and the way it engages your fans to take an action, like buying merch or signing up for your mailing list. Use high quality graphic, photo, and video content, and provide a healthy mix of all of the above to keep things interesting.

(Side note: We’ve gotten really good at this, and can help you if you’re unsure of where to begin. Just reach out!)

Burst the bubble! Something we’ve realized in our evolution from LVU to UMC is that performing solely within your market — whether your market is New York City, Bethlehem, or Zzyzx — will eventually cause your growth to plateau. Your music is always in need of new ears in order to gain steam. That means, sooner or later, leaving the confines of home to play strange, new markets.

How do you determine which tour stops are right for you? For starters, streaming services such as Spotify let you know where people are listening to your music, which can help inform your decision and help you estimate a draw in a particular location. Also, there are Facebook groups (like this one) where musicians network for show opportunities in new locations.

Speaking of which…

Network! So much connection building can be done online — through sharing and engaging with content, and joining groups just like the one linked above. Don’t stop there! There are music conferences all over the country — LAUNCH Music Conference in Lancaster, PA, the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo in Los Angeles, and the CD Baby DIY Musician Conference in Austin, to name a few. Take time to investigate these and other opportunities, and decide to attend those that are the best fit and most feasible for you. These are some of the best chances you’ll have all year to make meaningful connections and acquire industry education, right from the source.

What are your 2019 resolutions? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

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