With 2014 now a fading memory, many are moving into 2015 with a renewed sense of hope and expectation – here are a few good habits that artists should fall into to make the new year better than the last:
Make sure your website is up to scratch: No out of date gigs, no old blogs that you don’t write in anymore because you got bored. Make it simple, accessible, and clearly display where people can actually hear the music you make. A bit of effective SEO would be good too.
Get your files organised: It’s easy when you’re in a band to focus on the fun stuff and let all your computer files get into a disorganised mess. But trust us – take some time early this year to get your computer organised, and it will save you plenty of time throughout the year when you’re looking for those long lost songwriting ideas.
Use the right online tools: Many bands simply latch on t the latest fads when it comes to online tools to promote their gigs and music, but there are a few tried and trusted sites and services that help with file storage (Dropbox), calendar sharing (Google Calendar), newsletters (MailChimp), Ticket sales (Mitingu), website building (WordPress/Squarespace) and social media (Hootsuite). Other sites have come an gone, but these are the best tools on the market at the moment.
Time for a new image: There are countless ‘New Year, New You’ articles in the magazines at the moment, but it doesn’t have to be limited to ‘drink more smoothies’ and ‘go to the gym more’. It could be the perfect time to settle on a new selling point for your music.
Capture email addresses at every opportunity: Touring is the best way to make money off your music these days, and the best way to keep fanbases growing is with an effective newsletter/database keeping people up to date with new gigs.
Know the industry: There’s more music in the world than yours, and if you’re looking to get noticed, you need to know which labels and publishers are signing artists like you. Find similar musicians, and find out who’s circling – you might be able to get in on the act.
Plan the whole year: Not on a day to day basis, but generally – when will you tour, when will you write new material, what releases will you be putting out and when. By dividing up the year into chunks of focussed activity you give yourself a road map that’s easier to stick to than simply doing the next thing on your list each day.
Streamline: Think about the things you’re doing to promote your music – are they all necessary? You already spend countless unpaid hours on making and promoting your music right? Well, if you’re going to adopt any of the above ideas, that’s going to mean more time spent – make sure you’re not wasting your time plugging away on themes, ideas and promotional campaigns that are getting you nowhere, and focus on efficiency.