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6 Big New Years Resolutions For Musicians

A new years resolution for musicians2014 is with us. And while there’s a good chance you’ve already made non-music related new years resolutions, have you made any related to your music? If not, today we’re going to fix that!

After my well received 2013 post (still useful today), below are 6 resolutions you can ‘borrow’ to help get your music career on track this year. Feel free to use as many or as few of them as you please. All I ask is that any you do decide to go with, stick with them for the duration.

Challenge yourself to do a few of them, but don’t pick so many that you can’t carry them all out. Ready to get going? Well here they are:

1. Dedicate At Least __ Hours A Week To Your Music.

If you want to consistently move your music career forward this year, it’s going to take a set amount of dedication on your part. A minimum amount of time and effort if you will.

I intentionally left the ‘__’ space above, simply because it’d be impossible for me to tell you exactly how much time each of you should dedicate to your music. Everyone’s in different situations. While one person who’s a part time student may to able to dedicate 20 hours a week to their music, someone else with two kids and a full time job will understandably be able to dedicate much less time.

Regardless of your situation though, the important things is you think of a realistic amount of time you should be able to dedicate and stick to it. If one week you miss your target number, make up for it the following week. Miss that TV show if you have to, your music career is much more important! Make it happen.

2. Get Your Website Up And Running.

If you haven’t got a website yet, work on getting one asap. This will be your online CV, and a tool that will make you look more professional to people considering hiring you (for gigs / to cover you in the media etc). It’s also good for keeping your fans informed and interactive with you.

You can easily make a website using this step by step guide, so no matter what stage of your music career you’re at, there will be something suitable for you.

3. Work On Getting More Gigs.

Gigs are great for both getting exposure, and making money from your music. There are a few ways to monetize live performances:

  1. Being paid directly via the event organizer,
  2. Collecting royalties, and
  3. CD & merch sales.

If you use all of the above three, gigging can start to bring you in a nice monthly income.

I’d go as far as to say gigging will be an essential task for a good percentage of the people reading this guide. While there are ways to make money from your music without gigging, I suggest you at least give it a try to see if it can work for you.

4. Become More Focused On A Few Social Media Sites.

When I say that, I don’t mean dedicate more of your time there. Instead, what I mean is you should be more focused in one, two, or maximum three platforms of your choice. The thing is, when you start trying to juggle more platforms than that, your time on each one lessens each time. This means you don’t get enough time to make sure each one is a success.

So focus on building up an audience on 1-3 platforms, and don’t diversify this side of things too much.

5. Collaborate With At Least One New Musician A Month.

Collaborating with others is a great way of getting extra exposure, although not one that’s often talked about. By working with other musicians in your genre, you’re opening yourself up to be exposed to their fanbase. If you both promote the song you do together to your own audiences, both of you will get in front of new people, and hopefully both end up with a bigger fanbase by the time the project’s over.

Now the idea is to not only do one collaboration here and there, but instead regularly collaborate with others, and get in front of as many different musician’s audiences as you can!

A good way to go about finding other musicians to collaborate with is is by looking on sites like Soundcloud. They have many talented acts you can search through, and even if they’re not local to you can you have them record vocals and send them over the internet.

Another option is to get in contact with local acts you already know about. Find them online, and propose a collaboration.

6. Dedicate At Least 30% Of Your Time Marketing Your Music.

This is actually one of the most important resolutions of the piece. If you’re at the stage where you’re making good songs and you can compete with the musicians everyone in your genre likes, then it’s time to market your music. If you don’t market your music enough, not many people will hear your songs, and it’ll be hard to build traction in terms of getting your name out there.

If you really want to get yourself heard, you actually need to spend at least 30% of your music related time marketing. If so far all you’ve been doing is making music, 30% is a good number to get you started with things. If however you’ve already been doing some marketing, you may want to up that number to increase your chances of getting your music heard.

So there you have it, 6 new years resolutions you may want to try your hand at. If you need help with the last one, you can get ideas on how to market your music in my free ebook ‘An Introduction To Music Marketing’. It’s a full on introduction to the subject, and will give you some good ideas on how to get started effectively promoting your music.

So, are there any more music related resolutions you could add to this list? If so, please leave them in the comments below. I hope 2014 is a good one for you!

Shaun Letang.

6 Big New Years Resolutions For Musicians

Reader Comments (1)

I would add to this list - seek out new music in a genre that you're not familiar with. New ideas come from almost anywhere, and our listening habits are certainly a source of inspiration. So many people get stuck in a rut because they listen to the same style of music all the time. Go explore bossa nova or underground electronica - choose something you know nothing about and immerse yourself in it. You never know what you may come away with!

January 18 | Unregistered CommenterMark H

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