Happy 2018, everyone! Another year has gone by, and more New Year’s Resolutions are being made as you read this article. If you’re an aspiring musician, you may have promised yourself to score a record deal, become famous, or tour the world in this year’s time. This ambitious craving for success is wonderful, but unfortunately, rather unrealistic; success for most artists does not happen overnight. It takes hard work, long nights, caffeine, charisma, and a whole lot of heart to become a thriving performer – not to mention, there is much more to the music business than the music itself.
To gain some more insight besides my own, I chatted with three professionals in the music industry about the best ways you can take your band to the next level this year. Here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions you can make today:
1. Strengthen Your Social Media Presence – Needless to say, social media plays a great role in the success of bands. Opportunities to get discovered by A&R reps, agencies, and labels are not limited to major showcases anymore. The scene has become a much more independent environment, with social media paving the way for important connections to be made virtually. Hope Vista, better known both online and onstage as the powerful frontwoman for the band VISTA, is an expert at maintaining and growing her audience. “Maintaining a solid social media presence does take a good amount of dedication and time, that’s one of the main keys to improve engagement, but there’s something super special about being able to use social networks to visually build and display your brand,” Vista says. These platforms are also great ways to get noticed quickly. “One spark definitely starts a fire when it comes to using socials in the industry,” Vista adds.
2. Play More Shows, Sell More Tickets – If you want to be taken seriously as a band, it’s important to play shows in your local area. It is just as important to sell as many tickets as you can to these shows. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Joe Warren, who is the local talent buyer for The Masquerade in Atlanta. “Playing the right shows at the right time builds your exposure,” Warren says. “Selling tickets demonstrates your draw to venues and promoters, which will later on, lead you to playing larger shows.” So, every gig is an opportunity, and bringing more people through the venue’s doors will encourage momentum for your band.
3. Introduce Yourself, Make Friends – The music scene can feel like a competition sometimes, but the truth is, it’s all about making friends. The more friends you can make in the music scene, the more opportunities can come your way. “Networking is the single, greatest key to success in any line of business,” Matt Vigliotti, Talent Manager at Evolve Music Management, says. “Nurturing these relationships is the next step to opening more doors, since everyone would rather work with someone close to them who they know and trust. The worst thing anyone can say is ‘no,’ so always be proactive in trying to expand your network.” That is why going to gigs besides your own, supporting other bands, and introducing yourself to the artists and professionals around you is so vital.
4. Make New Content a Priority – Nowadays, it’s important for bands to make new content often. This includes posting covers, recording original songs, uploading pictures and videos, livestreaming, etc. This content needs to be strong and as professional as possible in order for it to be noticed positively. As an artist myself (you can check out my stuff here!), I try and post new content weekly on my social media profiles, if not daily. Whether it’s a fun mini-cover of your favorite song on Twitter, or a new picture of you doing what you love, your audience will engage and perhaps share what you’re doing with their friends! Just make sure this new content is appropriate and posted at the right time.
5. Learn and Grow – To achieve success in any field, it’s important to never stop learning. Become the best musician and/or singer you can be, read about the music business, and do your research about the opportunities available to you. While learning about the music industry is necessary, it’s also a great idea to find strengths in other fields. Learning how to take photographs and use editing software can give you the freedom to make your own merchandise and promotional materials. Reading about the world and different cultures can give you a well-rounded perspective and strengthen your songwriting and/or message. Understanding mathematics and finance can even help you with budgeting and touring. Don’t limit yourself and what you can do: become a well-rounded individual.
I hope these resolutions inspire you to make 2018 your year to shine.
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