When I first started my company, I did everything myself. Emails, press releases, blog posts, social media posts, artist discovery, and a million other tasks that not only filled me with dread, but completely drained my energy. By year two, I was a walking zombie. I was irritable most of the time, and I was incredibly tired and overworked. Worse yet, I had done this to myself! It was a prison of my own making.
When you’re in a band, it can become easy to default all or most of the tasks to just one or two people and let them carry the bulk of it. It’s one of those things that tends to happen naturally because someone is really good at a certain task, or takes the initiative before anyone else, and before you know it, one person is doing everything from booking to press to social media. But not only will that burn them out over time, it’s completely ineffective and unsustainable. Just because someone can do something, doesn’t mean they should.
If you’re the person who is already doing everything for your band, the first step is getting comfortable delegating tasks to them, and letting them know it’s time to share the workload. If you’re one of the band members who hasn’t been picking up their share of the slack, here’s how you can start.
Letting go of control
One of the most difficult parts of delegating can be fully letting go of control and trusting that you are far stronger together than alone. That, as scary as it can be, to not do everything yourself, ultimately it’s much better for the success of the band to have all hands on deck. While everything should still be a collaboration, knowing that one person has control of a certain area and not having to take that on as your own, will ultimately make things run much smoother.
Finding each band member’s strengths
Everyone has their strengths but it isn’t always obvious how they apply to everyday band tasks. Ask yourself:
Who is the best at talking to strangers? They’d likely be best for things like relationship building with other bands and industry and booking shows. These are the people that should be out at shows a few nights a week chatting it up with the bands playing, the people working at the venue, and the fans in the audience. Networking is extremely important to a band’s career, so the importance of this one can’t be emphasized enough.
Who is a natural at connecting on social media? Anyone can whip up a status, but the tricky part of maintaining an online presence as a band is going beneath the surface to connect with bands on a more personal, vulnerable level. Fans won’t remember the band that tried to sell them a shirt or alerted them to a new song, but they will remember the ones that bore their soul about a topic the fan was also interested in, or posted about a cause they cared about. Find the person who is comfortable getting vulnerable and intuitive and interested enough to interact with fans (both those who reach out to you and those that don’t) and assign them to social media.
Who is organized and methodical in their approaches? Someone who thrives off of organization and order, and who thinks about things in a very logical way is likely going to be great at something like tour routing, which requires a lot of very diligent planning, research, and patience.
Who is a great writer? This is the person you want in charge of your press efforts. Things like writing the band bio, a press release, and pitching blogs on your music. (You might want to collaborate with the relationship builder of the group on this one, since they’ll likely have the relationships with press that you need.)
Who isn’t afraid of confrontation? There’s a lot of negotiating you’ll need to do as a band, be it about getting paid for a show, looking over a contract, and deciding who to work with, and you’ll want someone on your team who you know is comfortable asking the hard questions.
While there may be an initial learning curve as you sort out everyone’s new tasks and responsibilities, learning to work as a team is an invaluable piece of what ultimately brings you one step closer to your goals.