You’ve finally decided to take the leap. You know you need to break out of your city and get in front of your fans across the country or maybe even the world, and you’re all in. There’s just one small obstacle…you’re kind of broke.
Hey, it’s ok! As a working musician, in the early days especially, it might be hard to scrape together the cash for an expansive or robust tour. Don’t forget, your favorite bands started on a diet of rest stop food and crossing their fingers that their van didn’t break down in the middle of the desert.
Which brings me to this…when you’re setting out on tour, there are a lot of ways to save your pennies and still have an amazing time. The first step, of course, is figuring out what you can really afford, so be sure that before you map out your tour you have a solid budget in mind (IE your max spending allowance for every category: food, hotel, repairs, etc) and then stick to it.
Nothing feels better in music when your work genuinely clicks with an audience. Many of us make music in the hopes that what we create will go on to help listeners feel understood in some way, and seeing that happen can be an incredible payoff. So incredible, in fact, that a song or album’s success can inform the creative decisions we make in the future. The frustrating thing is that copying the songwriting formula that made an old idea successful and pasting it into a new songwriting context probably won’t result in more great music, and can actually work against you in a big way.
Traditional venues are usually thought of as being the best place to host shows, but musicians miss big opportunities to share their music on their own terms when they rely only on venues to perform live. From intimate house shows to locally curated festivals, shows take on a whole new meaning when the performing musicians are the ones throwing them. Here’s three reasons why musicians should consider setting up their own shows:
Playlists have become the holy grail of artist placement. While there’s still a ton of value in everything from blog placements to radio to TV, there’s no doubt that right now playlists are just about the #1 thing on most artists’ minds. With artists’ careers seemingly changing overnight with inclusion on just the right playlist, it’s really no wonder that it’s become so desirable. But how do you actually get that coveted playlist spot? How can you increase your chances of being picked for a specific playlist?
Whether it’s because of a lack of money or an inability to be away from a stable job or young family, many musicians who’d benefit from touring find themselves stuck at home. For bands who’ve tapped out local resources and the attention spans of fans in their hometowns, this can be a big problem. But while touring can bring loads of benefits to ambitious bands, there’s other things artists can do to build momentum for their music.
Marketing is a bit of a buzzword, isn’t it? It’s one of those terms we throw around freely that conjures images of slick advertising, fancy sales techniques, and lots and lots of money behind it.
But it doesn’t have to be such a heavy word. In fact, you can create and execute a solid music marketing plan even without a hefty budget and with a strong vision for where you’re going and who you want to impact along the way.
New songwriters to seasoned and creatively successful ones alike often find themselves getting stuck when it comes to not knowing what to write about in their music from time to time. If you’re a songwriter at a complete loss of what to make your next song about, here are a couple of creative topics to inspire you:
Think about the last time you felt really connected to an artist. The last time you felt like somehow, they really understood you. The last time you had that overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort and maybe even a little excitement because in that moment you just felt connected in a way that can oftentimes be so hard to truly find.
No matter what that moment was—a vulnerable social media post, a captivating live performance, a piece of merch or even a funny photo that just resonated with you—the one thing that each instance has in common is that connection.
While we rely on so many avenues to foster this connection for our own fans, including our social media, our live shows, the merch we create, the partnerships we forge, and so much more, there’s one piece that very often gets left out and truthfully, forgotten about.