If you’re a developing artist on the cusp of a new music release, it can be hard to know exactly what you want to get out of sharing your music. Ideally, creative fulfillment should be a big part of your motivation, but it shouldn’t end there if you want to connect with an audience. Some concrete financial and promotional goals should be on your mind as well. Here are realistic goals you should shoot for as a developing artist ahead of your next release:
While there’s more music being made right now than at any other point in human history, there’s also no shortage of disappointments in music, whether it’s reading a scathing album review or getting news that an entire year’s worth of shows was canceled.
For countless developing musicians, the biggest forms of disappointment in music come in the form of silent rejections, like venues not returning emails or blogs passing on your music without telling you why or if they ever even listened to your submission. It’s rough out there, but you already knew that. But what you may not know is just how important resilience is for a musician.
The pre-pandemic music world brought lots of in-person networking opportunities for artists and music industry professionals. Major music hubs like Los Angeles, New York, or Nashville would house dozens of networking conferences every year, along with global music hubs like London or Paris as well. As artists and music industry professionals, we would travel to these conferences curated for specific areas of the music industry, such as performance, music technology, film scoring, composition, music business, and many other areas. These were great opportunities for networking and making connections with one another.
Keeping a band together over a long period of time can be incredibly hard to do, even for successful musicians with every resource at their fingertips. In part, this is because the relationships in bands are endlessly complex, but also because pursuing the dream of music alone or with a group of people is rife with challenges. It’s safe to say that countless promising bands break up before they have the chance to create truly great music together. This means the longer you can keep yours humming along, the better chance you’ll have at creating impactful music and realizing your goals.
If you’re in a band or some other type of collaborative musical relationship, the way you approach songwriting credits should be something you take seriously. Ambiguity is a natural state of mind when it comes to musical creativity, but it’s not at all what you want when it comes time to decide who gets credit for writing your songs.
During a time when there are no concerts or tours, it might be difficult to get more listeners and fans for your music. However, thanks to social media and online promotion tools, it is not impossible. In fact, today as musicians we have many tools at our disposal to reach out to more people. One could even say that this is a great time to reach out to people and get more fans, as most people are at home, without the distractions of running around during the day, commuting, or traveling. Many people also listen to music while they’re working or studying, so why not use your music to get more fans during this time?
When young, developing artists think about succeeding in music, they often picture sold-out venues, full wallets, and loyal fans who know all of their songs by heart. But whether your goal in music is to become famous around the world or to merely make a human connection with your songs, it takes an immense amount of work simply to get your music in front of listeners. Your ability to do this sort of work consistently and well could mean the difference of being able to connect with audiences or not. If you’re new to music and want to know what sort of work I’m talking about, here are four examples of necessary tasks to get your music heard:
Music might be one of the most important things in your life, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to pursue it in earnest easily. From fighting through seasons where inspiration seems impossible with having to balance non-musical priorities during your week, working on music consistently can feel impossible to do sometimes. But the truth is that your ability to make music creation, performance, and promotion a regular part of your life could be the single factor that determines whether you reach your goals or not. If you want to earn a living through music or simply create work that deeply resonates with a wide audience, you won’t get there without hard, consistent work. No matter what kind of music you make or what your goals are, you’ll thrive and grow much more as a musician if you can prioritize music in your weekly schedule. Here are three tips for helping you do just that: