By Cari Cole
You’re a musician. You hustle. All the time. You work your ass off to keep pushing towards those goals. Hoping and praying you’re on the right track. You’re on tour. LOVING IT. You are a badass #boss #bitch out there killing it!!! Nothing is better than connecting with your fans, crushing your stage show night after night, moving from town to town, or continent to continent ~ it’s like one long continuous party 🎶🎉💫🚀👏.
You’re living the dream.
But the hustle gets old the minute your music career and momentum takes a backseat as a result. It’s like everything is suspended while you’re out on the road??!! How do you create momentum and not stall out while you’re out trying to keep the dream alive?
The biggest issues I hear every day from independent musicians is how to keep their careers afloat so they can keep doing it. What’s the one thing that is going to yield the best results? What’s the most important thing to be focusing on? How can I keep doing this? I don’t want to give up, I want to keep growing — how do I best do that?
So I thought I’d dial out a few critical things I’ve found to create the most momentum to stay focused amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy career.
Here are Mama’s 6 Quick and Effective Ways to Build Your Career While You’re Out On The Road
1. Time Management
The problem with tour is that you are out of your routine, and it takes up all more time to do even the simplest of things – like finding a good juice bar (EMOJI).
Here’s a few quick tips to manage your time that are super effective. Keep things short and sweet to be more manageable and squeeze more in, feeling more productive in less time.
- 10 min of socials 2x a day: post and reply, RT or repost.
- 30 min of business (set the timer)
- 30 min of vocal warmups or cool downs
- Band rehearsal/soundcheck (you can do other stuff during this time too like check email, socials)
- Be sure to schedule 30 min – 1 hour of #metime #downtime ~ walks/art/culture when you don’t have radio interviews or other pressing engagements.
- Use other time for graphic design, copywriting or the other jobs you do to support your tour ;). Limit it to 3 hours a day for the best results (don’t over promise yourself.)
- Travel time: use for planning and songwriting (if you don’t get motion sickness.)
- Meditate – 10 min a day. Everyone is better when they meditate. More focused, you can handle what comes at you with less stress (cause you’re emptying it out every day
2. Create Opportunities Wherever You Are.
You’re out in the big old wide world. Meet people in the industry along with the new fans you’re making ;). Make appointments in each city if there is time during the day. Squeeze in an appointment with a music publisher, a co-write, a licensing company or college radio station. Creating opportunities and growing connections while you’re on the road will help so when you’re off the road you’ve built momentum. Research ahead of time — go for it!
The best way to create momentum in your career is to spend time planning and prioritizing your efforts. Once a week, sit down and prioritize 1 – 3 things you need to get done that week. Don’t overload yourself, but stay focused. Most people overestimate what they can get done in the short term and underestimate what they can get done in the long-term. Patience and persistence are the keys to the kingdom.
If there is one thing that will save you time and build up your music muscle, it’s learning how to delegate, and building a team to delegate to. Don’t do everything yourself. I know most creatives like to because they are better at it than most, but that doesn’t mean you should be spending your valuable creative time uploading videos to your YouTube channel. There are assistants or interns for that. Hire them and delegate. Build your team. Build your business from the foundation up. You won’t grow unless you do. Whatever you do, don’t give up and don’t become bitter. Who needs a crabby and bitter musician?
5. Keep Up with Your Fans and Industry Opportunities via Your Newsletter and Blog/Vlog.
People love to follow their favorite artists around. Let them be a fly on the wall. No matter how resistant you are to it, get good at snapping selfies, boomerangs, short 30 second videos (follow Dan Wilson and watch how he does it — #sogood..) Let people in. They will follow you to the ends of the earth if you do. And for gosh sake, put out a monthly newsletter. I can’t tell you how many artists I met that don’t do that one thing and never grow their following as a result. Don’t let that be you my friend. You got this. Familiarity breeds comfort and intimacy ;).
6. Follow Up.
The number one action that creates success is following up. Don’t be afraid to pop a quick email and say “hi” to people or industry you’ve connected with. It goes a very long way. I can’t tell you the number of opportunities that arise from doing so. Do it.