2021 is here. Are you ready to crush it? Are you aware of all the opportunities available?
That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.
- 00:26 – David’s new Twitter thread
- 00:59 – No live music in 2021?
- 01:29 – No more holding back
- 02:41 – Get into the publishing habit
- 04:30 – Grow your online presence
- 06:06 – Episode summary
- 06:46 – Closing thoughts
Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.
Happy New Year!
So, I wanted to get into what to do with your music in 2021. I even posted a thread on Twitter detailing some of my thoughts on this.
I had 13 some odd points in that thread, and the truth is, I probably have more to share.
So, I thought I would break this up into a multi-part series. That way, you can listen to each episode and action a few steps before you listen to the next in the series.
I’ve got at least a dozen tips, probably more. So, this will likely be a four- to five-part series. We’ll see how it comes together.
But let’s get into this because there’s a lot to cover.
I wanted to preface all this by saying that, while I don’t have a crystal ball, I’m starting to get the sense that live music may not be making much of a return in 2021.
Now, anything can happen. So, I’m not writing off the possibility that things will get better soon.
Trust me when I say I miss live music as much as you do right now. I would love just to go to a concert, never mind playing my own.
But we’ve also got to be realistic. Which is why I’ve identified multiple things you can do with your music this year, even if you’re stuck inside.
1. Don’t Hold Back
My number one tip for music makers in 2021 is to stop holding back.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to say with your music, but have never gotten around to saying, now’s the time to bring your ideas to life.
Whether it’s declaring love, protesting current events, sharing your innermost beliefs with your fans, whatever you feel you need to say, get it off your chest as soon as possible.
Just pretend like you’re on borrowed time and you’ll be in the right spirit.
Also, don’t hold back in your marketing, networking, outreach, or any other area of your career.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how amazing we all have it here in the digital age. You can interact with high level executives on Twitter. You can read the stories of successful musicians on blogs. You can take advantage of the latest apps and tools to share your music.
Now’s the time to get back in the game and leverage all the connections, resources, and tools at your fingertips.
Don’t cower in fear. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Don’t give up on your dreams.
Get up, get going, and don’t hold back!
For more inspiration in this regard, have a listen to:
- Episode 73 of the podcast with DeCarlos Garrison
- Episode 108 with Jules Schroeder
- Episode 122 with Richard “Younglord” Frierson
- Episode 135 with Matt Starr
2. Make More Music
Let go of perfectionism. Learn to identify when your music is “good enough” and get comfortable publishing it as is.
As artists, it’s easy to obsess over every little detail. And I get that many experts out there are saying there’s no excuse for bad quality production.
But when we think like that, we end up handcuffing ourselves to limitations, because we think we’re going to have to spend a fortune on every new release.
It’s never been easier or cheaper to set up a home studio and put together a quality recording. And even if that doesn’t interest you, there are so many other ways to get your project off the ground.
You can find a friend who’s looking to bolster their portfolio and pay them in beer and pizza. You can start a crowdfunding campaign. And maybe, if you just asked your parents nicely, they’d be willing to fund your next release as well.
But if production were all that mattered, I’m not sure Helen Austin, who I interviewed in episode 19 of the podcast, would have a successful career.
And it might sound crazy, but in my catalog, the album that repeatedly gets the most praise from others is Fire Your God. Which is bizarre to me because it’s basically a collection of lo-fi basement demos. And that has me looking at the possibility of releasing more music in that vein, as opposed to the pristine production heard on my No Escape EP.
I’m not the only one, either. People love to listen to Rivers Cuomo and John Frusciante’s lo-fi demos.
I’m going to tell you right now, if you don’t make more music, executing against this series is going to prove difficult. Because you need more product.
Not that music is the only product you can create. There was time, not too long ago, when music was basically reduced to a form of content marketing. It drew people into the brand and lifestyle, so that you could sell them a T-shirt.
But if you want to get into some of the things I’ll be talking about later in the series, you’ll regret not putting more energy into your music.
For more inspiration, check out:
- My interview with Jack Conte on the blog at MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com
3. Set Up Your Website
It’s amazing to me that in 2020, artists still miss the point of websites and blogs and come up with completely illogical, ineffective ways of thinking about and using them.
If you’ve been listening to me for a while, then you probably know by now that a Facebook page, SoundCloud profile, or free Wix website is just unacceptable.
You need to buy hosting and a domain name and build on WordPress. At the very least, sign up with Bandzoogle, because they have an easy-to-use interface that even non techies can figure out.
I know that event organizers or A&R reps might feel differently, but if I’m working on a marketing campaign with a band, I could care less what their social media following is. I would still leverage it, especially if they had an engaged following. But I would be far more concerned with how their email list is doing. That’s what I care about.
Your website is the best place to build your email list. There’s no substitute, except for maybe a tool like Leadpages, which I also like a lot.
But then you also want to sell your music, don’t you? It just so happens that your website is the best place to do that.
And that’s not all…
In building awareness and exposure, sharing updates, getting people out to shows, growing your email list, expanding your social media following, and even selling your music, there is simply no better tool than your website, especially if you keep it updated.
Make your website the definitive destination for everything to do with you and your music. There’s just no excuse anymore. You’re a professional now. You are the CEO of your music business. Get cracking on this.
For more inspiration, have a listen to:
Here’s today’s episode summary.
- Don’t hold back. Now’s the time to move forward with all those crazy ideas you’ve been dreaming about. You’re on borrowed time. Go and do everything you’ve always wanted to do with your music now!
- Make more music. There are many ways to leverage your content and having more of it opens the door to more opportunities. Learn to recognize when your music is “good enough” and get into the publishing habit!
- Get your website set up. You’re a pro now. And if you’re taking your music seriously, and you want others to take you seriously, buy hosting and a custom domain. Start populating your website with fresh content every week.
If you’re ready to make 2021 your year, head on over to MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/Join to pick up your free guide. We’ve got a few to choose from, so take your pick. How to Earn Real Money from Your Music might be a good one based on the contents of this episode. Again, go to MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/Join to get your free guide now.
This has been episode 219 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.