If you're just getting started in a career in the performing arts, the number of things to do can seem incredibly overwhelming. From marketing to getting booked, the emerging artist always has a great deal to do. But breaking down the most important areas to tackle first can take a lot of the stress off. Here are five tips for emerging artists.
Focus On Your Debut
Before you get to anything else – marketing, shows, anything – you want to complete your first album. You can't market your music if there's nothing to market, and you can't play shows unless you have an opening slot's worth of material. So if you're just starting out, focus all your energies on making a great debut album – and don't touch anything else until it's finished.
Establish Social Media Channels
Once you've got your debut wrapped up, establish your social media channels. Make sure you have a presence on all the major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and definitely establish base camps on music-based platforms like SoundCloud, LastFM, Bandcamp, and ReverbNation. If you have a budget for it, invest in a social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to save yourself loads of time.
Submit to Radio Stations
Now that you have music to distribute, start sending out to local radio stations. Don't discount college radio, either – lots of people listen to college radio stations, and they'll play almost anything that's decent and anything that's good. Just run a quick Google search for radio stations in your local area, make a list, and start submitting – most stations have an online option for submitting digital files, so you won't have to drive or mail discs over like in the old days!
Network, Network, Network
Don't stop at telling your family and friends what you're doing. Find other bands and promoters in the area that work in the same or similar genres as you do, and make it a point to connect with them. Going to club nights or local music festivals are great places to network, and if you bring business cards and download codes with you, you'll get the word out much more quickly.
Go to Shows
Going to shows falls in line with networking – it's one of your best opportunities to meet other working artists and bands. If you haven't started playing out yet, this is also a great chance to discuss organizing shows with other bands that do similar work to yours. Sometimes you can meet other professionals in the music industry too, including promoters, talent scouts, and magazine reps.
Working as a musician is a time-intensive job – in and out of the studio and stage arena. If you're just getting into the industry, these five tips will help you prioritize what needs to be done to get your music heard by the people who want to hear it – and lower your stress levels so you can focus on creating more music.