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A Killer 2021: New Years Resolutions for Musicians to Make This the Best Year Ever

Without shows, we might be asking ourselves “what’s the point of having goals to work toward if our future looks uncertain?” We all know how easy it might be to take a back seat right now on your progress. While there’s no shame in using this time of 2020 madness for self-reflection or just to take a break, we also know many of you who feel like you’re at a standstill with your progress. If that’s you, we have good news! Whether things start popping back up again to their full extent or not, there are things you can do right now to kickstart your progress in 2021.

1. Make At Least ONE Goal

“You can’t knock on opportunity’s door and not be ready.”

-Bruno Mars

There are a million quotes that I could cite surrounding the importance of making a goal or making plans toward your progress as an upcoming musician. And though it might seem silly to most, the one that has always stuck with me and helped me in my music career is from an animated film, featuring Andy Samberg, called Storks. I won’t get into the weeds of the plot of the movie because they’re irrelevant, but the quote is “Make a plan. Stick to the plan. Always deliver!” I don’t know what it is about this quote, but it just makes sense to me for anybody with a goal in the creative sphere. It’s both motivational to me and details the exact thing that we as musicians need to do to succeed – pandemic or no pandemic.

2021 will no doubt be a year of healing from the havoc that was 2020. We definitely don’t want to overwhelm you with a ton of goals due to this, so my challenge to you is to think of just ONE thing that you want to accomplish for your music career this year and focus on just that. If it’s writing a 12-song LP, DO IT! If you want to grow your Spotify monthly listeners, make a plan to do that and deliver. The internet is chock full of courses and literature on just about any music industry topic you can think of. If all else fails, making SMART goals for marketing your music is one of The A&R Agency’s specialties. Reach out to us to schedule a free development session and we can help you create some SMART goals that will help your year start the right way.

2. Connect with Your People

“I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others.”

-James Taylor

It’s no secret that a lot of artists are struggling right now. With a lack of live shows at the moment at the tail-end of 2020, many artists are left wondering what to do to not only gain more listenership, but also keep a sense of community with their already devoted fans. This is the time to hone in on what you do as an artist or band that really connects you to an audience and run with it. Does your listenership have a specific name? Do you have a street team? Lean in and hype up your fanbase by ways of connection through a time that we all are feeling a little disconnected. One thing that every musician has the power to do is livestream. Just about every popular social media platform has the ability to go live nowadays, and frequent livestreams keep your fanbase interested and excited, even if it’s just dropping by to say hi.

3. Reach More People

“Musicians want to be the loud voice for so many quiet hearts.”

-Billy Joel

One of the main things we hear at The A&R Agency is that an artist wants to reach new people and keep their audience engaged. Think of a few ways that you can do this with or without live shows. What will it take to pique the interest of someone that may not be used to your genre of music or someone from out of town? Focus on these and understand what sets you apart at a fundamental level. From there, you can build a brand that is rememberable and marketable for people from all walks of life. An excellent example of this has been one of our clients, Corbella, who has released quarantine-style music videos that keep their audience engaged while still staying safe!

4. Make a Budget

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.”

-Beyoncé

As we all know from diving into the music industry without so much as a hint of the costs of being a musician, we understand that the back-end processes of a musical project can seem overwhelming and scary. So, while you’re planning out your 2021 goals, don’t forget to create a budget that meets your needs for everything from marketing to what it would take to upgrade your merchandise. Create a few goals here and don’t be scared to create a budget that includes a little more than previous years. Even if things don’t re-open, or if income is a problem, you’re able to plan for the worst. By having a generalized budget and a marketing plan, you’re able to have a clear understanding of what you need. If you’re not sure how to do this effectively, marketing and business operations are something The A&R Agency can help you figure out in a free development session.

We sincerely hope that 2021 brings so many new and exciting opportunities for artists and bands worldwide, and hope that we might have marked a few things that were on your New Years’ resolution list.

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Sarah Peterson
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