5 TIPS FOR ORGANISATION FOR AN EMERGING ARTIST
You probably realised very quickly that being a musician isn’t just about writing the songs and playing live shows, there is a lot of work and organisation that is required by the scene. If you’re not used to having to be so organised, this may come as a struggle, so we’re sharing our top 5 tips to help you out.
HAVE A CLEAR, COLOUR COORDINATED CALENDAR
Whether you’re a solo artist, or a member of a band, represented by a team, or self-managed, a calendar is absolutely vital to keep everything on track. We use a calendar app called ‘TimeTree’. This app allows you to have multiple members of the calendar who can all edit and view the calendar, ensuring that everyone is all up to date. You can colour code your calendar, for example, you can have blue as gigs, green as writing sessions, red as days people are unavailable, purple as meetings etc. This allows everyone to clearly see where there are free days, how frequently you’re gigging, and where you can fit in that writing session. You can also have multiple calendars on the app and can overlap the calendars, this may be useful if you’re part of multiple projects, or a manager to multiple artists.
PLAN/SCHEDULE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Remembering to post on social media, on top of everything else you’re expected to do as an emerging artists can sometimes be a struggle, and it can sometimes be a struggle to think of things you should be posting about. But planning your social media posts with a social media calendar means you can visually see what you are posting and when, and you can work these posts around the gigs you’re playing. In a social media calendar, start with a column with the date, next a column for ‘Pointers’ eg ‘Gig Day’, ‘Video Shoot’, and then columns for each social media platform you use. Use the pointers column to guide you writing your posts. You can then check back each day, and copy and paste the posts you’ve created into your social platforms.
If you want to be even more efficient, you can schedule those posts once you’ve written them, and they will then be automatically posted for you, meaning you don’t have to worry about making time to post them. Hootsuite allow you to schedule thirty posts at a time for free. If you’re posting once on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a day, this means you can schedule posts up to ten days in advance, taking a lot of weight off your shoulders.
HAVE AN ORGANISED EMAIL INBOX
As an emerging artist, folders are your best friend. There are going to be a lot of emails in your inbox about a lot of different opportunities, and when you need to be able to access that information quickly, it’s going to be a lot more useful for you if all that information is clearly labelled and stored correctly. For each gig you confirm, create a folder in your inbox called the date of each show. Ensure that all communications about a show is in its designated folder. This means if you need a piece of information about that show, you know exactly where that email is going to be, rather than scrolling endlessly through your inbox. This doesn’t just work for gigs, you can have folders for lots of different things, just make sure they’re easy for you to navigate and understand.
HAVE A GIG SPREADSHEET
For some the idea of spreadsheets sends nervous shivers down their spine, but this is going to be the best way (we think!) to ensure that you are all clued up, especially for the live shows you have coming up. When you have a gig coming up, add them to your gig spreadsheet. Add the details of the show including main contact and their details, date, venue, location, fee, other artists playing, what equipment you’re required to take, any exclusivity rules, and any other information provided by the promoter. This means you can open just one document, you know everything you need for the show. You should also add any other shows you’ve previously had in the year to the spreadsheet, as this will allow you to visibly see the shows you’ve played, have contact details for the trusted promoters you’ve worked with, and have your finances for shows in one place.
KEEP TRACK OF WHO YOU’RE EMAILING AND WHEN
Another day, another spreadsheet, but this one is just as important as the last. As an emerging artist, especially if you’re self-managed, it’s likely you’re going to be regularly emailing a lot of people whether it’s blogs or promoters for opportunities. It’s worth keeping track of who you’re emailing in a spreadsheet so you don’t end up accidentally emailing multiple times for the same opportunity because you can’t remember if you’ve emailed or not. I know you could just look through your ‘Sent’ folder, but by having a spreadsheet, you can add information like when the follow up date is (normally 7 days after you’ve initially emailed), whether they’ve responded, any notes, and their contact details for next time. By having it in a spreadsheet, it also means you can share the document with others, for example, with your other band members, or your management or PR companies.