10 Tips For Getting Ahead of the Game During Lockdown
I’ve spoken to so many artists over the past few weeks, feeling pretty deflated and unsure how to progress during lockdown, so here are ten things you can do as an emerging artist to get ahead of the game during lockdown.
These tips are just ideas for if you find yourself looking for some extra guidance or reassurance. There are no right or wrong answers of how to cope in this current situation, I’m figuring it out at the same time as you. Keep safe, speak to each other, support each other, and move music forward.
Register performances on PRS
A lot of artists don’t realise they can be making money from PRS just by performing their music live. All you need to do is log into the PRS website, and log any previous performances. You can only log the tracks that you have already registered with PRS, but it’s definitely worth logging any live performance you’ve done. So sit with a cuppa and a diary, and get those gigs logged.
Give your assets a refresh
This is a perfect time to have a review and a refresh of your promotional assets and branding. When the music industry wakes up again, there is going to be a lot of people fighting for the same opportunities so you need to make sure you’re standing out from the crowd. When we say your assets, we mean your biography, your EPK and your social media graphics. At 321 Artists, we’re currently offering free reviews and feedback on biographies and EPK’s if you’re looking for extra guidance. You can find out more here.
Get testimonials from promoters
This is something SO many artists forget to do, and it’s such a quick and obvious thing to do! When you’re approaching promoters you haven’t worked with asking them to book you, they need reassurance that you’re going to be suitable for their shows, especially if you don’t currently have any live footage to showcase your live performance. Get in contact with other promoters you’ve previously worked with and ask them to write a few sentences about their experience working with you - the lead up and the live performance itself. This gives other promoters an understanding of what they can expect, from names they are likely to be familiar with. These are great to have for social media, but mainly your EPK.
Make new connections
Now your assets are all up to date, you can use this time to research and create new connections and networks. If you know you’ve got a release coming up and you need a producer, do some research into finding new talent and make those introductions. Maybe you’re looking for new promoters to work with? Or you want to expand your network and knowledge of other local musicians? Whatever it is, now is the time that people are wanting to build and progress, so why not do it together?
You can never know too much as an emerging artist, so if you’re at a loose end, there are endless amounts of videos and tutorials on YouTube from how to use equipment, to advice on music marketing, and everything in between. Whether you learn a new skill, or just build on your knowledge, learning is only ever going to propel you and your progress.
Grow your social media
People are currently spending more time than ever on social media, so this is something that is not only going to benefit you now, but will also benefit you in the long run. This will also be a good opportunity for you to grow your network at the same time! Go through your followers, or following on a social media platform, find other artists and go through their followers and following and find people who you think may be interested in your project. (Top tip: artists will (hopefully) always support other artists, so you should get a follow in return if you follow other artists. You’re all in this together right?)
Create a bucket list
Every band or artist has goals they want to achieve. It might be smaller things, like hitting a numerical target, or it might be playing certain venues, working with certain brands or playing with particular bands - whatever it is, make a bucket list. Not only will this focus your next steps, but it will also create motivation and excitement to achieve these targets. As a manager, I find it so useful having these lists from my artists, and it’s also incredibly warming to be able to help tick things off the list in time.
With so much time on your hands, now is the time to make that spreadsheet you’ve been putting off, or creating those folders that you know are probably going to take an hour or two to order BUT, your life will be so much easier when everything in order and you know exactly where the PNG of your logo is when a promoter needs it for their poster that they are posting in an hour’s time, or when you need to find that particular email from the promoter with the information for the gig. My artists and I use Google Drive and have shared folders within folders, within folders, with everything we could possibly need all ordered so we know where it is straight away. (They’re used to it…)
Create a contingency plan
No one really knows how long this will go on for, and we don’t know when gigs will be a thing again, but what we do know is that music is going to continue. Although it’s difficult to know for sure where we will be, create a plan for the next 6 months, taking a number of things into consideration. When would you like to be releasing music? Do you have any targets for social media growth? Don’t get this confused with your bucket list, but create a plan of action for the next 6 months. This will give you a sense of guidance, and refocus and direction.
Take time for yourself!
This is the most important tip. There is always going to be people on social media who look like they’ve got everything together and are keeping busy and constantly productive - I can assure you this isn’t the case, and this isn’t a competition. Everyone is going to deal with lockdown differently, and you don’t have to follow any expectations or pressures. Taking some time for yourself isn’t going to put you at any disadvantage.