We love to see independent artists strive for greatness. A major part of the recipe for success is creating an honest and thorough plan to make it happen. So, we created a checklist to keep you on track. Here’s our checklist for a kickass year in 2021…
Artist Checklist for a Kickass Year in 2021
Upload Your Music to Emerging Platforms
Cover all the bases by making sure your music is available everywhere possible. Don’t miss out on platforms like TikTok and Triller, get your lyrics featured on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Expand your music’s reach as far as possible. Not sure where to start? No problem. — Check out these resources below to get started:
- How To Get Your Music On TikTok
- How To Get Your Lyrics On Spotify
- How to Get Your Lyrics on Facebook and Instagram
Set Better Goals
It’s important to set goals for your career and create an actionable plan to make them happen. From learning new skills and getting more followers to earning more money and booking more gigs, setting clear goals is the key to seeing your dreams come to life. // This post breaks it down…
Sign Up for YouTube’s Content ID (if your music qualifies)
YouTube’s Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system that content creators (like record labels and artists) can use to easily identify and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube.
With our YouTube Optimization service, We’ll analyze your overall brand, content, and KPI’s based on your YouTube channel, website, and social media presence to develop a custom strategy that fits your needs and increases the visibility of your videos. (Click Here to Apply for Channel Management.)
Register with a PRO
You need to make sure you’re registered with a Performing Rights Organization like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. This is crucial because these are the people that make sure you’re getting paid every time your song is played. But don’t stop there. You’ll also want to look into mechanical royalties, (the money you make when something is downloaded or sold on say, iTunes, which ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI don’t cover.)
Learn everything you need to know and more with these helpful resources:
- Copyright Crash Course with Cosynd and Symphonic
- Types of Publishing Deals and How They Work
- What You Need To Know About TV & Radio Royalties
Optimize Your Socials & Branding
Make sure your social presence is in tip-top shape. Anyone who finds you online should be able to find out everything you have to offer with ease. The second things become difficult to navigate, people move on to the next.
In the meantime, make sure you’ve done these things:
- Update any images of you on these platforms.
- Make sure all your social platforms are linked to one another
- Claim and update your artist profiles
- If you’re a label or have a Spotify branded channel here is how you can optimize it
When it comes to branding, take the time to revisit who your target is meant to be, and make changes to realign your efforts. Focusing your social media posts and marketing efforts on appealing to your respective audience is key. Try a new strategy like teasing your upcoming releases on Instagram Stories or try hosting competitions on your socials.
Streamline Your Marketing Plan
If you haven’t already, you need to start working on a marketing plan for your upcoming releases as soon as possible. A big part of this includes figuring out which months you should release your songs in. Depending on the genre, different months are better than others. — This post, “Best and Worst Months to Release Music”, explains the best times of the year to release your music based on the type of song it is. It’ll help you get the ball rolling.
Get Featured on Playlists
In this DSP era, getting discovered in such an insanely crowded space is the main focus for artists looking to make it big. When platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer MILLIONS of tracks, how is it possible to get recognized as an independent musician trying to break through the noise? Well, playlisting can definitely help.
Getting on some of these curated playlists can tricky, but there are many things you can do to strengthen your chances. — These posts should help you get there:
- 6 Marketing Strategies to Land on Playlists
- Types of Algorithmic Spotify Playlists and How to Get on Them
- What To Do After Being Added To A Spotify Playlist
- How to Optimize Your Spotify Label Profile
In the meantime, did you we have our own playlists you can submit to? Symphonic’s playlists feature thousands of independent artists from all over the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to get featured among some of the best in the industry. // Click here to get on Symphonic’s playlists.
You’re never too old or too good to learn something new. Even the best of the best are constantly learning how to be better. Whether it’s personal or professional, there’s always room for improvement. That’s where virtual conferences come in handy.
At our Virtual Music Industry Sessions, we featured an impressive lineup of panelists from Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SiriusX, Beatport, FeatureFM, Songtrust, and ASCAP. From marketing, playlisting, and financing to distribution, data, and women in the music business, we covered it all.
Virtual conferences aren’t the only source of information to soak up. There are countless online courses you can take to improve your skills in any area.
Get into Sync Licensing
Sync Licensing is a great way to earn significant revenue while simultaneously helping you build your profile as an artist. As a Symphonic Distribution client, you will have the opportunity to apply for representation by our in-house sync licensing division, Bodega Sync.
With this service, you can get your music features on TV shows, commercials and more. Here are just a few of the awesome placements we’ve gotten our artists in Mini Cooper spots, Amazon Alexa commercials, NFL spot and more.
Learn everything you need to know and more with these helpful resources:
- How to Optimize your Songwriting for Sync
- How to Prepare Your Music for Sync Licensing
- What is Micro-Sync Licensing?
Perfect Your LiveStreams
It’s no secret that live streaming has taken over the music scene. Since the beginning of quarantine, virtual shows have been filling the holes in our hearts left by the loss of this year’s shows. Live streaming from home comes with its own set of problems. Whether your voice is too low and the music is blasting or there’s a weird buzzing sound in the background, this post will show you how to have great quality audio every time.
Before you go live, here are some best practices to help keep your audience engaged and make sure your stream is a hit. Not sure which platform to use? Check out, “Virtual Platforms to Use for Your Next Livestream” to learn about what’s available to you and how to choose the right one for you.
Revamp Your Merch
Whether you already have merch that just needs an update or need to start selling merch for the first time, there are a ton of options available to you. If you’ve been selling the same designs for years, maybe it’s time to amp it up and try something new.
We’ve put together a list of some of the top websites for selling merch. Even better, we’ve only included sites that won’t break the bank:
Need a creative boost to get the ideas flowing? // Check out “How to Tap Into Creativity When You’re Uninspired.”
Protect Your Business
Your music is your business. It can be overwhelming handling the business side of the industry on your own. Luckily, you don’t have to! We’re always here to help guide you through it. In the meantime, these recourses can help get the wheels turning…
- Updating Your Account and Tax Details
- Which Legal Entity Is Right For Your Music Business?
- 6 Common Questions To Ask An Entertainment Attorney
- How to Trademark Your Artist Name
Having a thorough strategy planned out for the year will help you reach your goals in no time. Knowing exactly what you need to do will help you decide what’s working and what isn’t as you go along. The key is to always be open, and never stop learning.
In addition, nobody does this thing alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Although all of this can be stressful at times, make sure you’re allocating yourself time to enjoy the process. Being a musician is one of the most fun jobs there is!
Believe in yourself, work hard, and everything will fall into place.