Every year, from about mid-December on, the music industry becomes a ghost town. People start going on vacation, taking time-off, major label artist releases slow down big time, and for indie artists, it’s no man’s land. And while that, coupled with the frigid temperatures, might be enough to have you want to hunker down and avoid leaving the safety of your home for the next few months, this time of year is actually incredibly powerful for setting yourself up for success. You just have to know how to take advantage of it. Here’s how…
How To Survive the Winter Slowdown of the Music Industry
Take Time to Breathe
I know, sounds simple. But as much as I believe in the power of action, there’s something to be said for an elongated period of time off where you have absolutely nothing to think about and you can just relax.
Have you ever noticed your best ideas come when you’re in the shower or falling asleep or doing anything 100% not related to your career? It’s because when your brain has a chance to breathe, it can actually come up with some pretty clever things.
Note: You still need to keep up with social media, build your relationships, and plan for the future. The winter slowdown is a time to get ahead, but that doesn’t mean abandoning current responsibilities.
With the lack of expectations, plans, and general overwhelm, you have time to sit down and truly map out your plan for the next 6-12 months. Don’t overwhelm yourself here. Just pick 1-2 major themes for the year and then incorporate them into your monthly goals.
For instance, maybe you know that 2022 is the year you want to really expand your network. That’s your theme for the year. But, you have goals throughout the year too, like releasing an album or touring.
- Take the time to map out what needs to happen each month in order to get you closer to releasing that album or planning that tour.
- Then, go back and sprinkle in where you can get closer to that year’s theme.
For example, maybe on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s you go heavy on commenting inside FB groups to build your network. Or you could search out all the events happening in your town for the first half of the year and put them on the calendar.
Planning is crucial for success. You have to know where you’re going to be able to plan how to get there. Being able to get out of your head and get it onto paper during the slowdown is the perfect way to set yourself up for success.
🧠 Feed yo’ brain…
Up Your Networking Game
The reality is if you live in a wintery area especially, you’re probably not going out as much, especially if you don’t have to. This means less networking events, less face time with fans, and less opportunity to get in front of industry influencers — at least, in person.
But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for networking — it simply means you get to do more of it from the comfort of your couch. For instance, getting incredibly active in 2-3 of your favorite Facebook groups, reaching out to people you feel a genuine connection with or interest in, and doing a Zoom call, doing live streams, phone calls, or if the weather is good and they’re local, a coffee date. It means brushing up your social media skills and using IG for what it was meant for — not idle likes, but actually commenting on the hashtags and the people’s posts you care about, instead of just refreshing to see who liked yours.
Sharpen Your Skills
No matter far along you are in your career, there’s always more to learn. All the most successful musicians admit they’re constantly learning new skills, whether that be new marketing tactics or new instruments.
Aside from all the great information you can access for free here on the Symphonic Blog, there’s even more educational content over on our YouTube channel. On it, we post all our Live Q&A’s where we chat with some of the industry’s best and brightest.
Want more? // Check out the other Q&A’s we’ve done in the past here.
Claim and Update Your Artist Profiles
Clear visuals and updated artist profiles are crucial in creating and maintaining your artist image. In the digital age, branding is everything, so it’s important to keep all of your platforms up-to-date.
To help you out, we wrote a whole guide on how to do this on all the major platforms right here.
If you’re going to be stuck inside, you might as well make friends (and build your career at the same time). That way, come 2022 you can hit the ground running and know exactly what to do and where you’re going.