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How To Grow Your Music Career In 2024

What I Tell My Clients

One of the benefits of working with musicians week after week is that over time I've been able to identify patterns in what habits and behaviors make the biggest impact on the success of their careers. In this blog post, I'll share with you the small changes I've seen artists make that consistently deliver huge results. You'll find that these are all simple enough practices, but don't underestimate the power of their compounding benefits!

Stop Chasing Hype and Build Community

It's easy to get caught up chasing social media marketing trends and attempting to fit into emerging genres but your time is better spent focusing on nurturing your fanbase, even if it's small. Think about ways you can more authentically share what you do with your fans and turn up the volume on the thing that makes you and your music special. Is your music sad and wistful? Give your fans hand-written poetry on pieces of old beautiful paper at shows. Is your music heavy and terrifying? Invite your fans to a seance. Get weird and have fun with it! If your music connects deeply with people and you keep showing up to share it with the world, your audience will grow. I urge you to never stop finding ways to invite them further into the world of your music.

It Begins With A Calendar

Make a commitment to become organized. This means getting a dedicated calendar for your work in music. Your artist calendar can be personal or one you share with your collaborators. It can be a physical planner or google cal or a giant whiteboard that takes up an entire wall of your practice space. Schedule time after shows to update your email list. Schedule time for making content and merch and watch how much more quickly you're able to move through your goals for the year. Here are some other very important things you can use your calendar for...

Level Up Your Booking

Stop missing out on opportunities to open for bigger acts in your hometown market. Mark a time on your calendar each month to go through the calendars of a few mid-size venues (250-400 capacity) and look for bands in your genre that are coming through and don't yet have a local opener. Email the venue asking for opening spots. My view is that if it's not the best possible show you could get at any given time, it's not worth playing and it's better to wait a month or two for a booking opportunity that can really help your band get in front of a new audience. A great bonus of playing less frequently is that your draw will improve since you're not asking your friends to come watch your same set every few weeks. If you're ready to level up your booking and grow a dedicated fanbase, check out my 10-page Book Smart Grow Fast workbook. It's a quick read and it will forever change how you book shows and grow your audience.

Play Festivals

Get serious about festival submissions. Identify a few local or regional festivals you'd like to be playing and mark when they open submissions on your calendar so you don't miss it. Follow them on social media and pay attention to events the festival produces between festivals and submit for an opening slot on one of those. This is a great way to make a connection with whoever books the festivals and you'll be competing with far fewer submissions.

Reassess Your Relationship With Alcohol

I have no moral objection to drinking or any substance use. But I know alcohol is pretty ubiquitous in the world of music and I know that drinking also syphons your energy, mental clarity, and money--all things you need in order to get your music career to the next level.

Even if you don't drink much or very often, alcohol takes two weeks to leave your system, which means your body suffers withdrawal symptoms (increased anxiety, fatigue, a general feeling of unease) for two entire weeks following a drink of alcohol. You don't have to quit forever, but if you're trying to take your project seriously and make it into something big in 2024, taking a long, intentional break might really help you find the resources (internally and externally) to make it happen.

It's also massively satisfying to look at the calendar and say to yourself - Wow I haven't had a drink of alcohol in two months! And look how much we've gotten done!

Stop Winging Releases

I often see artists spend thousands of dollars recording and pressing an album and then give up when it comes time to release it. I think this is partly becasue planning an album or single release can be stressful and overwhelming and people don't know where to start. I also see so many people online asking questions about whether they should have playslist submission strategy or a music video or a publicist or start a TikTok etc. There are so many shoulds.

What matters most when you're planning an album is that you're thinking about who your actual fans are and where people like them discover music like yours. Is it through friends? Is it at festivals? Is it by showing up early and checking out the opener? Is it through Spotify (seriously, is it?) There is no one-size-fits all release plan. If you'd like help making your custom release strategy, drop me a line and let's see if music industry marketing and career coaching is right for you!

Hope these are helpful! Sending you nothing but excellent, ass-kicking vibes for the new year!

Cassiy Frost

Music Career and Marketing Coach

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