It Begins With A Calendar
Start with a commitment to become organized and that 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
If you read our blog consistently, you know how much emphasis we put on booking. You can read all about our recommended regional touring strategy here, but even if that's a little more than you'd like to bite off, it's important that you 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 who are coming through that don't yet have a local opener and 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.
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 has a two-week half-life, 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
Right now it's the beginning of December, but in the world of music promotion, it's already springtime. If you're planning a spring release, now is the time to line up your strategy. We still have spots available for spring semester college radio promo campaigns, but not that many! Right now we have artists scheduling radio campaigns starting as far out as May. You can be one of these people who plans ahead of time, you just have to put on your big person pants and schedule it. Send us your music if you're ready to get cracking on an 2024 release plan!
Hope these are helpful! Sending you nothing but excellent, ass-kicking vibes for the new year!