Growing my music business in 2021
5 things that I do to grow my business
So 2020 was nuts, and 2021 is off to a weird start as well. But through it all, musicians have had a lot of growth in terms of coming up with new ways to keep their passion and business alive!
Here are the 5 things that I've been doing to keep myself going during this time, and to continue growing my independent music carer.
1) PUT OUT MUSIC
This goes without saying. I spent a long time creating music, honing my craft as a producer and as a guitarist, but during that time I never released anything. 2019 came around and I started to release music under my own name, and 2020 was my biggest year for releasing music. Why was that? I ACTUALLY RELEASED SOMETHING! It seems strange to think about, but you can't be a full-time musician without releasing music. I know, it seems redundant...OBVIOUSLY, you need to do that! But there are a ton of musicians who create but never release. Start releasing NOW, it's the first step.
2) Find new mediums to get your name out there
This was huge for me in 2020. I've been on social media since I was in grade 4, so getting on new platforms and finding new ways to do this wasn't a new concept for me. BUT, getting on platforms that are fundamentally different than the current one was a strange experience for me. 2020 was my first year on TikTok and I gotta say, it was a scary experience when I started to release content on there. We're getting to a point where social media and the apps that come along with it are INCREDIBLY powerful, and that means that musicians and content creators have to branch out a bit in terms of learning how to actually get content out in the world. I spent a lot of time just learning how to use TikTok, and once I did, I started to find a great community within it! Not only that, but I also learnt how to use Instagram Reels by getting used to TikTok.
This is just one example of how I've gotten into new social media outlets for my content, but it's been the biggest thing for me in terms of staying ahead of the curve (although sometimes I think I'm behind).
3) Invest in your tools
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY TOOLS, JOHN?! Well, that depends on your craft! If you're a bartender who puts out content around mixology, you might have ice tools, muddlers, and different alcohols in your toolbox. For musicians such as myself making content, we need instruments (and all the tools for that specific instrument), cameras, audio recording software and hardware, and more!
The best thing you can do for your career and your content is to invest in yourself. I find so many people who are fantastic craftspeople, but the content doesn't look/sound like what it should. I'm currently working on this, learning how to create better videos, how to edit videos and everything that comes with creating good content. It keeps me busy, but I god damn love it.
4) Don't be afraid to put out a variety of content
For me, this meant to just put out as much music as possible, in literally ANY genre/style. I love music in general, so I had to convince myself that it was okay to release music and content that showcases my passion. Putting content out from every project I'm in, as well as just off the cuff beats and songs, I felt like I could actually stick to a schedule and get the content to the people. I couldn't be afraid to put out music that wasn't like my records. It just wasn't an option for me.
5) Be your authentic self
This is the one that I’ve had to spend the most time on. If I’m being completely honest, I spent a long time playing music that wasn’t me. I tried different things, exploring every avenue under the sun to find my “thing”, and it just made me more upset that I couldn’t find it. What really helped me was learning who I was outside of being a musician. Finding out who I was as “John the human being”, not “John the musician”.
So with all this said, I want to leave you with a few things. I want you to find your own path, just like I am. I want you to know that the path doesn’t end, it’s a lifelong journey. It’s okay to feel lost, and it’s okay to feel a burning fire full of love and passion. I want you to be who you are.
Success comes with happiness.