If you’re new to making music, chances are you feel overwhelmed every time you think about how to move your career forward. Great music is a given to get to where you want in music. But it’s not always clear what it takes to write your best music or how to get people to care once you do.
Goals are essential to succeeding as a musician, whether you are trying to write your first couple of songs or carving out your identity as an artist. Here are four reachable goals that will help you to thrive as a new artist:
Schedule time throughout your week to work on new music
Only writing when you feel like it might get you a few decent songs if you’re lucky. To share music consistently that people want to listen to requires a serious approach to writing. This means showing up to the writing process over and over again, whether you feel motivated to create or not. Create a goal of scheduling time to write during your week, and you’ll have the time and experience you need to make your best music.
Book one local show every three months and heavily promote it
Making a goal of playing one big, heavily promoted show every three months or so is something exciting and attainable to shoot for as a new artist. Taking baby steps to put yourself out there by playing a local show every three months is a good balance. It keeps your fan base engaged, while not putting too much time between each of your performances. The idea is to build meaningful momentum for your music, and you can start with playing in your hometown.
Pitch a new release to local media
Local newspapers, alt-weekly publications, blogs, and playlists are always on the hunt for new music to feature. Your next release could be just what they’re looking for! Landing local coverage is a great way to build your audience at home and connect with industry opportunities in your hometown, like local shows and radio. If your music is solid and pitched thoughtfully to local media, it will get covered at some point.
Work towards creating something more substantial with your next release
This goal should shift depending on where you’re at with your music career. If you’ve put together a couple of demos, shoot for fleshing them out into polished singles. If you’ve only put out a few disjointed singles, consider shooting for an EP or full length album. Some artists explode overnight with just one single to their name, but this is not the norm. Most inexperienced artists will find the most value in releasing EPs and albums, so shoot for more substantial releases if you’re new and are still building an audience.
Embracing goals like these will further your career and develop your music-making experience at the same time.