5 Things You Can Do Dec. 31 To Be A Better Artist In 2018

Kodi Vonn

Songwriters, musicians, producers, engineers, managers, and creative people everywhere, this list is for you.

Here are five things you should do New Years Eve to set yourself up for success in 2018.

1. Dedicate Time Daily To Your Career

Procrastination kills success by stifling it. It’s like putting a knee over your windpipe and holding it there while expecting to take a deep, satisfying breath. The 28th Law of Power is to “Enter Action with Boldness” and Napoleon Hill’s 4th Lesson in his Laws of Success is “Action”.

So set aside time every day (you definitely have some somewhere, so no excuses) to complete at least one task that furthers your career. Write new lyrics, finish an 8-count of beats for your next project, reach out to a venue for a live performance. “Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness.”

2. Network Constantly

In nearly every industry, it’s often more about who you know than what you know. That’s not admitting its fairness, but simply, people want to work with people they know and like. So get out there and meet people!

Career-specific meet-ups, conventions, and conferences take place in most cities but if you can’t make it, lucky for you it’s (almost) 2018! The internet is a big place and actually a much easier place to make new connections. Sometimes it’s as simple as liking/commenting on a pic, sending a congratulatory email, or a repost.

In 2018, network as much as possible to build up your professional rolodex.

Whether your goal is to get signed or start your own label, manage artists, write songs for them or make a living as one, Connections is for you! The Connections tool is here for you to build the support system you need to further your music industry reach. Search for the missing pieces in your network, Connect with music industry professionals, and Chat to set up collaborations. Every Connection is another link in building your community! 

3. Collaborate More

This rolls right off of #2. With your new connections (or maybe some old ones you’ve had success with), create something new!

No matter your career path, you can find yourself in a creative rut sometimes. One of the best things a stagnant creative can do is to develop someone else’s idea. It’s good practice for your own ideas as well, and can inspire you with “this is what I would do” follow-up ideas.

4. Make A Weekly/Monthly Social Media Strategy

Social media is paramount for creatives nowadays. So important I’ve talked about it in two different ways: How To Build a Loyal Following and A Musician’s Guide To Social Media.

Social media is your online business card — except it’s much more accessible and tells a fuller story of who you are. Use it wisely! Cat videos are great, I personally can’t get enough of them, but unless they’re a part of your brand post less of them.

Many music business-types don’t take social media serious enough, which is mind-boggling as I have seen with my own eyes that it’s a make-or-break tool in the music/entertainment/fashion industry. So think about what you’re going to put out there to represent your brand.

I advise the 70–20–10 rule that I talked more about in “A Musician’s Guide To Social Media”.

70% of your posts should build your brand, 20% convey what inspires you, and 10% are clear self-promotion.

5. Plan Your Next 5 Moves

You should never go into any business (especially your own) without knowing what you’re going to do next, and next after that, and what you’ll do when that ends, and so on. Things don’t just happen.

Have backup plans and sub-plans. Plan every step of what it will take to complete a goal. For the seemingly-simplest of goals (say, writing a song?), there are at least 10 steps preceding it (outlining, melody development, drafts one through a hundred, etc.). Plot the steps — big and small — and use your daily, career-dedicated time to accomplish them.

When you don’t have to guess what you’ll do once you reach one goal, you eliminate wasted time before you start on your next goal.

This year may have stank of failure on social and political levels, but we can all make 2018 better through personal effort.

And that’s all for me in 2017! Happy New Years, folks!!