Music Business: Streamline the Workload

By Loren Weisman

Working in the music business is not easy; there’s lots of work that needs done before you can even set foot on a stage. With the array of tasks that need to be done (the lists, the action items, the marketing, content creation, shows, traveling, and so on) in the mix of everything that’s happening on any given day, the ability to streamline and simplify your workload is key to enabling you to accomplish important duties.

Building and implementing elements and tools that streamline work may seem like yet another task that need to be done. But by doing so, you save time, energy, and stress as you get that much more completed in much less time.

To-do lists are great ways to organize and look at the broader scope of what needs to be done in a given time period. From the researching phase to the tracking phase, the soliciting phase to the marketing phase, all of these need to work in harmony.

If you don’t have the time to do every task each day, assign specific days to make it easier. However, if you’re a solo artist or a band that doesn’t have a great deal of time, putting in shorter spurts of time more often can open up a lot more doors over spending bulk hours on single items.

Simply broken down, the following are the ten key areas of music business productivity:

  • Practicing and creating: Dedicate time every day to practice different aspects of your job — from practicing your instrument, to practicing stage presence, to practicing how you sound on a phone call, or how you come off when asking for a booking, an endorsement, support, an interview. And whether you craft marketing content, solicitation packages, photos, videos, blogs, or songs, make sure there’s always time in the day to create.

  • Performing and maintenance: Most musicians want to perform, whether on stage or in a recording studio. Keeping up the ability to perform from your personal well-being to keeping your instrument in performance shape allows for the continuity required for the stage and studio. Other parts of the business that require maintenance include the vehicles you drive, the bills you pay, the computers you use, the website you update, the hardware, software, and even food and rent.

  • Researching, soliciting, and networking: Always do your research on managers, investors, booking agents, venues, festivals, cities, labels, publishers, and talent buyers as well as other bands you can work with. After you complete your research, you can decide which ones to reach out and solicit to. This is also the same list of contacts with whom you can network as well as add to social networks and connect with on and offline.

  • Tracking: Track the results of your sales, marketing, networking and conversion efforts. You might find this fairly easy, because you just add the data and results that occur from your actions.

  • Follow up: Follow up with every person, company, and event that was a positive. From booking agents you worked with for a great show, to a band you played with to a magazine that interviewed you to the fans that reach out to you, your follow-up and follow-through actions can give you the greatest benefits.

  • Educating: Take the time to read up, learn up, and stay up to date on the changes in the music business and in the law. Learn about what’s happening around you, for you, and against you. Taking those moments each day helps you grow your career by having a better grasp on current and correct information on which you can make better decisions.

Each of these tasks can be color-coded and assigned to numerous members. By understanding the details of all these basic elements that have to be done, it not only makes it easier to break out the responsibilities, but also to have a better idea what to ask for when you look for help from others.

Outlining all the information that you need to track as well as setting up calendars for what you need to post, who you need to call, where you need to be, and what you need to research can make life much easier. A simple checklist can serve as a reminder to handle all the line items that need to be covered.

It’s a great deal of stuff, but broken down, spread out, and checked off, you can make it much more manageable when you see it in small, simple pieces. Then as you look down the line at the bigger picture, you can see just how effective you are both on stage and off.