How to Keep Moving Forward When You Can’t Get Out
Coronavirus advice for musicians
Coronavirus advice for musicians is here!
Due to the recent pandemic, there is an urgent need for coronavirus advice for musicians. Independent musicians want to keep growing their audience and serving their fans. Here are some projections as to what to expect over the weeks and months to come, and how you can make the most of this trying time.
In many countries throughout the world, citizens are being asked to remain indoors, both for their own safety and so as to not spread the virus to others. This results in tours, festivals, and gigs being cancelled. And you’re not able to get out to promote your music by performing live.
Well, as okay as it can be, I guess.
Thank goodness for the internet.
As people are staying inside their homes on nights and weekends and working from home during the week, they are using their internet for entertainment and community.
Social media traffic is booming. So get on there. I recommend focusing on just three platforms but make sure you are active on whichever ones you are building an audience on. Tweet. Post. Build community for your fans. Interact and share and give your fans a glimpse as to what your experience is so they can see themselves in you. Stay active and stay positive. This is going to be a trying time for a lot of good people – and some of those good people are your fans!
Video streaming is going to be huge for the foreseeable future. While Netflix and Disney+ and Hulu and Prime and the rest are going to enjoy increased traffic, YouTube and Twitch are going to increase as well. Get active on YouTube and Twitch creating great content, consistently. Be a heartbeat of content on your YouTube channel. Be regular, pulsing, lifeblood for your audience. More people are watching and they’re going to be using the Subscriptions section to find the content they want more and more. Be there for them.
Work-at-Home = More Spotify Streaming
One of the biggest bummers about working in an office is the inability to listen to music while working (unless SOMETIMES with headphones). When working from home, streaming your favorites on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Play, and the others is now critical. Get active in getting your music to playlist curators for their consideration, create a Work From Home playlist of your own, and actively get your songs, albums, and playlists out to your social media followers to remind them to jam your stuff. If you have songs in your pockets, now is going to be a great time to start releasing them to the streaming platforms.
If you were posting Spotify links to your songs on social media weekly or every once in a while before, start posting them daily. While music fans are comforting themselves with the music they are familiar with now, they’ll soon be looking for adventures in music. They’ll be looking for something beyond the songs they’ve heard over and over again. Be there for them with near-constant reminders you have music they’ll love as well.
If you are self-recording, get busy! Fans who have already absorbed everything you have offered previously will be thirstier than ever for new music.
Stop Everything Live-Related… Almost
All your gigs have been cancelled. If they’re not, be pro-active and cancel them now. You can reschedule them but… meh. We have no idea how long this live gig hiatus will last.
But that doesn’t mean everything live-related must come to a halt. In fact, quite the opposite. Here are three ideas, some coronavirus advice for musicians looking to gig again as soon as possible, you can be doing to move your live music career forward even while you can’t play any gigs!
Connect With Promoters and Venues
When the music industry is finally able to start gigging again, promoters and venues are going to be inundated with requests so artists can recoup some of their lost 2020 revenue. But that doesn’t mean artists with smaller draws will be squeezed out. In fact, there will be lots of opening-up opportunities you can take advantage of. Start making those opportunities possible by connecting with promoters and venues in your own and neighboring markets now. Their email isn’t going to be as busy. Their social media isn’t going to be as busy. Start reaching out to them now and develop relationships that will be valuable later on.
Many promoters charge local artists for the opportunity to open for touring artists. If that’s the case in your market, start saving your money for great opportunities that will be an investment in your career. Promoters are going to have to recoup incredible losses, if they even survive, so this is likely to be an almost omnipresent practice. Talk to your local and regional promoters NOW about ways you can get these opportunities for less, by doing something valuable for them now.
Prepare Your Live Performance
You’re already writing new songs and taking artistic challenges. You’re already reaching out to fellow songwriters you respect to collaborate – RIGHT?!? And you’re probably already envisioning how these songs are going to feel to play in front of your fans.
But PERFORMANCE is more than just the execution of the song. Performance is about entertaining the audience. There are some artists who entertain the audience by being effective at that execution. But even then, there is often an emotional physicality that draws the audience in. And then there are the KISS’s and Rammstein’s and P!nk’s of the world who entertain with over-the-top theatrics and choreography.
You might be one of those, or something in-between. However you want to present yourself to your audience live, get better at it during this time off. Envision a band that is absolutely irresistible and undeniable, and then be that band. Make sure the band that hits the stage when the venues open again is not only better than it was before, but is among the very best that’s ever been.
You will have a chance to re-introduce yourself to your audience. Blow them away. Practice, not just to play your songs better, but to be visually engaging. Set up a camera on a tripod and record practices with a focus on the performance of the songs, not just the execution.
Get Your Bandmates Aligned
We’ve all had those gigs where everyone in the band dressed one way, and someone in the band looks like they didn’t get the memo. It’s usually an accident. And sometimes the “look like we don’t care what we look like” actually looks like only one of you cared. Or only one of you didn’t care.
Open up a conversation with your bandmates to discover what they envision the live performance of the band looking like. See if you can find enough common ground or inspiring vision to re-invent the visual way you present your band live. This could mean investment in an expensive lighting rig and smoke machines and a projector. Or it could mean you’re no longer wearing other bands’ t-shirts. Or it could mean you come up with a coordinated way of choosing any of several presentations that excites the band and will excite the audience.
Coronavirus Advice For Musicians – Final Thought
We have know idea how long this self-quarantining will last. Devising a strategy for a future that comes at an unknown time is challenging, but not impossible. Keep working. Make a commitment to yourself to reach out to the world in multiple ways, every day. Get a picture of what the day when coronavirus quarantining ends will be like. Prepare yourself for it, whenever it is.
Lastly, remember that many people need social interaction in order to stave off mental illness. And many of those people are your fans. If this is something you suffer from as well, reach out to your audience for support by giving your talent to them. Share your experience so others won’t feel as alone. This is going to be a challenging time so please remember, as an artist, you are one of the people your fans will count on most.