Understanding how to build and maintain momentum as a musician is crucial to the longevity of your music career. It's frustrating to see musicians seemingly cruise through their careers while you struggle daily to make a living in music. But this doesn't have to be your reality.
To build and maintain momentum as a musician, you must be willing to overcome your fears and put yourself out there. You'll build momentum by creating awareness and engaging with your target audience. And to maintain that momentum, you must continue to release music, create content, engage with your target audience. Doing so consistently will help you build a stable career in music.
The following checklist summarizes the key steps involved to build and maintain momentum as a musician:
- Getting the Ball Rolling
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Overcome self-doubt and believe in yourself
- Take that first step toward your career as a musician
- Building Momentum
- Creating Awareness
- Create social media accounts and post regularly and often
- Advertise your release on social media with PPC advertising
- Play as many gigs as you can
- Network with music industry role players
- Releasing A Song
- Find a great music distributor to work with
- Time your release date well
- Post on social media often and engage with your audience leading up to and after the release
- Developing Relationships
- Get intimate with your fans on social media
- Run competitions and giveaways to encourage engagement
- Do some live appearances and connect with your audience
- Creating Awareness
- Maintaining Momentum
- Continue to be consistent in your promotional efforts
- Repeat the steps you took to build momentum, regularly
- Create a music video to strengthen your marketing campaign
- Live stream for your fans
- Hire professionals to help you create content and stay on top of your digital marketing initiatives
Building momentum is all about propelling yourself, and in this case your music career, forward. In essence, it’s about working toward a goal, reaching it, and then repeating the process. And it’s in repeating this process that you’ll maintain momentum as a musician.
But, first, you’ll need to set the intention to pursue music as a career and make a good living as a musician. Setting that goal is the first step toward gaining momentum in your music career.
To get the proverbial ball rolling, you’ll need to put in some serious elbow grease. It’s similar to getting a large, spherical boulder moving from a completely stationary position. To initiate that first bit of movement is when you have to exert the most effort. After that, it’s about maintaining the momentum and steering the boulder along its course.
If you’re going to have a career at all, you must find the strength within you to get things moving forward. And it’s not just about putting in the physical part of the work. Should confidence and self-esteem be an issue, you’ll need to make a concerted effort to work on this.
When you decide to pursue a career in music, it's time to set aside any insecurities. It's time to embrace the new and potentially uncomfortable and believe in yourself. Taking that giant leap is the first step in learning how to build and maintain momentum as a musician.
Once you've decided to get out there and make it as a musician, there are a few things you'll need to do. Putting pen to paper to formulate a plan is a great starting point. But it's a tiny part of the process, and you'll need to start executing that plan to build momentum.
At this point, you'd have written some songs and possibly have a few band members that you practice with. You need to get others to hear your music and meet you or your band. Because, to make this a career, people need to purchase your music.
The best way to do this is to think about the identity of your ideal audience. And you should consider their journey from hearing you for the first time to downloading or streaming your music. Mapping out this journey will give you a marketing plan you can repeat with every release. And your primary steps should be as follows:
Increasing your presence on social media and promoting yourself on these platforms is a perfect place to start. You must post new content regularly. And if you can afford to hire a social media manager or content creator, you'll save a ton of time.
You should invest in paid social media ads if the budget allows, especially around your release date. Social media is an incredible medium for promoting your music, and TikTok is currently leading the way.
Have a look at our in-depth blog post on how to promote your music on TikTok for some insider tips.
Playing live is an excellent way to get your music heard. Contacting potential venues and booking agents will get you closer to landing that first gig. And if you’re able to obtain good performance or rehearsal video footage, share this on social media to promote your gig.
This is also a great time to network with other bands and people in the music industry. So, search for events in your region that will allow you to speak to others in the music industry. Every connection made could be vital to promoting your music and advancing your career.
Speaking to freelance music producers will also be to your advantage. You may not have the budget to record your music at first. But it would be good to know a few people who could help you record your first single when the time comes.
You've got your social media pages set up and have a small, engaged audience interacting with you. Perhaps you've played a few live shows, and your fanbase has expanded as a result. Now it's time to leverage the social platform and following to release your first song successfully.
Continue to post content regularly and gain the awareness of your target audience. Once you’ve built up a bit of a following, it’s time to release your first single. Make sure you do your research and time your release well.
Find an outstanding music distribution company and ask them to help you with the ins and outs of releasing your song. Sugo Music Group has 35 years of experience in the industry and will distribute your music to over 200 platforms. And their experts are available to help you navigate every step of the distribution and publishing process.
We posted a detailed article on how to release your music successfully, which you might find helpful.
What's important is that you don't stop posting, engaging, and promoting your music after the release date. Too many musicians think that the music will sell itself and that they don't need to do as much marketing after release. Many don't understand that it usually takes a few interactions with the target audience before they’re ready to buy.
Unless they’re die-hard fans, it takes a little work to get an audience familiar and comfortable enough to make a purchase.
You’ve created awareness, accumulated a following, and released your first song. But you haven’t seen much in the way of streams or downloads yet. What now?
Now you have to up the ante and further develop your relationships with your audience. To achieve this, you'll need to ensure that you're communicating with your followers and fans regularly.
Draw your audience closer by sharing more intimate content such as behind-the-scenes footage. You could speak about the song you've released, what it means, and how it came to be. And you could share your songwriting and recording process with fans to make them feel part of the process.
This is also a great time to initiate competitions and giveaways to get your followers engaged and excited. And if you’re able to arrange public appearances, performances, and meet and greets, you should be well on your way.
Don’t forget to like and answer fan comments on social media. A comment from their favorite musician could mean a great deal to a fan. And it’ll encourage others to comment and interact with your content which will promote your content on the platform.
If you can get prominent playlist curators to add your song to their playlist, it will boost your promotional efforts. This will create targeted awareness about your music on the streaming and download platforms. This means that people who have never heard of you might listen to your music.
Be careful not to become complacent when the download and streaming numbers rise. You must keep the ball rolling as you learn to build and maintain momentum as a musician.
Being consistent in your actions is crucial when looking to build and maintain momentum as a musician. Granted, it takes effort to get things off the ground, but keeping it there is a vital element that many fail to achieve. And the key is simply to be consistent in everything you do.
This includes emails, phone calls, blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, gigs, and so much more. In fact, every action and step you take in building your momentum must be repeated regularly to maintain momentum. And creating and releasing a music video to go with your song release will be a fantastic promotional tool.
Much of what we do today is online, so getting yourself familiar with live streaming will be to your advantage. This way, you can stream live performances across the globe and host Q&A sessions with your fans. It’s also a great way to do virtual collaborations with other artists.
The gist is that you should continue to engage with your audience, post original content, perform live, network, and release new music. In time, you may have the budget to hire people to help you with all the administration and content creation. And as soon as you can afford to, you should definitely hire a social media manager.
A content creator and videographer will also be a massive asset. Having a professional take photos and record video footage while practicing and performing would make fantastic content. And it will afford you the time to focus on your music.
Knowing how to build and maintain momentum as a musician is like learning the recipe to success in the industry. It may seem complex, but it's actually relatively straightforward. You have to be willing to put in the work, though.
Give Sugo Music Group's experts a call if you need advice on releasing, licensing, and publishing your music. Whether you're a seasoned musician or it's your very first release, they'll give you the guidance needed to release your music successfully.