Ending the Year on a High Note

By NationWide Source -
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The countdown to the giant mirror ball dropping in NYC has begun. People are buying gym memberships in droves, and Facebook is full of sappy year end posts. It’s a time for reflection, and a time for looking ahead.

So let’s take a short look back at your music career in 2015.

  • Did you hit a new high note, literally or figuratively?
  • Was this a year of creative incubation, or bold forward motion?
  • Did the needle move at all, or do you feel stuck in a rut?

At Source, we want 2016 to be your best year yet. Take 5 minutes and choose one thing to focus on from each of the three topics below to help you move your music to the next level in 2016!

Major Milestones

Chances are, some important things happened this year. Maybe the highlight of the year was playing a sold out show at your favorite venue. Maybe your major milestone was your crowdfunding project totally tanking.

Analyzing major career milestones can help you repeat your successes, and avoid future failures.

If this was a year with a lot of forward motion, think about how you can translate that into the new year. If you felt like you were a little behind in 2015, don’t let that stop you! Start brainstorming one or two significant goals you would like to hit in the coming year.

Examples of Major Milestones:

  •     Album Release
  •     Single Release
  •     Music Video Release
  •     Media Attention
  •     High-traffic Press Features
  •     Touring
  •     Opening for a “bigger” band
  •     Playing in a certain venue
  •     Meeting a Crowdfunding goal

Micro Milestones

Usually major milestones are the product of lots of micro-milestones paying off. The bigger goals might more fun to reach, but they will remain unattainable until you commit to the smaller ones. Take stock of where you were with the small stuff in 2015.

How did your commitment to micro-achievements affect your major achievements over the past year? Did your consistent email newsletter drive up sales? Or did your organic reach on Facebook take a dive because you didn’t post enough?

If 2015 wasn’t the best year for your career, I would encourage you to commit to reaching a few of these “micro-milestones.” See where they take you! Often a focused effort in one “smaller” aspect of your career can help other pieces fall into place.

Examples of Micro Milestones:

  •     Consistently releasing video content
  •     Growing your email list
  •     Cold emailing/following up with industry contacts.
  •     Higher levels of social media engagement
  •     Maintaining your website
  •     Consistently playing live shows
  •     Increasing merch sales
  •     Gaining new Patrons
  •     Implementing a marketing plan
  •     Writing a song a week
  •     Learning a new music-related skill

The Highs and Lows

What was the best part about your music career in 2015? It could be a specific event, a great song you wrote, or an awesome moment with a fan.

What made you feel alive and excited about music last year?

If you are trudging along, not sure if music is the right choice for you, try locking onto those things that made you fall in love with performing music in the first place. Keep those specific things in mind as you move forward into 2016. Try to find ways to create more of those moments that inspire you, and remind you why you play music.

On the other hand, what frustrated or discouraged you this year? What made you want to smash your guitar against the wall?

Pinpointing the negative can help you prevent those things from happening in the future. They could be a red flag, letting you know where you might want to enlist help.

If you hate shipping out merch orders, why not check out a fulfillment service like Bandwear?  Bad at posting on twitter? Take 10 minutes to schedule a few posts in advance.  Often there are simple solutions to problems we feel overwhelmed by.

Knowing both the good and the bad of your music career can help you strike a good balance. Keeping that balance can help you have a more positive, successful career in 2016.

No matter what happened in 2015, you have the choice to take your career into your own hands.

How will you make 2016 your best year yet?


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