1. Evaluate your routines
Examine your day and what parts of the day you are most alert and productive. Then, set small and realistic goals for those times for what you hope to accomplish. Even if it is only 30 minutes a day, it is a practice that should enable you to shave away at some of the many aspects involved in becoming successful in a band.
2. Plan Ahead
Pick up a dry-erase calendar so you can outline your year as early as possible. Write down how many shows you would ideally and realistically like to play per month. Mix it up evenly between the city and suburbs so you don’t run the risk at alienating any potential fans. Then, throw in a few optional goals (like playing outside of IL) and share your outline with the rest of the band. If you plan it out right, you can even create your own mini-tours which seem to work for a lot of performers. Once outlined, book the shows as early as possible, many concertgoers find they can alter their plans if they have enough notice. Post your schedule on your website and even list additional dates on every flyer and postcard. Once the dates are booked, the rest of the time can be spent promoting.
Go online and search for clubs, studios, distributors or even other bands that can help you stay more in tune with who’s out there. Even if you are not at that point yet, look up managers and keep their info handy, it could save some time down the road. You can even go to the library and pick up books that could assist you with the legal aspects of the music industry or even read up on different performers to help inspire you.
4. “You Better Shop Around”
If you already have a CD and are looking for more places to sell it, browse around for online retailers and any physical retailers that are still around where you can get it to them to sell.
5. Practice makes perfect
January is a great month for picking up that instrument and pen to write some songs. Also, see if you can schedule more band practices, so you can refine what you’ve already got.
6. Band Meetings
Arranging meetings with the rest of the band would also be a good idea to keep the flow of communication open. It helps if the band responsibilities could be divided among each band member so no one person would be overburdened and the band can truly act as one entity in harmony and move toward the shared goal.
7. Update and Organize
Now would be a good time to update your website and organize your mailing list or even find someone who would be able to do that for you on a regular basis.
8. Get Creative
Get creative with your logo or band imagery if you are artistically inclined to keep things fresh for yourselves and your fans.
9. Burn Sampler CD’s and get your music on every music site possible
You want to be heard? Get some sampler CD’s out there, leave them at record stores, music stores, etc. Those that are interested will pick them up and listen to them. Any place online where you can upload even one track can be helpful no matter the site. In order to make it, YOU NEED TO BE FOUND and you need to make yourselves available, literally EVERYWHERE.
10. Get out there and mingle
Support the scene (yourself) by going out there and supporting other bands too. Not only will you be showing support to the band, but also the venues. You can also share your music and any show flyers while you’re at it, multitask and be a part of the scene.