[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Angela Mastrogiacomo.]

Ah, winter in the music industry. After all the Christmas covers, holiday releases, and festive live shows, we’re often faced with the inevitable and eerily quiet time known as the “dead zone.” It’s that time between Jan-February when all of the industry seems to be in a total shut down. While major label artists offer a few releases to kick off the new year, much of the industry seems to dissipate into hibernation, emerging again only as we approach SXSW.

While this time can seem like a bit of a no-mans-land, it’s actually an incredibly valuable time for indie artists looking to really hone their game. Besides, after a hectic 2019, we can all use a bit of a break to reflect, regroup, and take action, right?

As we get ready to wrap up another year, take advantage of this blissful time in the industry to hone in on that one thing you’ve been meaning to get to all year. Think of January and February as your new “you time.” You know, ‘New Year, New You’. That starts now.

If you’re looking for a few ideas to kick things off, we’ve got you covered. Just remember to try to stick to just one of these things. The goal here isn’t’ to overwhelm yourself with 20 to-dos, it’s to pick the one thing that you believe has the most potential to move you forward, and then really perfect it.

A re-branding

Re-branding can feel like a slog. Yes, it’s a foundational part of your career, but when you’re trying to juggle 20 other things it can feel impossible. That’s why, when you have the advantage of several months of slow down, it’s the perfect time to not only step back and reflect on what’s worked and what hasn’t in the context of your brand and strategy but an incredible opportunity to really get clear on who you are and what you want to put out into the world.

Do you want to make people less alone through spreading love and cheer through your music? Do you want to save the world through songs about social justice? Do you just want to have a good time and help other people let loose with your brand of party rock?

Whatever it is, having a solid few months of quiet can really help expedite the process. Take your time with this—it’s a process, but I promise, once you get clear on your brand it will make everything else so much easier.

Doubling down on your social media strategy

Sometimes it feels like we’re barely staying on top of our social media game, and the word “strategy” can seem like a stretch. After all, does it count as a strategy when you’re just haphazardly posting and hoping someone pays attention?

Take this time to really get clear on who your audience is and how you can best serve them. As you’ve probably deduced by now, there is a science to the madness of successful artists vs those who never quite make it, and if you truly want to connect with fans, you’ll want to hone in on that. Take the next few months to try out a few new strategies, platforms, and content deliveries (video, text, etc ) and see what’s sticking. This is a time of experimentation—enjoy it!

Perfecting your networking

There’s never really a bad time to perfect your relationship-building strategy, and while everyone is riding the holiday high and enjoying a little R&R (which, assuming they’re not spending all that time with crazy family members is bound to put them in a good mood) it’s a fantastic time to begin to make those connections.

There are so many ways to do this from online (Facebook groups, email, interacting on Instagram) or in-person (showcases, networking events, conferences) so long as you get out there and really take the time to perfect your networking skills, this is a great time to get in front of a ton of new people.

Songwriting

If you’re feeling those winter blues, and just want to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa inside until the temperature gets above triple-layer level, it might be a good time to start thinking up some new tunes.

Something about those grey skies and holiday cheer can make for the perfect combo of inspiration. Plus, you probably dont’ want to leave the house anyway, so why not make it productive?

Connecting with fans

If you’ve been following some of our most recent articles, you know all about connecting with fans—but like the opportunity to network more thoroughly this time of year, you also have ample opportunity to truly get in front of fans and show them how much you care. Again, take advantage of the fact that it’s freezing out and you’re cozied up inside for the next two to three months and really pour you’re all into truly getting to know your fans, and showing them you care.

It might be miserable and cold outside, but with these strategies in your back pocket, I promise your 2020 is going to be heating up. 

We’re just getting started! If you’re looking for even more tips on increasing fan engagement then join me for my free Masterclass ‘How to gain your next 1,000 fans. 3 simple steps that lead to higher engagement, sold-out shows, and life-changing opportunities’.


Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as the Co-Founder of Music Launch Co.

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