Guide To Surviving The Music Industry Holiday Slowdown [Video]

The annual end of year slowdown is about to hit the music industry, and while companies, artists, and their affiliates will be taking time off, this reprieve can still be a great time to ensure you’re positioning yourself for success.


Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

The music industry as a whole is about to take time off, but there are still things you can do to keep your career on track for success.

The annual music industry slowdown is fast-approaching. From the third week in December through the first full week in January, music professionals everywhere will be given a rare chance to relax and reflect. The biggest companies in music will have a bare-bones staff to oversee any urgent matters that arise, but everyone else will be putting up away messages and putting their phones down. It’s going to be a challenge for some, but it is necessary.

But not everyone sees this period as a good thing. Professionals and full-time musicians may celebrate the brief pause, but aspiring pros and artists on the rise may find themselves frustrated by the lack of correspondence. Some will view the out of office messages they receive in response to their emails as another way of saying their efforts do not actually matter. A select few may even get angry at individuals who feel it is their right to take time away when everyone knows the gears of the entertainment business never stop turning.

If that describes you, do not worry. We have some survival tips to help get you through the holiday slowdown.

First and foremost, you need to relax. I know you may hate to hear that, but it is true. There is only so much you can do at this time of year. Accept that and make time to reflect on all you already accomplished over the last twelve months. Celebrate the highs, learn from the lows, and allow your brain time to decompress.

Second, rethink any plans you have to visit the major music cities before the end of the year. New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville are beautiful around the holidays, but if your goal of traveling is to connect with industry peers you may find yourself sorely disappointed. The holidays are for family and friends. Anyone fortunate enough to not work around this time of year is also not interested in setting meetings that will increase the workload they return to in January.

Third, in an effort to help you relax, take time to schedule your social media content through the end of the year. Social media is what people use to distract themselves from things they don’t enjoy. At the holidays, most people find themselves surrounded by family and friends doing everything they love. Social media will fade into background noise in the coming weeks, so don’t stress out about making the perfect posts or increasing engagement unless doing so is absolutely necessary (and let’s be honest, it is never necessary). Schedule what you need to say, check-in once or twice a day, and let it rest. Your fans will understand.

Finally, make a plan to succeed in the year ahead. You know everyone will be away until the second week of January, so use this time to refine your digital presence. After that, create a list of goals for the coming months, as well as a step-by-step plan to achieve them. Be as specific as possible.

If you need even more ideas and inspiration, follow us on YouTube. The industry may be taking a break, but our content is not.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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