Indie Labels

Music Industry’s Annual Winter Slowdown

Inevitably, this time of year, the music industry in general hits pause, and labels and artists get a reprive of sorts from the hustle and bustle that dominates their lives the rest of the year. Here, we look at how this annual slowdown can be the perfect time to take a breather and plan your strategy for the coming year.

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Guest post by Angela Mastrogiacomo of the Symphonic Blog

Strap on your winter boots and grab your favorite scarf, because wintertime is officially here! Whether you’re a total scrooge about this weather and spend the next 3 months curled up under a blanket in your favorite fuzzy socks, or you’re the kind of person who loves to layer up and hit the ski slopes, you’ve inevitably experienced the same thing year after year—the yearly winter shutdown of the music industry.

That’s right, you know what I’m talking about. From about mid-December on, this place becomes a ghost town. Sure, major label artists are doing some releases, but for indie artists, it’s kind of a no man’s land. And while that, coupled with the frigid temperatures, might be enough to have you want to hunker down and avoid leaving the safety of your home for the next few months, this time of year is actually incredibly powerful for setting yourself up for success. You just have to know how to take advantage of it.

So, to celebrate all the snow and the slide into the winter months, we’re outlining why this time of year—cold and difficult as it may be—is actually the perfect time to get ahead.

How to Take Advantage of the Winter Slowdown:

Take time to breathe

I know, sounds simple. But as much as I believe in the power of action, there’s something to be said for an elongated period of time off where you have absolutely nothing to think about and you can just relax.

Have you ever noticed your best ideas come when you’re in the shower or falling asleep or doing anything 100% not related to your career? It’s because when your brain has a chance to breathe, it can actually come up with some pretty clever things.

Note: You still need to keep up with social media, build your relationships, and plan for the future. The winter slowdown is a time to get ahead, but that doesn’t mean abandoning current responsibilities.

You have time to plan

With the lack of expectations, plans, and general overwhelm, you have time to sit down and truly map out your plan for the next 6-12 months.

Quick tip—don’t overwhelm yourself here. Pick just 1-2 major themes for the year and then incorporate them into your monthly goals.

For instance, maybe you know that 2020 is the year you want to really expand your network. That’s your theme for the year. But, you have goals throughout the year too, like releasing an album or touring.
Take the time to map out what needs to happen each month in order to get you closer to releasing that album or planning that tour. Then, go back and sprinkle in where you can get closer to that year’s theme. For instance, maybe on Tue and Thurs you go heavy on commenting inside FB groups to build your network. Or maybe you search out all the events happening in your town for the first half of the year and put them on the calendar.

Planning is crucial for success—you have to know where you’re going—and being able to get out of your head and get it onto the paper during the slowdown is the perfect way to set yourself up for success.

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To learn more, check these out:

5 Time Saving Social Media Content Creation Tips & Tricks

5 Courses to Level Up Your Social Media Game

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Up your networking game

The reality is if you live in a wintery area especially, you’re probably not going out as much, especially if you don’t have to. This means less networking events, less face time with fans, and less opportunity to get in front of industry influencers—at least, in person.

But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for networking—it simply means you get to do more of it from the comfort of your couch. For instance, getting incredibly active in 2-3 of your favorite Facebook groups, reaching out to people you feel a genuine connection with, or interest in and doing a Skype session, a phone call, emailing or, if the weather is good and they’re local, a coffee date. It means brushing up your social media skills and using IG for what it was meant for—not idle likes but actually commenting on the hashtags and the people’s posts you care about, instead of just refreshing to see who liked yours.

If you’re going to be stuck inside, you might as well make friends, and build your career—that way, come Spring 2020 you can hit the ground running and know exactly what to do and where you’re going.

Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, and more. She’s also the owner of music blog Infectious Magazine.. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.

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