Musician Checklist For A Kickass 2020

Hopefully, a lot of artists have big dreams about what they want to achieve in 2020, but in order to actually succeed and meet those goals, artists need to have some sort of strategy or plan. Here we look at a checklist for staying on task in the coming year.


Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

We love to see independent artists striving for greatness, but a big part of that succeeding is having a good idea of exactly what needs to be done to get there efficiently and effectively. So, we created a checklist to keep you on track this year.

Checklist for a Kickass Year in 2020:

Marketing Your Music

Revisit Your Branding

Take the time to revisit who your target is meant to be and make changes to realign your efforts. Focusing your social media posts and marketing efforts to appeal to your respective audience is key. Try a new strategy like teasing your upcoming release on Instagram Stories or hosting competitions on your socials.

Optimize your Socials

Make sure your social presence is in tiptop shape. You want anyone who finds you online to be able to find out more with ease. The second it gets difficult to navigate, people will simply give up and forget all about you. (Sounds harsh, but it’s true.)

Make sure you’ve done these things:

  • Any images of you on these platforms must be up to date
  • Your lyrics are available for use on Facebook and Instagram Stories
  • Have your tracks available on TikTok and Triller
  • Make sure all your social platforms are linked to one another

Have a Marketing Plan

Start working on a marketing plan for your upcoming releases for the year. Figure out which month you should release your song(s) in. Depending on the genre and type of song, different months can be better than others. Check out our Best and Worst Months to Release Music post to find out more. Make sure you plan out everything for the year and set reasonable, quantifiable goals for yourself. When you can easily measure your progress, it’ll be easier for you to reach your goals or adapt if things aren’t working.

Try a Merch Revamp

Whether you already have merch that just needs an update or you need to start selling merch for the first time, there are a ton of options available to you. If you’ve been selling the same designs for years, however, maybe it’s time to amp it up and try something new.

To make it easy for you, we’ve put together a list of the top websites for selling merch. Even better, we’ve only included sites that won’t break the bank:

Need a creative boost to get the ideas flowing? Check out How to Tap Into Creativity When You’re Uninspired.


Learn more:

Best Practices for Maximum Release Potential as a Symphonic Client

Instagram Story Ideas for Fan Engagement

How to Put Together a Marketing Plan

Marketing Strategies You Should Know as a Musician


Sharpen Your Skills //

Music Business (conferences)

You’re never too good to learn something new. Even the best of the best are constantly learning how to be better. Whether it’s personal or professional, there’s always room for improvement.

Try new things and learn from the best at some of these music industry conferences:

  • ADE (Amerstam Dance Event)
  • SXSW
  • A3C
  • SyncSummit
  • Primavera Pro
  • BIME Conference and Festival

These are only a couple of the conferences out there. There are so many options, there’s bound to be one close to home. Something like SXSW is a life-changing experience that many artists learn and grow a lot from. However, depending on what type of music you focus on, there are different conferences that specialize in different genres to give you the best information for you and your goals.


Not sure which conference is for you? You’ve got options.

The Best Latin Music Conferences in the Industry

Top Indie Music Conferences 

Top Dance Music Conferences to Attend

Top Hip Hop Conferences


Making More Money //

Sign up for YouTube Content ID if your music qualifies

YouTube’s Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system that content creators (like record labels and artists) can use to easily identify and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube.

Need help? With our YouTube Optimization service, We’ll analyze your overall brand, content, and KPI’s based on your YouTube channel, website, and social media presence to develop a custom strategy that fits your needs and increases the visibility of your videos. Ready to grow your YouTube Channel? Apply for Channel Management.

Register for a PRO

You need to make sure you’re registered with a Performing Rights Organization like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. This is crucial because these are the people that make sure you’re getting paid every time your song is played. But don’t stop there. You’ll also want to look into mechanical royalties, (the money you make when something is downloaded or sold on say, iTunes, which ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI don’t cover.) Don’t worry if this sounds like a lot, there are people whose job it is to help you with these types of things. (Publishers) Below, we’ll include some helpful resources to explain more about the ins and outs licensing.

Sync Licensing

Sync Licensing is a great way to earn significant revenue while simultaneously helping you build your profile as an artist. As a Symphonic Distribution client, you will have the opportunity to apply for representation by our in-house sync licensing division, Bodega Sync.

With this service, you can get your music features on TV shows, commercials and more. Check out some of the awesome placements we’ve gotten our artists:

  • Mini Cooper
  • Amazon Alexa
  • NFL
  • Altered Carbon
  • Queen of the South


To learn more, check these out: 

4 Steps to Licensing Your Next Single

CLICK HERE to apply to Bodega Sync.

Need to Monetize your SoundCloud?


Having a thorough strategy planned out for the year will help you reach your goals way more efficiently than without one. Knowing exactly what you need to do will help you decide what’s working and what isn’t as you go along. The key is to always remain open to learning new things. Remember: Nobody does this thing alone, so you might as well get as much help as you can.

Although all of this can be stressful at times, make sure you’re allocating yourself time to enjoy the process. Being a musician is one of the most fun jobs there is! Believe in yourself and everything will fall into place.

You got this.

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  1. Great Article! We’ve just started the ROADIEOGRAPHER.com content creation kits for musicians.

    We’re hoping to take out the mystery on the tools needed for great content creation and self-promotion for musicians. Content Marketing DIY.

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