TIPS: 5 things every artist MUST do before 2019

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Spice Diana in a recent photo-shoot ahead of her concert in January 2019. (Photo Credit: Oscar Ntege)

The year is coming to an end in a few days from now. A lot of people are reflecting on the resolutions they made for this year; whether they met them or missed them. It eases planning and helps you measure success and failure if you set targets.

In today’s post, I focus on artistes. Chances are very high you want to be at the top of your game come 2019. Chances are also high you made some mistakes during the year and wouldn’t want to have them repeated. Well, that means taking a new look at what you haven’t been doing right.

If you’re to aim for excellence starting next year, here are 5 things you MUST do before 2019.

1. Professionalize your publishing rights.
You may not consider yourself a songwriter but the moment you create original music, you’re definitely one. In this digital age, you don’t need a record label to publish your music. There are platforms like TuneCore, CD Baby, DistroKid and RouteNote, among others, that can help publish your music across all online streaming platforms and also monetizing your content on YouTube.

2. Sign Up with FEZAH App.
Fezah is a talent booking and market intelligence app, available for both Android and iOS. Fezah also runs an airplay monitoring service that notifies musicians every time their music is played on radio. This is one of the most important platforms you should sign up on as a Ugandan artiste as it simplifies ways of promoters and event organisers finding you, and also paying attention to how radios are airing your music.

Guitarist Myko Ouma is signed up on Fezah and can be booked from the app.

This will help you in the promotion strategies you do and identify where more strength is needed.

3. Have a plan!
Of course 5-year goals are really great… but hey, this is the music industry. In most cases, artistes are always thinking about the next gig. Having a plan simplifies this and helps you get a perspective on handling the jumble around you.

Plan to have a Media Tour. How many audios will you do next year? How many videos do you wish to shoot next year? How many charitable events will you attend? Make sure you have all this stuff on paper and pinned up on your sitting room wall, bedroom, studio, working office or workspace.

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4. Optimize your Social Media channels.
It’s not new to us that Social Media now plays a major role in our daily lives. So, as a musician, you HAVE TO take it seriously as it is not just all about posting. Engage a graphic designer to come up with some cool layouts that you will use for the next 3 months. Make sure all your channels are interconnected and speak the same language; you and your business.

Spice Diana’s verified Instagram and Facebook accounts.

I have viewed artist social media pages with music promotion artwork as old as 5 months yet they are talking about a new project! Seriously? Get your channels in order and also make sure they are cool to view.

I have personally been impressed with Spice Diana this year. Source Management, her talent management outfit, has not compromised on anything. Verified Facebook Page, Verified Instagram account, professionally taken photos… awesome. Borrow a leaf from Spice Diana’s Instagram and Facebook handles and watch your transformation.

5. Work on your image branding.
This is also part of optimizing your Social Media channels. No promoter or events organiser will ever take you serious when you’re still uploading selfies taken by UGX200k Chinese phone; none! Teach yourself to take photo-shoots and have images ready for branding purposes.

It really demoralizes a promoter who asks for a Hi-Res (High Resolution) photo to use on a flyer/poster and you send him or her to Facebook! I have personally cancelled many artists off my performance lists because of this. Send me a WhatsApp audio/pic and I promise you, I will never handle your request; as in N.E.V.E.R!

Still, image branding involves sharing high quality audio and video. If a radio/TV presenter calls you inquiring about your new music, please DO NOT send the music on Whatsapp or send him or her to your YouTube channel; always have your music, both audio and video in your email drafts ready to be shared.

Do these things before 2019 and you will see a visible difference next year. If you do have other things that you would like to share, you can drop your views in the comment section.

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