5 Great Ways to Manage Yourself as an Independent Artist

Article by: Carley Varley


Learn how to better manage your independent music career.


Being an independent artist is a lot of work and time. I remember starting out and I was so overwhelmed by all of the things I had to do as an artist:

  • Sort my gigs
  • Manage my PR and social media
  • Write and record songs

As a creative it is easy to get lost in your creativity to the point where you aren’t very organized. On the other hand, it’s easy to be so organized that you lose the joy of being creative. Managing yourself well is something that I believe helps counter this issue.

So today here are my top tips for managing yourself as an artist!

1. Learn to be Better at Time Management

When you are an independent artist, your schedule is so important!

Keeping an eye on events, new music and having time to create content is a huge part of being a musician nowadays. When you spend all of your time in one area and lack in another, this can drain you as an artist.

For example: If you put all of your time into songwriting and

  • Stop creating new video content
  • Avoid posting on social media
  • Procrastinate on making gig flyers, etc.

Consequences: This could cost you gigs and opportunities.

Songwriting is important however, you also need to:

  • Contact events and potential sponsors
  • Record music
  • Post online updates
  • Collaborate with creators

121: 5 Powerful Ideas for Musicians VQS Studio Podcast


2. How to Stop Comparing and Getting Distracted

What’s the best way to stay productive and inspired! 🎼

As someone who is easily distracted this one is a very difficult one for me and a tip to myself! I am always getting distracted and I end up pouring my time into things that don’t matter. I also start comparing if I spend too much time on social media, I begin to think that other artists are so successful that ‘what’s the point?’ It is very easy to feel this way so don’t feel bad if you feel the same at times. This is why this tip is 2nd on my list.

What if I told you that comparing yourself to others can drain your energy?

How often do you get distracted by your devices?

I remember once I scrolled through Tiktok for 3 hours when I was meant to be posting a new song, I then saw this musician who did an incredible cover and I thought ‘I want to do that!’ I began comparing and distracting myself for hours! I got nothing done and it just left me feeling unmotivated and upset.

Try this:

  • Turn off all your small devices
  • Use a real camera instead of your phone when making videos.
  • Limit yourself to using only one app.

It’s great to take inspiration from others however, once you start to feed in to the addiction, shut off social media and go create or detox.


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3. How do You Prevent Burnout?

Learn how to truly slow down.

This tip is another crucial tip for artists. So far I have spoken about the need to manage your time well and effectively.

Now it’s time to tell you to remember to rest.

When you’re on your own, you may always be thinking about:

  • How can I be more productive?
  • What are my main goals?
  • How much further until a breakthrough?

How often do you clear your mind?

It can be hard to remember to rest, resting is absolutely key to making sure you are at your best and creating at your full potential. If you have no breaks, no rest, no getaways and start to begrudgingly make music or write songs then you’ll lose your passion and your spark.

4. When Should You Outsource?

What areas do you truly need help in?

Should you hire a professional or manage yourself? For example PR is a huge deal in music today, to grow your audience and build your brand. There are companies and professionals who know the ins and outs far more than artists do. Consider outsourcing.

It makes life easier.

  • If you struggle to get features on blogs or playlists, hire a PR or submit to VQS here.
  • If you want professional photos, hire a photographer

You’d be amazed at the amount of musicians who try and do everything themselves and burnout. Having a helping hand and hiring someone to help can also help build your team. What if you could focus on writing or creating and let the professional handle the other areas?

5. Learn to Stay Focused and Organized

My final piece of advice today is have a content plan!

I have recently started a content plan and my life is so much easier now. I no longer stress about what I have to do, or deadlines. I have everything written down ready to go and post. Organising your content takes a lot of pressure and stress off you.

What frees up my time massively and really does help? 💕

I have weekly content that I post, all of them different videos and then I post to Tiktok whenever I see a video/trend I like or I make shorter videos of my Youtube videos to go on other social media.

Today I am actually having a content day, I make my CVLOG, CVTV and covers, all in one day, once a month and then I schedule the posts. That way I’m not thinking or worrying about content all month, I can just chill and work on songwriting and recording.

These are my tips for today, I hope they have helped you massively!

Summary:

  1. Learn to be Better at Time Management
  2. How to Stop Comparing and Getting Distracted
  3. How do You Prevent Burnout?
  4. When Should You Outsource?
  5. Learn to Stay Focused and Organized