A Typical Day for an Independent Artist
Wow! It's hard to say what a typical day really is like for me because things I do vary greatly from day to day. Being an independent artist is like running your own little empire. You wear many hats and things can change on a dime. It's the most interesting job I've ever had. It's surreal hearing myself call it a job, because doing music for a living is a lot of fun and one of the most rewarding things I've ever done!
I will say that although, you see an artist performing all the time, that only represents a small percentage of what they actually do from day to day. For example, today (Sunday) I will be performing at a boutique from 4:30 to 7pm. I have to leave the house at 2:30 to get there for set-up and I probably won't get home until 9pm. That's a 6.5 hour time commitment, but only 2.5 of those hours actually represent performing. The rest is travel time, set-up, and breakdown. It's kind of like standing in a two hour long line to get on a 5 minute roller coaster ride at a theme park. It takes a lot of work on my end for you to see just a couple hours of me on stage.
My work generally can be categorized into three different segments: Music, Connectivity, and Booking. Everything I do falls under either of these three umbrellas. Music is anything I do involving me playing an instrument such as practicing, performing, and recording. Connectivity is everything I do related to promotions, social media, email marketing, website maintenance, blogging, etc. Anything I do with the intent of getting gigs whether it's sending out a booking inquiry (which I do a lot), getting logistics and details for an upcoming gig, or creating contracts and agreements - that all goes under Booking. So, everything I do can be summed up into those three categories. On any given day, I'll work on a number of these tasks. Some days, like when I have a performance for instance, I can only work on one other thing.
The rest of today, for example, I'll be focused on some connectivity tasks. Things like writing this blog, updating my email list with the latest entries on my sign-up sheet, cleaning old contacts, reaching out to dormant contacts, sending out an e-mail, and working on my latest video for YouTube will take up my time before I leave for my gig tonight. Tomorrow, I might practice for a couple hours, create some artwork for some upcoming shows, and work on some new promotional coasters -- an idea I just thought of to help patrons connect and find out more about me when I'm playing at bars and wineries.
I'm super thankful to have my husband, Rob, by my side to help me with a lot of my duties. He takes care of some of these tasks for me like updating online profiles and such. One of the main responsibilities I have as an artist is keeping my online presence current and relevant. That encompasses all of my social media accounts, YouTube, maintaining my website, and ensuring that all of my show calendars are current. Rob helps out a ton with this and booking as well. As you can see my days are filled to the brim with things to do. There's no shortage!
The other big responsibility is making sure I'm taking care of you, my community of amazing supporters - answering your emails, texts, comments on social media, sending you gifts, letters, and maintaining a meaningful connection with you. After all, you are my "WHY." I'm doing music to make an impact with you, to inspire you, to empower you, to spark you, to encourage you. And, if it weren't for your support, I wouldn't be able to put as much focus on music because I would have to spend my time doing other things to pay the bills. So a big part of what I do from day to day is connecting with you in many different facets.
+See How You Can Support Independent Artists(It's not always money)
If that wasn't enough, I also have other passions that I spend my time on. My educational background is in marketing and public relations, so I keep a rotating roster of clients whom I provide marketing, graphic design, and administrative support to on a weekly basis. I also run a business coaching blog for other musicians where I share business essentials for independent artists like me to be successful in their own careers.
These are all things I do on top of performing. It's really easy to get burnt out. Sometimes I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels and not making any difference at all. But then I get sweet messages and letters from you saying otherwise. Your support means the world to me. Connecting with you is what motivates me to get up everyday at 8AM and get to work!