Managing Time and Tasks As An Indie Artist

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

The amount of things that an artist needs to do to be ‘successful’ can seem overwhelming at times. There’s songwriting, recording, rehearsing, taking instrument or voice lessons, performing, recording, marketing, booking gigs, making travel arrangements, generating publicity, buying equipment, bookkeeping and much more. So how do you handle all of these tasks effectively and efficiently, and still maintain your creative edge? Where do you find energy necessary to be your very best on stage?[private_freebie]

There are several answers to these questions, and they can take up pages of explanations. Every situation is unique, and every artist has different a different balance of wants, needs and desires. However, there are a few common guidelines that every artist can use to bring some form of order to this chaos. Here are four:

  • Do only the things that only you can do. For example, as the artist, you’re the only one can rehearse, take lessons, perform, maybe write the songs, and record. There is no getting around this. Try to farm out the tasks that require your involvement to capable people. Mobilize your fans to do some of your marketing. Hire a PT bookkeeper, or find a friend who will volunteer to help you until you’re making enough money to pay them. Go through each one of the jobs that needs to be done and ask yourself, “Is there someone besides me that can do this and do it right?” Learn to let go and let others pitch in. You’ll find that a large number of people are more than willing to contribute their time and expertise to help you out, especially if you treat other right.
  • Prioritize and schedule your tasks. Make a list of all of your tasks and then rank them in order of priority. Take care of the most pressing things first. Not everything needs to be done today. Spread your jobs out and set aside time to handle each one. You’ll be much more productive if you’re organized.
  • Barter when you don’t have money. Offer to play a private party for a bookkeeper in exchange for his or her services. Sing or play on someone else’s songwriting demo I exchange for their assistance in setting up band rehearsals, making travel arrangements and taking care of other administrative tasks.
  • Co-op your needs with other artists. For example, find 3 other artists who need help with marketing. Then ask around for someone who is good at marketing, and make him or her a package deal. It will keep the cost low for all of you!

As an artist, you are most likely inherently creative. Get creative in finding solutions that will take some of the pressure off you. That way you can do what you really do best – make music!


About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.