Self Management For Songwriters
Updated: Dec 14, 2019
When we think of management in the music industry, we usually think about managing recording artists or taking care of business on the tour.
But songwriters need managing just as much as artists.
What do songwriter managers do?
If you’re a successful hit songwriter, you might have a manager to help you stay on top of your business responsibilities so that you can focus completely on your writing.
But even if you’re a new songwriter who hasn’t had a lot of success yet, you could probably benefit from some management.
The job of the manager is to provide the structure to help the business succeed and grow.
What does that mean for songwriters?
Since all songwriters are different, the first step to good management is figuring out what the goals are for your business.
STOP NOW AND WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
If you’re writing songs, you are a small business owner.
You are creating property in the form of copyrights (intellectual property) and it’s your job to figure out how to take your songs and make money with them.
All of that is part of being a manager.
Just like with recording artists, you have to have a fan base and be making money already to interest any one else in managing you and your songwriting career.
Instead of wasting time trying to attract someone to manage you, you should start by acting as your own manager.
Using the advice of one of our mentors Stephen Covey author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the first step to any big endeavor is to start with the end goal in mind, or as he says, “begin with the end in mind.”
(get the book and read it yourself. Note - book image links to Amazon Affiliates page where you can buy online)
That means, you should sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and make a list of all the important things you’d like to achieve with your songwriting.
Don’t just make a list, but actually add dates you’ll complete these items on your list.
If your goal is to get a number one song on the Billboard charts, you’ll write that down.
Depending on how long you’ve been writing, you’ll be able to gauge how long it would likely take you to achieve that goal - probably in the 1 to 10 year range for most people reading.
If your goal is to put out music, you’ll write that down and logically figure out how long it will take to get your tunes and recordings together. If you don’t know, seek out an expert.
After you have your list, you can start being honest with yourself about what you need to do to achieve your goals in the time frame you have set for yourself.
This brings us to the next step of management.
The real key of management is being able to manage your time.
In order to figure out if you’re doing a good job with your time management, it’s a good idea to start by writing out your responsibilities in the order of importance, and then figuring out how long it takes you to do all that stuff.
After you have a list of the important stuff you have to do, you’ll have a good idea of any “free” time you have in your weekly schedule.
Songpreneurs Members – click here to download your Self Management Daily Schedule Template >>
Even if you’re working a full time day job, if your goal is to have success at your songwriting, it is absolutely necessary to dedicate time each week to working on your songwriting goals.
Just wishing you could write and commenting on Facebook about how much you like songwriting isn’t enough.
If you really love songwriting, you’ll make time to work on your craft.
It’s simple really.
The more time you spend working on your songwriting each week, the quicker you’ll get better at writing songs. The better you are at writing, the better your chances of having success.
There’s no magic formula to managing your songwriting career, and there’s no short cut.
If you want it bad enough, you’ll make the time and sacrifices necessary to get to where you want to be.
If you don’t make the time, you’ll never get there.
As easy as that sounds, you wouldn’t believe how many people still act like it’s a big insurmountable task to find time to work on songwriting.
Those are usually the same people you’ll see playing games on their phone, posting wistful comments on social media, or generally wasting time.
Sure we all need time to relax, but if you want something, you have to be willing to put in the time to achieve it.
There’s nothing easy about being a hit songwriter, and if it was easy, everyone would do it.
How serious are you about your songwriting? Comment below or send us a note.
Kim Williams (“Three Wooden Crosses” Randy Travis, “Papa Loved Mama” Garth Brooks) learned to co-write songs by making a commitment to write with someone every single day for one year.
He kept his outrageous promise to himself, and was able to write some of his first cuts that year with members of the Knoxville Songwriters Association, before moving on to Nashville and his eventual induction into the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame.
Do you want to follow in his footsteps, and study his methods and words of wisdom through the lens of his only daughter, light of his life, Amanda Colleen Williams.
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