Although for many 2020 seems to have merely extended itself, it is in fact a new calendar year. However you think about it, this is a relevant fact that is especially important for artists and other creators, who must adjust as quickly as possible to whatever events the year brings. 2020 was the year of the virus, here are five suggestions I believe will help you achieve your goals in the year of the vaccine.
Manage time more effectively
Due to the lockdowns which were widespread in most countries in 2020, artists and creatives suddenly found themselves deluged with time. Day after day swept by without notice in endless streams of lazy hours, many kept themselves relatively occupied and put some of the extra hours to good use, but having excess time will inescapably lead to a more relaxed attitude to time and task management. Once created, it takes effort to shake off that sense of luxury. As vaccines now exist and governments prepare to open up their cities and economies, it will be important to get back in the rhythm of the hustle.
Build social media connections
Notice how I did not say “social media followers”?
Having a considerable and growing social media following is important, not least because getting more people to view and appreciate your talent is important to building a career in doing what you love. But it is more important to establish connections with as many people as possible. No matter how successful you already are, the key to long term success is to reach out to people and establish a human connection with them. Reply their comments like a friend would, “like” some of their posts, drop a message in their inbox randomly.
Don’t just be a name and an Instagram gallery, be a person that many feel connected to, and watch followers become fans, and fans become devotees.
Acquire tangential skills
It’s 2021. Unless you’re a rich superstar, you’re going to need to know how to do more than just your creative work. Want to start a YouTube channel? You’ll need to know how to design a thumbnail. Want to put out better sounding music? Learn to mix and master. Want to get more clicks and views, or sales for your products? Try your hands at social media marketing. Your blog isn’t much to look at, you need to learn to set it up so it looks great.
Whatever your creative ability is, learn to do those other things by which the top creators are getting ahead of everyone else.
Establish a network
This cannot be overemphasized. If success is what you’re working towards, you cannot go it alone. You need to establish professional connections with others in the same or similar creative enterprises. If you want people to support you, give you hacks and tips, mention your name in important places, or help keep you afloat when things get stormy, you need to be that person for others as well. Try to establish a clique with other professionals who can help you improve, and watch your fortunes improve.
Be Open to Change
In 2021, with a radically changed social and economic landscape, nothing is likely to go back to exactly the way it was very quickly. You may not be able to hold any art workshops or exhibitions, concert halls and theatres are going to remain closed for a while. Creative people have to be adaptable and find new opportunities and use new tools that were not previously available.
Your audience hasn’t disappeared, you just have to reach them differently.