Reflecting on 2022 & Discovering My Niche...
Updated: Jan 5
My photo of Sue Harding was in the Financial Times this year
Last year I was lucky enough to start with working with a folk singer/songwriter called Sue Harding, which gave me an opportunity to start exploring what I can bring to the table for independent musicians as I am actually one myself and understand the challenge of having too many (other than the music) jobs to master in a seemingly broken and competitive industry!
As well as helping to boost her confidence, simplify the overwhelm and work out the next steps, I took over the admin jobs that were driving her crazy like:
website design and updates (WiX)
EPKs and newsletters (Mailchimp)
poster design (Canva)
writing social media copy and repeat-posting evergreen content (MeetEdgar)
photoshoot (iphone and sunlight!)
event management (Eventbrite/Ticketlab)
invoicing and accounts
applying for and chasing gigs
I was also able to advise on the cycle of release and not to launch her album digitally without a 12-week PR campaign in place if she wanted it accepted by national press and radio* and she was lucky enough to find an affordable publicity agent who was successful in getting her reviewed in a national paper (next to the bl**dy Royal Philharmonic Orchestra!) along with one of the photos I took of her on the photoshoot (above).
*I studied "Artist Development" in Bristol back in 2014, which aims to offer the same kind of training that a commercial record label gives to their signed artists to get them ready for the music industry, which I now realise, enables me to consult on this and is possibly turning me into a manager as I have discovered that I am really passionate to help deliver musicians from the overwhelm and poverty that I experienced, and break through! Especially more mature musicians.
I've also been continuing to host the Frome Music Network, which I set up after releasing my debut album, for ambitious musicians to network and collaborate; and have been talking to a couple of other musicians with exciting back-stories and aspirations about working with them, including the winner of the "Christmas Climates" songwriting competition that evolved out of the network in collaboration with the fantastically ambitious James Godman who set up the Frome International Climate Film Festival.
Otherwise I am still working with my longest-standing client, Patrick Moss at Moss Naylor Young Ltd, whose business is going from strength to strength. He's a town and transport planner with a niche in canal restoration, and also set up Soaring Magpie Records when I launched my debut EP. We're talking about possibly developing things in tandem with a trip to Liverpool to do the Beatles Tour, probably when Midas Man (a film about Brian Epstein) gets released - hopefully this year! Magpie's Folk Cafe, his weekly folk show on Frome FM is also gaining traction now too and identifying a number of stars on the circuit.
If you need any help with banners or posters etc, I designed this on canva
Also grateful to be working with artist VIVLM and still supporting Beckington Village Hall with their bookings and minutes. I was also asked to do some minutes for Beckington Parish Council too as they're in between clerks and have asked if I want to apply for the job permanently, which would mean getting informed on governance which I'm not sure is really me unless it is a foothold into helping organisations simplify their costs and systems so that they can be more effective?! Beckington is a pretty special place.
I'm also working with LWB Heritage Management - early days but excited by the prospect of working with stately homes! And then last but not least I have also been working with an autistic artist who is just starting his masters degree and introduced me to funding which employs someone like me to help him apply for arts council funding and hopefully be his study assistant if we can tick the right boxes.
So yeah, feeling very positive right now and pleased to identify that my "niche" is working with ambitious creatives so if that sounds like you and and you need any help getting back into the driving seat or just sharing the load, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Sorry if that was a bit long - perhaps I'll do a vlog too!?