Hey, it’s good to see you again.

I hope your holiday season has been joyful, even in the midst of the inevitable (and boy is it inevitable) busyness.

I hope you’ve had good time with friends and family – time to connect deeply with the people you love, time to get angry at the people you love, and time to realize that you still love them anyway.

And I hope you’re recovered from it all and are ready to roll into 2023 with all of the confidence of Kenny Pickett into a two-minute drill.

(Only loosely related but I have to throw it in: The Steelers beat the Ravens! The Steelers are still alive! Thanks to this absolute beaut of a play that literally caused me to hoot with joy last night.)

I’m glad you’re here. Shoot, I’m glad we’re all here. I was pretty convinced the world was going to end in 2012, so every year since has been gravy.

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m not quite all-the-way back into “business mode.” I spent the past couple of weeks unplugging from work, and I spent today trying (and ultimately failing) to sort through the mass of emails overflowing my inbox in my absence. As a consequence, my brain’s still kind of fried.

So I don’t have a super enlightening, educational post for you today. But I still wanted to…

  1. Check back in and wish you a good start to 2023, and
  2. Give you a very high-level overview of what I’ve got coming up over the next 12 months.

Here’s what I’ve got coming up the next few months:

Get ready for a bit of a brain dump.

1. Pared down client services.

Over 2022, I realized that the thing that gives me the most joy in this business is working very closely with a very small handful of clients.

I also realized that the thing that gives me the most stress in this business is juggling a lot of clients and deadlines at once.

I’ve told this story a bunch of times before, but early last year I loaded up and burned out, and since then I’ve just been honing things down to try to find my sweet spot. I’m still not totally sure what my sweet spot is in terms of client projects per month, but I’m thinking it’s a lot closer to 2 than it is to 20.

I’m also thinking I might totally pause new PR clients for a little while, because I’m increasingly skeptical as to whether the spend is worth it for the indies I work with. The landscape has changed a lot over the past five years. If I do cut PR, I’ll probably write a dedicated post outlining my rationale.

We’ll see. Just wanted to throw this out there, because it’s been on my mind during my time off.

2. New courses.

I am 100% going to put out a course on email marketing for musicians – probably later this month.

This is kind of a passion project of mine; it’s not as much of a crowd-pleaser as something like Spotify or TikTok and I don’t expect it to do a ton of sales, but I personally love email and think it’s hugely helpful for artists. So I’ve been working on putting together a program for the past quarter, and it’s very nearly done.

Keep an eye out.

There’s a somewhat-smaller chance that I put out courses on:

  • Crowdfunding campaigns – I have a friend who’s raised 50k+ for a couple of albums, and I think his approach could be helpful if you’re struggling to fund your recording habit.
  • House show tours – Tom (my brother / not me) is quickly becoming something of a house-show expert. I’m trying to rope him into teaching a course on doing these, because if you’re a singer-songwriter, house shows are an awesome path toward meaningful income and meaningful relationships.

​(And yes, Tom, when you read this I want you to feel publicly pressured to make this course with me.)

  • Social media – How to grow a profile and get meaningful engagement, probably on TikTok (maybe on Instagram). This is honestly lower on my priority list, and as with the courses above, I’d probably look to have a co-teacher. Social is an insanely powerful way of getting eyes on your artistry, but it’s also not something I have the most expertise in.

3. A YouTube channel.

Wooh, I actually don’t love the idea of sharing this with you, but I’ve already typed out the heading and inserted the link, so here we are.

I’ll level with you: Like 80% of my business comes from organic search traffic to twostorymelody.com. This is great, but it means I’ve got a bunch of eggs in one basket. I live in constant fear that a Google update will crater my site or that AI content will eat my livelihood.

So, last year, I decided to start building another source of traffic. And because I’m grumpy about TikTok, I went with YouTube.

But here’s the thing: I’m not like, you know, a YouTuber. I love writing. I don’t really love being on camera.

To run a business like mine, though, it just makes so much sense to have a presence on a video platform. Speaking on video builds trust. Speaking on video builds clarity in communication. And you can edit your teeth to look whiter.

So I’m going for it.

It’s early stages, but I’m planning for the channel to be a mix of topical content (e.g., “How to tell if a Spotify playlist is fake”), interviews with artists and marketing experts, and music-related randomness. I’ve got 24 videos up so far.

I’m a big believer in the power of consistency over a period of time, so I’m planning to put out one video per week for a year.

We’ll see where things end up.

If you want to come along for the ride and subscribe, click here.

It should be an interesting year.

Take my three-point sketch above with a grain of salt, because I’m planning to take the next two days to step back and lay out big goals for the year. I’ve gotten some good input from subscribers that I haven’t factored in yet, plus I’m notoriously wishy-washy.

Maybe I’ll decide to scrap YouTube and go all-in on Pinterest. Maybe I’ll turn Two Story Melody into a paleo-mom recipe blog. Who knows?

Nah, I’m mostly kidding. I know, generally, what I’m aiming at: helping artists get heard and be understood. This year will be a process of working out the means toward the end.

Whatever you’ve got coming up, here’s wishing you good luck this year in making it happen.

Thanks for being here in 2023. It’s a crazy world we live in.

I’m glad you’re making music.