Goal Setting for Musical Success

Goal setting is majorly overlooked in the music industry. So many bands and musicians say they want to “make it” but many haven’t defined what “making it” really looks like. Success is different for everyone. Some musicians will be happy having a day job and being able to play a few gigs on the weekends in their home town. Others won’t be happy until they’re selling millions of records and filling Madison Square Garden.

Goal setting is the first step to achieving your goals. If you don’t know exactly where you want to go, how can you know which paths will lead you there? It can help keep a band on the same page and moving forward in the same direction. It can help you prioritize what tasks need to get done now and which can be put off until later. It can keep you on a straight path to your goal allowing you to achieve it faster.

To get a better idea of what kinds of goals you should be setting, Music Think Tank ran this useful article about the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method:

S.M.A.R.T. is a tool we can use to better map out what we want to achieve. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed. That means all of the aims we have for our music career should be specific, we should be able to measure them, they should be achievable, they should be realistic, and we should know how long it’ll take us to achieve this aim. These aims should be written down, so we have a goal to look at and refer back to when we feel a bit lost as to what we’re doing.

You can run a few S.M.A.R.T. aims alongside each other, and they can vary in size in terms of how big they are. One may refer to how you’re going to hit the 100 gig mark (which is more long term), and another may be how you’re going to set up all the necessary social media profiles you need to promote your music (which is more short term).

Make sense? Hopefully it does, but if not, here’s an example:

I want to get a lot more fans.”

This is a very vague aim to have, as it doesn’t give us any idea of how we’re going to achieve this goal of ours. By applying the S.M.A.R.T. formula to it, we can edit it to be an aim we can refer back to and get a better idea of how we’re currently doing. This will make it easier to achieve it.

So first off, let’s make our goal Specific. We want to specifically state what we need to do to achieve this goal. There’s no point saying we want more fans if we don’t know how we’re going to go about getting those extra fans, is there? It won’t make it any clearer how we’re going to achieve that goal; it’s sort of like saying, ” I want to be rich.” The majority of people who say that have no further ideas in their plans to get rich, and therefore never take any real steps to achieving that goal.

OK, so how Specifically are we going to go about getting more fans? Let’s say you have the means to create home made videos of you performing cover songs, and have a YouTube channel via which you can showcase your material to the world. By uploading your videos and encouraging people to like your Facebook page if they enjoy your song, you will get a percentage of people taking you up on this offer. Tell them they will find out about your new videos there first, and that they will also get exclusive bonus videos not shown publicly on YouTube. This will encourage a larger percentage of your video viewers to Like your Facebook page.

So we can change our [goal] so it looks like this:

I want to get a lot more Facebook fans by doing cover versions on YouTube.”

To read the full article, visit Music Think Tank.

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