Recent articles from Eleven and the Amplifier focused on a few basic marketing tactics you should refine. This month, we’re going to try something different: Setting the GPS on your music career and setting goals for musicians and bands.

Think about this for a minute:

  1. Where you currently are is POINT A (Starting Point).
  2. Your music career journey is the blue line that your vehicle follows.
  3. Your vision of what you want your music career to look like and where you want it to end up is POINT B (Destination).
  4. Like the GPS on your phone, your progress is that little blinking dot on the blue line telling you where you currently are.

Your music career is just a large (virtual) map!

The way we push ourselves on this map is by using what are called SMART goals.  If you aren’t familiar, SMART is an acronym:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Timely

We use this framework to define our goals so we can move that dot on that blue line of our roadmap. Here’s an example of a SMART goal:

“I will grow my email marketing list by 100 new subscribers by March 31”

  • It’s SPECIFIC: It is very detailed and establishes a specific task
  • It’s MEASURABLE: You will be able to see your list grow in your software
  • It’s ATTAINABLE: It’s progress but it’s not so big that it’s out of reach
  • It’s REALISTIC: You aren’t going to go crazy trying to reach it. You got this!
  • It’s TIMELY: You set a deadline of March 31 so you know when to review

Easy enough?  Ok, time for your homework 🙂

Recommended Action: Define Your SMART Goals

  1. Sit down, either as a band or with a friend or spouse.  It’s best to do this with at least one other person, otherwise your goals could be a bit self-biased. Make sure they clearly reflect where you see yourself and your music going over the next 12-36 months, and that may require a second opinion.
  2. Think about your big picture vision.  Why did you become a musician?  Why are you pursuing music in the first place?  Is it truly where your heart and intuition rest?  Or is this just a hobby with the goal of making side income? Write it down. This is your POINT B.
  3. Think about where you are now. Are you happy with your current state?  Write out your current state. This is your POINT A.
  4. Now think about your journey. What would you like to change?  What are some ideas that would help bridge the gap between where you are now and where your POINT B is?  Put together a short list.
  5. Write your SMART goals. Take that short list of ideas that would help bridge your gap between A and B and apply the SMART goal framework to them. For example, if you wrote down “play more shows” or “release a new album“, then you could say “I will consistently play 4 shows a month by June 15th”  or “I will release a new album to my fans by August 1st”. Then with these specific outcomes in mind you can start to break down what actions you’ll need to take to reach them.

Happy Goal Planning!  And remember to actually follow through on those goals once you have them!