12 Days of Monetization: How Do You Get People to Buy Your Music? – Debra Russell [DAY 4]

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That’s the question, isn’t it?  As Facebook makes “Likes” even more meaningless than they already were, and in spite of the common perception that your primary path to success is through social media, for most artists social media numbers simply don’t translate into actual purchasing fans.

So, how do you sell your music?

So, I’m not going to waste your time by answering that question the way the music industry USED to work, right?  Because that way is dead and gone and no longer applies to 99.9% of artists today.  And I’m assuming you’re not part of that .1%, because I’m guessing they aren’t reading this blog…

The short answer is – you must make a genuine and real connection with your fans.  Then, and only then, you must ask for the sale.

If you ask for the sale before you make the genuine and real connection, it will fall flat.  You will be just one more spamming, self-involved artist.  If you just make the genuine and real connection but don’t ever call your fans to action – that action being to buy tickets to a show, download or purchase your CD or buy your merch) – then you will feel the love, but you won’t be able to pay the bills.

So let’s break that out into the two steps.

Make a Genuine and Real Connection with Your Fans

Yep – I’ve said it, real connection, real relationship – that means you have to actually spend time connecting with your fans, finding out who they are, what’s important to them, what you have in common with them, creating rapport with them – in other words, Marketing!

Lest you think you’re already marketing – marketing is NOT:

  • Repeating ad nauseum – “check out my blog/youtube video/song on youtube, whatever!!!”
  • tweeting/facebooking about what you had for dinner, what your cat threw up or how many times you’ve changed your guitar strings.
  • tweeting/facebooking/G+ing how you recorded this song and who’s playing on that track. How cool are you?

That’s not marketing.  Because marketing has more to do with your market than with you.  And it’s not even sales – because there’s no real call to action, there’s a backhanded, implied call to action in the “check out my …”  Because the implication is, that if they check it out, then they’ll buy it.  But they don’t, do they?  Because it’s not a clear call to action.  And it’s not built on a real connection.  Because in order to make a real connection – you have to actually connect with them, not blast at them.

Real marketing is defined as:

Creating an environment in which people WANT to buy.  An environment in which they feel safe, excited, even driven to buy.

So you have to ask – what makes people want to buy?  And how do you inspire that experience in your fans?

The short answer is, that depends on your fans.  It depends on who they are.  What’s important to them.  What they’re passionate about.

If you can key into that and connect with them about what is important to them, they will go out of their way to buy from you.

If you can help them with a problem, help them fulfill a need, they will beat down your door to buy from you.

And if you can make them feel like they actually, genuinely matter to you, that you truly get them, they will get all their friends to buy from you.

But in order to do that – you have to listen.  You have to ask questions.  You have to know who they are and understand what their needs are.  And that takes actual work that has nothing to do with your music.  It has to do with getting online and reading their stream and asking them questions.  It has to do with responding to their questions in a way that is genuine and real.  It has to do with seeing someone, for example, ask for information about a realtor on Facebook and going to your stream and finding a realtor to recommend to them.  Or reading about them having a tough time in their lives and offering compassion and empathy.  Sometimes it just means responding to their joke with a real laugh of enjoyment and sharing it.

But Debra, that would take so much time!  Whose got time for that?  I just want them to buy my stuff, come out to my show, tell their friends about me!

But why should they?  WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM???

Look, I get it.  You’re busy, we all are.  But the best way to create real success over the long term is to create real fans in the short term.  Fans who will love you for life.  Fans who will share you with their friends.  Fans who will come work for you as your street team.  That’s how you create success.  It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

And I don’t believe there’s a quick and dirty shortcut.  Can you outsource this?  Maybe.

But you better outsource this to someone who really gets that what they need to do is create a real experience of you in your prospective fans’ hearts and minds.  You can systematize this connection so it doesn’t take over your life.  You can schedule specific, limited daily actions.  You can delegate the parts of the system that don’t need your voice and your touch.

But ultimately you are creating a relationship between you and your fans – and no one else is going to be able to do that for you.

So, now, you’ve built connections with your fans, your fans RT and share your content.  They respond when you ask them questions, they’re ready.

NOW Ask for the Sale

Here’s where it can be scary.  You’ve spent all this time creating a real relationship with them, but now you have to ask for money.  You have to ask them to contribute to your Kickstarter or buy tickets to your show.  You have to ask them share you with their friends by buying a CD as a Christmas gift.

And that can be scary – because you’ve actually created a relationship with them.  They’ve started to matter to you.  And if they say “No.” it might hurt.

But what if you think about it differently.  What if “No” doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or whatever you’re currently making it mean that makes it hurt.  What if “No” means either:

  1. This isn’t the right time/place/format/price for them, or
  2. They’re not the right fan for you?

If it’s the first, well, you can package your products differently, at different price points, formats, or whatever to make it easier for your fans to say “Yes.”  You can also change the energy around the “Ask” to generate excitement or humor or the emotion in your fans that your fans will respond to.

And how do you know what that is?  Oh, yeah, that’s right – YOU KNOW THEM!

You can test different ways to ask them and see what works.  But when you’re designing your “Ask” remember, you want to create in them the same emotional connection you feel when you’re excited, inspired and happily anticipating buying something.  Make it fun.  Make it real.  Just think about the last time you bought something and you felt really good about it.  Yeah – that – that’s the same feeling that will inspire your fans to take action.  So, what was it about the offer you purchased that made you want to buy?  How can you translate that into your offer for your fans?

And if its the second, no worries – because if you’ve spent a lot of time in the first step, then you have enough people.  So that even if one person isn’t the right fan for you, there are others who are!  So no single “No” will make or break your career.  And if you just ask for the sale enough, with a strong groundwork of relationship, you’re going to get plenty of fans who will say yes, happily!  Not only will they say yes happily.  But they will love you for asking.  And they will love saying yes to you!

Because your success has become important to them.  And why has it become important to them?  BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU!



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Debra Russell, Speaker, Certified Master Results Business Coach, and Certified NLP and Hypnosis Master Practitioner is the founder of Artists EDGE. Specializing in the Music Business, Arts and Entertainment Industry and with Professional Athletes, Debra is guided by your passion as she applies her business knowledge and ability to facilitate transformational change and growth to guide you to success in your chosen field.

For more support, tools and resources, check out the Artist’s EDGE Website where you can also find more articles. Or follow Debra on Twitter.


12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

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12 Days of Monetization: How to Make Money from Live Shows – John Taglieri [DAY 3]

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Hi, I’m John Taglieri. I’m an indie artist with 11 CDs out selling nearly 25,000 units, have been touring the world for years, own my own recording studio, record label and Publishing company. I’ve done pretty much all I ever set out to do in this business and things just keep getting better. There are a LOT of ways you can make money in music… so lets focus in on one… Live Shows.

I play about 220 shows a year all over the country and have been for many years now. My shows are a mixture of cover songs and Original songs. I know many artists shy away from the covers and want to be ‘true to themselves’…and that’s fine, but what I’m going to talk about is making a living…not serving your ego. I play a mix and what its allowed me to do is make a living, while still putting out 11 (working on 12) original Cds and sell 25k of them. When I started, I took a lot of gigs some others wouldn’t take, but to me it was building relationships. I connected this way with two booking agents that I’ve now been with for 8 years each and who have helped to ensure that my calendar was always full.

While I play a hybrid show, I never present myself as anything more than me…come to my show, you’re going to have a fun time and I’ll hope that you want to come back again. This view on things has given me the ability to do some amazing things in my career, but first and foremost, what it’s done is pay the bills. About 70% of my income is from live touring and it’s something I truly love doing. It’s not hard and for all the naysayers out there telling you otherwise, there are a LOT of gigs to be had for those who want them. I have 220 or so gigs a year and a lot more I could take if I had the time. There are hundreds of venues out there that are willing to book acts and pay…again, you’ll have to be willing to play some covers. This is where you have to ask yourself one very simple but hard question…’WHAT IS MY GOAL’? Is sitting behind a desk/working at the mall/insert job here while you struggle to get gigs that don’t pay and you have to do all the work the goal? Or is making a living doing what you love the goal? I wanted to make a living. And I also figured, being on stage playing anything beats a soulless day job working for someone else any day of the week, plus I get to work on my chops and play some songs I love to play alongside my originals. So it’s really about you…and what you decide…career for your ego or career for good business.

If you choose to make a living in music, there is a decent amount of money to be made. More than most any decent ‘day job’ you’ll ever get. Most cover/original club gigs pay in the $200-$300 range for a solo act. It goes up from there for a duo or band. Now, I know some folks cant be solo…cant sing, maybe cant play guitar, or in some way be solo, but if you play at all, you can connect with someone or others who have those abilities and form a duo or band that does the same thing.

Also, just to touch on it, diversify. There are plenty of ways to make money from music these days. I also make money on CD sales, T-Shirt sales, studio session work both in my studio and others, CD duplication work (I bought a CD/DVD duplicator/printer and do short run work for others), picking up gigs as a sideman for other bands/performers. So there are a lot of ways to make money, which is what the end game is.

I hope this perspective has helped you in some way and you can always reach out to me if you have any questions or a differing view. I’m always up for a great conversation.

Now get out, play some music, LIVE WITH INTENTION and BE AWESOME!!

John Taglieri
John@JohnTaglieri.com
Facebook.com/JohnTaglieriMusic


12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

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12 Days of Monetization: What’s Really Stopping You From Making Money From Music? – Nikki Loy [DAY 2]

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This article was contributed Nikki Loy (@NikkiLoyMusic), a singer/ songwriter, entertainer and creative obsessive.

What do you really believe about your music career? If your thoughts about your music were announced to your audience on the P.A. system through which you perform, what would we all hear?  

Do you only think great thoughts? Or do you catch yourself thinking ‘I’ll never make any money at this’, ‘It’s too hard!’, ‘There’s too much competition’, ‘No-one notices me’, ‘I wish a major label would sign me and make life easier’, ‘No-one likes my kind of music’, ‘I make Un-popular music’ ‘I’ll be poor forever’ ‘Musicians don’t make money..’ ‘I’m just one in a million other talented songwriters’

If you have negative beliefs about yourself and your career, you will always feel like you are climbing your mountain of musical success with a bungie cord strapped round your waist pulling you back to the bottom. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of that cord and just be free to ascend unhindered?

I suggest you take some time this holiday to find a comfy place, where you won’t be disturbed. Take out a notebook or journal, and get really honest with yourself about this. Don’t hold back. Get those thoughts and feelings out. Without judgement, let your emotions take over for a bit and write it all down. Find out what you have been rehearsing in your head that is contrary to the desires of your heart. Ask your self how any negative beliefs are effecting your ability to make money from music right now. Write that down too. And how will they effect you in the long term?   

The thing about beliefs is that your subconscious mind will orchestrate your life to reinforce your beliefs. You will unwittingly make choices and decisions, and adopt behaviours and expectations, that re-affirm your beliefs. For example: ‘No-one notices me’ used to be a big one for me. It manifested in audiences literally ignoring me. When I realised that I was subconsciously communicating ‘Ignore me’ to the crowd, through my tone of voice, my body language and my lack of interaction, I saw how I had created my own reality. Then I took action to change all of that behaviour, and it hasn’t been a problem since – Every crowd chants for an encore!

I also notice musicians struggling with this one ‘Musicians are badly paid’. When I probe a little deeper and find out who negotiated the deal and agreed the fee. I find the it’s musician who chose the win-loose scenario!? Doh! What would it be like to believe ‘I am a professional performer who is well compensated for my efforts’? How would that have effected the outcome of the deal?

By bringing these beliefs up and out into the open, you can begin to address them and swap them for beliefs that are going to help you reach the top of your mountain faster and more easily. So once you have found out what you believe about your music career, write down a corresponding, more empowering belief, so that you can notice next time that thought pops up, and choose to think the more empowering thought instead. You’ll be able to change your thinking and change your life. ;0)

Here are a few examples:

‘Musicians don’t make money in music.’ becomes, ‘Many musicians don’t make money in music but many, many do, and I am employing the proven techniques and strategies they have used that will grow my career and result in financial return.’

‘I’ll be poor forever.’ becomes, ‘I’ll be poor forever if I don’t change my thinking and my expectations!’

‘There’s too much competition!’ becomes, ‘There are 7 billion people on this planet, that’s audience enough for everyone!’

‘No-one notices me,’ becomes, ‘No-one notices me while I’m sulking in the corner, instead I choose to engage and interact with my audience.’

Sometimes just shining a light on a negative belief is enough to make it change. Your conscious mind will realise that it’s silly and ‘poof!’, it’ll disappear, sspecially if you can see how it’s going to negetively effect you in the long term. Other’s will take a little practice but persist, the change will be worth it!

You may never have given voice to the negative feelings you have about your career, they may have just sat like a knot in your stomach while you carry on regardless but your beliefs are the foundation of your ability to make money from music. If you can get into the habit of noticing and changing the negative ones, you can re-align your beliefs with your career goals and have your whole being moving in the right direction. Then all the practical stuff that you have learned about making money in music from Ariel Hyatt, Bob Baker, John Oszajca and the like, will be so much more effective!

So before you go making your New Year’s resolutions, set yourself up with some new beliefs and see what a difference it makes to you in 2014!

Happy Christmas!

Love

Nikki,

www.nikkiloy.com


12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

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12 Days of Monetization: 60 Do’s and Don’ts of Monetizing Your life in Music – Julie Flanders [DAY 1]

julie-flanders-photoHappy Holiday season everyone! I hope that you are taking some time to do a little bit of relaxing and reflecting. I always like to look back at what was important, what I would like to do more of, and how I can move forward with more ease and abundance which brings me to this blog series.

There is a lot of focus on what artists are not getting, and on the struggle. I want to focus instead on how to get a little bit more on what we all want, and that is to make money with our music. In that spirit, I have asked 12 of my favorite people to share with me their thoughts on monetization.

I left my request open and broad, and as you will see, there are a lot of suggestions here. I hope you are inspired and that you can use some of these actionable ideas in your toolkit for 2014.

I’m thrilled to kick off this blogging series with this entry from my success coach and dear friend and client Julie Flanders.

Julie is the perfect choice for this series understands the mindset you need to succeed because she’s been in both sides of the business – major label artist and indie DIY artist and she now coaches creative entrepreneurs on how to increase their joy, their income and she changes their overall mindset for lasting success. She’s changed my life and I hope this post changes your thinking.

From all of us at Cyber PR®, we wish you success!

Love,
Ariel


This article was contributed by Julie Flanders, Achievement Expert and Creative Success CoachRecording artist and lyricist for October Project, a major–label turned independent artist with a worldwide following.

Some BASIC Don’ts

1. Don’t suck musically. You need to be outstanding!
2. Don’t avoid the responsibility for the business part
3. Don’t limit yourself to outdated models or fantasies. The music business changes quickly.
4. Don’t listen to naysyers or myth makers
5. Don’t be too proud to do the work. It’s a business as well as a calling
6. Don’t be ashamed of your dreams or your mistakes
7. Don’t measure yourself by wrong definitions of success (other peoples!)
8. Don’t be afraid of failure
9. Don’t be afraid of success
10. Don’t let other people decide how you will think and feel about yourself
11. Don’t shrink to fit – stay expansive with your vision and actions
12. Don’t take anything personally
13. Don’t judge other people in ways you would not want to be judged yourself
14. Don’t think short-term
15. Don’t screw your friends
16. Don’t make enemies – they take too much time and drain creative energy
17. Don’t believe hype and myths – no one just gets it handed to them
18. Don’t stop
19. Don’t blame other people or make excuses
20. Don’t worry, be happy

Monetizing Mindset Tips

Some BASIC DO’s

1. Do be excellent, unique, fantastic, daring and unrelenting
2. Do be true to yourself
3. Do practice, rehearse, and commit every day to your Art, Music and Soul
4. Do innovate – try new ideas. DO try everything
5. Do Be scared (and don’t worry about it)
6. Do take action and then take more action
7. Do write your goals down and FOCUS on what you want to create
8. Do expect challenges and embrace them as NORMAL AND NECESSARY
9. Do celebrate yourself
10. Do ask for help
11. Do offer your music to the world constantly by performing, recording, collaborating, connecting, posting, blogging and being visible in your music community
12. Do put yourself IN harms’ way – Be IN it
13. Do be seen, be heard, be felt, be noticed, be everywhere
14. Do accept feedback but YOU decide who you are and what you create
15. Do have fun! You LOVE music! THAT’s important!
16. Do support other people
17. Do ask for and receive help
18. Do believe in yourself – teach other people how to hear, see, feel and VALUE your work by DOING THAT YOURSELF
19. Do go for it
20. Do the impossible until it becomes the actual

Practical Tips to Help You Monetize Your Life in Music

Some BASIC Do’s

1. Do sell your music – digitally, physically and in every format you can think of or that they invent
2. Do sell other related items of your brand and creativity such as hats, mugs, keychains, totebags, t-shirts, etc.
3. Do make song-books or sheet music
4. Do collaborate and share – working with other artists expands your skills, your reach, your audience
5. Do play out and perform as often as you can – consider it an investment not an expense
6. Do make money by building enough audience to support your gigs and expenses. Lavish your audiences with praise and attention
7. Do host other artists from other cities to play in your town and help them build audience
8. Do travel to other cities and play venues and house concderts to build regional audience
9. Do blog, send newsletters, post videos to YouTube etc , be active on social media
10. Do create relationships with booking agents in our city and other cities and REMEMBER they MAINLY care about how many people you bring
11. Do empower yourself to play in a lot of configurations – with a band, acoustic, with well-programmed tracks
12. Do keep current with what is happening with other artists you love, admire, envy or follow. The artists who you perceive as a step ahead of you can be very helpful. They are doing what you should be doing. Figure out what it is and go do similar things.
13. Do support artists who have what you want to have by LIKING their pages, supporting their work, going to their shows, offering tyo double3 bill with them. Create opportunities. OH! and if you want people to buy your music, buy theirs.
14. Do be a part of the music world – join ASCAP, BMI OR SESAC.
15. If you’re a woman, join Women in Music
16. Let CYBER PR Empower and educate you. Read Ariel Hyatt’s Books, blogs, etc. and attend her trainings and webinars. Benefit from the generosity of her enormous free resources.
17. Do make managers, agents, critics, bloggers and anyone you can think of aware of you by connecting with them thru every channel or means you can think of.
18. Do be willing to use your other gifts and abilities to make money – teach, coach, do art and graphic design, play your instrument for others, write songs for or with people, do tech, be an engineer – whatever it takes for you to “sponsor” your own life
19. Do crowd-fund – it not only raises money, it raises awareness and engagement
20. Do GO FOR IT in your own way and on your own terms
21. PS ALSO – if it’s right for your style, DO put yourself into the LOTTERY of the big time – record deals, the Voice, and shows like it, etc. Just realize it is a LOTTERY and a game, not a measurement of your talent, abilities, soul, musicianship or success. AT most, it might be a metric of your good looks and commercial appeal. It’s a game you can play, but not make the rules for. Don’t take it too seriously, but PLAY it if you are brave and silly enough. We did! and while it lasted it was a thrilling ride on the rollercoaster of the music business. You just have to remember you don’t own the amusement park!


12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.

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FB Makes a Complete 180° – Are You Ready?

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3 Ways Facebook’s EdgeRank Changes Will Make Your Fan Base Stronger

(If you know how to master content marketing)

In early December, Facebook made an announcement that it was going to be making some slight ‘tweaks’ to it’s EdgeRank algorithm. For those of you not in-the-know, EdgeRank is used to determine what content, of all of your friends and all of the pages you’ve liked, will actually show in your Newsfeed, and they didn’t just ‘tweak’ it… FB has made a complete 180°.

Over the last two year, and particularly since the purchase of Instagram for $1 Billion (yes, Billion with a B) in mid-2012, Facebook has outspokenly favored photos and memes in the news feed over other forms of content such as links, videos and of course, plain text updates.

In fact, in 2012, a study by SocialBakers reported that 85% of engagement came from photos. This was updated by SocialBakers in July of 2013 to show an increase… a whopping 93% of engagement was coming from photos:

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The new changes to FB algorithm have been said to put a stronger emphasis on ‘high quality articles’ and less on memes (photos); a clear departure from the focus for the last two years.

In the short term, overall visibility of your Facebook Fan Pages, and thus engagement is likely to drop. A study from Ignite Social Media shows:

“..in the week since December 1, organic reach and organic reach percentage have each declined by 44% on average, with some pages seeing declines as high as 88%. Only one page in the analysis had improved reach, which came in at 5.6%.”

In the long term however, Facebook will become a far more effective way to build genuine community through relevant discussion and shared mission-driven experience rather than the shallow ‘engagement’ we’ve recently been witness to, through liking and sharing of meme after meme.

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In other words, now more than ever is the best time for you to start focus on your content strategy. Facebook is literally inviting you to focus on higher quality content and share it through their platform.

There are 3 ways for you to leverage this opportunity to create a better content marketing strategy and a stronger fan base:

1. Understanding Your Niche is More Important than Ever

The key to any good content marketing strategy is understanding your niche – the intersection of your passion/ mission and your art. Once you understand that your your niche isn’t just ‘musician’ or ‘rock band’ but is ‘green, vegan rock band’ or ‘recovering addict turned inspirational musician’, you will be able to better target not only your target community of fans, peers and media makers on Facebook, but you’ll also have a stronger understanding of how to connect with them through high-quality content.

2. Create a More Consistent Experience Between Facebook, Twitter and Your Blog By Leveraging Your Content Strategy

Twitter has always been platform for niche discussions. However, Facebook was always the ugly elephant in the room, forcing you to stray away from the legitimate conversations taking elsewhere for the elementary engagement of ‘like my photo, share my photo, etc.’. The new emphasis on high-quality content allows you to extend the conversations being had on Twitter, with those who spend most of their time on Facebook.

3. Have You Started Blogging Yet? The Time is NOW!

If you’ve been neglecting your blog, there is no better time than now to get started with a strategy that allows you to explore your niche and expand upon your unique position within. For the first time in a long time, Facebook can be a good platform for you to share original, high-quality content that nurtures genuine discussion.

How have YOU been benefiting from the recent changes to Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm?

Share your recent experiences on Facebook with us in the form of a comment below. Have you felt the changes yet?Let us know!

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Setting Effective Goals for Navigating the Music Industry in 2014

Girl before a labyrinth

It’s almost a new year and a clear slate is in front of all of us. The turning of the calendar from 2013 to 2014 is an ideal time to set your goals. I see a marked difference between artists who set finite goals and those who do not regardless of what is happening in the world and in the news.

Ask yourself: Is this the year I want to make a difference for my music career? 

And if so – what difference and how?

Think of goal setting as if you were driving in a foreign place – You wouldn’t get where you expect to go without a clear set of directions. Goal setting is like drawing a map for yourself.
This article is designed to assist you in creating a personal roadmap for achieving what you would like with your musical career this year, whether you consider music your hobby or you are making a full-time living from it.

I have included a few links from some of the best musician related posts on how to think about and achieve goals as well.  So, bookmark this long article and refer to it throughout the year!

Mapping Out Your Goals

Many studies have proven that long-term perspective is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. And it has been proven that people who have goals written down are much more likely to achieve them.

Focus Areas – Creating Order

STEP 1: Write Down Your Focus Areas

Here is a list of some areas you may want to focus on. Skip the ones that are not for you and write out each focus area goal.

Branding – Your look and feel your image and health or your pitch and overall messaging.

Marketing – What will you do this year for your marketing plans.

Newsletter –  It’s still the #1 way to make money!  What will you do to create and send yours 12 – 24 times this year & how many people can you add to your e-mail list.

Website  – Building a new one or diversifying your online presence?

Social Networking  – How’s your Facebook Fan Page looking? How many tweets do you send each week?

PR – Getting covered on radio, print, or online.

Booking – Touring or local gigs this year or a combination?

New Music – How much will you release?

Money – How much money you would like to earn?

Film & TV Placements – Will you work towards them this year?

Expanding Your Fan Base – How will you do this?

Team – Will you be trying to get a manager or a booking agent?

Time – How will you manage to balance your time this year to make sure you can focus on your musical goals?

Songwriting – Recording an album or EP this year or just releasing singles as they come?

Instrument – Buying a new instrument or taking lessons?

Personal Health – So your performance is better – exercise, eating  etc.

STEP 2: Write Your Goals Down

  • Write each goal as if it is already happening – use the present tense
  • Give dates by when you want to achieve each one
  • Your goals should involve you and only you (they can’t be contingent on someone else)
  • Make them so they are realistically achievable
  • Start with small goals so I can get them checked off the list and get in momentum fast!
  • Make sure they make you FEEL MOTIVATED to complete!  Derek Sivers wrote great commentary on this: http://sivers.org/goals


  • STEP 3: Look At Them Everyday

    I highly recommend writing your goals neatly on paper or creating a vision board that illustrates them. Use colored pens or make a collage that brings them to life and hang them in a place where you can see them everyday.

    Keeping them within your sights will keep them in your mind.

    Carla Lynne Hall at Rockstar Life Lessons has a fabulous guide on how to create a vision board on her blog: http://bit.ly/CarlasVisionBoard

    Techniques For Achieving Goals

    1. Start With An Easy Goal And Complete It

    One of the main reasons people don’t end up achieving their goals / keeping their new years resolutions is they set themselves up for failure by choosing goals that take a lot of discipline and time to achieve. There is nothing wrong with having big goals however, here’s what I recommend to overcome this issue…

    Choose a simple goal and get it achieved within the next two weeks. This will start your momentum and get you feeling like you are in full forward motion.

    Think of a small, achievable goal that only takes four to five hours to complete.

    Choose something like:

    • Organize cluttered studio
    • Clean off desk
    • Delete unwanted files & emails from computer
    • Recycle last years unwanted papers
    • Write one new song

    Next, set a date when you will get your chosen goal done by and go for it.

    Now that you have achieved a goal within the first two weeks of the new year, the rest of your goal setting will seem a lot easier to accomplish, and you will be able to get things off your plate.

    2. Make Lists To Stay On Track

  • Make daily lists of what you need to do to get your goals met – the night before! Do the hardest thing first in the morning – don’t procrastinate
  • Do something everyday that moves you towards your goals
  • Delegate the little activities that waste your valuable time to other people (you would be amazed what you could do with 4 hours it takes to clean your house).
  • Don’t overload yourself – studies show that 6 tasks is the maximum you can achieve in one day!


  • 3.  Get Help

    Build a TEAM to help you!! Get an intern or two – log on to http://www.entertainmentcareers.net and read http://www.internlikearockstar.com/ for inspiration and post as an employer seeking interns – you will be amazed at how many bright young people would like to get their feet wet in the business.

    If you are not comfortable with the idea of an intern then ask a friend or a family member to help you.  Schedule just 2 hours a week with that person to attack the goals and get them in motion.

    4. Structure Time to Achieve Goals

    They won’t happen unless you have time to make sure they do!

    Make sure you set aside time and stick to it with pigheaded diligence.

    5. Remember You Can Change The Goals As You Go

    Goals should be looked at as beacons and guiding points for you to keep yourself on track along your journey.  I would not recommend changing them every week but the music industry is changing so rapidly it’s hard to know what goals are reachable in this landscape. So if the course of the year your goals change its OK to cross one off or modify as you go.

    6. Write Down 5 Successes Each Day

    I’m inviting you to write down five little victories a day for this entire year.
    I learned this powerful technique years ago from T. Harv Eker.  Once you start getting into this habit, you are training yourself to put the focus on the positive and get your brain to stop being so critical.

    So put a notebook in your gig bag or next to your bed and each day write down 5 things. Make one or two of them music or band related.

    Here are some examples:

    1. Went to gym.

    2. Wrote lyrics for a new song.

    3. Called three clubs for potential booking.

    4. Did the dishes.

    5. Posted a blog.

    7. My Final Piece of Advice – Go Easy On Yourself!

    This is a process intended to take a whole year and you will have your days where you may get frustrated, and you will start to beat yourself up (sound familiar?).

    Self-criticism will interfere directly with achieving your goals and dreams.  So, the next time you are making yourself wrong, take a step back and instead acknowledge the good, and celebrate your achievements.

    Another thing that will stop you is not taking time for YOU so schedule time to reflect and take it all in.  Maybe that’s a walk in the woods, maybe that’s cooking yourself a decadent meal, or maybe it’s spending time with people you love and turning down your power for a few days without the pressure of a holiday or an event….

    Here’s to your success in 2014!

    Want a Step-By-Step Guide To Help You?

    My third edition of Music Success in Nine Weeks is available to help
    Order now: http://www.musicsuccessinnineweeks.com

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