Video 1 From My Mini-Masterclass Series: Facebook Fan Page

I’d like to share with you part 1 of my popular 3-part Mini-Masterclass video series with you – It’s all about Facebook!

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from those who have already seen the video, and I hope you get a few Ah-has from it as well.

In this Facebook video you will learn:

  • The answer to the number one question I get asked about Facebook (every time)
  • How to get your fans from you personal page over to your Fan Page
  • How to get more ‘likes’ on your page
  • The best strategies for making the ever-changing Facebook a powerful fan-engagement machine and a showcase for your music, list building and videos.
  • In 2015 and beyond it is necessary to allocate a budget for Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts in order for your posts to be seen. So – don’t forget to experiment with Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts in 2015 and beyond. Also, I say 1 post a day but you can drop it down to 3-4X a week.

For the next two weeks I will be sharing with you 2 more Mini-Masterclass videos on Twitter and Pinterest so be sure to watch for those!

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Guest Post by Kristen Graves: The Emphasis on Musician Branding at the YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER Seminar

Photo Credit: Ruthie Whalen

Photo Credit: Ruthie Whalen

Branding - the thing that songwriters think they’re too talented for…

I remember the first time that a business coach-type told me that I needed to pay more attention to my branding…I had no idea what she was talking about.

I thought that brands were for companies, make sure that they (the companies) were defined and able to reach their target market…blah blah…I had no idea why it was important for me. But she persisted and continued to explain – that when people described my music, they were really describing me, and so I needed to give them something to hold on to.

I’m an optimistic, social justice-focused singer/songwriter, and people know this when they listen to my music. I also have my own (faux) political party called the Just Be Nice Party. I’m really all about the hope. And yet, while people will sometimes use these phrases or words to describe me, more often than not – I’m the singer/songwriter with dreadlocks.

At Ariel Hyatt’s YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER seminar with Michael Whalen, and a bunch of other wonderful music business folks, she called me out in the auditorium because of my hair – mentioning that I could never cut my dreads.

A few years ago, this would have bothered me, but now – I know that she’s totally right…and I’m fine with it!

I decided on dreads a few years ago out of convenience, (it’s a story for another time that has to do with spending months in Mexico and bathing in a waterfall) have kept them out of love, and have benefitted from them out of branding.

Branding Yourself Is Not Selling Into Some Gimmick

I used to think of branding and marketing along the lines of a gimmick – thinking that it was for people who needed some kind of trick to get customers to buy their music. (I really wasn’t trying to judge, I was just deciding that my time was best spent on creating music.)

Photo Credit: Ruthie Whalen

Photo Credit: Ruthie Whalen

I now realize that while yes, my time is best spent creating music, branding is merely an extension of songwriting and being creative.

When I walk down the street, I get a lot of compliments on my hair (even on NYC’s sidewalks, where attention is hard-earned), and I get a lot of smiles.

I’m pretty sure this is simply because my outside looks like what and how I feel inside.

Meaning – I’m a carefree, optimistic and flexible person – people can tell this by the way I dress, walk, and wear my hair.

Ariel & Michael’s seminar retaught me that branding is simply letting people know what my music sounds like through other senses – and when I think of it that way, it’s actually fun and very cool.

Branding isn’t a cheap gimmick, it’s refusing to compromise on who I am. Making sure that everything I do looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels like me.

Ariel, Michael and all – thank you for the amazingly helpful information, and thank you for reminding us to be fiercely true to ourselves.

About Kristen Graves:

unnamed Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter and humanitarian from  Fairfield, CT, serving as the current Connecticut State  Troubadour. Mentioned as ‘the new generation of folk’ by the  New York Times, Kristen performs approximately 175 shows a  year, delighting audiences throughout the country.  www.kristengraves.com

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Guest Post By Samantha Echo: What I Took Away from YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER

audiencepic

On Saturday, January 10th, I attended the YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER seminar led by Michael Whalen and Ariel Hyatt (Cyber PR). The seminar featured several other distinguished people in today’s music industry who seek to educate independent artists on how to gain more visibility. I found it extremely informative, and afterwards I was so excited that I ran to the nearest cafe immediately afterwards and wrote this blog post about it.

When I got to the seminar at City College in New York City, Michael Whalen was speaking about YouTube monetization. I was proud of myself for already knowing and implementing tactics like tagging your music videos with as many keywords as possible, listing all the people who worked with you in the description, choosing images that are consistent with the songs you upload, and evaluating whether or not what you upload is your best work. These tactics have something of a common sense element to them, but in an age where everyone is online all the time and over-eager to over-share, some of us need to be reminded.

The Call To Be You

During the seminar Michael Whalen talked a great deal about the importance of authenticity when interacting with people on social media. When I heard this I almost laughed, because this is something I was immensely relieved to learn. On my Twitter, Pinterest, and blog I feature content about my interests such as Greek mythology, Hamlet, fairy tales, and psychology. When I share content about topics I am interested in I am surprised at how naturally utilizing social media comes to me. Sharing beautiful photos and blogging about my interest in mythology, psychology and Peter Pan feels almost indulgent. Michael Whalen has essentially instructed us independent artists to be human.

Branding: Communicating Who You Are Online

Ariel Hyatt led the marketing and PR panel which included the powerful voices of Jo-Na Williams (The Artist Empowerment Firm), Pamela Workman (Workman Group Communications), and Patrice Fehlen (September Gurl). An important theme that ran throughout the panel was branding. The way I interpreted the conversation is that branding can be described as creating a unique, recognizable type of product that you offer. Jo-Na Williams suggested having, what she referred to as, a branding manifesto in which you declare what it is that you stand for and what it is you believe in. Your manifesto serves as your underlying focus as you address all the other parts of being an artist. Having what you stand for clearly defined for yourself will help when it comes time to hire a professional publicist to help you promote your art. You will be able to communicate more effectively to your publicist what sets you apart.

My Personal Take Away from Saturday’s Seminar

What I realized after I began to attend more networking events is that pursuing success in the music industry, in this day and age, is not about indulging yourself or torturing yourself. It’s not about being self-indulgent or about forcing yourself to be something you’re not. What it means to be an independent artist has increased in complexity, but the redefining of the role has also opened up new opportunities for us to play to our strengths as well as more opportunities to challenge ourselves and step outside our comfort zones.

For me, posting about my interests and personal information and identifying openly as a human being, not just a musician, is the easy part. I can’t deny the extent of my relief at discovering that posting pretty pictures on Pinterest and schmoozing virtually about Disney movies and Greek mythology is actually part of my job now as an independent artist!

What’s difficult for me is going out to network with people I’ve never met before. For someone else, it might be the reverse, but what I realized at YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER is that it’s okay to be either way, because there will be opportunities for all of us to play to our strengths. The internet, even though it seems in some ways to make things more confusing than before, has given us more opportunities to be ourselves and connect with others.

About Samantha Echo: 

 Samantha Echo is a Mountain Nymph who happens to sing and write songs    sometimes. Mostly about adultery, but also about sleep and Fairy Tales. She has  been  featured in several documentaries and articles about street performers,  including the  Award-Winning book The Noise Beneath the Apple, by Heather Jacks, who calls her “a  Salvador Dali of sound, challenging and disrupting perspective.”  She has just finished  a photo shoot with photographer Michelle Fernanda Varela entitled “The Pinata of  Life and Drowning in Adulthood” on the themes of Ophelia and the Peter Pan  Complex.  The photos (and other cool things) are coming soon  to http://SamanthaEchoMusic.com

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Guest Post by Dani Felt: At YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER I Educated and Empowered Myself as an Artist!

 

Wow! Where Should I Start?

Yesterday was one of the most helpful, informative, and interesting music industry seminars I have ever been too. Ariel Hyatt (Cyber PR) and Michael Whalen put together an amazing group of panels for a free music industry education for today’s business! YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER took place January 10th, 2015 at City College of New York from 12 to 6pm. I am so grateful for Ariel & Michael for putting this together. They did an absolutely amazing job. The range of topics were so helpful. They had guest panels that spoke about everything from copyrights to publishing to monetization to marketing/PR/promotion and last but not least fundraising. They could have easily charged for this kind of knowledge for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. I am sure everyone in the audience felt the same way, as the energy was amazing! Everyone clapped and cheered with gratitude and excitement after each panel was complete. Everyone left feeling so empowered!

Conversation as Currency And All The Conversations You Can Be Having

One of my favorite parts of this seminar was when Michael Whalen put creating music into a whole new perspective. He spoke about how you shouldn’t always worry about selling music, and instead you should focus on creating it and, in turn, creating a unique and wonderful experience for those it reaches. He also spoke about the relevance of understanding how people interact with your music telling us how a fan wrote to him saying his mother passed away while listening to his music. I am sure this touched Michael deeply. It really is incredible how music makes a difference in peoples lives.

Another favorite moment of mine was the focus on conversation as currency. Engaging with your audience about various topics is really as valuable as selling a product. The minute you have people talking about you, good or bad, you have their attention, and they are helping bring awareness to your brand. Michael cited various opinions of Madonna on Instagram (good or bad) and how these comments and responses help keep her in the public eye. This view really made me shift my perspective. Some examples Michael gave of conversation currency were social, political, celebrity, spiritual/religious, sexual, fashion, artistic, enlightenment, and many more. From now on, on social media I want to start implementing different conversation currencies into my overall social media marketing strategy. I am grateful to Michael for opening up my eyes about really connecting with my fans/clients in a different way.

PR/Marketing/Promotion. Put The Focus On You! 

Another ah-ha moment came from the PR/Marketing/Promotion panel. This lovely panel was moderated by Ariel Hyatt, and featured music promotion leaders Patrice Fehlen (September Gurl), Pamela Workmen (Workman Group Communications) and Jo-Na Williams (The Artist Empowerment Firm). I have to say how inspiring it is to see so many leading women in music on stage! This is extremely empowering to me and makes me believe more and more that it’s possible to become a leader as a woman in the music industry. I learned that when it comes to branding you have to focus on what makes you unique. For example Ariel Hyatt`s team, Cyber PR, turned Darius Lux into a gluten free rockstar! How creative is that? It is not just about your bio, it`s about your story. It is about the message you want to get across. Be different, stand out, tell them something that makes you memorable!

I am a very spiritual and positive person, so I want to try to incorporate my spirituality more into my brand because it really means a lot to me and I feel very strongly about things like law of attraction and following your passion. Now, I could say I am a singer/songwriter who has a dream to be in music, but how boring is that? Everyone could say that! You gotta make your story stand out and be relatable. They said the more you can really be human and emotionally connect with yourself, the better people will relate to your music. The most important thing I got out of that panel was just be you!

Some Of The Little Known Things About Social Media Strategy

I could go on for pages about this panel, but I feel our attention span is so short these days you wouldn’t read the pages I could write. Therefore I will just mention two more things: Ariel Hyatt and Marni Wandner (Sneak Attack Media) did an absolutely amazing job speaking on social media. They are in the top leaders of PR and social media strategy. They taught us the 80/20 rule for social channels, 80% content, 20% promotions. I have to admit this is something I have a challenge with, because I love posting about what I am up to with my business, but after going to this seminar I am going to try harder to fight the urge to post about business all the time and focus more on other conversation currency!

On Facebook, they advised us on the importance of having a personal and business page. With a personal Facebook page you max out at 5,000 people, that is not an invite cap when it comes to getting your music out! They also advise one should focus on 5 themes to post on socials. Some examples could be your favorite city, your favorite sports team, your dog, lyrics you love etc. Be creative, and be interesting. It’s key to posting! Post what you are passionate about and you will go far with grabbing your audience.

Crowdfunding: Creativity and Connection

Benji Rogers (Pledge Music), Kristin Henderson (Antigone Rising) and Aly Tadros (Aly Tadros Music) gave us their incredible advice on crowdfunding. Being an entrepreneur and an artist myself for www.creativespotlights.com, I understand money can be challenging to ask for. But all of these panelists made it sound so fun! For example, Kristin from Antigone Rising spoke about after each show, this all female rock band would sell a personal bra on eBay to raise money – a genius and out of the box idea! They explained how you have to get really creative with it. Another thing Kristin and Antigone Rising created for their crowdfunding campaign was “anything goes” boxes where fans could purchase surprises boxes which could contain anything the band thinks up. They were a huge hit during their Pledge Campaign for Whiskey & Wine Volumes I and II. Another amazing concept I definitely want to use for my future campaign.

Benji from Pledge Music spoke about how there are two approaches to fundraising. You can either approach it like you are asking for money to do xyz, or you could share the experience of making the xyz with the fans and let them buy into being part of the experience. I do agree that the second way is way more appealing!

It’s Not All About the Art!

The final takeaway from YOUR MUSIC, YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR CAREER, was: being a musician is not just about the art. It is also about being your own business person. You must learn as many tricks of the trade and tools as you can. Artists should never rely on anyone else to help them. They have to help themselves first. We all need to become DIY artists and gain as much knowledge as possible. We have no excuse because almost everything we want to know is in a book, a blog, or on a website. And I added The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer to my reading list.

Thank you to all the panelists for the incredible information you left all of us with yesterday. What an amazing new years gift!

About Dani Felt:

unnamed Dani Felt is an upcoming singer/songwriter and CEO of Creative Spotlights,    a  platform  to help and support creative talent. She is currently co-writing a  book  titled: In The  Spotlight: Over 100 Voices In Music with her partner and  life  coach Emily Correa to  advice artists about how to be successful in the  music  industry. Look out for it in the  next couple months  on www.inthespotlightmusic.  com.

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Guest Post by Deuce Elllis: The New Music & Entertainment Business: Easier Than You Think?

Ariel Hyatt, founder of Cyber PR is one of the warmest people I know. She’s dedicated to what she does and who she does it for, and a prime example of branding incarnate, as you can spot her & her trademark fiery red mane from anywhere in the room. So when I found out she was hosting the Your Music, Your Rights, Your Career (#YourMusic) seminar this past Saturday, I got tickets for my whole crew and we sat in the front row. Six nonstop hours, jam packed with insight and information from movers, shakers, thought leaders, and curators of cool in various facets of the music industry. Afterwards the whole crew and I went straight to the studio and had an amazing session (click here so you can hear what we recorded when we release it http://tinyurl.com/EnterTheCult).

Here’s My Guest Blog After Attending the #YourMusic Seminar; maybe this whole thing is easier than you think…

First things first let’s demolish whatever train of thought you may have. Demolish it. Let’s destroy and rebuild.

No, this isn’t as painful as you think, what it means is that you get a clean slate, and that’s an amazing thing.

You’re reading this because you love making music, creating art, entertaining …and making money right? …Riight?

You didn’t pour your heart and your soul into your art just to post it on Facebook, Twitter, and a “link in bio” album cover photo it for the ‘gram did you? If so, stop reading this right now, go post your latest link and go away.

Mozart Didn’t Sell Music, He Sold An Experience

Let’s destroy the thought that we live in a world where we create music/art to “sell” it, obliterate it; that world no longer exists baby. Let’s be evolved.

Why are kids tapping their parents pockets to cram into any “EDM festival” they can? It’s the same reason people line up outside of stores days in advance for sneakers, or a video game, or an iThingy. They’re not just making a purchase, they’re living out an experience.

In a time before the “Music Industry” existed, creatives of all sort have, well, gotten creative when it comes to sourcing income for their craft. Mozart didn’t compose amazing music trying to go platinum, Shakespeare wasn’t writing to be a “New York Times Bestseller” – by masterful execution of the craft, an experience was created, value perceived, and high demand ensued.

Let’s bomb on one more thought: You are not your YouTube views, you are not Facebook likes, or Twitter followers, your worth will not be measured in album sales, downloads or awards. You were valuable since the day you were born. Shout out to Michael Whalen for taking great measure shift the perspective from creating for validation to creating because that’s what you do. Doing this allows you to create all new value for yourself and your work. Personally, I haven’t  been into school since before getting kicked out of the 11th grade, but fond of learning I am, and Michael Whalen operated surgically as a teacher.

Ok so now we’re at a clean slate, we know that we’re valid, and we’re creating out of our best selves from that purest place of love, which means we’re pouring out the good sh*t right? We’re not door to door music salesmen anymore; we’re creators of moments and experiences that people enjoy. We’re evolving and it feels good. Ready to move forward?

Before We Get to the Millions, The Private Planes, and All the Acclaim – Know Your Damn Rights. 

How are you expecting to cash in off your art if you don’t know where the money is going to come from? If you’re expecting someone to “just do it for you” or maybe for the cash to fall out of the sky after you finish uploading it, go get that customer service job that you’re gonna hate, keep posting links of FB for know one to see, and go away some more. Because apparently that’s ‘easier’ than taking the time to learn about the business you’ll be existing in. Heck, even the customer service job is going to put you through a training.

Do yourself the favor of learning about copyright law, how easy it is to set up your own publishing company (you’ve probably already did it and don’t even know), and developing and understanding of publishing, because this is your business. Most independent artists both write and perform their own original music. Do you know you can paid double for that? Do you know you can receive royalties for performing your songs live?

Have a really cool logo? Understanding copyright law means you can set yourself up to be paid when that really cool skateboard company wants to put it on a line of their boards (personal ambition).

Here are some of your main income sources, know them and know your rights in them. It’s 2015, you don’t have to walk through the cold to the library and flip through encyclopedias to educate yourself on the subject – just spend a few less minutes watching those funny ass BuzzFeed videos (guilty of it too) and take some time reading through the wealth of information available online. Experts in the field are on Twitter and if you ask concise questions, concise answers you will get.

Recording Income

Publishing Income

Live Performances

Merchandise/Ancillary

Branding

Learn what each means to you and your process. Or wait until somebody else comes along with a magic wand to do this for you. Do you want to be an entrepreneur, or do you want a fairy godmother to come babysit you?

MONETIZATION: In the Garden of Conversation 

“Success is in the Details”

One of the most enlightening things I learned from the day is that conversation = currency.

Suddenly I began to see things in a different light. What, if anything are your fans saying about your music? How are you as the gardener tending and curating the conversation? Do you take a genuine interest in your fans & followers?

Ask yourself this: how do you fans use your music and what role does it play in their lives? Do they listen to your music to workout? When they’re driving? When dealing with a painful circumstance? Maybe your music is the music they play to get pumped up before they go out with their friends, or maybe it’s that song you play on the ride home. Remember we’re not door to door music salesmen; we’re creators of moments and experiences that people enjoy. Think about the experiences your fan base has with the music, and then don’t just think about it – take it a step further and engage in that experience. Talk to your constituents, they talk.

At the moment YouTube is the best platform of monetization for your videos. Do your due diligence in setting up a proper partnership with YouTube. Give special care setting up the Title, Description, Your Tags, And your Thumbnails. “Success is in the Details”. That quote was prevalent throughout the day and it rings true. It’s the difference between more people discovering your music & the difference between you making money and missing money.

Now that your understanding how your base is interacting with your music, and you’re tending to the garden curating the conversation around your music, it’s time to unleash the power of your fans. Unleash them.

User Generated Content (UGC)

Playlists

Covers

By encouraging your fans to upload videos using your content, sharing your music in playlists, and even doing their own covers – it enhances the experience, it spreads the conversation, it deepens the engagement, and if you’ve done your due diligence, then your Monetized content is generating income for you. And look you didn’t have to sell anything  .

A case study in action of this would be the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon from a little whiles back: there was an experience to be had, conversation formed around it, the fans were unleashed, the experience enhanced, the conversation spread and the results – over 10,000 UGC videos resulting in billions (plural, with a B) of views.

Somewhere Between Marketing & Promotions, PR, Social Media, And Crowdfunding, I Learned the Answer. And here’s the great takeaway…

The whole day proved to be amazing. My perspective was changing and my head was getting crammed with new information and ideas I couldn’t wait to run off and put into action.

As I listened to folks well versed in the lingo of marketing and branding, I began to notice a common theme that seemed to me to be what the universe wanted to get through to the crowd. Listening to artists who had successfully completed crowdfunding campaigns, and even the founder of Pledge Music, there was a simple lesson forcing its way into the crevices of my grey matter.

It all boiled down to two simple questions:

Who Are You? And What is Your Story?

No PR firm going to take you on, no amount of marketing and promotion will do, no fans are going to fund you, and it honestly doesn’t matter which social media site your on: you’re equally stupid on all of them until you can truly define who you are, what you stand for, and what your story is.

Knowing this, establishing this, and sharing this. That’s what makes people drawn to you and rally around you. And that makes your job significantly easier doesn’t it? Because now people will rally around you being you for who you are. Now you’re not creating for validation. Now you’re not a door to door music salesmen. Now you are defining the experience, molding the conversation, and you’re doing it by being you. That’s what your fans have been waiting for this whole time. They gain something in sharing in your story, in being apart of that experience. So don’t deny them. “The most personal you can be, the most universal”.

There’s one more piece to this though, have a plan. Set yourself some goals. You will achieve them, and then you’ll move on to other greater challenges. Most of the obstacles in your way are of your own creation. Joyfully let them go. They don’t serve you any longer. This is easier than you think, but it does require that you think differently, and more so than anything that you consistently and persistently take action.

And if you don’t have one, get yourself an email list, nurture it, send them cool stuffs, and sign up for mine here: http://tinyurl.com/EnterTheCult ️

About Deuce Ellis

Deuce Ellis is a Cult #Believe in #DeuceEllis & ALL your dreams shall come true.

Much like a pyramid Deuce Ellis has built a solid foundation from the ground up, steadily bringing him higher and higher. From touring with hip hop icons like Das EFX, and Prince Po (Organized Konfusion w/ Pharoahe Monch) & rising stars such as Aloe Blacc – Deuce has traveled the lands honing and perfecting his craft.

In quite spectacular indie fashion #TheCult leader organized a series of his own cross country tours, driving state to state with Tiger The DJ, crashing couches, trashing hotel rooms, and connecting with the people, whether the crowds were 5 or 5,000. Whether rocking Warped Tour, sharing the stage with the legendary Rakim, or indie sensation Mac Miller, Deuce Ellis crosses demographics, bringing the world into his niche instead.

And it’s deeper than just rap music. Deuce’s artwork has hung in a Mr. Brainwash exhibit in LA. With Tiger and renowned NYC fashion designer Nippy Lavern (also his best friend of 20+ years) they organized and hosted a monthly Fashion parties bringing together the latest in clothing & music & a celebration of the culture in Brooklyn, USA. Not only has he built his own tours, but he’s helped other artists get their start on the road as well. Deuce has also written a book of poetry titled #BLVCKXMAS” set released December 2014. The Cult leader has thrown his own successful underground concert series “It’s a F*cking Hip Hop Show” in Brooklyn, highlighting up and coming talent from NYC & acts from all over the country & has used this event to drive to collect food, toys & clothing for those in need.

Currently Deuce Ellis is the co-funder of the Annual Artworks Festival. The inaugural event took place Saturday July 5th, 2014 in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, The Artworks Festival is a day long multimedia Music & Arts celebration bringing artists, performers, musicians, and creatives from all over the world to Brooklyn to Party & Bullsh*t. The Artworks Festival is co-founded & co-curated by internationally acclaimed Dj, producer & longtime collaborator Mario Bee.

You can also look forward to new music coming from Deuce Ellis – a 7 track concept EP titled Nothing is Sacred is set for release Friday, February 13th.

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A Musician’s Guide To Setting And Achieving Goals For 2015

 

You Rock

It’s a new year and a clear slate is in front of all of us. The turning of the calendar from 2014 to 2015 is an ideal time to set your goals. I see a marked difference between artists who set finite goals and those who do not.

Ask yourself: Is this the year I want to make a difference for my musical 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 living out of it full-time.

I have included a few links from some of the best musician related posts on how to think about your goals and how to achieve goals them as well. So, bookmark this long article and refer to it throughout this 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, and achieving is what we’re after here.

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, your feel, your image, your health and/or your pitch.

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

Rick Goetz at http://musiciancoaching.com has written a great 2 part guide on how to  attack a record release social media marketing plan with intention

Newsletter – Creating and sending it 12 – 24 times this year (1-2 times a month). Also getting the numbers up on your mailing list while flushing out the inactive emails addresses on the list.

Website  – Building a new one, diversifying your online presence, or re-branding?

Social Networking  – When was the last time you tweeted? How about making some Twitter lists and organizing your followers.

PR – Getting covered on radio, print, or online outlets. Are people talking about you in the blogosphere?

Booking – Touring or local gigs? Maybe a combination of both?

CDs & Downloads – How many would you release, distribute, and sell? What is your goal number?

Money – How much money would you honestly and realistically like to earn this year?

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

Expanding and Maintaining Your Fan Base – How will you focus on new fan outreach, but still acknowledge and appreciate those who have been true fans of yours for years?

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?

Writing & Recording – Songwriting or recording an album or EP this year?

Your Instrument – Buying a new instrument or taking lessons?

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

STEP 2: Write Your Goals Down
•  Write each goal as if it is already happening. In other words, be sure to use the present tense!

• Give dates for when you want to achieve each one.

• Your goals should involve you and only you (they can’t involve you being reliant upon someone else)

•  Be pragmatic. Make sure the goals you are setting for yourself are realistic and achievable.

• To rev up your momentum start with small goals so you can get them checked off the list and build up your confidence.

• Make sure they make you FEEL MOTIVATED to complete!  Derek Sivers wrote a great post on this.

STEP 3: Look At Goals Everyday
I highly recommend writing your goals neatly on paper or creating a vision board that illustrates them. Use colored pens/markers/highlighters or make a collage that brings them to life, and hang them in a place where you can clearly see them everyday.

Keeping them within your sights will keep them in your mind and, in turn, keep you in the right mindset.

TECHNIQUES FOR ACHIEVING GOALS

1. Start With An Easy Goal And Get It Done
One of the primary reasons people don’t end up achieving their goals or their new years resolutions is they set themselves up to fail. They accidentally choose goals that take a lot of discipline and time to achieve. However there is nothing wrong with having big goals. 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 or so to complete.

Choose something like:

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

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

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 more attainable. You have already made an achievement and a step orienting yourself for improvement.

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 be a procrastinator. By getting the most daunting task done first, everything else will seem like a breeze.

• 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! Of course, this depends on how much time and energy each task involves.

3. Take Derek Sivers Advice: Zip It!
Derek gave a riveting 3 minute TED Talk  about keeping your goals to yourself because announcing them to the world may hurt your motivation. I know I just said hang them in a place where you can see them, but this is very different from broadcasting them to the world.

You can always take your vision board down when guests come over.

4. Get Help
Build a TEAM to help you!! Get an intern or two – log on to http://www.entertainmentcareers.net 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.

5. Set Aside Time to Achieve Goals
They won’t happen unless you have time to make sure they do!

Artist Christina Horn from Hudson K the winner of my Music Success in Nine Weeks Blog Challenge back in 2010 created a GREAT video on how to manage time well from an artist’s perspective.

6. 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 over the course of the year your goals change its OK to cross one off or modify as you go.

7. Write Down 5 Successes Each Day
Write down five little victories each day for this entire year.

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.

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. Wrote and posted a blog.

MY FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE – GO EASY ON YOU!
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 2015!

The following is an excerpt about goal setting from my most popular and bestselling book Music Success in 9 Weeks which is now available at its lowest price ever at http://musicsuccessinnineweeks.com/order/

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