Plan Your Work/Work Your Plan

» Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

Today’s music economy is all over the place, isn’t? Artists and/or bands have to work harder than ever to get ahead, sell product, book shows and of course: make some money. So, how do you do all those things? Is it who you know? Is it how good your music is? Is it how big your fan base is? Or is it how well you perform on stage? While all these things are all important, I would suggest the core part of being successful starts with the coordination and proper planning of your team members at hand.

First of all, what is it exactly that you’re trying to do? Make money? Get noticed? Get a record deal? Have fun? Believe it or not there are tons of artists and bands out there that have never taken the time to sit down and establish this. Whether your a solo artist with a group of creative professionals or a traditional band where everybody has a vote, you need to sit down, get out a piece of paper and write down your objectives. This might sound mundane at first, but I guarantee you that by going through this simple exercise you will discover some things you didn’t know about each other’s vision for what you’re doing and might even come up some new ideas that no one individually would have thought of on their own.

The next step is to identify the critical success factors. I know what you’re thinking: What the heck does that mean? Well once you establish an agreed upon goal or list of goals, you need to figure out what it’s going to take to achieve those goals. For example, let’s say one of you goals is to record an album but there isn’t any capital available to do so. The obvious question, or sub-goal rather, is to come up with the money, right? At this point the sky is the limit depending on who you are, what your other talents are or who you know. Maybe the drummer has a rich uncle that will loan you the money? Maybe you can set up a string of house parties and play covers for pay in order to fund the project? Perhaps you can have a bake sale at the local Wal-Mart? You laugh-but I have seen it been done. (Do you know how much money those girl scouts make selling cookies?) All kidding aside, everyone has skills and connections. Think outside the box and use them!

Lastly, you need to prioritize. If you are currently in a heavy writing phase, it’s not the time to raise money to record an album. You need to concentrate on the writing! Don’t put the cart before the horse. Write twenty songs, play them live for your fans, get some feedback, go back to the drawing board, tweak the songs, go back out and play them live again, start eliminating the weaker ones, etc. Then, once you have started honing in and on the ‘gems’, (you know-the ones everyone is starting to remember the words to) then you can start planning your recording project or whatever your next goal may be.

Planning, prioritizing, etc. can be a frustrating process. The plan can keep evolving-and that’s fine! Just keep tweaking it and repeating the process. Always remember: If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know it when you get there?