How To Set The Perfect Artist Goal in 2023
Hey UPSTAGE family! HAPPY NEW YEAR! ✨I can't believe we've officially made it to the new year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.
In my newsletters prior to the holidays, we chatted a bit about goals. I wanted to elaborate on these since we're now in prime goal- setting season.
I hear from my artists that they have lots of goals but lack the structure to work towards and attain these goals. These may range from wanting to play larger venues, to wanting to gain more streams online. These goals are great- but they're missing a few crucial things.
1. A time frame.
Worked into any great goal is a an allotted amount of time to reach said goal. Make goals that you can attain short term and adjust if needed. Once you pick a time frame- make sure it's realistic and sets you up for success. All the way down to the way you say it, or write it out.
Maybe instead of saying:
"I want to gain an audience of 50 individuals in the next 5 months."
Turn it into:
"I want to increase each week's attendees by 2%, through June."
The latter goal can be tracked short- term, is less overwhelming, and works towards the same result as the first. And yes, If you do this (you would) have increased your average attendees by 50 new people by June! Go ahead and steal it.
2. A method of tracking progress
How are you going to track your progress? Without having a tracking method would you actually be able to tell if you're increasing your numbers each week?
You have to think like a business. Every good business tracks data and sets goals. If you're anything like me, you will need some place to organize your data. Otherwise, you become far more likely to forget about your goal- or stop working towards it completely. You can start by creating a little google sheet for yourself. Just start logging the numbers of attendees at each show. You could gain your data by keeping track of people at the door or by asking for the total tickets sold from the venue each night you play. Track your merch sales and practice good book keeping, ect.
3. A plan to make your goals happen
(It's all trial and error, baby. And don't be afraid to fail!)
If we're sticking with that "increasing show attendees by 2% by June" example, here's a couple ideas working towards that goal that one could create and try out.
One idea would be encouraging the show attendee's you've already obtained to help out. You have built up a community of supporters, so start embracing that! Don't want to bother your friends for help? Ask someone a fan/ new friend who has been coming to a few of your shows consistently if they would like to help you! That will further your fan/artist relationship with them and they would more than likely LOVE to help you out if they are already coming out and think you're cool. Remember that your first batch of followers are the ones you have to work for the hardest. According to trends, however, the numbers start snowballing on their own once you get them rolling. (I'll let ya know how accurate this is when I get there!) Include those who support you in your journey and encourage them to get involved instead of just following along online.
A second idea to consider- have you been notifying your email list of shows and inviting them to come out? Put yourself in their shoes. Maybe they aren't the type to come to every show because they think it would be weird. (This would be me.)
Personally invite them and let them know that you WANT them to come out and that you would LOVE to see them. Not only that, but share that them doing so HELPS you. It's a simple psychology hack knowing that everyone wants to be part of a cause. You can be that cause! Even if that cause is really just an excuse for them to go get a beer every Thursday night, it's probably one they can get behind. Give them permission to support you and personally invite them!
Tackling your growth using steps like these are practices that will start breaking you out of being a hobby musician and set you up for success as a professionally working musician.
You should operate as a business if you want to see the success of one. Businesses don't open their doors just waiting for customers without a business plan, investments, marketing, a system of tracking their business's health, growth, and most importantly, without having clear goals.
Thats all for this week- and share those goals with me on instagram if you feel like it! I'm a great accountability partner- (just not when it comes to the gym.)
Happy New Year y'all! ✨
The best friend and I ringing in the new year at The "Show Me Your Hits" NYE show at Minneapolis
Cider Company. Jada LaFrance (left) Janet Hering (right.)