Flickr:  Angie Torres : Goal Setting

Flickr: Angie Torres: Goal Setting

Now is the time that many businesses and organizations begin focusing on their strategic plan for the upcoming year. If you're an artist, producer, engineer, etc. without a major machine behind you, you should consider yourself as a business.  While it’s important to plan and adjust throughout the year, December tends to be popular as it’s a great time to reflect on how things went and what you wish to accomplish heading into the next year.
New Year's resolutions are great for expressing your intentions, however they may not come into fruition without a solidified plan that details how you will achieve your goals. Take it to the next level and develop your strategic plan to help you accomplish your artistic goals for the new year and propel your career forward at a high velocity.

Flickr:  Orin Zebest  So Many Questions

Flickr: Orin Zebest So Many Questions

Mission & Objectives

If you don’t have a mission, develop one. It doesn’t have to be long, but make sure it covers the basics
The Who - Who’s included in your business
The What - What is it you do and what clientele do you serve?
The Why/How - Why is it that you do what you do and how do you stand out?
If you do have a mission, take time to reevaluate it and make sure it still lines up with what you’re trying to accomplish.

Flickr:  Alexander Osterwalder  Environmental Forces

Flickr: Alexander Osterwalder Environmental Forces

Situational Analysis/Environmental Scanning

Take a look at what’s happening around you. Pay attention to what other artists and music professionals are doing.  Social networking has made this task incredibly easy to accomplish. As an artist, one major thing to keep in mind during this process is that everyone is not your competition. Many music professionals service specific niches, but it is still possible to learn from others in the industry. Pay attention to what you see works for those individuals as well as what doesn’t work for those individuals. During this point of the observation, it’s important to look at it from the standpoint of a fan.  Recognize what they did that grabs your attention, or what they did that didn’t.

Flickr:  Stefan Erschwendner  Strategy

Flickr: Stefan Erschwendner Strategy

Strategy Formulation

Take into consideration the information you’ve gathered during the mission/objectives & situational analysis/environmental scanning stage.  Determine what will work best with the goals you are trying to accomplish and write them down.
Research the financial resources you’ll need to bring everything into fruition and make it happen. If that graphic designer you want to work with charges $150 for that logo/T-Shirt design you’ve always wanted, plan for that and determine how you can make that work for what you need to happen this upcoming year.

Flickr:  BK  Steve Maraboli Don't sit back and wait for life to happen to you. Dream, plan, execute

Flickr: BK Steve Maraboli Don't sit back and wait for life to happen to you. Dream, plan, execute

Strategy Implementation

Develop concrete steps to help you reach the strategy you formulated. For instance, if this is the year you want to launch your website, who are you going to contact and when will you contact them to set things in motion?
If this is the year you want to begin selling merch, who will you contact for design & when?

Flickr:  Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig  Defining targets differently

Flickr: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Defining targets differently

Evaluation & Control

This is an important aspect to measure how things are going.  It’s good to set measurable goals so that your progress is visible to helps keep you going through tough times & celebrate during the good. 
If you decided to increase your followers/fans by 20%, you can see if your strategy is helping you achieve that by doing the math.

If you need any help getting your strategy in place, you can check out the many resources available online. If you want personalized help, you can contact me for a consultation. I wish you peace, love & prosperity for the new year!