A Lesson on Goal Setting


Goal setting is the bedrock of success.  Goals shape, motivate, inspire and provide accountability in anything thy are applied to.  Goal setting is writing down a quantifiable set of desires that are attainable and measurable.

Goals allow you to better manage your time.  Time is a valuable resource.  Knowing your goals will help you decide how to best spend it.  A good set of goals can eliminate wasted time and you will start investing time on activities that will help you reach them.

Goal_SettingGoals also help you stay focused on the end game. Being an independent artist affords a lot of flexibility.  Many things, ideas, and opportunities become available for the taking.  But having a good set of goals will help you stay focused by only selecting the opportunities that will bring you closer to your end goal.

Elements of a Goal

The elements of a goal include an attainable desire, a measurable, and a deadline.  Let’s say you want to land a gig at a premier venue.  Here is what your goal might look like:

By July 2016, I will perform a 30 minute (or longer) set at The Basement.

The desire is to perform at The Basement.  The measurable is one 30 minute (or longer) set.  The deadline is July 2016.

Including these 3 elements help you decide what you want and how best to achieve what you want.  Additionally, the deadline and measurable elements challenge you to think about the reality of the goal.  By forcing yourself to add a deadline and make it measurable, you subconsciously have to decide whether or not it can realistically be done at all.

Benchmarks and Tactics of a Goal

The next step is to assign benchmarks and tactics to achieve your goal based on the timeframe and the measurable.  Some ideas for our example goal might be:

Benchmark 4:  (To be completed by March 2016)  Send booking pitch and Press Kit/EPK to the venue’s talent buyer/booking.
Tactic 4a:  Update and perfect my Press Kit/EPK.
Tactic 4b:  E-mail to booking person asking for date.

Benchmark 3:  (To be completed by January 2016)  Establish a solid 50 person draw in town in order to fill seats.
Tactic 3a:  Ask current fans to share your music with their friends.
Tactic 3b:  Do lots of street team activities.
Tactic 3c:  Launch a locally targeted social media campaign.
Tactic 3d:  Actively build mailing list at current shows.
Tactic 3e:  Engage in networking activities.

Benchmark 2:  (To be completed by September 2015)  Identify and list details about the venue.
Tactic 2a:  Get answers to these questions: How far in advance do they book?  Is there a production fee? Any other requirements?
Tactic 2b:  Research current band roster.  Try to meet them.  Find out how they got their show at the venue?

Benchmark 1:  (Ongoing) Establish a rapport with the talent buyer/booking person.
Tactic 1a:  Find out who that person is.
Tactic 1b: Send them a physical thank you note for being a pillar in the local music scene and introducing myself
Tactic 1c:  Send them any notable updates ie. press clippings, pictures or video footage of fans having a great time 

Each benchmark has its own set of tactics.  This step in the process encourages you to brainstorm all possible methods of getting the goal achieved.  The number of tactics you come up with can vary based on how easy or difficult the goal is to achieve.

Now do it yourself! What is your goal?  If you don’t have any goals yet, you should start at a very high level and work your way backwards from there.  What is your ultimate desire?  Where do you want your career to go in the end?  Make that desire your goal and place the deadline as far out into the future as you want.  List the major steps you will need to take in order to achieve that goal.  These will be your benchmarks.  Then list activities you can do to achieve each benchmark. These will be your tactics.  Be as detailed as possible.  Set the benchmarks far apart to give yourself enough time to complete the tactics.  I call this a Goal Master Plan.  It would look similar to this:

Ultimate Goal (Desire, Measurable, Deadline)

Benchmark 3
Tactic 1, Tactic 2, Tactic 3

Benchmark 2
Tactic 1, Tactic 2, Tactic 3

Benchmark 1
Tactic 1, Tactic 2, Tactic 3

When you are done, place a physical copy of your Goal Master Plan somewhere nearby where you will see it often.  Read them once a week or once a month to remind yourself what your plans and intentions are.  Before you know it, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.


About Anitra Jay

Anitra Jay is an acoustic soul singer-songwriter based in Houston, TX. She tours regularly up and down the US from Vermont to Texas and everywhere in between. Her music is a sultry down to earth blend of soul, pop, and gospel. After being laid off from her job in 2007, Anitra decided to pursue a career in music. She took her educational experiences in Public Relations and her professional background in marketing and applied it full force to her music. She's found significant success in establishing a lasting fanbase using her special brand of marketing techniques which she shares freely with other artists. In addition to being a full-time performer, Anitra runs TheCraftyMusician.com, a blog for indie artists sharing actionable tips and advice on how to promote, develop, establish a fanbase, and more. Her passion is to inspire other musicians and build a community of like-minded independent artists to encourage and promote successful careers in the arts. She appeared on HGTV's Tiny House Hunters in May of 2017 to share her music story and her Tiny House Journey with the world. Follow Anitra on Twitter - @IndieArtistsDIY and @Anitra_Jay. Join the mailing list to get practical DIY tips and tricks in your inbox - http://buff.ly/2gSwptO.