What is the most important part of a building? The foundation.
It’s the same with music careers and businesses. If we want to grow, we need to build a solid foundation.
And this usually takes some digging. It requires some hard intellectual work and research. It doesn’t just come together in a vacuum or by accident.
Extending the analogy further, the part that usually takes the longest to build with any building is the foundation. After the foundation is in place, the rest of the building comes together much faster.
First, we need to know what we’re building towards. We need a blueprint. Otherwise, we don’t know how deep or wide to dig.
And that depends a lot on the type of career you want to have, whether it’s being a songwriter, a touring musician, a work from home music producer, or whatever else you might have in mind. You can create whatever you want, but you’re going to get more assistance from others and the universe if you’re clear on what you want and can stick to your guns.
Starting with the end in mind is an exercise a lot of people don’t do. So then, their building efforts are haphazard, and they end up having to repair their foundation later. It usually ends up being costly and difficult. Much more tedious than if they had started with the right foundation in the first place.
At first, we were excited to see all that traffic come in.
There was one problem though. The people who came to check out that post? They were mostly interested in Dr. Murphy or his book, and not at all in music or building a music career. We thought we’d found an intersection of interests, when in fact we’d ended up attracting a different niche crowd altogether. So, we grew a lot of traffic and email list “bloat” that was never going to be good customers for us.
The sad part is that it took a couple of years to sort this all out. And my solution was to create an entirely separate email list for these people, in case I ever decided to take the niche more seriously and had other recommendations to send them.
Music Entrepreneur HQ still benefited from having a highly trafficked blog post. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” as they say. But what we learned from this experience was that we had to be a lot more careful about the content we published on our site. We needed to be sure that it was a good fit for our target audience if we had any intention of selling to them.
It’s often been said that if you lead with your interests, your audience will follow you. But sometimes this just isn’t true.
So, let’s start with the end in mind. What is it that you want in your music career? Be as clear as you possibly can. Don’t rush the process. Don’t get frustrated with it. Brainstorm. Speculate. Think about it. Talk about it. Discuss it with your mentors and people you trust. Journal about it. And let the picture form in your mind.
Once you know where you’re going, it’s all about unfolding the journey. The details start to take care of themselves. Instead of “working towards” something, you’ll be seeing the goal as a “done deal.” Then you’ll be unfolding it a day at a time. That’s a journey full of freedom and ease.
Don’t make up the blueprint as you go. Start with the blueprint.
For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.
This week’s #StrategySunday is meaty, and maybe even a little juicy.
I’m amid some important and desired transitions. So, there’s been a lot to think about from a strategic level.
Get ready, because here we go!
I call this “minutes,” but it’s just a list of items covered during the planning session. I care more about having a solid big picture view of what’s coming up with week as opposed to how much time was dedicated to each item.
What’s interesting about this week’s minutes is that I’m combining it with my strategizing from last night, because I’d had a lot of great ideas come to me.
Here’s what I went over today (and yesterday):
I thought about how I could structure my week in such a way that I wasn’t producing content on demand and ensuring that I had more time during the week to focus on client work and product development.
I realized that I could dovetail current social media efforts into ongoing product promotion.
I looked at the future of Music Entrepreneur HQ, the type of content I plan to create moving forward, and how I plan to grow the newsletter.
I reviewed last week’s notes and confirmed that most pending admin tasks were completed.
I went over my content duties for the week.
I made a fresh list of admin tasks to handle this coming week.
I went over what I was looking to accomplish product wise this week. I acknowledged that I’m just about ready to launch my course, which I plan to begin promoting as soon as possible.
I looked at what I was looking to accomplish musically this coming week.
I speculated on possibilities for my podcast.
Was there anything interesting that came out of this week’s reflection and planning session?
Although I’m big on reading and learning daily, I recognized the value in creating structure for each in my daily life. It allows for more consistency and inspiration.
I realized there might be a way for me to spend most of my week focused on client work, newsletters, and products, versus having multiple focuses for each day.
The podcast has been gnawing at me for a while. There are a few things I realized – I’m not enjoying it, I find it time-consuming, I feel a little bit like I’m reinventing the wheel every week, it doesn’t seem fully aligned with my new direction (which people are noticeably resonating with), and I see new content possibilities for Music Entrepreneur HQ besides. Whether it’s taking a break, altering the publishing schedule, or going on hiatus, it seems change is inevitable now. I can still see myself podcasting in the future, but it may take a different form.
Were there any ideas that came out of this week’s session?
I’m aware that there is an app with the same name, but I don’t see anyone discussing it as a concept. So, I’m coining the term. To me, it’s a broader term to describe the batching of tasks. We often think of this in terms of days, but to me it seems to make more sense to look at the week in its entirety and how a day’s efforts flow into the next. Otherwise, there’s bound to be oversight and a lack of flow, which just ends up being a bottleneck.
I have been having some success with growing engagement on Twitter and Medium, and I began to see that these channels could prove useful to my launch efforts.
Content for Music Entrepreneur HQ. This is something I’ve been rolling around in the back of my mind for a while, and I now have a more concrete idea of what I see as being possible.
I wire-framed a new blog post template for Music Entrepreneur HQ and look to create it as soon as possible.
I have had some questions regarding #StrategySunday, which I hope to address in future posts.
How do you speculate on possibilities?
How do you record your minutes?
What is Weekflow?
If you have any questions of your own, be sure to let me know.
And if you need more inspiration, refer to yesterday’s weekly digest.
That’s it for this week’s #StrategySunday. Here’s wishing you the best of weeks!
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.