Music Marketing – Take Action Plan

 

The Right Mindset For Becoming A Successful Musician

For a musician, his biggest dream is waking up every morning and knowing that what he is going to do that day is going to be living his dream.

That he will go to meet up with his band, check social networks, help with any distribution or marketing needs, even record a new album or start planning the next one.

This is the biggest goal for many if not, all musicians in the world who aspire to making it not only a passion or a hobby, but a job, that they can live from what they earn and know that the one thing they love to do, is now their biggest achievement…

But how do they do it? Many have tried and many have failed that’s true, there is no magical answer to this question but there is one thing that is indeed a beneficial tool along the road to do this, that you can have right now and that you can start using immediately, that is having the right thoughts, the right mindset and knowing exactly what you want and how you want it.

That’s what we will discuss today, a practical planning process and how to set your goals and reach them successfully.

So first of all… what is this planning process?

It is called V.M.O.S.A and we will carefully look into it and then give you some advice exclusively to musicians on how to apply it, and how you should organize and plan your mind, your goals and your objectives afterwards.

But first of all, how would a musician or an individual benefit from this process of thought?
          How You Will Benefit

 

Having a thought process is a tool effective for the organization and distribution of tasks and ideas you may have, it even leaves the gaps for changes or unexpected situations to occur.

 

When someone sits down and tries to plan something they usually base themselves solely in previous experiences and what they have learned, but when an external form of though arrives into their hands it can even be a life changing experience.

You as a musician imagine discovering a new scale that comes with new chords and gives you a whole new range of possibilities to compose on top of what you already know.
As simple as it may sound for some, it can be a rather tricky thing to apply, so we advice you that from the moment you start reading the next steps you think each one individually and understand them as much as possible to their full extent.

A planning process biggest benefit lies in the fact that it is an advice that has been explained, tested and proven to work for many and it is not just word of mouth from your best friends.

Let us start by describing in general terms, what is V.M.O.S.A and it’s overall structure.

                  
What Is V.M.O.S.A?
As we said, It is a planning process that is indeed, practical, as you can apply it at any given moment that requires a tactical bit of organization.

The letters stand for:

  • Vision.
  • Mission.
  • Objectives.
  • Strategies.
  • Action Plans.

The order of the letters is the order you will plan ahead with, each one represents an individual step and reasoning process, for now to avoid confusion let’s see the general meaning to all of them and afterward, how to apply them to planning your music career and taking a step forward for the best.

         

          Vision: The Dream

 

What you believe in and what you want to achieve, your personal philosophies and thought process is taken a lot into consideration in this part, as you may know many of our decisions are influenced by past experiences, your objective here is to use the vision as an inspiration that you will carry with you, always.

The way Vision in V.M.O.S.A works is that to picture the future of how you think it would be being successful in what you desire.

For our situation, picture the best case scenarios there can be, and how you would feel in them, what would be for the best and the process of your daily life.

 

Try to develop the concept as far as you possibly can, as this will give you hints to what it is that you want most and what you should focus your attention on the most, to achieve it.

A god vision’s common factors are:

  • Good things such as, health or well being.

 

  • Easy for you to enclose the whole idea, a very detailed yet comprehensible environment.
  • Inspiration and a feeling of ease when imagining it.

          Mission: What It Is And Why

 

Developing in this stage involves making statements which are the next step in the action planning process.

 

Mission statements are more concrete, and they are oriented to defining the rough idea of the process on how you are going to reach what you envisioned.

The mission might also focus on any issues or problematics you know you will or might confront during the process and decide a varied amount of ways to tackle it and go over the obstacles it will present in the most successful way.

Here are some elemental factors and aspects of how the mission must feel or have in it:

 

  • Concise: We should consider the mission a far more insightful version of the vision but still be able to sum it up in one sentence.

 

  • Inclusive: Do not limit the strategies you might use to achieve your success, don’t put any barriers between you and your goal, being inclusive means taking in consideration anything as a handy tool.

 

  • Outcomeoriented: Defining the required field that is desired to be taken care of.

Let us see an example of a musician “To become an inspiration for future generations”
Vision and mission should be considered even your philosophical aspect to how you are going to structure your organization and plan your goals, include principles that go well with your statement and develop yourself within them.
Make use of these two as a motto and as a principle and source for your inspiration.

Objectives: What You Will Accomplish & When

 

It is time to develop and submerge ourselves into more profound waters of complexity and set our objectives, it is very important to state our mission and vision and be sure they are convincing to us.

As for objectives, refer to specific measurable results for the initiative’s broad goals, they usually define how much will be accomplished and when it will be accomplished.

 

For example “By next month (when) I will have started recording my new song (how much)” in this case, it is just the starting point perhaps, but the advancement itself is of going to the studio to begin the process, the idea of how much, can also be the starting point of a whole process and not just only the end of it.

 

As for categorization among objectives, it’s important to understand that these different types of objectives we are about to mention aren’t mutually exclusive, and that yours can fall in between one another.

  • Process Objectives: objectives that refer to the implementation of activities necessary to achieve other objectives, for example the recording oyur first song reference would require you to save up as much money as possible for that one month along with what you have already saved up to expand your budget.It is very important to consider process objectives and integrate them in between each desired goal, be cold, be direct and be realistic about them!

 

  • Behavioral Objectives: This particular one focuses on your attitude and behavioral patterns, let us imagine that you are attempting to learn a new instrument, and your goal is to play one of your favorite songs on it, if you have a behavioral objective to change your practice time from 1 hour every two or three days to 2 hours everyday

the result itself would change, correct?

That is what it is, changing the behavior of said individual to influence an even more exponential, successful or simply amazing result.

 

          Strategies: The How

 

This is the second step you must take when it comes to more technical cold-minded thinking, here you should prioritize the possible problematics and disadvantages that might show up, during your objective process.

Any well organized individual develops different alternatives to one single issue, so do your best to come up with as many possible ideas to how you can solve a problem, the methods , the time they would take and how you if it would be a definite solution or a temporal solution until you have the tools or the means to give it the definite answer.

 

Consider also any low rate possible developments in your planning, by this we mean anything you consider “not possible” or “out of the question” and find the path that would lead to them, to avoid it.

Action Plan: The Change And What You Will Do About It

 

Here is where the whole structure takes form, as for now you have thrown a bunch of ideas, concepts, problematics and their solutions and so on, now it is time to put the puzzle together.

 

You have to be specific about the whole plan and who and how the individual will solve the objectives to meet a goal, your action steps are defined by the next aspects:

  • Action step(s): What will happen
  • Date to be completed: Timing of each action step
  • Person(s) responsible: Who will do what
  • Resources required: Resources and support
  • Collaborators: Who else should know about this action
  • Barriers or resistance, and a plan to overcome them!

 

The Next Step: Your Music Career

 

Now that you understand the basics of the planning process we are going to use (thank you for your patience!) Let us tackle your real issue, and how you will implement VMOSA in your music career plan to achieve the desired grade of success you want and need so badly.

The importance of understanding VMOSA is so that you also, as a musician and individual comprehend yourself, in fact, the idea behind any planning concept is exactly so that you know yourself and what it is really what you want.

A lot of musicians have based their dream in a very vast, meaningless and objective less ideal or concept that media has delivered to them and do not realize all the hard work it really takes to be up there.

The point here is that you can narrow your goals to a simple direct, specific answer and you can break down the whole process in simple, specific direct answers, to avoid a simple thing, regret or a feeling of confusion.

A great example is that of a musician who only wants to be so for the fame they earn, and then halfway through the process they fail because they realize that what they want can be achieved through other means as being famous for them is media and entertainment related and music has no real meaning in artistic terms to them.

Before we start we are going to hit a cold statement that you have to carry with you for life, being a musician is being a two legged walking business, you have to treat it as such, administrate it as such and keep yourself backed up with new ideas to innovate and keep the benefits flowing or even take a step higher.

Let us begin with what would be your Mission and vision and how to use that motivation to change yourself.

Mission & Vision: The Future I Want

Following the VMOSA process of development we will approach you with a question above all first..

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? And Why?
Answer that question keeping in mind as many aspects and ideas you can come up with, keep them realistic and bring yourself to a point where you can believe they are a possibility, what we mean is, that you really feel it would be a reality that could be achieved within your capacities.
This is the first step as this will be (as we mentioned before) motivation and a philosophy for you to not give up when you start the process of changing and confronting issues, obstacles or any form of trouble you will be met with.

You might have slight changes of mind as we go through or you go thourgh the rest of the article and that is completely normal, you might reconsider some options or might decide to take a different path for your music career and decide to maybe expand yourself even more in a certain area of music or deliver a far more direct simple answer than all the thing you originally wanted to do.
Focus

Focus basically means paying attention, paying attention to yourself and to your thoughts in this process is essentially important and will help you define later a more concrete concept, objective list, and goal list of what it is that you want to include in the action plan at the very end.

 

Let’s approach the point to apply focus in our daily life and make it a part of us, let me begin by saying that we before musicians, we are humans and we have limits, we get tired we get hungry we need resting we need food, correct? Well there is also another aspect, we get emotional, we get thoughtful and we also get lost a little in the transition of thoughts we have.

Your first step to be able to envision and have a mission is to separate all these aspects of your daily life, all your problematic, all thing that need to be taken care of and whether they are really part of your life, include them solved in your vision or if they are temporary (like the apartment you live in or the neighborhood is not to safe for your children) to take them into consideration and change them for the best in your vision.

Tips for focusing:

  • Look and think about it: have a visual representation of the thought you are trying to put together and write it, or illustrate it, everyday try to look at it and only think about that one single thing, don’t let your mind stray away into divergences in your thoughts, if you find yourself lost start over, this will help also with your capacities to see through problematic and finding definite and temporal answers in the next stages of your planning, but for now just think about that one thing and envision it

 

  • Identify distractions and get rid of them: First of all, live your life like any normal day, and write down all things that are not necessary and are just straying you away from sitting down and composing that new amazing song you have in your head, or from planning this great action plan to change your life for better.Write them down in a piece of paper and have that paper in a visible place where your distractions take momentum, if it is your phone you can take a photo of the list and even put it as a wallpaper (no kidding, you will put that phone back in your pocket and focus back on structuring your new life)
  • Game Approach: You want something to motivate you in a fun way to keep focus? Play a game with yourself, every day you manage to keep yourself away from distractions give yourself 10 minutes as a reward, keep a list also where you write every single time you successfully avoided distractions.Here comes the second part of the game, for every time you written down on that list, count them and for every one give yourself 5 minutes to just sit down and chill with all of these distractions.This will create an incentive over time for you to focus on real important matters, it has been shown In many studies that today humans get distracted on a 6+ hour average by their phones, video games, TV shows, and the mother of all… the internet, when just 30 years ago this was all the way down to 2 hours average.

          Adjusting Yourself

While attempting to improve your focus, you need something to do meanwhile you are not getting distracted right? You will include this in your action plan later on as a scheduled process.

For example: “Every day I will play my instrument for 2 hours and practice my band’s songs, after I will improvise with jam tracks for another hour, all this with the purpose of improving my skill and not messing up when we record our album in two month from now”

That is the kind of statements you will need to make to yourself, obviously this will require you to change a lot of your behavior patterns and compensating the loss time from distractions and unnecessary actions to something that focuses solely on bringing you a profit (by profit we don’t mean economical but more like reaching your goals and feeling successful, we can determine this asemotional Profit”)

The best way to organize your time is little by little measure your best gaps, if you go to work half time and then you have sessions to practice with your band and you are only left with a 3-4 hour gap that you have to fill in with eating and taking a shower then maximize the potential thing you can do in 3 hours.

Here are some other useful advice:

 

  • Time everything: use your cellphone timer to time your daily actions, not to drive you crazy, it is to help you have an idea of how much time you might be saving up or how you can administrate it better.Maybe you can start going to the supermarket really early to avoid too much people and save up to twenty minutes of slow walking and avoiding others in your way.
  • Prioritize: Your most important tasks, maybe you already have your band’s new album and you are planning and making an action plan to make it successful, so you are focusing on social network marketing for half an hour everyday, but then you play your instrument for 3 hours straight, you priority is to sell that record and make it big so take away from your jamming session some time and give it to the enlisted number 1 priority, which would be online marketing of your new CD.

    It is of the essence to make a list with all your priorities and set a grade of importance to each of them

 

  • Avoiding stress: of course, all these changes will bring a huge wave of stress and feelings that will get hard to take, you will be working intensively to deliver the best possible result, you need to avoid this stage, the best way is, ironically, distracting yourself briefly, every night make it a priority to follow the instruction we gave a few words away.. to sit down and chill.Another important way to avoid stress is by eating well and sleeping well, this way your body is healthy and will withstand longer work periods without feeling tired, the feeling of physical tiredness itself can deliver a very potent mental stress that you have to avoid and learn to control, especially if you are a musician, you will have to go touring and spend a lot of hours in a studio recording someday if all goes according to plan!

          Know your limits

Regarding stress, it was proven that stress itself is the number one demotivating factor today and that it always brings people down to in worst case scenarios, depression.

Get to know your limits and little by little work on expanding them or knowing when to stop, as you need to be in the best possible mental, and physical quality for your own good and to achieve your goals.

Remember it is a process that takes time, We asked you “where do you see yourself in 5 years” not “where do you see yourself tomorrow afternoon” so remember that patience and perseverance are a key element to avoiding stress and keeping yourself at ease.

 

          Know Your Goals

 

We don’t only mean that you recognize your goals but to be as clear as water about them, recognizing your goals and knowing exactly what you want has to be the main influence for your Vision and mission, also it will influence in decisions that might require you to do some sort or form of sacrifice involved in the Objectives and strategies planning.

As for your goals there are some factors to them to keep in mind:

  • Momentum Goals: those that can be achieved within a short time gap, of even a few weeks, for example, setting up your new website or arranging to meet a possible new promoter or marketing team for your future album release.

 

  • Life Goals: Experiences, having a lot of friends or making money go here, there is a vast amount of things we want and there are very few that can be achieved exactly the way we want them too, as you know they would require a lot of work and effort to do them.Life goals also involve things like “quit smoking” anything health related that could

be beneficial in the long run
Knowing your goals to the best extent is a very arduous task at first, especial if you haven’t considered what they are for a time , so how do I write them down the right way?

          Proper Goal Writing

 

The best way to start achieving your goals is to include the short-term goals first in your Action Plans and considering all the possible ways you can achieve them successfully, the time they would take, the problems or obstacles they might represent in the Objectives and Strategies.

This will help you to get rid of “naggy” annoying, small things even, and be able to focus on the real big main goal you have set yourself to improve your musical career and reach the success you are seeking without being interrupted by these small minor details or short goals that might end up consuming you valuable time in the future.

Write your goals with a concrete one line sentence structure and make them as direct and precise as possible.

After that, organize them in a piece of paper and add them to your schedule for the daily life you have planned when you start your Action Plan

You can even add your daily do’s as goals, and help you keep feeling an air of success, this can help you feel fresh and successful every night you cuddle in bed and see through what you did in your day.

The last aspect we will look into that will influence most of our vision and mission and give us a more clear view of what we want to get to, is how to value your time.

Value Your Time

 

Time is of the essence, that is true, you have to give it the value it deserves and not waste a moment you could have used for creating an opportunity, or taking a step forward.

This is why we are so insistent in getting rid of distractions as they are the main source of our time wasting, also there are other factors that waste our time and we can’t do much about them so we have to maximize our every day potential as much as possible.

Try to change your routine so that your time is distributed within a more direct line of tasks, what we mean is try to make longer time frames by joining those that are too short, for example:

You take a bath: 10 minutes
Play your instrument 30 minutes
Eat something: 10-15 minutes
Get your stuff ready for work: 10 minutes

And finally you go to work.

You can put together your bath, your breakfast and checking your work stuff all together instead of dividing it into individual tasks, perhaps even preparing your work stuff the night before. And save those 10 minutes for the morning, The key here is putting all the daily tasks together and then use the spare time for anything related to your Action Plan.

Another form of time valuing is to always keep yourself busy with only things you really care for or are necessities and not commodities.

You can set all the commodities, distractions and stuff you don’t feel related to for the weekend or in another case just get rid of it.

The Social You’s Time

You have to learn to say “no” more often as this will open gaps of time, those Friday nights with your buddies will have to wait for later to celebrate your success! And we mean it, it might have the cost at first that you will feel you are missing out on jokes and laughs and it is okay to do it once or twice a month to relax and give yourself a break, which approaches my point…Use this kind of things as a reward, trust me, a beer tastes better when you know you earned it!

If you have children we advise you exploit as much as possible the time you have to spend in resting and distractions with them, this will help you release stress and exchange it for the love of your family, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you are working your hardest for their future and your family overall well being.

Keep in mind the next phrase “we exchange time for money for goals and for achievements, but time can’t be brought back in exchange for nothing” Use it wisely…

Now that we have covered all the influential overall aspects and mostly the ones that will have influence in our Vision and Mission, allow us to take a step further and approach the concepts and ideas that will help you to have a toolkit for your Objectives & Strategies in our VMOSA planning.

 

Objectives & Strategies For Musicians: Reasons, Tools & Paths To Take

 

For the objectives we have set our minds on, and the goals we want to reach we need to make a path to connect them, and that will be through a realistic well planned strategy, or several for the best, but the only way to achieve a good amount realistic possibilities for our strategically decisions is by having the tools at our disposition.

In most cases we will need professionals, or a professional’s assistance with a problem in our hands to take a successful step forward, the only way to do this is by communicating and having relationships with trustworthy individuals.

The best choice is to make sure this individuals work in the music industry or related area that you need them for, an example, you need marketing for your new merchandise online, you have to look for an online marketing team or individual who know how to handle social networks, but how do I pick this people and where can I find them?

The best way to select this individuals is by selecting them from a good source of professionals where you can interview them or see a bit of their previous work, here is where outsourcing strikes in…

 

         

Outsourcing

 

Although this is not the only method to meet new professional connections it is indeed the most helpful by far these days, as there is a huge advantage to it thanks to the internet, you have connections with world wide networks of possible work teams or individuals who do their jobs independently.

Outsourcing’s biggest benefit is divided in two, the first one is the fact they will not charge you a price that the industry standard has set, nor it will be elevated as they usually work with a variation of clients, form those who have a lot of money to those who have a very tight budget and barely match their prices, they have to keep flexible, the second great benefit lies in that they will remember you, you won’t be a paper in a pile of thousands, when these independent professionals do their job they usually are very social and close in terms of work.

Allow me to define this, they will ask you a ton of questions, about you, what is your purpose what Is your goal and what you want them to achieve, they will show you their previous work, and try their best to convince you or see if they meet your expectations.

Another great advantage is that they always have more connections, if they consider you a good client but can’t help you at the moment they will recommend you someone else and so on…

There are some rules of thumb to keep In mind when Outsourcing and how people with experience reach out independent professionals to select the best option they can reach:

  • Interview Several: Always interview around 4-6 different options, never overdo it, see in comparison their skills, how much time have they been doing this, their experience and how satisfied where the clients.It is a good idea to ask them why they would like to work with you and if they feel in any form motivated by your cause and action plan to becoming a better and more successful musician, if they do, consider it a benefit as this can help their cooperative engagement with your project and friendliness, also they will most likely work with you again in the future.
  • Communication in the interview: The more you speak to them about your cause and the more you dedicate time to breaking down how you want to achieve your artistic success for them and how they will cooperate in the process the more likely you might be to get a “yes” for an answer, we all love it when they explain us something in detail and directly straight to the important bits and we know exactly what it is that the client expects from your skills.
  • Neutral treatment: Once you have a team or at least 2 people working whether it is via online or in person, you want to avoid having favorites, everyone has to be the same in your eyes, this will help you also to learn to discern facts from a colder perspective and analyze a situation with more ease.

Understand that outsourcing it also means that there will always be someone ready for the job so you do not have to always do things yourself, this way, you can even value your time more than before for an accessible price and still keep an order and progress in your daily life and your Action Plan how it should be.
         

Be Vocal
Another great tactic for outsourcing any complex job is asking your friends for helping hand, there is a very high probability that they are already in the disposition to help you.

Don’t be afraid of showing weakness or a need for support, as we said you have to be human and understand your limits to be able to recognize realistic Strategies and Objectives, you can’t pretend to be a superhuman or to carry more on your shoulders than you know you should or could as that will only bring you down, remember VMOSA is about changing, and following a thought process that works with everyone because it analyzes all aspects of you and your capacities.

Going back to asking your friends for help with all this in mind, there are a few who will be there mostly for a good word of advice or professional recommendation.

Let me put an example; you need a multi instrumentalist and so happens that your best friend’s brother is one, there is a form of outsourcing, also of work distribution, you get to work with someone who is not a complete stranger and who has a high rate of having the necessary skill you are looking into.

Valuing Work Time

Giving value to your work time specifically is another subject besides your giving value to your general time, when you work you have to show progress, let’s go back to the internet marketing example we gave you when we talk about priorities.

So, you finally are marketing yourself online 2 hour everyday and yet, the results are not how you expect them to be, here is the solution, investigate use 20 minutes of that working time to investigate field techniques, how the professionals do it, how other musicians do it, and even contact other artists for tips on what worked best for them.

This will save you up time in the long run, and will help you build a more elaborate strategy as you will have a good handful of useful concepts that where given to you by different people so you have a wide range of options to choose from now.

Objectives

 

Once you have expanded your toolkit it is time for you to set your objectives, the process of acquiring the raw knowledge of what you need to make your action plan fuller may have taken a few weeks but will, surely help yo to realize the limits you are sitting on.

Imagine that you are in a room, a very small room, but for every new person you’ve met that can help you and be considered a tool for work distribution the room grows a few centimeters, it keeps expanding so you have more space to move inside it and have a diversity of options within it.

With the VMOSA Objective planning we mentioned It refers to how much you can do and by when you will do it.

Here you can start stating short term goals, small personal achievements and 2 or 3 aspects you will make a reality once you have boosted your musician’s career in a year or so.
Just as the general terms explanation, keep them short and palpable to reality, for example:

“I will play a gig for a 1000 people in three months from now and finish paying my apartment” there you are stating 2 things, now consider your strategy, you need to inform these people wherever they are right now! That you are going to play live in three months.

You need to ask your mailing list, your friends, plan how much money you are going to charge, and how much you will need to pay your apartment, are you going to need a promoter perhaps for the event..?

That’s how you should be strategical, Imagine we never even mentioned outsourcing and we asked you to do all this by yourself! Not the kind of motivation a musician needs to take their career to the next level right?

A Path To My Goal

As we said, the strategy and the objectives have to pave a brick road to your goal.

But also the collection of all of them have to be doing the same, in fact they have to, you can’t have a bunch of random goals and random objectives.
After you have written down your Objectives, Do the same thing we did with your vision and your mission, and your goal, prioritize their order.

After you have really given it some thought try to come up with three strategies for each objective and imagine how one successfully achieved goal takes you to the next one, try to connect them and have the big picture of how you are going to start your Action Plan.

When it comes to strategy it is essential you have a list of all the people and professionals you know you can contact and count with.

Your best case scenario is having that list almost full, and having a little bit of everything you need, now if you need more sources and need to investigate further down here is a good piece of advice..

More Research – More Options

 

When you start outsourcing and asking for help, you also have to help yourself out if you are ignorant to all the matters that concern making your dream come true.

What we are saying is… figure out all the aspects and elements that conform the objectives you have settled down, if you have decided to “Write a book on how to play Piano in 6 months” who is the people you need?

Of course, you need to look into who will conform each of this goals, in case od the piano book, you need an editor, maybe a photographer or an illustrator, an editorial deal, a publisher, and ven a lawyer for the copyrights, now your next objective is to “market my piano lessons book in three months” you need a budget, a few marketing options and a few intricate examples of other people who have sold books to follow their steps.
As you see, the strategical process does not always require people but information, knowledge is a powerful weapon, a wise man said once, and it will be no different for you!

Always keep the upper hand and be informed about every action you are about to take, as with that you will be able to also make your Action Plan without fearing if you know or not how it has to be done, you will just try and do your best with the confidence you know how the process works.

 

Now let us take a step into the final processing and planning stage of the VMOSA- your action plan is indeed your last step and the one you want to organize with most care, we will give you a handful of tips for it and also some brief concepts to how to help the whole structure of VMOSA sit together and work like a new clock’s engine -smooth and without stopping.

Action Plan: Planning The Future I Want

 

The action plan itself is subdivided in a step-concept to help you organize all the information , ideas, objectives and goals you have come up with right until this very moment.

As we mentioned in VMOSA the Action plan is the straight up concept to follow to reach our goals, in our case the improvement in our musical career and the success we are seeking to get.

The action plan’s objective is also to ensure to yourself that what you want is really what you want most above all, to understand what is possible for you to achieve in this stage of your life and what will have to wait for a while, to organize your self in the most efficient manner ad distribute your time, your work and exploit your capacities as best as possible.

First, let me explain how you will organize the steps to be taken for your planning and how to deliver them in paper the right way.

Action Steps

 

An action step is basically what it says a “step” but it includes the whole context of your VMOSA planning on each:

 

  • Objective: What you want and when you want to achieve it.

 

  • Strategy: The “how” you are going to achieve it, you might include now budget and planning in case the step is big enough to require so, or a small schedule If it is necessary to do it in a daily basis.

 

  • Basic Skills: What skills are going to be taken to achieve it, if it is a photo shoot for your next album it requires “photography” ,this will help you categorize any subjects you need to investigate further to have a more professional view of how it should be achieved.Remember, achievements bring with themselves a demand for improvement and improvement is directly related with quality and options to achieve it, the more you expand your basic skills in your Strategy step sequence, the better.

 

 

  • Who will participate: Include every individual who will take part, of course you have to include or not yourself as there are things you might not really take part in and just hire someone for the job, or vice-versa, it can happen you do everything by yourself for that one single step and you write down all the process of how it developed.

 

  • Budget: If needed, write down the most accurate guess you can get your hands on to of how much it will cost.Money is the first thing a musician goes cold with, we spend in so many little thing we end up requiring more and more to keep taking steps up.The very best advice we can give you is having a back up plan on a method or job that can earn you money that does not require too much of your effort or time, a good option is working online on websites like Fiverr or Upwork where you can have a spontaneous income for doing small tasks, we encourage you to investigate further on how other independent artists keep a steady spend-earn budget that never goes down to zero or at least it doesn’t do it to fast!

 

  • Problematic and Alternatives: Here you will list all improbabilities or situations that you consider difficult to happen.Don’t forget to include a small “plan b” concept for the step in case it does not go as planned, in our photography example maybe you do not like the photos or you could not find a good photographer, and your plan b can be either taking the photos yourself or deciding on another alternative depending on the reason you need the photos for, if you need them for your album cover why not consider an album Art work by an independent artist, for example.

 

This are the aspects that shall be used to write each independent step towards your music career successful needs, you will need to have a good criteria about how they are integrated as a whole with each other step and if necessary see if there is anything you can change so far.

Here are the Criteria concepts you should follow on:

Criteria For A Good Action Plan:

 

  • Immediate action: Does the planning involve itself in your life immediately? Consider this and see if there are any aspects you can still include to make the process a bit faster and still keep control of it.

 

  • Logical: Does the listing have a logical sense to it? What we are asking refers basically to how you perceive the process you have planned and how you will take care of each objective and goal and how one complements the other at the end.

 

  • Clear listing: if the list seems complete to you and you feel you have covered every aspect then it is time to take the next step.

 

  • How do you feel about each step: A very good question is considering your emotional state during the process of each step, imagine the situation and try to depict as accurately as possible how you are going to feel and how you are going to react towards the unexpected.

Your emotional state influences your mental state, and thus influences your physical state, this is a very important question in matters of stress control and maintaining a calmed mindset in front of any difficult or time-taking tasks.

We will now advance to the second step of your planning and that is setting a deadline date or approximation for when you want everything to be completed.

A Timeline For completion & For Success

Now that you know how are the steps you want to take structured it is time for you to advocate into assigning a time completion date for each and an overall general deadline to finally get where you want to.

This is going to be fairly simple for you, as you have already written down on your objectives an estimation, and if not in all cases you at least can calculate with a cold view how long it would take you to achieve it if anything goes according to plan, also include what would change inf something does not go according to plan.

Making a timeline requires subdividing your whole plan into small portions, like a cake slice you need to give yourself every month or every two months and take a daily bite.

A good example of a good timeline is that for an album production’s whole operative work.

You first have the budget planning, then the song writing, the practice, the pre-production, the production, the post production, the promoting and finally the marketing, and this whole process might take a whole year, correct?
Each one is just like our VMOSA plan steps, with an order that is appropriate and logical, now it is your turn, try to put it all together and work sense into the time line.

We insisted before on knowing your limits and outsourcing precisely for this step, as you will need to know that much to estimate a correct time average per step.

 

          Progress Evaluation
This is the mid-step in between or during the process of each step.

You will write a list or have a journal specifically dedicated to writing statements of your progress.

“Today I finished composing my new song” “I finally found a promoter” “I played for 10,000 people tonight”

The progress will be evident of course, every 1 or 2 weeks write in to it, or if you feel it was an advancement of unique length that really changed your progress for the best, write it immediately, the point of this is to help you see that your Vision and your Mision are every day closer and not farther in time.

If you feel there is no real progress sit down and ask yourself the next questions, as most of the times we do not feel the real progress we make, a musician will always have the need to be better, although it is that mirage what makes us grow and become huge, it can also bring us down:

 

  • Have you had to use one of your back up plans for any of your steps?
  • How did that go?
  • Are you sticking to your schedule?
  • Have your results met your expectations?
  • Does your original Vision Still Inspire you?
  • Do you have any need for modifications? Or, Have you made any modifications?
  • Do you feel you are going in the right direction?
  • Can you prove it?
  • Are you considering that you can achieve even more?
  • If so.. is there the possibility to adjust your plan to improving even more?

Sometimes when people follow upon a planning process such as VMOSA they come across their real potential to achieve goals and what it is that really limits them and what has been an excuse for many years.

This questions are not only to clear your mind but to help you keep motivation in your art form.

Where can I find motivation though?….

Commitment

Commitment, a word we have heard almost anyone with a need to develop their talent say, commitment refers to sticking to a plan, to a schedule, to maximizing our potential, to learning and to striving for more every day.

Commitment is the word you should write down in every page of your plan and remind you to stick to it, of course things will not go as planned, we did mention there is no magic formula but there is… well.. yourself, and you can make magic for yourself by just sticking to a plan such as VMOSA and living up to your expectations over time.

Fail, Try again

Remember how we mentioned many fail and give up, here is the cool part about VMOSA you fail, you go try again, and that is not exclusive to a planning process, that is a habit, if you would have stopped playing your instrument the first time you hit a wrong note or you didn’t play in time, I’d bet you there would be no musicians in this world under that regime!

Get up and try again, you have a plan B for your steps and thanks to all this you also have an approach that attacks all probabilities and allows you to take action no matter what!

Conclusion

VMOSA is a great system of organization and planning when ti comes to a musicians career that can have so many tangents and variables.

Having the need to use it means you are really striving to improve and we encourage that, we hope you are able to decipher your path and the many steps it will take.
Remember that there are no limits, but yourself.

 

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