Remember your mission statement!
Don’t have a mission statement? Make one. What would it look like? Here are some examples:
1) We are in it to win it. Fame and riches are our first concern.
2) All music that has come before is dead. We must strive to blaze our own path. Uniqueness!
3) Music is only a part of our balanced lives. We make music in order to have fun and improve our sense of well-being.
4) Music is our way of creating positive change on the planet. Social-consciousness!
5) Mystery is key. We must obscure, evade, and sidestep. Through a sense of enigma, we will forge our true connection with an audience.
Why should you state what your mission is upfront?
1) It will ensure that everyone involved in your band, group, or organization is on the same page. Your goals will be aligned, and that united sense of purpose will inspire your collective work ethic and creativity. If you make music on your own and direct your own career, you should still state your mission to keep yourself in check and better understand your goals. The better you understand yourself, the easier it will be to know how to connect with an audience.
2) For sanity’s sake. DIY artists already have enough on their plates. You can’t do it all. You’re going to have to let some opportunities pass you by. You’re going to have to let some responsibilities slip through the cracks. But which ones? Worrying about this can drive you mad. But by remembering your mission statement you can hold each decision up to that light.
Want to maintain a sense of mystery? Social networking may not be your top priority.
Want to support good causes with your music? Maybe you should plan a few big, local benefit shows instead of touring.
Give it the mission-statement litmus test. If the opportunity furthers the goals you’ve set out, do it. If not, let it pass.
-Chris R. at CD Baby
P.S. Check out this article by None Like Joshua from Music Think Tank for more information on mission statements and music management.