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Breaking down Tactics in 3 steps

Tactics is all about the hard work.

Charley McGowan of pseudoboss

Photo by Michael Reiersgaard

I have a lot of fun setting strategy, because it gets my creative juices flowing (yes, business people are creative too!) Yet once the strategy is set (the “how,”) it’s time to move onto tactics, which is the month-to-month, week-to-week, and day-to-day cadence of a musician’s activities. We can all speak about how we’re planning on accomplishing goals, which is really what strategy comes down to, but then you must challenge yourself to set the action you’re going to take and when you’re going to take them. For example, a musician can set a strategy around creating a differentiated live experience in order to push record and merchandise sales, then reinvest the profits to continue improving the live experience, as well as play bigger shows. Okay great, now what are you doing to do that.

We all have the same amount of time in a day, week, and month. Breaking down tactics from the month down to the day will organize your actions and help you aim at your strategy. Here’s a month-to-week-to-day model you can apply to your tactics.

1. The Month

Use a calendar to plan your year! If you’ve set an annual strategy, write down your year-end goal on December 31, and work backwards. A goal can be to have a finished album in which you will sell during mini tours over two months. Now you have December and November taken care of; you know you must be touring for two months. What’s next? Well, what’s important to the tour? The album has to be completed, a release show must be planned, and you need to plan the tour. October should be dedicated to the release show and the tour, which means the album has to be done by the end of September or the middle of October. Where are you with the album? You’d better be dedicating January through September working on the album, while still being relevant in your market. Break down the album process monthly, working backwards from September. You get the drift here.

2. The Week

Plan your weeks one quarter or two months at a time –things change too quickly to plan further than three months ahead, from a weekly perspective. Look at your calendar for the first quarter of this year. If your goal is the tours and album at the end of the year, what are you doing weekly these three months in order to propel your band to that goal? Set weekly activity goals. Book February shows in January to maintain relevance and grow as a musician. Have an action plan and timeline to write songs for the album and practice them with the entire band. Line up a producer, recording studio, session musicians, etc. this quarter so that you can set recording, mastering, and publishing dates in the second quarter. Put all of this on your calendar!

3. The Day

This is easy. All you need to do is ask yourself at the end of the day, “Did I do something today that’s helping me accomplish my goals for the year?” If not, really take some time at the beginning of the week looking at your calendar. Once you’ve planned out your quarter with weekly milestones, you know what you need to do day-to-day. Yes, continue to write your music and do what you need to do in order to keep your creative juices flowing. However, if in the first week in February you need to have a decision made on a producer, set a meeting with your band that week to meet and pick a producer. Before that meeting, someone will need to compile a list of producers and the cost of the producer. Also, schedule in 30 minutes of practice time every day. Now you know what you need to do every day that week. Get it?

If it feels right you’re on the right track.

Photo by Michael Reiersgaard

Your strategy was set through critical thinking, and frankly –gut feeling. If you feel like you’re doing the right thing for your career and your band, you most likely are. As I mentioned in the blog on Strategy, if you ever get to a place where you’re thinking, “what am I doing,” go back to the written strategy, and take a look at your mission statement. Then adjust your activities as needed.

Thoughts, questions? Hit me up on Twitter –@YuriyM or email me at yuriy@ycmsquared.com

About the Author

I Get Things Done. Let's grow your business together!
I Get Things Done. Let's grow your business together!