If you're an over thinker, it can sometimes be a burden, but naturally, overthinking could be an asset when creating your marketing plan!
Especially when it comes to assessing the current situation with your music.
Establishing where you are in your career and preparing for what can come in your way as your career progresses is the first step in creating a successful marketing plan — and conducting a SWOT analysis for musicians is the way to start.
However, don't let your thoughts paralyze you because taking action on your analysis will still be imperative.
What is a SWOT analysis?
Once you've dedicated the time towards creating your music and defining your artistic image, you're ready to share your music with the world!
Anticipating and preparing for all the directions your career could go is a great way to visualize your debut in the music industry.
When you're ready to create a music marketing plan, you first have to evaluate all aspects of your music career — and conducting a SWOT analysis is a great way to get that done.
By completing a SWOT analysis, you are forcing yourself to think about all of the potential outcomes throughout your career so you can be prepared for all situations.
When conducting your analysis, you'll have to reflect on all of your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities that could come your way, or even threats that could present roadblocks for your career as an artist.
Determining what could hinder your success in the future allows you time to improve on these areas before it's too late.
Now, let's say you're Cardi B…
When Cardi B blasted on to the mainstream with her banger ‘Bodak Yellow,' she was no stranger to the entertainment industry.
Chances are, she (or her team) had a plan when her first song went viral, which allowed her to capitalize on the success of the single instead of being defined by it.
Many emerging hip-hop artists break out in the industry every year, but if they don't have a plan to maintain their success, they will start to blend in with all the noise. In Cardi's case, she brought a very flashy, confident, likable, and in your face image to the table.
Love her or hate her; she draws you in and stirs up a conversation. This is one of her strengths that she uses to her advantage, and it has worked quite well for her.
Once you identify your strengths, this then opens the doors for opportunity. After old clips from her time on the popular reality show ‘Love & Hip Hop' began circulating online, Cardi B began to cultivate an identity for being a bit of a comedian.
This brought her major brand deals, and eventually, she achieved greater success with her music. One could say that her music may have been an area of weakness or an area that needed improvement before her notoriety.
However, as you look at her progression, it is clear that she and her team worked at improving her music to match her quirky personality and called in songwriters who could help with that progression.
Where threats to Cardi's success are concerned, there is no better example than the recent pandemic that has put a halt on the music industry.
There is no way that Cardi could have predicted this, but the reality is you have to have a backup plan to ensure that these situations don't cripple you as an artist, especially if music is what you depend on to eat.
While the majority of artists were not prepared for the pandemic, you best believe they now have some type of plan in place to help them cope better in the future.
How to create A SWOT analysis For Musicians
Your SWOT analysis is completed mainly through reflection. You think about both internal and external factors that will impact your efforts to achieve your music goals.
In this section, we'll present questions for you to consider when creating your SWOT analysis.
Answering most, if not all, of these questions will help you shape your direction and guide you through the rest of the marketing plan process. You can leverage our SWOT Analysis Template For Musicians to help follow along and jot down your ideas.
What Are your strengths?
For starters, we want you to think about what you are good at. That may sound odd but seriously, what are your strengths when it comes to music? Now, this isn't the time to be shy either.
What makes you stand out from the crowd? What skills do you have that are above average?
Maybe it's your unique singing voice or your strong following online. You probably have a solid idea of what your strengths are when you start to think about it.
What opportunities are available to you?
After identifying your strengths, it's time to consider the opportunities out there waiting for you to take advantage of.
Think about who your current audience is now and what types of songs they like the most from your discography?
Where does your audience live, and what are the optimal ways you can connect with them?
Especially at the beginning of your career, you should be utilizing every opportunity you can to amplify your music.
What Are your Weaknesses?
Now, one of the hardest things to identify is your weaknesses.
What are you not confident about? What areas do you need to improve?
This should not be seen as something that brings you down. Just because they're weaknesses now does not mean they will be forever!
Let's say you have dreams of performing in arenas worldwide, but you're not confident with your stage presence.
By identifying that your stage presence is your weakness today, you can consciously improve for the future.
What Are some threats to your success you need to consider?
Next, assess your threats.
What could make or break your career or make your career go stagnant?
What are you doing that may be overdone, and how can you innovate?
It would be best if you also considered what your competitors have done that has been unsuccessful, so you can avoid repeating their mistakes and set yourself apart from them.
Lastly, take a moment to consider any other external factors that impact your life.
Do you have a full-time job? Do you have children or parents to take care of? How much money do you have allocated to invest in your music career?
Making music should be a part of your lifestyle, but it's important not to neglect everything else you have going on.
Assessing all of your priorities can be overwhelming but allows you to visualize how much time you can realistically spend on your music.
Final Thoughts on How To Create a SWOT Analysis For Musicians
I know it may sound repetitive to hear that it's better to be prepared, but it's completely true — and in your best interest!
The purpose of conducting a SWOT analysis is to prepare for the best and the worst so you can optimize your success in the future.
Remember, to get where you want to go, you must first be clear on where you are currently, and your SWOT analysis will guide you down a path towards success.