Every strategy boils down to a few simple building blocks.¹ The strategy for 28 Days to Diva truly boils down to be a fine musician, get to know the right people, and get enough gigs to live the life you want. If only it were that easy, right? The building blocks are not tutorials in themselves. They are the guideposts. Music business is not a level playing field and should not be expected to act as one because no one has the same sound, skill, or advantages/disadvantages.¹ Therefore, musicians should concentrate those efforts which afford them the best chance for success. How will you know your best prospects? By targeting your marketing, of course.
Your Day 5 challenge is to Understand Your Market.
Target markets, secondary markets, and competitors? My, oh my, this sounds business plan. Yes my little chickadees, you may have noticed that 28 Days to Diva is helping you turn the traditional business plan around to be more diva specific. There are plenty of naysayers who believe the arts are completely separate from business and following these traditional constructs is moot because the profit and mission-driven worlds are so dissimilar. 28 Days to Diva is not meant to be corporate culture in disguise. However, the elements of a business plan help us break down those strategic building blocks above. Understanding your market and competitors is going to make your vision clearer. You will be able to identify which opportunities are right for your plan instead of throwing your voice into everything and anything.
Understanding your market gives you perspective. What kind of feedback are you getting from auditions? What kinds of gigs are you getting? Do the professional members of your singing team think you are ready for that specific opportunity? Starting with your existing patrons and presenters is the surest way to identify your potential patrons and presenters. Also, look at your closest competitors. Who are the singers that are getting gigs that you want to be singing? Research their steps. Did your competition go to a better school? Get better connections? Does she have a ridiculous high D? You need to think about these things so you can up your game. (Please notice I wrote “think” and not “obsess.” This is a research and development exercise and not a beat-yourself-into-depression exercise.)
In the classical singing world, where it can feel supersaturated with your voice type, it is an ultimate breakthrough moment to have a unique selling position. By completing today’s exercise you should have a better sense of how to market/position yourself in relation to your competition. These findings may manifest in your audition repertoire choices, your ‘elevator pitch’ to presenters, or even your website design and copy.
I believe there is a myth that once upon a time all you had to do was have a nice voice, go to Europe, and suddenly you would be the prima donna. The greats always had to have the goods, know the right people, and get the right gigs. Even if they didn’t use these words, they were damn well thinking about their target markets.
Complete this challenge.
- To whom are you selling? (Target Market)
- My target market is ______________
- My secondary market is ___________
- Think about demographics when identifying your markets: age, ethnicity, location, gender, income level, education background, and occupation.
- Consider the psychographics of your target market.
- My target market psychographic profile _____________________
- Alternate psychographic profiles __________________________
- Psychographic profiles are incredibly important for determining the right patrons and presenters for classical singers.
- Spend time getting as detailed as you possible with their behavior, personality, hobbies, values, interests, hobbies, and especially financial attitudes.
- If demographics are the who of your target market, the psychographic profile is the why.
- How many competitors do you have and of what quality are they? (Competitive Analysis)
- The field is _______
- To become known in this field it is mandatory that ____________
- An advantage I have over my competitors is ______________
- How strong are your referral markets?
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for individual musicians is to assume that their target market is just like them. Challenge yourself to identify target markets outside of the people who are just like you. What inspires a non-musician to come to your performances? If we strive to reach the people outside of our own echo chamber then we might be able to kiss more of those “classical music is dying” articles goodbye.
I am so proud of you. In fact, I am so excited that you are on this journey with me. Finding your tribe is ridiculously empowering, isn’t it? I would love to connect with you more at @mezzoihnen. But, before we do, leave a note in the comments about this challenge. Were there any answers that surprised you? Did you think of another question that helped you identify your perfect target market? Let me know!