Musicians and performers tend to resist to putting their art into words. Often they say that their work speaks for itself.
It’s understandable. Sometimes trying to sum up your artistry can leave you feeling like you’re not quite capturing the essence of what you do.
And that’s the reason it’s so important to try.
Afterall, if you want to make a living from your music then stands to reason that you must be able to sell your music.
And to sell your music you must be able to explain to an audience — whether that’s a presenter, your fans, or a director — what makes your work valuable, different, and worth listening to.
So what makes you YOU? And once you have that nailed down, how do you put it into words?
That’s what we’re here to help you with today.
The Importance of a Mission Statement
To bring your dream to life, it helps to have a mission statement — a one to two sentence piece of writing that concisely summarizes who you are, what you stand for, and what you intend to achieve as an artist and as a person.
This is an opportunity to identify your uniqueness as a performer which, as we explained above, is a necessity in the industry today.
While the mission statement will lead to real-world developments for you, it’s also designed to inspire you to help you decide which opportunities are in line with your larger goals so you can say yes to those (and say no to the ones that aren’t).
A mission statement not only prepares you to offer your best performances when you’re on stage, but it acts as a guide for every single artistic, promotional, or career-related decision you’re faced with.
What tone of voice should you use in a blog post or an email? Check your mission statement.
Should you accept or turn down an opportunity? Evaluate whether it is in line with your mission.
Feeling discouraged by the inevitable rejection in this industry? Read your mission statement to connect with WHY you’re doing this to begin with. The mission statement is your secret weapon.
How to Write Your Mission Statement
Start by answering these four questions. We recommend setting a timer for about two to three minutes for each question and writing whatever comes to mind.
Do your best to quiet your inner critic; you’ll have time to go back and later and remove or add whatever feels right.
Question #1: Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What do you want your career to look like ideally?
Question #2: Exactly how will you bring about that vision?
Question #3: If you achieve what you set out to, how will that make you feel? Be as specific as possible.
Question #4: How will do this effect others? How will the world change for the better?
Next, refine your answers cutting out the content that feels “off” and adding anything you forgot.
Lastly, pull it all together into a concise mission statement. You might have to try a few iterations before you land on the one that feels best.
Use this template to guide you:
My mission is to [visionary statement about yourself or the world]
by/through [specifically what and how you’ll do it]
As a result, I [how this will make you feel]
and [impact that you/your work will have on others]
Let It Evolve
With time, your mission statement will evolve and grow, so don’t worry about it being perfect right away. The only way to get to your ultimate version is to live with early iterations and see how they work for you.
While some musicians choose to put their mission statement on their websites or other materials, remember that it’s also a tool for you. So put it somewhere you will encounter it at least once a day. Tape it to the bathroom mirror, put it on the refrigerator or your piano — wherever you’re sure to look.
We also recommend reading it right before you do anything related to your craft, whether it is a practice session, teaching or taking a lesson, or a performance. This will get you into a mindset that reduces nerves and enables you to focus on your true purpose.
Put It into Practice
Feel like giving it a try? Write your mission statement in the comments below with a link back to your website.
This is a great opportunity to practice promoting yourself and explaining what you do, so take advantage!