TPS #042: The Success Matrix for Artist Managers Pt. 1

Author: Andre Mullen - 2.5 min Read

Read Time: 2.5 minutes

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💡 Big Ideas:

1. The success matrix for artist managers is made up of a great question and a great answer.

2. Success is determined by shaping the way you think and act over a long enough period of time to create a habit.

3. The success matrix is made up of great questions that are either Big & Specific, Big & Broad, Small & Broad, or Small & Specific.

4. Great questions, like great goals, are big and specific.

“The deal of a lifetime.”

There I was, sitting in the conference room of BMG offices with my client on my right and his attorney on my left.

My client just signed a joint venture deal worth over $4 million dollars.

I remember what it took to get to this precise point in my career.

It was less work than I even realized

And it all started with a great goal that was big and specific.

The success matrix for artist managers

This newsletter will be part 1 of 2 where I’m going to talk about the success matrix for artist managers. The success matrix is made up of two parts – a great question and a great answer.

In today’s newsletter, Part 1, I’m going to talk about asking the great question that leads up to the great answer.

Oftentimes, success is viewed as one of those concepts interpreted in various ways and mean different things to different people. It is often defined by the number of accomplishments you achieve.

We measure success by numbers, amount of money, awards, or recognition.

When in actuality, success is really determined by shaping the way you think and act over a long enough period of time to create a habit.

The choice you face as an artist manager is whether or not you want to form habits to not only grow your client’s business, but yours as well.

Let’s get to work.

"Great questions, like great goals, are big and specific.”

In Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book, The One Thing, they talk about the foundation of living an extraordinary life as identifying your ONE thing. Your ONE thing is the thing that you can do that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.

The music industry always presents a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) – missing opportunities, missing moments, missing exchanges. FOMO does come from “missing” – not from “missing out” – but rather, from “missing pieces”.

These pieces I’m referring to are in the planning stage and are made up of – as Keller and Papasan shared – a great question and a great answer.

These two aspect combined are what I call The Success Matrix.

The Success Matrix is made up of 4 question & answer quadrants:

1. Big & Specific

2. Big & Broad

3. Small & Broad

4. Small & Specific

Each of the question and answer quadrants are measurable to enable you to know what the results will look like. You will no longer have to deal with FOMO because your focus isn’t on missing out, but the missing piece, to yours and your client’s success.

Great questions, like great goals, are big and specific. They push you, stretch you, and point you to big, specific answers.

Let’s take increasing merch sales as a way to break down each of the quadrants. We’ll use “What can we can do to double merch sales in two months?” as a placeholder for Big & Specific.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each quadrant, ultimately ending with where you want to be – Big & Specific.

Quadrant #4: Small & Specific

“What can I do to increase merch sales 5 percent with this release?”

While this aims you in a specific direction, there’s nothing truly challenging about the question. Since your client’s last release, there could have easily been an increase in their audience and fan size.

The growth in audience and fan size is nothing specifically your client did other than being present. So, while it may be additional gain, it’s not a life-changing amount.

Low goals don’t require great actions so they don’t allow for you to experience great results.

Quadrant #3: Small & Broad

“What can I do to increase merch sales?”

This isn’t an achievement question at all. It’s more of a brainstorming question. While this allows you to list your options, you still need to narrow these options down and go small. How much will sales increase? By what date?

The question is average and will definitely deliver average results for your client.

You and your client deserve better.

Quadrant #2: Big & Broad

“What can I do to double my merch sales?”

Here’s a big question without a specific answer. It’s a good start.

However, the lack of specifics leaves more questions than answers. Doubling your client’s merch sales in the next 5 years is very different from attempting the same goal in a year or less.

This still has too many options, and, without specifics, you won’t know where to start with your client.

Quadrant #1: Big & Specific

“What can I do to double my merch sales in 2 months?”

This has all the elements of a great question. The goal is big and it’s specific.

You’re doubling your client’s merch sales – which is not easy. You also have a time frame of 2 months, which will be a challenge. This requires a big answer. You’ll have to stretch what you believe is possible and think outside of your norms.

The great question is designed to set you up to pursue a great goal. In order to pursue a great goal, you’ll see the same pattern – Big & Specific.

A Big & Specific question is what you’ll need to accomplish a big goal and accomplish big success in the process.

Now that we have asked a great question, it’s time for a great answer.

That’s part 2.

Hope that helps.

✋🏾When you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Schedule a 1:1 Growth Strategy Call with me on growth, strategy, content, and monetization.

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3. Here on my website, I have resources that can help. Check out The Playbook for more information.

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