Sep 16, 2022

Be SMART. Set Goals.

Post by 
Keith Berquist

In one’s career, hobbies, and life in general, there’s often a difference between “where I am” and “where I want to be.” How do you close the gap between the two...


Setting big goals helps us orient ourselves – a north star we can use when navigating through stormy weather – but those goals can be useless if they aren’t properly defined. So, when you set goals for your artist, make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. By setting SMART goals, you create an actionable plan to hold yourself accountable. 

A 2015 Dominican University study took an international sample of participants across age, industry, and job title, and broke them into 5 randomized groups: 

  • Group 1 was asked think about their goals for the next month and rate them on a series of dimensions closely mirroring the 5 elements of SMART goal setting
  • Group 2 was asked to write their goals down and measure them using the same dimensions. 
  • Group 3 was asked to do the same as Group 2 and write a plan to meet those goals
  • Group 4 was asked to do the same as Group 3 and share their goals and plan with a friend
  • Group 5 was asked to do the same as Group 4 and share progress updates with the same friend

The study reinforced the hypothesis that public accountability significantly impacts goal achievement. Those who shared their written goals and status updates with a peer had a 78% higher goal-success rate than Group 1, and 25% more higher goal-success rate than Group 2. But, the most compelling finding from the study was that simply writing down a goal (the mean of Groups 2-5 combined) increased a participant’s likelihood of accomplishing that goal by 50%. Even if you don’t share your goal with anyone else, the act of simply committing it to paper (or computer) forces you to define it. When a goal is just in your head, it’s too easy to keep changing it or pushing it off. Writing that same goal down makes it measurable and forces a sense of accountability.

If you’re not sure where to start, Mandolin’s Fan Navigator can help. The platform’s Goals tab allows you to choose from a variety of metrics (including livestream ticket sales, merch revenue, and social followers), set a custom goal for your artist, select an end date, and then measure your progress in real time with data integrations. And with Playbooks, Mandolin can provide you with a check list of data-backed steps you can take to get yourself closer to that goal. Want to make the jump from clubs to theaters on your next tour? Or make it onto Spotify’s “Global Top 50” playlist? Start by setting some SMART goals in Fan Navigator and turn those dreams into a reality!

About Mando Measures

Mando Measures is a series curated by the Mandolin marketing team, sharing the latest learnings for fellow music marketers around the world.