SWOT gives you a warts-and-all look at where you’re at in your musical career. You’ll discover awesome advantages, as well as some kind of bummer disadvantages. But once you’ve identified your weaknesses, you can turn them around.
You can use SWOT to get a better picture of who your audience is and how you can engage with them. From looking at Made Up Rock Band’s SWOT, you can tell their audience skews young; they fare well on college radio and their fans are active on social media. Now, by defining their audience, the band can decide where best to direct their energies and where to place their priorities.
If the lack of a drummer is preventing them from writing new songs, they’ve got to find a drummer right away — then everything falls into place. Once the band is together as a unit, they can start writing those new songs, which they can perform on their college Radio DJ friend’s popular drive time show. They can then key in listeners to their crowdfunding campaign and perhaps entice some of them to dish out $75 for tickets to the festival at which they’ll be performing.
In turn, they can let their robust Facebook audience know they’ll be performing new tracks for the first time in months on this show, perhaps by placing some targeted ads on the site. They can also record live performance videos from the radio session and launch those on YouTube. SWOT is about taking all elements of what’s going on with your band, tying them together, and using them to move your goals forward.
The band can also use the Weaknesses category to see what’s preventing them from making progress and then make a plan about what to tackle first. If they’re playing this festival and they want to record a new album but are low on funds, they need to find a cheap but good logo artist and start cranking out some inexpensive t-shirts and tote bags they can sell at a profit during the festival performance. (As they say, it takes money to make money.)
If it costs $4 to make the shirt and the band sells it for $15, they’re pocketing an $11 profit they can put towards recording the album — plus now they’ve got all these fans in their cool shirts walking around marketing the band for them.
Since bands must have a “story” (a new album, an impressive upcoming tour) before pitching Music Journalists for press, they’ll be on their way towards knocking one more Weakness off the list. (Although it might be a wise idea for the band to go even more in-depth on the SWOT and do one specifically designed to help them figure out why they’re not attracting press outside of the local scene.)
The Opportunities and Threats categories help the band see where they fit into the bigger picture and understand why things might not be going their way in some regards while also helping them acknowledge the great stuff in the works, too.