The Right KPIs Make a Piano Career

The Right KPIs will Make or Break Your CareerI met a blogger for coffee and discovered my bubble!

The bubble is where you’re so different that no one can give good advice.

Like being the solo pianist amongst the orchestra’s strings.

When I get an email from Satya Khan, I’m reminded that her breath-taking moments are in a bubble as well. Except, her bubble has a clear system.

I’m in a blog bubble, but I still find exciting adventures because I learned to get ahead with KPIs when I was a piano student. I didn’t know this term (KPI) back then– you’ll see that it’s not complicated.

What’s Keeping the Poop Interesting (KPI)

The only step to getting ahead:

Ask questions to frame the situation with what you care about– this affects your results.

For example, the Justice Assistance Grant gives $411 million annually to fight crime in the States. In turn, the grant’s board asks how many people were arrested and how much property was seized. These questions imply that making arrests is the desired outcome, and we see that incarceration rates are soaring.

If they asked about the share of people who did not reoffend, The Economist suggests that rehabilitation rates will increase, costing taxpayer dollars than if they were feeding another prison.

In music, what I think of is how people get caught up in exam marks and numbers that don’t matter in the end. Asking “what did I learn?” instead of “what mark did I get on the exam?” will drive the learning, instead of marks.

If music teachers ask “What share of my students enjoy music beyond just the notes?” as opposed to “How many students do I have?” teaching will be more meaningful.

If you’re playing piano for fun: instead of asking “how many songs can I play?” and fudging over 5 soundtracks, try learning what you’re supposed to; with these skills, you’ll possibly play a thousand songs in the future, as opposed to the mere five, which will probably be outdated when the next hot soundtrack comes.

What common blogger KPIs mean

When I was introduced to the local blogging scene, I went through the many Vancouver blogs to find a friend.

Going through a hundred of these, I’ve found trends; here are what some of the KPIs mean.

The blog is stuffed with product reviews:

I like free swag so my reviews are always positive– send me free stuff and I’ll be your cheerleader minus the pom poms.

The blog is stuffed with event recaps:

I can’t relax during enjoyable events because I’m paying for my ticket. You see these photos? Yes… life’s good.

Large or prominent social media icons:

Tell someone about me. Don’t forget to like me. 

Constantly saying ‘book a session’ or ‘buy now’ when the product/service isn’t clear:

Someone pay me already.

What’s a good KPI?

A good KPI is something you care about, that affects results.

Measuring traffic is misleading for blogs and websites; every web analytic tool (Google Analytics, Jetpack) gives different results because it’s impossible for traffic to be exact.

If you have a business, isn’t it smarter to measure the number of people who convert (into clients)? It’s more valuable to have fewer loyal visitors, than too many passer-bys.

On my blog, I measure the number of people who join my free Insiders email list and the comments. This works because I care about conversation and I’m not selling anything.

My blog’s design helps meet these KPIs– like, there’s an email sign-up box at the end of every blog post because people probably like my content if they stay until the end.

Having been ensconced in a bubble for a few years, going for coffee with a relative stranger is probably my gut trying to break the bubble.

Hundreds of hours spent testing designs, reading psychology studies, plus people I’ve worked with, producing magic (like domestic abuse victims getting help), and Artiden readers connecting.

When the blogger saw the size of the Artiden email community, he said, “You must be doing something right.”

What do you use to measure progress? How is it working out? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

2 Comments

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  • Juri February 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Excellent. I feel more bloggers should try this, instead of just trying to push as many posts as possible.

    • Grace Miles February 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

      There’s also something to be said about getting your bearings and learning through pushing out a million posts, but quality tends to get lost because everyone is so busy (when blogging is not a fulltime job) that it’ll be taxing.