UPDATE 2014: I'm speaking this year on the importance of networking. Don't miss my presentation. Follow http://sched.co/1uojcG8 for details. I had the good fortune of being asked to return to the Americana Music Festival last week to lead a panel on marketing for musicians. Thanks to Wayne Leeloy for the invitation.
I shared the stage with Charles Alexander, founder and CEO of Outside the Box Music; Dara Carson, a digital marketing strategy consultant; Brian Schopfel, co-founder of Eyes & Ears Entertainment; and Ashley Mixson, executive director at Girlilla Marketing; all of whom are brilliant music industry professionals.
Our group was lucky to have an engaged audience who asked plenty of thought-provoking questions. Reflecting on our panel, I recall five key takeaways we provided. Consider these for your own business, even if you are not an aspiring rock star.
1. Be authentic
Be genuine and you will exude trust to the people you meet.
This is effective in everything we do, from job interviews and sales calls to networking at conferences and growing audiences.
2. Build your tribe
The tribes concept was illustrated well in Seth Godin’s book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.
In it, he makes the argument that we all are part of groups seeking leaders. You should be the leader. If you are a lead singer of a band, you lead your fans.
Many successful businesses have a person who represents their brand and leads their customers, like RavenTools’ community manager Courtney Seiter. Good leaders build tribes.
3. Focus on geographics
Who doesn’t want to be a global superstar? Who doesn’t want their products or services to reach an international customer base?
Focus on earning a local reputation. Build a solid local following before embarking on the world tour.
4. Reward your fans
In music marketing, rewarding your fans can include sending the subscribers of your email newsletter free music downloads or giving away CDs and T-shirts at concerts.
Maybe your top fans can win a free house concert. We can reward our top customers by giving them free products, coupon codes, giveaways to enter, and buying them a couple of drinks at a local meet up.
Your company can even sponsor an event or organization that directly helps your core customers. Even a simple shoutout is appreciated. Recognition goes a long way.
5. Think quality over quantity
In my book, New Business Networking, I stress that you should strive for quality over quantity when growing your network. It is better to have a smaller group of engaged Twitter followers or Facebook fans than to have thousands who are uninvolved.
Take these five points and consider how you are marketing yourself, your business, or your band.
Nothing happens overnight, so take the time to plan and focus on your marketing efforts. Keep on rocking in the free world.
Please leave your own tip in the comments.
This article, "Rock on with these marketing tips from music gurus", originally appeared in the Tennesseean.