Most readers of this blog have heard me refer to Seth Godin a time or two. He’s offering courses through Udemy.com, so I signed up for a freelancer’s course to see what insights Seth has to offer.
This blog post is my first assignment, and the first questions is:
What do you want to do?
Like everyone, my first reaction is, “well duh! I want to be compensated and recognized for the work I love to do.” But that’s really not the point. It’s much deeper than that.
What I want to do is create a much more effective and efficient way for creative companies to market their work once they understand marketing is essential to their success. The only true model companies feel is valuable is when they see their name in a major publication and several writers within the ecosystem of whatever field people have planted roots. They relish being heard on radio, and potentially on television. In the music business, recording and performing artists want to see and hear their accomplishments as many times as possible when they release a new CD or have a major tour.
THAT is what success means to career musicians, even if it’s not a well-founded notion. It is the only measure of successful marketing in music and it is tired and worn out. It is predictable, instantly forgettable, and serves the musician only to fill their perceived notion of what worked in the 20th century.
Creativity is what drives my desire to assist in marketing any small business…so creativity must be included in the answer of what I want to do.
Collaboration is essential, for no [wo]man is an island, in the sense that many different levels of relationships need to exist to make this successful. For example, PR and marketing are two forks of the same branch. Advertising is also a fork in the branch; the fork no one wants to acknowledge, but is really the most creative and the most fun. These three disciplines need to come together through ways and means that are relevant to the artists and their fans.
In the current model, relevance means that writers, DJs and television hosts perceive the artist’s business as relevant instead of the end user. This is backwards, upside down, and inside out when three or four people put a stamp of approval on a business offering meant to be shared by many, many others.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of business people are in, they insist on being sheep, blending in with the flock and creating the same kind of noise the herd makes. When a business does something remarkable with their overall strategy, that is when people take notice. They create a “tune” so unique almost everyone wants to listen.
Second question in this assignment:
How much risk is there on a scale of 1 to 10?
On one hand there is tremendous risk to be thought very foolish for doing something that isn’t being done, no one wants to spend the time on, and there’s no guaranteed pay off.
On the other hand, what hasn’t been done creates a situation where the “sheep” is not lost, but stands away from the rest of the flock and therefore can be seen. If a small business does not want to spend the time or money doing the hard work of marketing their business, I can simply offer to write their press releases and they can join the club of millions who do the same thing on a daily basis. In the established music model there are no guarantees anyway, so really no one has anything to lose.
How much risk is there in this idea of creating different strokes for different folks? For me, I see the risk as moderate if it doesn’t come to fruition; and no risk if there is just one success story.
Does this project matter enough for the risk/effort put into it; or is it even possible? Has anyone with my resources ever pulled this off?
If the business of music is going to survive without a major infrastructure to support it, then yes, this project matters greatly.
Is it possible? Why yes, Virginia Everything is possible!
Has anyone with my resources ever pulled this off? To varying degrees singular levels of this idea have emerged, but nothing cohesive enough to make an “XYZ Band” an organic success without millions of dollars spent by a record label. If I ask three friends who Amanda Palmer, Ariel Hyatt, or Nancy Rumbel are…my guess is the three friends may know something about one, but none will know something definitive about all three.
Within this mashup of ideas is merely a sketch as I follow the blueprint of Seth’s way of thinking.