Posts

 

Getting creative with your marketing is a great way to stand out from the crowd and really engage your fans. Muse recently ran a marketing strategy titled The Bank of Muse, based off a previous Foo Fighters campaign, In Rock we Trust. The band printed their own currency, the Muso, and distributed the bills at their live shows with a confetti cannon. From these bills, fans could visit the printed link to unlock content.

Lee Martin created both marketing strategies. He explains the strategy on his blog:

I was approached by Muse in April to help develop an interactive campaign that would exist alongside their massive European summer tour both online and at the shows starting May 22nd at Ricoh Stadium. As it turned out, their team were fans of the In Rock We Trust Foo Fighters FOO bill confetti to online campaign I was recently a part of, so we decided to expand upon the concept so that it could exist over the 3-month lifespan of the entire tour while hopefully staying interesting enough for the fans to keep caring.

On the back of each Muso and printed within the tour program, was a link to the Bank of Muse. Fans visited this URL via their mobile devices at the show (or when they returned home) and were prompted to make their first deposit to the bank in order to contribute to a global financial ticker which would unlock exclusive tour content as certain targets were met. Mobile was very important here, because we actually served the behind-the-scenes instant-grat video of Dom to each new account holder, allowing fans to participate right from the show.

Our content rollout strategy was kept very loose in order to respond to fans’ reactions throughout the tour, rather than get locked into something that might fail. In the end, we released several videos, photo galleries, and downloads. We also put together a mid-tour crowd-sourced video campaign for fans attending the Paris shows. It was really convenient to have the app setup to market this before, during, and after the event.

This marketing strategy effectively connected the online and offline experience for fans. It also got fans to work together to unlock content, creating a stronger community. Instead of unlocking individual content, fans contributed Musos to a global total.

To read more about The Bank of Muse, visit Lee Martin’s blog and check out this article on Hypebot.

Success in music

Here are 10 recommendations for strategies that can lead to success in music, and in life.  Take them with a grain of salt.  With this new decade comes the promise of digital music, the power of the entrepreneur and the tools to connect with an audience and deliver the goods.

1.  Living a life in music is a privilege. Earn it.

There is very little more satisfying then spending time making music.  If you make this your life’s work, then you can be truly joyful.  However, the chances of being successful are extremely low and the only people who are going to get there are going to have to work hard and earn the right to be a musician.  Respect the privilege of being free enough to have this choice (if you do) and honor the opportunity.

2.  No one is in charge of your muse but you. Be happy and positive.

People can be their own worst enemy.  Countless times I have heard artists tell me the reasons why their career is not working out.  Most of the time they are putting blocks in their way and pointing fingers at people and things that are holding them back.  Stop whining and blaming other people and make the conscious decision that you are going to be successful and that things are going to work out in your favor.  You are creating your own reality every day, so make it a good one and excel.

3.  Practice, practice, practice – then go for it. Over prepare.

You can never be ready enough for opportunity.  Your live shows can always be better, your songs can be more amazing, and your playing can only improve.  As the CEO of your own musician business, you can learn how to run the company more effectively, reach out to more fans and be an more effective social media marketer.  Don’t hold yourself back by not being ready.  Be a professional.

4.  If you suck, you will never make it. Find a way to be great.

Lets face it, it is really hard to be amazing.  Some people have the natural talent and you can see it in the first 5 seconds of meeting them.  They are truly blessed.  The rest of us have to find our niche, our passion, our calling and then reach for it.  Ask people around you for feedback.  Find what you are good at and focus on that.  Get other people to help you.  If you don’t stand out and rise above the pack, you will struggle forever.  Be amazing.

5.  Learn how to breathe and keep your focus.  Stay calm.

There is nothing more pleasant than working with someone who knows who they are and what their goal is.  Remember the old adages of thinking before you speak, and taking a deep breath before you lay into someone.  Most of us have a lot going on in our lives and we can all benefit from staying focused on our goals and remaining calm in most situations.  Learn yoga, exercise, run, meditate, sit still, breathe, learn who you are.

6.  Don’t take yourself too seriously, no one else does. Have fun.

I am amazed at how many people spend so much time looking backwards and trying to understand what people think of them.  This is worrying about the past and not embracing the future.  Reviews are important, but don’t run to them or let them ruin your day.  Not everyone is going to like you, but more people will if you are having a good time.

7.  No matter how difficult things get, move forward. Don’t give up.

The only thing that will help your career take off is forward momentum.  That is how you are going to reach your goals.  A lot of people are stuck in their own mud.  Take action, make a move and then see what happens.  Don’t spend time procrastinating or worrying about how hard it is, just do something positive to advance your cause.  You will feel much better by acting instead of waiting or worrying.

8.  Find a way to make money. Start small and grow. Avoid being in debt.

This is probably the most important strategy of them all and why so many artists have gotten into trouble in the past by taking label advances.  All that is, is a big loan.  Get some kind of cash flow happening right away, no matter how small.  Sell merch, play for the door, license your songs, play sessions, teach, write, start your musician business.  The biggest mistake you can make is to borrow a lot of money and then spend it on things that don’t matter.

9.  Be unique and true to your vision.  Say something.

The people that we remember are the ones that are unique, exciting, special, provocative, fascinating, original, inventive, interesting.  Music is a basic form of communication.  The really successful artists have something to say and work on delivering their message.  Your chances of success go up exponentially if you have a unique position and message and create a following of fans who really listen to you because you have something important to say.

10. Work and play with people you like every day.  Collaborate Often.

Music is a tribal experience.  You cannot make great music alone.  Surround yourself with talented people, write together, play together, try new things.  Bounce inspiration off of each other and learn.  Listen to each other and let the music weave it’s way around you.  Find a producer, songwriting partner, other musicians and dive in together.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Wonderful things are waiting to happen to you.

Want more strategies for success? Download my most popular ebook, Hack the Music Business, for free here.

From TED 2009

While not exactly on-topic, I think you will enjoy this insight into the creative process from Liz Gilbert – author of Eat Pray Love. She riffs on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius.

It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk and – interesting.

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf