If you want to make products or art built to last, then this post is for you.
In a world where up to 30,000 songs are released each day, how do our artists separate and elevate themselves?
For years, many of us, myself included, have been championing the need for more content.
As I have mentioned multiple times now here at AoaM, our 3B team member Wade Davis says,
“Quality is subjective, but quantity is for certain.”
Not to be confused with quality doesn’t matter – It’s the most important.
In speaking to David Dann this morning, he believes context is just as important, if not more important, than content.
My friend Ryan Holiday sums up how to make and market work that lasts in his book Perennial Seller using four simple steps – I believe context is addressed in step 1 and even more so in step 2.
1. Create content you believe is built to last – Go into it with the intention to make a classic. In order to do so, Ryan believes 80% of a creator’s time needs to be spent in this category – creating.
As managers, we must always understand the music will reign supreme in any marketing equation.
2. Position your content before its release – Who is the audience? How will they be reached? How and why will they spread the content? How do they start the movement? How can they be engaged further? In order to create “timeless”, some of these questions must be asked during the creation process of step 1.
3. Market your content – The first two steps are becoming more important than this one – Creating the right content and positioning it properly enables fans and tastemakers to spread the word. However, marketing is still a key step.
4. Build Your Platform – Utilize your content to build your audience via social media, mailing lists, and even phone numbers to ensure all the hard creating, positioning and marketing content rolls itself into a movement for future releases.
“Far too many people set out to produce something that, if they were really honest with themselves, is only marginally better or different from what already exists. Instead of being bold, brash, or brave, they are derivative, complementary, imitative, banal, or trivial. The problem with this is not only that it’s boring, but that it subjects them to endless amounts of competition.”
Once artists are aware of the importance of creating music and art with the intention to be remarkable, step 2 is an area which needs the utmost focus (not just because the steps are in that order).
Positioning is even more important in industries like music, which are driven by culture. The push promotional strategies we as an industry sometimes rely on to create awareness are becoming less relevant by the day. The fans don’t care about them.
But they do care if an artist has an amazing collaboration with an artist in an unexpected genre. They do care if an artist does something no artist has ever done before. They do care if an artist takes a unique and vocal stand for what they believe in. They do care if an artist is hanging out with a relevant group of cultural leaders. They do care if an artist includes them, the fans, in the rollout strategy itself.
While we can never fully ignore push strategies, we need to dig deeper with our artists and their teams to create the above moments which accelerate growth. In addition to providing the necessary cultural context to bring fans into our artist’s world, these moments also unlock the doors to the largest promotional opportunities (step 3).
I loved Perennial Seller and am going to include it as mandatory reading for artists in our next accelerator program. Here is also a great short summary of these four steps for you and your artists.