Illustration by Ron Kelner

by James Pew

Music Group Think 002

Recap from Part 1 – Myself and a group of Toronto based recording artists are collaborating on the business aspects of our respective indie music projects. We have divided the total effort into 4 categories, 1. Media 2. Fans 3. Grants 4. Publishing.

The media category is everything involved with connecting to relevant and influential media people. Finding the taste makers who deal in each artists particular brand of sound. Following the advice of Chris DeLine in How to Fail at Promoting Music Online and some of our own insights, we go about building networks of connections where the promise of mutually beneficially and respectful music industry relationship building is most present.

We have a method of sourcing the people most relevant to us. It starts with each artist making a comprehensive list (at least 30 names) of other artists they sound like; The list is not only of artists with shared sonic characteristics, but of artists who have fan bases who we think would most likely like our stuff.

One technique we employ is setting Google Alerts for each artist on our “sounds like” lists and adding all the people editorializing the “sounds like” artists to our master database (more on that in Music Group Think 003). Usually these people are bloggers, or other media, but also include fans who regularly post musical content to their extended networks. As we identify these individuals, among other things, we rank their influence.

The next step is following/connecting to them. By being authentic and making contributions (if possible) to their communities, initiatives and projects we insert ourselves into their networks and possibly onto their radar. Loosely inspired by that Trust Agent guy Chris Brogan and his advice on relationship building.

Generally speaking the fans category is everything to do with fans. Email harvesting, fan participation initiatives, fan funding, fan interactions (social media), merch. etc. Lots more to come on strategies, promotions and initiatives of fan base building in future Music Group Think posts.

The grants category is also fairly self explanatory. In a nutshell the artists are making a master schedule of all grant money they are eligible for the remainder of 2012. And helping each other with the applications of each one as the submission deadlines approach.

We would like to hear your suggestions about our approach. Any thoughts? How do you find and connect to the most relevant and influential people within your genre?

Next post deals with our Master Database and the research effort that occupied our time and resources for the first six weeks of Music Group Think.

Thanks for reading.

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