Dispatch From MONDO NYC Case Studies in Digital and Traditional Grassroots Artist Development (Cyber PR)


image from www.brooklynvegan.comAriel Hyatt of CyberPR shares takeaways from two important panels at the recent MONDO.NYC gathering: Case Studies in Digital and Traditional Grassroots Artist Development and How Streaming Playlists Work and How to Get On Them.

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By Ariel Hyatt of CyberPR

At MONDO.NYC, I attended two of the best panels that I have ever sat in on – Case Studies in Digital and Traditional Grassroots Artist Development and How Streaming Playlists Work and How to Get On Them. These are fighting words because I have attended over 75 music conferences and seen too many panels to count.

I’ve distilled the best parts into bite sized nuggets of wisdom and broke this into 2 parts. – I know you will find them helpful.

 In Case Studies in Digital and Traditional Grassroots Artist Development excellently moderated by moderated by Cherie Hu, Music and Tech Contributor at Forbes.

Brian Penick, Founder and CEO of The Counter Rhythm Group and Craig Snyder, Director of Music Partnerships at ReverbNation spouted so many pearls of wisdom they could have charged a consultancy fee for the session.

 The major takeaway was: You need a P-L-A-N.  If you do not have an individual plan for each and every focus area for your music career you will not achieve the success that you want.

Ask: What Have You Done For Your Superfan Lately?

Figure out how to identify the superfans and work a strategy based on each one

Brian asked a very important question:  what have you done for your “superfan” lately?

If the superfan in Chicago only hears from you when you are there then you need to expand your “giving” instead of taking consistently.

 Remember There Was Life Before Social Media

Figure out how to get your superfan to intro you to all of his friends when you come to his town, even if that superfan doesn’t use social media.  For example, lots of artists play house concerts.  Give superfans a chance to host a house concert.

Learn From Some Of The Best

Walk The Moon used to paint everyones faces before the show – and added face paint to their video “Anna Sun,”  it made the audience feel totally connected as they all had matching faceprint.

 If you go to a 21 Pilots show you can see how much its about connecting with OTHER fans as much as it is about seeing the band. Lifelong friendships are created in the audience.

 Dog Yawp – connects with all of their fans via snapchat – They shares texts from their mom on Facebook – is your mom as awesome as mine?  This starts conversations as people also get involved.

Carseat Headrest – great example of a band kicking ass on Bandcamp.

Paul McCartney is doing meet and greets before his shows and if he can do it – you can too.

Don’t Just Meet For Practice

Most bands get together to practice but do you get together to have a business meeting with an agenda that you run through with meeting notes?

 Think “Brand Ambassador”

Make your fans your brand ambassadors – I don’t know why music business people don’t use this term. Ask yourself: what is the thing that will connect your fans and make them have a relationship with you? Treat your fans like friends and connect to them before the show and after – I have a band that books yoga classes before gigs and they do yoga with their fans – that is a great way to bond.

 Figure Out How To Communicate With Your Band and Your Team

It’s amazing how disjointed communication is.  Use slack and Asana and Trello! Streamline all communication. If you can not communicate properly you need to fix that before you go any further.

 Use Standardized Processes

To teach yourself as an artist what to do on your own so you know how to handle it when you hire someone else.

 Plan Your Next 12 Months

Craig pointed out that as an artist you must plan out your year and do this in steps.

Building a good business is key, so there are no cracks in the foundation.

 Consider Both Facebook Pages

Facebook punishes Pages treats them like businesses, we have seen our artists get better traction leveraging their personal accounts on Facebook. – Craig Snyder

 EPKs Are Still Important

They help you organize your info into one place. They are only valuable if they are up to date. 

 Have A PR Strategy

We identified 25 – 50 artists that had the same fan bases and looked at the PR they received and approached each one saying – you love this band so we think you will like ours.

 Don’t Expect Your Publicist To Be a Miracle Worker

You are only as good as your publicist is – when you hire her the work begins “if you arm publicists with really great content and stories and you already have connections – use the publicist to get it over the goal line.”

 You Must Network at Conferences and at Gigs

“Physically being present at conferences is a huge part of the game – go hang out at the bar when the panel is over and engage in conversations.  You have to do this at shows and at conferences with both fans and with industry.” – Brain

 Have A Personal Touch

I can’t tell you how many CDS Ive gotten but I can tell you how many personal notes I got with them. – Craig

 Focus

It’s tough when you think you need to be everywhere – do less on each platform to make a bigger impact on each.

“There is no blanket formula for artist development”

 If No One Cares, You’re in Trouble

“There is no absolute solution but you do need to show – proof of concept and scale”

There are certain paths that you go down but you need to have a “product” that people see value in.” 

 Get To The Playlisters

Craig wrapped up the panel by saying:

“Make friends with the ‘mysterious’ playlists see if they are at your show and make a dialog.”

 Which leads us into the next panel…. How Streaming Playlists Work and How to Get On Them, coming up next

 Ariel Hyatt has been a fierce entrepreneur for more than 20 years and runs Cyber PR, a dynamic social media & content strategy firm based in New York City. Her agency places clients on blogs & podcasts, establishes their brands, and advises on how to create online influence. She has spoken in 12 countries to over 100,000 creative entrepreneurs, and is the author of four bestselling books on social media, marketing, and crowdfunding including Cyber PR for Musicians and Music Success in 9 Weeks. Her newest book Crowdstart: The Ultimate Guide to a Powerful and Profitable Crowdfunding Campaign went to #1 on Amazon on both the investing and entrepreneurship categories.