It’s now a cliché to cite Arthur C. Clarke’s famous dictum, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Back in my tech startup days, the non-technical folks sometimes regarded such things as audio compression, solid state devices, etc., as quite difficult. I admit was kind of magical to download digital audio to the Internet’s first audio player and listen to the content. But that’s another story, for another blog…
I eventually identified what was and continues to be the very hardest problem: how to get a customer. Most companies – whether for profit or not for profit – grapple with this challenge. How do you do it? There’s a vast array of technology, data gathering and analysis, techniques, expertise, lore, you name it, focused on this problem. How do you think Alphabet (née Google) become a 90+ billion dollar company?
I recently joked to a friend that STORYTOWN was faced with a “customer acquisition” problem. The friend snarkily replied, “Come on, you’re just trying to build a fan base, right?” Well, that’s right, but it’s the same thing, isn’t it? Thus far I’ve mostly concerned myself with the product – the music, the band – with somewhat superficial attention to acquiring customers – I mean, attracting fans. These days it’s all about “social”, right? Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter. And streaming. Albums are for fogies. Nobody buys music anymore, either, right? Read what Bob Lefsetz says about this. STORYTOWN has accounts/channels/pages for each of the main social networking sites. But I’m spending precious little attention on these, and I lack the experience, knowledge of the lore, and the “marketing” sensibility to use them effectively.
I’m not objective in the least, so not surprisingly I believe in STORYTOWN. I’ve gotten enough ostensibly honest, positive feedback (AFAIK) from folks that I think we could have a sizeable fan base (our target out of the rock/indie “total addressable market”) – if we could come up with an effective strategy for reaching them. And notwithstanding Mr. Lefsetz, in another couple of months we will have an album to sell, which will give us something to offer folks who can’t come see us live. Folks who have seen us will hear more elaborate – that is, different – versions of some of their favorite songs, with more vocals, extra instrumental parts, all carefully mixed for maximum goodness :-). Thanks for asking; here’s another excerpt of what's in the works:
Now that the "product strategy" is well underway, I’m looking for folks who have the experience and expertise in leveraging social media for artists to help us build our fan base. We don’t have near as many fans as I think we could have. I’d very much like to find folks who like this music. (What’s their “demo”, and how do we reach them?) If you know anyone who can help, please send them our way (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Oh, and SAVE THE DATE: STORYTOWN returns to the Rockwood Music Hall on Monday January 22, 8pm. We hope to see you there. We’ll be using social media to reach out ;-).
And, as always, thanks for listening. And....HAPPY HOLIDAYS!