Final post for “Music Success in Nine Weeks” Great blog-off!  Subject: developing a continuum marketing program.  

The Music Success in Nine Weeks Great Blog-off officially ends today, and as I’m sliding into home plate getting all dirty and bruised, I’m at least finishing the race with the intention of winning, whether I actually do or not.  I really love the way Ariel refuses to let us fail.  If she hadn’t done that contest and thrown us that challenge, no doubt “Music Success in Nine Weeks” would still be sitting quietly on my computer desktop stopped halfway through chapter 2 while I scrambled about doing all the stuff that inevitably comes up every day, forever intending to get back to it, but never quite doing so.

As I went through the agonizing process of working my way through the Cyber PR boot camp outlined in the e-book, I got all kinds of ideas on various things we can offer our fans and ways to engage them, including developing a continuum program as discussed in Chapter 9.  I just am at a loss as to how I will ever find the time to implement them!  As it is, I am really struggling to simply get our 20 or so new tracks performance-ready, never mind recording-ready!

I am aware that the ball is in my court as far as leveraging all the support coming my way, whether from making my presence known online, or just getting a year where I seem to have the benefit of a nice, stiff tail wind, rather than having to swim against the tide in a Category 3 typhoon.

Connections

The Year of the Tiger is proving to be the year of connecting and reconnecting for us.  Early results are highly promising.  Now I need to figure out how to turn the “I love your music!” “I’ve got to pick up a CD!” and views/hits to our CD Baby page and other sales points into “buys”.  I am sure the process I learned through Music Success in Nine Weeks will help me achieve that if implemented diligently.  The enjoyable part of this experience has been making new friends through the Cyber PR Mastermind forum and reconnecting with old friends and family on Facebook.  Learning how to integrate my/our online presence and make it easy for people to identify and find us, and then connect with us in whatever manner they feel most comfortable has been a fierce battle of me vs. the internet, but the tide is starting to turn in my favor.

I love Twitter already, even though I haven’t even got around to signing up yet, I still might be able to get that done within this week as part of my next “mission critical” of organizing a house concert in San Diego for Easter weekend.

As far as the nuts and bolts of Chapter 9 are concerned, once the framework detailed in the rest of the book is in place, we design a series of products and services we can offer to our fan base at various price points, starting at “free” to “quite pricey”, taking the shape of a funnel.  We already have a few things in place, and I have been getting lots of ideas to develop various strategic alliances with some of our fans who are other artists and producers of various products, goods and services connected to various communities to develop a series of collaborative events and merch lines.  I also think it could be interesting to live stream videos of TPO rehearsals, and perhaps even some of Chi giving me bass lessons, once I can shake free from the recent crazy-busy-ness and find time to do that again!

It was emphasized that we can have all the great ideas in the world, and even have them available and up and running, but if we do not first build rapport and trust with our fans by communicating with them regularly and build value into our communication tools, it’s not going to work right.  Ariel gave us a list of 10 ideas for things to offer our fans, many of which were already bouncing around in my head, but haven’t yet made it out onto the workbench since there are still so many other works in process piled up there that my throughput capacity is completely maxed out at the moment.

As always, Ariel doesn’t let us off the hook by letting us think we don’t have to do anything with this task group if our list is not currently at critical mass, and thankfully, again in keeping with the synchronicity I have been experiencing since the dawn of 2010, one of the ideas on the list of 10 is something that it turns out I have to make happen in less than one month (remember that house concert I mentioned earlier)?  Chi even suggested that to me today, and urged me to move that to the top of my priority list.  How convenient that the blog-off ends today, and I am in hard-core promo-mode!  If you’re curious, the reason why it has to happen when it does is because I just got called today for a sideman gig in San Diego, and this particular gig has good synergy and can become a logical extension of what I am up to with TPO.  That also sets in motion a realistic time frame to target for a similar event here in L.A. that I could plan for this summer, and one for the bay area next fall.

Ok, I got off easy by having one ready to go complete with urgency to make it happen, but we still have to at least make a concrete list of steps we need to take to complete our respective funnels and bring the items we come up with into existence.  I know what my next task is!

2010 will be a great year – the first one we’ve had any time in recent memory!

Above all, my take-away is that even if you end up with a totally star-crossed, shitty year like we’ve had a few too many of recently, you can still make it a great one (or at very least a less worse one!) by choosing to remain “on the grid”, i.e., connected to your circle of friends and family.

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