small is the new big

  • Mass media is dead, long live multiple channels of information
  • ..but there’s just too much digital noise out there; too much email aaaaarrrrgh!
  • Being a cog in a job measured and described by someone else blows
  • Most web pages are ugly
  • Your best fans will promote you in a way you can never do

Obvious things that your entrepreneurial, creative head already knew but Seth Godin puts it in black and white.

In late 2008, totally hooked to Derek Sivers’ ideas on music marketing and his own blog, I started a journey into modern digital marketing books by following his book list and gradually buying some of those books.

And this is how I came across Seth Godin, it all started with his book Small Is The New Big. This book is a culmination of Seth’s best blog posts in a nice, compact book form.

It is all in the bonus – redesigned band website

The bonus at the back of the book on website design and function was total gold. He basically mentioned that most web pages are ugly and serve no purpose (what a bold but true statement). He then provided a clear, concise guide on what a web page should be. Prompted by his guide I asked myself

“What is the purpose of each and every page on my band’s website?”

Going from the bottom up I realised there really was no clear cut purpose for any of the website. I was randomly hoping that people would see our videos, hear our music and then become fans magically! While the website definitely helped in marketing I never used it as something more direct.

So now:

  1. I chopped down the 7 navigation pages to just 4
  2. Placed the navigation bar at the top
  3. Included a “buy these songs on iTunes” link
  4. And eventually put up a form on every single page for people to sign up to our mailing list

The purpose of the webpage was now not only to market the band, but to act as a portal for collecting fan email addresses and also sell our music.

Lo and behold…a few months later, thanks to being clearer on this we started selling downloads and having people sign up to our mailing list 🙂

Turn strangers into friends, then into fans and magic will happen!

On Facebook, etc I was meeting some random people through music networks and I became friends with them. That gradually meant that I could tell them about the band and get them interested in our music. That happened slowly and steadily with time, so much so that Facebook friends from the US saw us in London, how cool was that!

This wasn’t the amazing bit though…the amazing bit I actually experienced was through my part-time job at the time as a Maths/Physics tutor. With that job too I had turned people into friends, then customers…then something magical started happening, some customers started marketing me to their friends direct and I started getting more and more work. This continued to such an extent that in June 2009 I was able to quit my actual full-time job.

Now I was in a place where I had a job that I liked a lot lot more, and that freed up more time to concentrate on music, self-improvement and other hobbies.

This concept of your customers marketing YOU is nothing new in terms of word of mouth marketing, but he articulates it better in his book under the title “Flipping the funnel”.

Blink one more than 182

I could go on about his posts in the book, there are 183 of them…and most fairly short, direct ideas and thoughts with the odd rants thrown in. It takes time to absorb and implement them.

His thoughts on the music industry itself are pretty radical (“the music industry had no right to think it was going to last forever”) and together with his other book “Tribes”, it is inspiring reading and above all an action book for musician marketeers.


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