1) Build The Best: Use the best tools, the best tech, and the best talent you can possibly afford. Then build and produce the best art and commerce you can possibly manifest.
* Personal note: When I invest in anything, I always look for people or companies that do one thing better than anyone else. Focus on that one thing that you do better than anyone. Then do more of that. (Please don’t send investment ideas).
2) Build A Marketing Base: Waiting until the record is finished, the product is built, the video is launched or the service is proven before you begin a marketing blitz is old-school thinking, and most often a “death knell” to the project. Your “marketing plan” starts NOW! I tell all of my clients to do a weekly blog or newsletter—doesn’t matter if they’re an artist or the CEO of a mega-corp. We live in a “direct to customer” world, and if you want to expand your empire you must consistently interact and engage with your fans, followers and customers DIRECTLY—way beyond Facebook or social media. To the degree you continue to collect emails and build up your customer/fan base, and remain in constant communication with your tribe, to that degree your followers will be there for you when you offer them something special. Building your tribe is the most intelligent investment of your time.
3) Build Your Own Presence: Don’t be hypnotized by the hoopla of Facebook! It’s the lazy man’s business card! Many artists & entrepreneurs, even pros & CEO’s seem to think that their Facebook page is enough. IT’S NOT! When it comes to doing business, NOTHING is more effective than consistently reaching out directly to your fans, and there is absolutely no better place to do that then via your own storefront—your website! Remember, Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg’s website, not yours. And he knows how to distract and target your followers much better than you do. (Reread my blog “Weighing Facebook”)
4) Build Trust: That’s all we really want. We want to know that we can trust you to do what you say, and deliver the art/product/service you promised. Doesn’t matter if you’re a rock star, Corp CEO, or candidate for president, we must have some kind of assurance that we can trust you. And the way to do that is to consistently produce and distribute extraordinary art & commerce that matters most to us—your devoted followers.
5) Build A Solemn Vow: Doesn’t matter if you’re a fledgling band, struggling writer, savvy business owner, or the CEO of a mega-corp. The ruthless “commitment” you make to produce your very best work “trumps” HOW you’re going to do it.
Bonus Block: No matter what condition your career is in, fledgling or flying high, never underestimate the power of building your own stairway to heaven, one block at a time; slowly and intelligently. As your art or brand continues to grow, you’re going to need solid ground to stand on—especially if what you’ve built begins to wobble some day.