2 Growth Strategies – “One Fan at a Time” and “Nodes and Networks”
There are two effective models to grow your business. It’s best to recognize and utilize both to your advantage.
“One Fan at a Time” – Grassroots Growth – You need to be able to identify your audience and speak to their interests. After knowing who they are you need to go find them (this is called marketing) where they hang out in the real world or online. Once you find them you need to convince them that your product is worth buying (this is the sales part) – or a better way to look at it is to help them see the value that you could contribute to their life. Continuing the dialogue with your fans is the final part of grassroots business growth. Once you’ve found them, engaged them, they’ve purchased something from you (tickets, merch, music) then your job is to keep them interested – to make awesome content or products that inspire people. I know it’s not easy and there’s no real forumla for it either. But the point is, if you can learn how to make awesome products and find people who will enjoy them then you’ve built a successful grassroots business.
“Nodes and Networks” – Connections and Top-Down Growth – Who are all of your possible connections that could introduce you to your ideal audience? The list could include agents, manager, venues, festivals, other bands, local businesses. As you grow your business think of all the connections that are easy to make and reach out to them. Even in the early stage of a career there are connections to be made with your local market. Find and befriend all of the bands in your area that share your genre. Get to know the owners of the stores that would identify with your brand. Eventually when you grow your business to a certain point, you will go looking for an agent or manager. One of the greatest benefits of the right agent or manager is the professional connections they offer. In fact, if you’re looking for an agent or manager consider whether this person is going to provide you connections into the business opportunities you desire (festivals, clubs, markets). Connections are an important part of business, just like real life… don’t forget about them!
Grassroots growth keeps you connected to the source – the fanbase. Connections help network you into pockets of similar audiences where your ideal fans may be hanging out. Recognize and capitalize on both – all successful businesses do.