I write to you from the victorian, sea shanty town of Hastings. Known most famously for the battle of Hastings. Which never took place in Hastings. You’d have to go to Battle to find the battle. Bizarre, isn’t it?
William the Conqueror sailed his invading army across the channel. They landed in the tiny village of Pevensey (still not Hastings). Having landed in such a small area, he could take control, fortify and dominate. He was able to concentrate his time, energy and resources.
Had he decided to spread out across the coastline, he would have had fewer resources to dominate a vast area. Thus increasing the risk of being defeated in their invasion.
What has this got to do with you?
When you try to appeal to anyone online to be your audience, your content will get lost in the sea of social media. It won’t stand out. It’ll lack the ability to resonate. No one will take action to come and watch your recital.
If you choose a beachhead (a small section of people you want in your audience). Mark your flag (your content to attract those people). Build a fort (website/blog/youtube/recitals). You have a better chance of having your own audience who love your playing and buy tickets to your recitals.
Let’s look at how you can do this for yourself.
Creating Your Flag
Start by looking at what you stand for. What are the values you hold which are non-negotiable for yourself? These will have a deep resonance with you. It will give a clear message of what you stand for. You can find a long list of values here.
Follow these four steps:
- Pick all the values that resonate with you.
- Once you’ve picked them, Leave them and do another activity.
- Come back to the list. Read through each word. Remove the ones that no longer resonate.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’re left with 3-5.
These values are going to make up your flag. It is going to be the guide for everything you do as a musician. From performing all the way to your content creation. Take your time choosing those values. When reviewing the values, look for evidence of them in your life. If you can’t find any evidence of that value in your life, then it’s a wishful value.
Now you have your Flag, which beachhead are you going to choose to plant it in?
Choosing Your Beachhead
Choosing your beachhead is like choosing a coffee shop.
There are many to choose from.
Is it all about the coffee? I know from my own experience that I look for a coffee shop that:
☕️ Look’s welcoming.
☕️ A special & unique space.
☕️ I get to discover something new.
☕️ It shares a similar outlook.
☕️ It shares similar beliefs, values and aspirations.
☕️ My friends go there.
We love coffee shops that fit with us. Our needs, beliefs and values.
When you know what your values are, You can think about who would also share all or some of them. It is in the overlap that you will find the sweet spot. It is a very powerful area. It makes attracting your audience much easier. Like the saying goes ‘like attracts like.’
- Think of someone you already know who matches or shares your values.
- Make them your audience representative (you don’t need to tell them. This is for your benefit)
- Where do they hang out online?
- What would they find valuable from you?
You have chosen who your ideal audience is. Your beachhead. Now you are ready for the last step.
You have your flag to attract your ideal audience.
You know which beachhead you are aiming for.
It’s time to choose what is going to be your fort. It is going to be where and what people are going to experience. It wants to be in a medium that you feel comfortable with. This could be:
- Writing (Blogs, Emails, Papers and Articles)
- Audio (Podcasting, Clubhouse, digital radio)
- Video (Youtube channel, Livestream talks, Workshops)
- Visual (Slides, Infographics, Instagram)
Pick one to master. Hone your skills before branching out. For me, I’ve chosen writing an email/blog as my fort. I’m learning each week how to get better at it. If I started to add video and audio, I’d get overwhelmed with content creation. I wouldn’t be able to show up consistently.
It helps to think about what your ideal audience would engage with. Would they prefer to watch your videos on Youtube? Perhaps they’d rather listen to a podcast. Or maybe they love to read and would prefer a blog.
Find the sweet spot between what you want and what your audience wants. Your life will be much easier for it.
All that’s left is to create content to attract your ideal audience. Once you start building relationships with them, you can tell them about your upcoming recitals. From this, you’ll start increasing your audience.
It is easy to think you have to be everywhere doing everything. But that spreads your time, energy and cash very thinly. Find out what your values are. Use these values to think about who would also share them. This then becomes your ‘ideal audience’. When you create content around these values you are going to attract them to you. Lastly, choose what form you want your content to be. It wants to be something that you and your audience are happy to engage with.
Now you have a good chance of attracting people to you and building your audience.
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