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« How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs: Finding the Best Blogs for Your Music | Main | After 15 years of practice... »

What I Learned About Marketing From New York Times Best Selling Author Michael Port

I’m a self-help & business book junkie and as you well know, Music Success In Nine Weeks is a self-help book for musicians. If you read my newsletters and dig my philosophies, this probably comes as no surprise. So, as I’m nearing a birthday in June, I decided to treat myself to a weekend with New York Times best selling author Michael Port.

I read Michael’s amazing Book Yourself Solid about a year ago, and I think all musicians who are struggling to make money with live shows should read it.  I adore his teachings. So, when he e-mailed me and offered a private seminar for just eight lucky people, I took him up on it and had a phenomenal experience.

Here’s one of the golden nuggets I took away:

Marketing = Relevancy. 

Social intelligence is an enormous part of being relevant and if people like you, they will naturally follow your marketing because you’re relevant to those people. Now, when you’re a musician this is difficult because your music may not at first occur as relevant to them (because they may not have heard it yet). This is where social media can become your best friend and your most useful tool for connecting to more fans because you can show what is relevant to you and therefore, relevant to them. Because social media is a fabulous, “keep in touch” tool.

I’m not saying your music is not relevant but connecting people to your music requires the fostering of an emotional connection. Sadly most people aren’t actively looking for more great music, but, they may be looking for a way to feed their finicky children more healthy food, or maybe they’re looking for a solution for non-chipping nail polish because they can’t stand getting a manicure and having it chip in 2 days. Or maybe, they want a great organic cat litter that keeps their cats’ lung health, or a fantastic dog toy that’s indestructible.

Or maybe they just want a fabulous dessert recipe: My greatest hit is panettone egg nog bread pudding.

See, how hard was that? I didn’t give away any super personal information about me. I didn’t compromise my integrity or over-share the depths of my soul and I didn’t bore you with endless marketing messages about myself, or scream: come check me out!

I just provided you with something relevant that has nothing to do with marketing music, social media, or music. But it all has something to do with what’s relevant to me. And, maybe because you were looking for a perfect manicure one day, or you wanted to wow your guests with an easy dessert recipe and you stumbled across my blog, you might think of me the next time an artist asks you for an online music marketing company. 

So, here are your action steps: To Marketing Relevancy

(remember: First think about social media as a “keep in touch” tool) 

Write down five things that you like:

Your kids 


Your pets 


Recipes you like to cook 


Movies or cartoons you like 

Charities you support

Fun videos 


I don’t care what it is- but use these five things to help keep you relevant and help keep you on track with diversifying your marketing strategy. Keep in mind that social intelligence is an enormous part of being relevant. 

And now ask yourself how relevant are you? All of sudden, you’re marketing. 



Reader Comments (6)

Great article, Ariel! It's very important to be transparent in any social media endeavors and share your opinion so your contacts get a feel for who you really are (which, like Ariel mentioned, can be done without disclosing extremely personal information).

I recommend taking this article into consideration if you're wondering why your online marketing strategy isn't engaging your followers. I've been practicing what Ariel is preaching and with millions of people out there to connect with, relevancy truly is key.

June 16 | Registered CommenterChris Taylor

Great post!

June 16 | Unregistered CommenterJP

Why not also explore writing songs that include references to those things you care about, as well?

Or are somehow related...Thanksgiving Day doesn't seem that relevant a topic offhaand, but Arlo Guthrie sure got some mileage with it in a creative way w/Alice's Restaurant...

June 16 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

Wait, on second thought, the majority of rap on the (mainstream) radio references bitches and ho's (at least figuratively), so do use some discretion, pulleez...a little actual creativity goes a long way.

June 16 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

Great post, Ariel!

This is kind of what I was trying to touch upon in part 1 of my "How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs" series, except you have expanded it to marketing in general. You're right - it's really important to take a few moments to write down what is relevant to yourself, because chances are that some of those things will be relevant to others as well. Then the challenge is seeking out those relevant people, connecting with them, and THEN getting them to relate to your music.

A difficult road to travel, but a road nonetheless...

June 17 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

if people like you, they will naturally follow your marketing because you’re relevant to those people

This is slowly sinking in: By adding value to the lives of your fans/investors by being useful/relevant you can generate awareness within them to your music or product.

Awesome stuff, Ariel. Thanks :) Who doesn't want to be useful/interesting/relevant?

December 6 | Unregistered CommenterRob

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