Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for Your Soul fame is well-known for having created The Rule of 5.
The concept is simple – do five things per day that help you reach your goal.
Let’s say you were interested in losing weight and getting in shape. So, your five items for the day could look something like this:
Get eight hours of sleep
Go for a 30-minute walk
Make healthy meals for the day
Lift weights for 15 minutes
Drink apple cider vinegar
It works much the same way with marketing – identify five items you can do today to promote your visual art, music, poetry, or otherwise.
Here we’ll look at how you can apply The Rule of 5 to your promotional work as a creative.
How Does The Rule of 5 Marketing Work?
So, you’ve got a new painting, a piece of music, maybe a book, and you’re interested in promoting it. What next?
It’s amazing how, when an artist shifts from creative activity to marketing activity – even if they have previous experience promoting their works – they stall out and lose sight of the goal.
I’m speaking from personal experience, because this is essentially what happened to me as I went to work on promoting my best-selling book, The Music Entrepreneur Code in 2020.
I’m happy to report that the book became a small success for me despite my initial indecisiveness, but that’s only because of the connections I had built up to that point, and the momentum I’d created with my marketing efforts.
We should be so lucky, but most of the time, we won’t be. Marketing requires intentionality.
Scope creep is a real thing (it applies to marketing as much as it does to our projects), and it doesn’t just show up in the work we do for others. It can easily creep into our own creative ventures as well.
And scope creep is the biggest enemy of consistency. It will see us executing 11 things one day, one the next day, three the day after. Before we know it, we’ve burned out and lost all momentum.
The Rule of 5 Marketing keeps us in check. It sets in stone what you’re going to be doing today, tomorrow, and the day after.
And the game is about as hard or as easy as you make it, so you may as well make it winnable.
Plus, it works.
While working my Rule of 5 Marketing plan, I recently shared a post on Facebook that got more engagement than anything I’ve recently shared.
32 likes, eight comments, one share.
Now, there are plenty of people that get way more engagement on their posts. I’m not much of a Facebook guy, so for me, the above is the equivalent of going viral.
There’s obviously something to be said for the content (picture of me holding up a scribble) that contributed to the success of this piece (it paves the way for future content pieces too). But if all I got were a few likes on Facebook, it wouldn’t be worthwhile.
These efforts, however, are sending a steady flow of traffic to my new beginner guitar program, Chord King Course. My promotional efforts are producing results!
Create a plan, execute against it, have faith, and you will see results from your efforts.
That said, there’s no rule saying you can’t promote seven days per week…
And there’s also no rule saying you can’t choose more than five items per day.
I blog daily, so that tends to form the foundation of the various types of content I need to fulfill on to distribute across various social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Medium, Tealfeed, BitClout, Wisdom, and elsewhere.
Although I don’t hesitate in sharing everywhere I possibly can, the biggest movers for me, historically, have been Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in that order.
And if I were to 80/20 that, Facebook is responsible for more traffic than anything you can name – Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Medium, Pinterest, or otherwise.
If you’re stumped for inspiration and real-life examples of marketing in action, my book, The New Music Industry details more options than most people are even aware of, and much of the content is applicable to entrepreneurship, freelancing, and just about any artistic endeavor you can name.
If you’d like to work with me to come up with your own The Rule of 5 Marketing plan, get in touch. I don’t come cheap, but I can help you quickly identify activity that’s going to lead to results in your marketing.
What are you taking away from this? How will you be implementing The Rule of 5 Marketing in your artistic career?
I joined a couple of network marketing companies in 2011. My life was kind of dominated by network marketing at the time, to tell you the truth.
And in one of the training organizations, they had what’s called the “10 Core Steps.”
The idea was that if you wanted to remain active in the business and get results, you were to follow these 10 Core Steps.
Now, this methodology has received its share of backlash, and understandably so. Google it, and you will see Reddit fiends venting their disdain.
I’m not here to spell out what the 10 Core Steps are. Nor am I here to advocate them. They are the intellectual property of the training organization in question, and it’s fair to say it’s more applicable to people in their organization than to anyone outside of it.
What I want to share is that there were some worthwhile discoveries for me in network marketing. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if I hadn’t seen what was available in network marketing. I just had to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In due course, I was left with a few core habits that support my intellectual and career development. I talked a little bit about these in The New Music Industryas well.
The four habits are as follows:
Read for at least 15 minutes per day. Whether it’s my blog, an article I wrote, or one of my books is up to you. I’m kidding, of course. The trick is to find great books around topics you’re looking to learn right now – creativity, sales, marketing, and so on.
Listen to audios for 30 minutes per day. There are plenty of podcasts, audio courses, audio programs, and other sources worth considering. As with reading, find audios that cover areas of your career you’re looking to improve.
Make one new connectiondaily. Find a venue. Reach out to a reviewer. Leave a comment on a blog post. Everyone can do this!
Talk to your coach. Okay, so unless you’re paying the big buck for a coach, they probably won’t want to hear from you every day! If you don’t already have a coach, get one, and set up calls at regular intervals for the greatest benefit.
Now, can you adjust these habits depending on what you’re looking to accomplish in your music career? Absolutely.
But the number one thing you can learn from the above is the importance of consistency. You may not be able to become an expert in anything in just 45 minutes per day. You may not have major breakthroughs in building out your rolodex commenting on one blog post per day. It may take some time to come up with a workable career strategy with your coach. In due time, though? The flywheel will gain momentum.
I’ve recently had some personal questions from those who are either interested in my forthcoming book, Flashes of Elation, or have already pre-ordered it, and are wondering about its status (and rightfully so). So, I thought it would be worth making a public statement so that no one would be in the dark about this.
You may have seen my November Monthly Hustle post on Music Entrepreneur HQ, seen the blurbs about “next books” and noticed that Flashes is missing from the equation.
First, and most importantly, I have not abandoned the project. Yes, I’m still working on it. And it is a very important work to me.
I admit that I use the term “working on it” a little loosely here, because honestly, I haven’t had a whole lot of momentum with it since 2018. But this is not because I don’t intend to complete it.
I am acknowledging that this has become somewhat of a Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy type situation, but at least what you can say about those releases is that they eventually happened (even if they didn’t impress). And it’s going to be the same with Flashes of Elation – it will happen, and hopefully, it will impress.
The other reason Flashes doesn’t appear in my “next book” list right now is because there are still some tough editing decisions to make. Will I eliminate certain chapters or entire sections of certain chapters, will I write new chapters, will I knowingly break certain writing conventions (spelling, grammar, formatting, etc.), and so on.
Not to make too much of it, but these are the types of difficult decisions I’ve been facing in the editing process, for a book that is sure to be the same length as The New Music Industry(66,000 words), which I laboriously edited many times (12 hours at a time), along with the help of my editors.
There is some good news in all this, though. I started an intensive yearlong leadership program about six months ago, and I’m in what they call the “Completion” quarter. And that means I’m looking for every opportunity to tie up loose ends in my world, and I know that Flashes is one of those loose ends I’m not willing to sit with for much longer.
But first and foremost, I plan to complete another Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy that’s been gnawing at me for even longer, and that’s my musical release, Back on Solid Ground.
That said, I’ve created a separate list of projects and tasks to complete, and Flashes of Elation is on that list!
As challenging as they have been, the last few years have taught me a great deal. With Music Entrepreneur HQ, I thought I was building a community / membership. Only to find that the traffic was just as disengaged as the stats showed. I thought it was growing into a profitable, sustainable business. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone one step forward and two steps back in the preceding years – even more so in the last six months.
I never would have discovered all that if I hadn’t gone through the motions of setting it all up and testing it in the market though. And maybe one day I will have a hungry, ready, engaged audience for what I’ve created. But I can see that time isn’t now.
I guess what I’m saying is – in experimenting with a lot of business models and initiatives, I’m recognizing that what people want from me most is music and books. And so, music and books you shall have. Online academies and coaching programs? Maybe for another time.
And, once the political weirdness that’s been playing out across the world over the last 21 months starts settling down, maybe you’ll see me on the stages of the world performing and giving presentations again.
Anyway, at this point I’ve gone on long enough, and I can’t justify spending more time on this when indeed, I could be working on Flashes of Elation. So, I hope your question has been answered, and thank you so much for sticking with me. It’s been a ride.
I started my career as a composer years ago, in 2009. I shared my creations on YouTube, which mostly went unrecognized. It was basically just an offshoot of the various musical and creative projects I was involved in.
I was fortunate that I had someone in my life who could see the potential in my music and kept championing it against all odds.
As the years went by, I made a few contacts and accumulated a few IMDb credits as an actor and composer. Nothing crazy, just a little bit at a time.
Then, I composed for a short in 2021, which ended up winning the Hollywood on the Tiber Film Awards for best original score. 12 years later, I finally became an award-winning composer.
I will be the first to say that it’s not all about perseverance, not giving up, or sticking it through, though I can’t deny that these things are important.
Just as important, though, is being clear on the habits and actions that are in service of your future self. What could you do today to ensure you have something you want tomorrow?
Most things don’t happen in a vacuum and are an accumulation of small decisions made over the course of days, weeks, months, and years.
This either works for us or against us. Not exercising can lead to obesity and other health problems. It won’t happen immediately, but it will build up. Conversely, saving a dollar per day and putting it into the right investment vehicle could lead to long-term prosperity. You won’t become wealthy overnight, but over the long haul? You never know.
So, adopting a long-term mindset and embracing the personal growth journey is the best way to ensure you remain balanced, happy, and healthy. Things are going to happen. Challenges will come your way. But if you recognize that it’s all about who you’re becoming, and what you’re standing for, you’ll keep going even when the going gets rough.
For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.