Today, I wanted to share an observation, namely about the campaign.
But to help you understand where I’m coming from, I’d like to share a little bit of the background.
Let’s bridge that gap between what I’m seeing, and what might not be totally obvious to you.
So, I’m a big believer in content marketing.
And aside from technical definitions, it basically just means to create relevant content for your audience on an ongoing basis to encourage profitable action.
It’s one of the reasons I publish every day…
It’s why I publish a new podcast episode every week…
And it’s basically the reason I’ve gone about things the way I have in business to this point.
Content Wasn’t Working
In the early days, despite seeing virtually no results whatsoever from my content efforts, I started doubling down on it.
Marketers like Neil Patel and Brian Dean were a huge inspiration.
I started creating content like crazy, writing 2,000 word plus keyword optimized posts.
Still, nothing happened.
So, I read Joe Pulizzi’s Content Inc. (affiliate link), one of my favorite books, about five years ago. Then I started taking content even more seriously. The intro alone, written by Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, got me fired up about the strategy again.
So, I kept going.
Eventually, I did start to see some traction.
10 to 20 visits per day started turning into 50 to 70 visits per day.
50 to 70 visits per day started turning into 100 to 200 visits per day.
It kept growing until I started seeing 800 visits per day, though it eventually settled in at around half that amount.
And that’s a significant part of how I “built a name” for myself online.
You Make Mistakes and You Learn from Them
A lot of amazing opportunities have come as result of putting in the effort I did. So, I don’t regret it.
But I was out of balance. Spending so much time on content meant that I didn’t spend as much time or energy on products and sales processes.
I had them, but they weren’t great.
So, even though investing heavily into content marketing did result in some money…
I wasn’t making anything even resembling my financial goals.
Which also meant that while I was busy writing insanely long guides and making podcast episodes, my peers were busy launching their courses and memberships, probably even capitalizing on the audience I had worked hard to build (remarketing makes this easy).
You make mistakes and you learn from them. That’s life.
(Oh, and for anyone who said this couldn’t be done – you have but to look at New Artist Model, Fanbase University, Savvy Musician Academy, Music Industry How To, and others who’ve already gone and done it. What I’m trying to do has been done, and it is possible. Case closed.)
Balance in Business
So, the return of the campaign, to me, signifies a kind of “balance” in business, although not balance as we would normally think about it.
Because anyone who tells you that business-life balance is possible probably doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. As personal development guru Tony Robbins has so eloquently said, the only thing you can hope for is business-life integration.
And while it means making sacrifices in (no partying or weekends off for me), I’m cool with that. Because I love creating. It pours out of me and I can’t stop it.
In the last 25 days or so, I’ve published every day. I can recall a couple of times I published for 30 days consecutively, but even during those times I can’t recall doing as much as I’m doing now. Basically, I’m publishing more than I ever have.
But that’s because I’m putting considerably more time into my products and sales process too (finally).
The Content Hamster Wheel
One of the great things about content marketing is that you can engage and build an audience over the long haul. Content builds authority, credibility, and trust. And people buy from those they know, like, and trust.
But its weakness is also reflected in my story. Namely, that it doesn’t produce income on autopilot. You’ve got to be intentional and strategic about that process too. I wasn’t.
And if your content efforts take away from your products and sales process, as my journey shows, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Basically, I was on the content hamster wheel. The same trap that ensnares countless entrepreneurs.
But there is an upside to all this (he said in a conniving voice)…
Namely that I can now launch products at an unprecedented rate…
Because I have an INSANE amount of content built out already (including five books).
It will happen so fast, over the course of the next few months, my peers won’t even know what came up and hit them.
The Antithesis of Content Marketing
I’ve shared enough backstory. It’s time to get to the point.
(Yeah, I might be talking to myself…)
The campaign is sort of the antithesis of content marketing. And it’s true that there have been a lot of super engaging campaigns that should have been turned into serial content. A lot of big brands make that mistake.
But maybe there’s a reason some of those campaigns were so great – because the scope was limited, the creators could focus on the most critical, most interesting aspects of what they were promoting.
After all, seasons work for TV shows. People don’t expect daily Tiger King episodes (though some probably wouldn’t complain).
It’s not an all or nothing situation, but sometimes it is about the campaign.
The Campaign is Back!
I can’t speak for any other industry. But I think campaigns are making a big return in music.
I helped a local jazz artist crowdfund $15,000 in 2017…
I helped a singer-songwriter increase her Facebook following by a few hundred and get radio play for her EP in 2018…
My 2018 Q4 campaign for The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship was a humble success…
The campaign is officially back! Because honestly, it’s working way better than the way I’ve approached things thus far. And I am going to be planning around campaigns from now on.
Don’t get me wrong – I will keep publishing. I’m not sure I will ever stop publishing.
But I will also be spending way more time on product and sales process. Because that’s what’s going to create scale for my business.
And I will be matching the product to a campaign. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But the numbers will tell me everything I need to know and help me iterate on my strategy.
(Now, kids, we’ve got to be smart about this too. When a campaign brings success, be sure to capitalize on the momentum. I see many musicians constantly going after more press, more reviews, more testimonials. But as marketing expert Dan Kennedy says, the right publicity can be leveraged for years if not decades to come!)
Organizing Your Campaigns
In my latest best-selling book, The Music Entrepreneur Code, I talk about setting 90-day goals for your career/business.
This framework would work perfectly for mapping out your launches and campaigns.
If you’re ready to start getting on top of your next campaign, you can learn more about the book below.