Developing a Community

On the 12th August 2017, Chris (our Commercial Director) and I had a periodic review of BDEM.

We assessed how things are going and what needs to be done next by putting the previous 6 months objectives into perspective and discussed what we’d accomplished within that time.

We revisited our #stage1 of a multi-staged plan and ensured that we’re moving in the direction we intend (or, if not, we asked why and ensured the new direction we’re heading in is wise) and set some objectives for the next 6 months.

Objective 1: Develop Community

The next immediate objective we want to achieve at BDEM is to create a community.

We’ve been saying this for quite some time and we keep referring back to it in our group discussions between the team.

We analysed how this objective was going, ensured that it was moving towards becoming our primary focus and strategised what this community looks like and what we want to achieve by developing it.

We realised that we’d started using ‘community’ as a bit of a buzzword. We needed to solidify what we’re saying when we say: ‘develop a community’. So, we asked: “what is ‘community’?” It was time to clarify this properly.

We are building our own independent platform that hosts music industry executives, artists, musicians, indie label representatives and our A&R team. This is our professional community.

Our ‘platform’ will need to provide a selection of functions that will entice these people to want to use the platform and interact and collaborate with one another within it.

Coinciding with that, we will also be building a community of listeners who want to interact with our artists. So, we need to have a separate platform to support this.

Before jumping into developing these platforms, we are considering all of the tools and platforms already available, that we can use to start bringing people together.

WhatsApp

Our Head of A&R (Dave) had a couple of bevvies, came up with a cracking idea and created a WhatsApp group that we are now using to start building a user base for our professional platform.

This doesn’t work for listeners though, which we anticipate will be a much larger group of people.

We won’t be able to manage taking phone numbers and manually adding people into WhatApp groups, it’s just not practical and social media and/or forum platforms, such as Reddit, provide a far more suitable platform until our own is ready.

Developing a Story Behind the Startup Process

In order to give our community a commonality by sharing our story and giving community members a reason to trust our brand as their go-to provider.

These are exciting times for us at BDEM, and it makes sense for us to document and share our story! Doing so will help us reach a wider audience and, with good use of hashtag optimisation and sharing, we should begin to see that the audience we reach will be relevant and interested in what we’re going to accomplish.

As long as the content we put out is good, which we will work hard on ensuring is the case, this should go well.

So what tools will we initially use to share our story..?

Blogging

I enjoy writing. Although I see clear room for improvement, I don’t find it incredibly difficult, as some do.

Until a couple of months ago, I have only haphazardly been blogging but I’m now committing to doing this properly and with a strict timescale of blog entries released.

My platform of choice is currently Medium. Beyond Linkedin, it’s the first blogging platform I’ve used and feel that it ticks all of the boxes. I spoke with a journalist last night who had not actually heard of Medium! This means that there might be a larger opportunity to reach more readers on other platforms, so at some time I may review this.

My writing style is currently completely raw, I have yet to fully recognise my ‘writing voice’, so this is something I will work on to try and make my writing more entertaining and less informative.

Building our Instagram Presence

We massively value Instagram as a platform. I can see it slowly change to lose a bit of appeal as adverts increase, but all in all it’s awesome.

Instagram is ‘trendy’. It’s super easy to use (and put down due to the posts only requiring super-short attention spans.

insta(nt) — yeh, I’m stating the obvious!

It’s not plagued by people moaning and long (often time-wasting) content. Negativity in the form of images and videos just isn’t sexy, so that stuff isn’t going to get followed or liked. I read once that Instagram is made for inspiration, and that makes sense to me. Instagram is a positive place to be. I like that.

Like Tumblr before it, it’s so easy to get lost in scrolling through collections of images. The algorithms in this arena work really well with a great reach potential. Instagram is relevant to our media and an excellent opportunity to reach niche audiences and networks and engage with people we want to work with.

Email Newsletter

I have personally lost a lot of faith in e-marketing of late. It’s been done wrong too many times and inboxes are way too convoluted due to people signing up to crap for one-off offers etc. rather than treating their inbox as their holy grail of only really valued content.

I wish I could unsubscribe from 90% of the stuff that comes through my email account, but doing so would take days which is unproductive.

Luckily, Google Inbox sorts this crap out of focus for me! This app has been monumental for my productivity.

What concerns me is that people without a smart email system will have inboxes caked with all the crap I filter out with inbox.

We know that if we’re making e-marketing newsletters they have to be really interesting and entertaining, but if these are lost amongst piles of crap they will be inevitably treated as crap also.

The catch 22 is that between our blogging and Instagram management, we will need to find a way to bring these two avenues of followers together into a funnel to our community platform. Email is the ultimate way to achieve this, so we will want to place absolute focus on spurring open rates first and foremost and concentrating on how we can ensure our emails stand out like a pony amongst horse shit.