Plan A! — Launching A Digital Product Pt. 1

Music to Grieve to

TL;DR — You Have To Create Something of Value

Earlier this year I had an opportunity to buy the domain name — it fit beautifully into my long term strategy as the artist music2work2 so I jumped on it and went about the process of establishing a record label.

Here’s the brand positioning statement:

“For people who have to address a specific task or challenge and are looking for music to help, musicto publishes albums designed to create the optimal sonic environment. Unlike other music sites, musicto creates music for specific actions and behaviors and does not charge a subscription fee.”

Identify How The Money Flows

The music industry has been nuts for the last 15 / 16 years. Digitization burned down the production and distribution models while the mobile revolution took care of everything else. As an independent record label I don’t care about sales — I don’t care about downloads or CDs, all I care about is streams.

As more people pony up the $10 a month to Spotify or Apple or Tidal to access all music everywhere — we begin to make a living.

Identify The Behavior You Want

The behavior our label needs is for someone to listen to our music — that’s it. They don’t have to buy it — they just have to select it from the almost infinite choice they already have in their hand.

Traditional labels are well aware of the new paradigm and a whole new breed of gatekeepers have already arrived. The music industry is back and money has started to flow, payola is alive and well in the form of Playlist Influence and once again the public are being seduced by large corporate budgets.

Our marketing strategy is to bypass the music industry and connect directly to the people.

Identify Product Market Fit

My Dad died last year. The music that was coming out of me was pretty down tempo — sure it was pretty, but it was sad and I didn’t know what to do with it. As we brainstormed possible album names from Music to Write An Essay to, Music to Beat Procrastination, Music to Walk to, etc., one leaped out at me…

I knew there were hundreds and thousands of small to medium size organizations that provided services for people dealing with grief. I also knew a link back from them, with their relatively high non-profit domain authority, would deliver a great bang for our outreach buck.

People don’t search for Grief Music but they do search for Sad Music, almost 100,000 of them a month. If we could become the #1 search result, we’d have cracked it and I’d have to stop writing Simply Friday emails.

Our first release became “Music to Grieve to.”

Identify Plan A

The idea was simple — create something of value that the grief organizations would share with their audiences. This would result in links and social shares and drive us to the top of the search results.

Much as we loved the album we didn’t think that the organizations would blindly market it for us, so we started researching grief and in particular how music impacted it. It took over 2 months and cost over a grand in research and writing costs, but after multiple revisions, we finally had a long form, research backed article that showed that listening to sad music was actually good for you.

We compiled a spreadsheet of the leading grief organizations — wrote a basic outreach letter that touted the benefits of our information and asked them to share it with their audience. We sent out the first 20 emails and waited.

Next Week: When Plan A Fails…

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