Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gone Fishing 1: Why Giving Things Away Matters

You see we all go fishing
Not always using bait
Just cast a line for what you want
Then settle down and wait*
*© 2008 David ThreadgoldRambling Riddles & Rhymes

Come fishing with me for a few minutes in the Lake of Attention and Reputation. That fishing hole seems to be pretty popular these days, with lots of people looking to catch a trophy! -- Glen

A True Story

A local writer/blogger recently took it upon himself to gather sponsorship of local music stores, venues, photographers and players so that a high-quality souvenir magazine could be produced and distributed freely around the town.

The Musicians Annual is
48 pages, full colour
He set to work, got the magazine done, printed it and placed in music stores, studios and coffee shops around Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and Brantford.

Word got around, and people picked up their copies pretty quickly. Comments were all positive and went like, "Hey it's great that we've got this local news. It's about time. Are you going to do this again soon?"

There were no complaints and no negative comments about the contents or the idea, and the publisher was encouraged. He was glad that his contribution to the local scene was well-received. 

But a question continued to nag at him: Did it actually make a difference for anyone? Did it really matter?

According to plan, a large portion of copies were kept in reserve for later distribution. The publisher had plans to hand them out during local events, conferences and summer music festivals. He looked at the big pile of undistributed copies and got to thinking: How could more value be added to those remaining copies?

So this was the plan. He would invite people to suggest ideas about what could be added or inserted into those remaining copies. The only condition was that it must add value to the publication. He wanted to give a local musician or music business an opportunity to build their reputation and gain attention.

He tossed a few ideas around in his head, but wasn't sure if they were any good:
  • A band demo CD or DVD
  • A special CD, such as a compilation of local artists, carrying the brand of a local recording studio
  • A handbill about a new music app for local live music
  • A coupon from a local music retailer
  • A pre-loaded usb stick with samples and artist info
  • An offer of some important musical service
He let the invitation stand, and he spread the news about it around the local area. And he waited to see what people thought.

(not) THE END

Leave a comment below, or email glen@ghmusician.com

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