Musicians: Have a DIY Success Story? Share it with Step2
Created by media blog Techdirt, Step2 is a community brainstorming platform for asking about, suggesting, creating, and building models for success. We had the opportunity to interview Techdirt founder Mike Masnick about the site and what it can offer to content creators like the many artist and bands here on Bandzoogle. Enjoy!
Q: What inspired you to create Step 2?
I've been talking and writing a lot over the past few years about cool things that content creators were doing to connect with fans and to build useful business models. And the more I wrote or spoke about it, the more I'd have content creators reach out and ask for help with their unique situation. I only have so much time in the day, and I also believe that getting more people involved only leads to better ideas and solutions. So we built a platform to bring together a community to discuss these things.
Q: Who is Step 2 for? Creators themselves? Industry? Fans?
All of the above. It's definitely targeted at creators, but very much with the idea of fan involvement as well. We've often found that fans have the best ideas for cool things that their favorite creators can do (or sell). In an ideal world, I'd love to see content creators post their questions to Step2, and then point their fans to that discussion. So, for example, a band preparing for a new release might ask fans to chime in with ideas for "packages" that could be sold around the new release. You'd be amazed at the cool feedback you might get.
Also, one of the reasons why we hope to involve people beyond just the creators is to get that difference in perspective. It's amazing how breakthroughs in brainstorming can often come from someone with a totally fresh perspective on things. So, someone who spends most of their time as a software engineer, might have the best possible idea for a band halfway around the world. Hopefully Step2 will bring out some of those kinds of connections that make everyone better off.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with the site?
Simple: help make content creators more successful in today's rapidly changing environment. I'd love for the site to inspire content creators, helping them recognize that there are new and interesting things that can be done to be successful these days. In the long run, I'd love for it to become the go-to knowledge base of all sorts of interesting ideas, knowledge and expertise about how to succeed today.
Q: Tell us more about the “Content Creator Success Stories” contest
For the launch, we're offering up 10 $1,000 prizes for the best case studies from content creators. The idea was that we wanted to give some initial incentive for artist to jump in and share to kick things off. All an artist has to do is write up a case study about a particular thing they did to be more successful -- connecting with fans, giving them something to buy, increasing concert attendance, whatever, and post it to the site.
Q: How can creators participate in Step 2?
Simple. They just go to www.insightcommunity.com/step2/ and sign up for an account and begin taking part. They can "start a discussion" to post a case study or ask a question about their own situation (or, perhaps, the situation of others they'd like to help). Or, they can peruse existing discussions and questions and start responding to some of them.
Q: What do you personally think will be the model for content creators going forward?
Personally, I think that every content creator's situation is different, so the specific tactics that each will need to take to succeed changes on a variety of variables (type of content, style, location, charisma, access to fans, etc.) but that there are two key elements to succeed these days. The first is to build a *real* connection with fans that is authentic and honest. Shunning fans is not an option -- but amazing fans and making fans feel special pays back tremendous dividends. Second, is giving them a real reason to buy. For whatever reason, many artists often seem afraid or ashamed about the commerce side of things. They'll maybe put out an album and say "here it is." But they don't put much thought into providing a real "reason" for fans to buy it beyond just the fact that they're fans. I think there's a huge opportunity in providing significant value above and beyond the content itself.
Well Zooglers, normally we would ask you to share your success stories here on the blog, but you heard the man: go to the Step2 site, tell your success story and you could win $1000: www.insightcommunity.com/step2/
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