Pro Audio Files

Tips for Growing Your Own Platform — Part 2

Transcript
Hey guys, Matthew Weiss here — theproaudiofiles.com, mixing101.co.

This is going to be a follow up to my last video where I talked about the importance of growing a platform.

Now what I want to do is get into the specifics so that I can give you guys something tangible to work off of, because I think we’ve all said that growing the platform is important enough. That’s fairly common knowledge. We know marketing is important, but then we sort of get lost because we go, “Well, I don’t even really know what the first step is.”

So as artists, producers, engineers, we are all essentially little independent businesses. We make a product or we provide a service, and our success depends on a base of people who buy that product or service. We might be selling a song or a collection of songs, or we might be selling the experience of a live performance, or we might be selling the service of helping to create those songs and performances, and unfortunately, selling something is extremely difficult. It’s not only difficult to sell something, but it’s even more difficult to sell something with longevity or with predictability.

So enter the platform. Your platform is your means of communicating with your base. Whether it’s the people who love the music, or the people who license your music, or the people who hire your services. All of that needs a hub or a system of communication.

So we can think of something like Twitter as a platform or Facebook as a platform or MySpace, maybe as a platform. Or we can think of our social media network as like, one bigger platform, but we can also think of a network of promoters, taste makers, venue bookers as a platform. We can think of a blog or a podcast as a platform, we can think of a website as a platform.

I mean I guess any way you slice it, our very first step is we have to choose a platform. So picking a platform really depends on where your industry beats, and what environment you feel comfortable in.

So for example, I’m a recording and mixing engineer. The heart of my industry is based on one-on-one interactions and word of mouth.

Going about Facebook and Twitter, even if I have the biggest presence in the universe, isn’t really going to result in a stable platform, because the fact is, that’s not where my base is. A word of mouth network is much more fruitful.

Now, a performing artist might have a totally different experience. Social media can be a great platform, because an artist is trying to bring what they do directly to people of all walks of life. Facebook and Twitter allow people to quickly access general information and learn about songs and events.

With The Pro Audio Files, a blog makes the most sense, because we can control the way the articles and tutorials are made available. So if I were to write an article and post it up on Facebook, that wouldn’t really work, because it would be fleeting and would just require continual upkeep that would be really ultimately overwhelming.

So Facebook, not so good of a platform for The Pro Audio Files, but a dedicated website with a blog is.

So once we’ve picked the platform to step to, obviously, is to learn the platform. The basic idea of any platform is simple — to effectively communicate, but the means of doing that can vary a lot and require different kinds of work.

Actually, let me back up a step. As an independent business, we have to acknowledge that fostering our platform is part of the work. Simply making music, going on tour, setting up a studio, whatever, isn’t going to be enough to make our business work.

It would be nice, but that’s not the way the world works.

So now that we’ve acknowledged that we need to put our work in, we also need to figure out how to work. Every platform has its own nuances. The Pro Audio Files blog for example gains traction by having a high search response. Stuff like Google rankings.

Frankly, I don’t know really how to increase one’s Google rankings, but there are apparently ways to do it.

Also, The Pro Audio Files, we keep an e-mail list. Side note, you should totally subscribe to the e-mail list, because our content is really good if I do say so myself. Likewise, Facebook has dedicated pages and groups. Pages and groups function a little differently, so it’s important to know how people interact with those.

There’s also paid post boosts, and those have a bunch of details and information to reach target audiences and there are ways to optimize that.

So once you’ve selected a platform that you think works for you, or maybe you have multiple platforms and a few of them seem to be clicking, dig in and figure out the little details. Ask people, ask specialists, hire a consultant, go in there and figure out how to make that platform functionally work the best that it can.

So number three, engage with people. I’m not going to lie, I’m either really good at this or really bad at this, and I can’t really tell. I’m very rarely in sell mode, I tend to just kind of say whatever is on my mind, whether it’s politics, or religion, or curse words, or whatever. I tend to react pretty poorly to negativity.

You can pretty much just go into the YouTube comments section on any of my videos and somewhere in there, you will see me flipping out at someone for saying something dumb.

I am learning to channel my inner David Glenn culpability, but until then, yeah, I gratuitously block people, and just ultimately, I don’t love the business market-y side of things. Especially online, and I don’t think too many people do.

But again, it goes back to why my platform for engineering is more on the word of mouth universe. I interact much better one-on-one with people than I do with a mass of people online. But my platform for selling tutorials is online, so hi, here I am.

At the same time, I do think all those attributes make me genuine, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Regardless, I force myself to engage, and I try to engage in a fruitful way.

So recognizing who you are talking to is really important.

For example, this video right here is a response to how people received previous content. When people say, “We want to know more about growing a platform,” I would be remise not to response. So this doesn’t mean to cater to the whims of every person in your network, it simply means to be aware of what is resonating with people.

This kind of goes to the point of what marketing really is. It’s about figuring out how to connect people with your brand and your product, and it’s not something that just kind of happens like you input and then add money, and then output.

There have been times in history where that has worked, but it really is never the most successful model, and the actual best way to do it is to develop a platform over time. It’s to build up a communication system where people learn to recognize your brand.

Alright, just my thoughts. You know, I’ll probably do some more stuff in this regard. I’m not a marketing expert, I’m not a master of social media platforms and everything like that. I only kind of know what I know from being involved in it for as long as I have been, but I think what I have to say about it is fairly insightful and useful, so I’ll try and keep up as best as I can.

Anyway guys, don’t forget to like this video, subscribe to the YouTube channel, drop a comment in the comments section below, all those things help us increase our YouTube search ranking, which in turn helps us grow our platform, which we can then use to provide content to help you grow your platform.

Big happy circle.

Yeah, anyway, thanks for watching, until next time.

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Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is a Grammy nominated and Spellemann Award winning audio engineer from Philadelphia. Matthew has mixed songs for Snoop, Sonny Digital, Gorilla Zoe, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development, 9th Wonder, !llmind & more. Get in touch: Weiss-Sound.com.
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