Contest: How Are You Building Your Tribe? - hypebot

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Mike Echlin

Hi Bruce,
Our tribe is a group of musicians/songwriters who want to get better at their craft.

I didn't set out to build a tribe, but "52 Ideas" is gaining some traction.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/West-Dundee-IL/Bluemill-Studio/28905210355

The concept is simple: a group of musicians/songwriters collaborate during the course of one year and post a new musical idea every Monday. The idea could be an original song, a new twist on a cover song, or something completely experimental. Some ideas will be collaborative, some will be an individual.

We are in week #8 and all the ideas posted so far are mine (gulp), but others are starting to trickle in and will be posted within the next few weeks.

As a weekend warrior songwriter, one of the biggest hurdles is finding the time. So as these Ideas are posted week after week, we are forcing ourselves to remove the excuses.

nikkole stone

I play in and manage an electronic punk band called First Person Shooter. Our tribe is our fans (affectionately known as "npc's" or non-player characters).

To grow our tribe we've charted our own course through the maze of social networks, music profile pages, listener sites, mailing lists and review blogs out there. Though we have profiles on about as many sites as you can shake a stick at (Myspace, Facebook, CBC New Music, Last.fm, Virb, Dose, NME, etc, etc) we focus our efforts on the following:

Website- our own, completely custom place on the web, and the link we put on all correspondance, online and offline; contact page includes links to our other key sites

Myspace- a must-have in the industry these days. We use Myspace to connect with other artists, showcase new tracks, and run occasional free download promotions

Facebook Group- this is where most of our fans are congregated, and our main tool for sending invites to shows

EPK- for industry faces and festival applications only, fans are rarely sent here

Local, engaged fan base- combining the above sites with frequent local shows at top-notch venues with guest list or other perks proffered whenever possible, we've managed to create a stong local following of devout fans.

By focusing on just a few easily-updated sites, we keep our messaging consistent and current.

Perhaps more importantly, because we handle our own management and booking all the interaction with our fans on Facebook, on Myspace, or on our website, is entirely personal. Communications come not from an industry or label-appointed delegate, but from a member of the band- the leaders of the tribe.

Kyle Bylin

Here at 50 Entertainment, one of our biggest challenges is bringing together tribes of 10-15 interns each semester who are leaders. We have an interactive marketing program that allows interns to focus energy on projects that interest them as well as define there own roles as leaders. There's no such thing as going to get coffee, because the program is designed to allow personal growth at a rate that's comfortable for each individual.

Instead of listing in the paper (As if it was 10 years ago.), we leverage our on-line identity in our recruitment efforts. Through starting Facebook groups, MySpace pages, creating intern biography videos for YouTube, maintaining a blog, and letting word of mouth spread our message, we attract college students on their territory. We've been in the process of reaching out to high-school students because they tend to be more actively involved in social networking sites than some of us in our twenties.

Overall, our most successful leaders are those who've become active bloggers, MySpace/Facebook Marketers, concise researchers, and one girl has even taken the initiative of broadcasting her own weekly News and Views Series on YouTube. All of this, allows us to raise our brand awareness and strategically position ourselves as a forwards thinking record label. Since our staff is so small, it's important that we build a tribe of interns where everyone is a marketer and everyone is a leader.

Rich Dale

Hi Bruce,

My band Escape Act recently recorded an album. We wanted to get the ten tracks out to as wide an audience of real music lovers as possible, so we embarked on a mission to give the album away track-by-track thru a series of music blogs. We're effectively building our own tribe, by borrowing other people's. (So far, we're on track five).

A CD will be available after the blog release, and those who buy it from us directly will get a handmade personalised booklet by way of thanks.

We've seen our mailing list and facebook group grow rapidly, and even some REAL people friending us on Myspace (as opposed to other bands bumping their count)!

We're also using the rather cool 'Bandcamp.mu' service to manage the downloads as they give us useful stats on what is actually happening with our music.

Hopefully this will be a good foundation for releasing new songs during next year.

Glenn

After 4 years in my band I've really come to realise that making it personal means a TONNE to fans.
We had a show recorded not long ago (cost us nothing) and we decided to make it a 100% free item. We take a stack of these CD's to every show and people get them if they want them. I have even posted some to fans. I'm sure a CD in the mail beats the usual phone bill. It re-assures them that we keep our word...we're loyal. These people always get back to me when they receive their CD with thanks and praise. After that they always sign up for the mailing list...sometimes the street team as well. Then I always keep in touch with them...talk about normal stuff..life..work..all that. I even keep my contact email personal sounding. None of this 'management@blahblah.com'...I use my first name...they know it..remember it and feel connected to us personally. I look at our fans like friends. I go straight up to the regulars at shows and say Hi..they get a hug or a handshake...just like a proper friend..I learn their names (try to). We invite them to get togethers..we go to their parties and stuff. I think TRIBE really is the right word.

A few of them have even got gigs for us...it's insane. It's like they work for us half the time.

We have just jumped on the 'Reverb Nation' train and I'm impressed. Really cool service.
I've just started using widgets to spread the bands stuff around the net...It hasn't taken long for people to snatch them up...They're really working for us. People love them..like a mini website.

So yeah...half the time a gig for us is like an ever growing party with friends and thats exactly the way we plan to keep it.

Desmond Williams

I'm pretty new to marketing my music online, but I've been getting pretty serious about it in the last two months.

My tribe was actually started when a fan created a Myspace profile about me. A friend told me about it and I figured that it was better for me to be in control of my online identity, so I took the page over.

That eventually led me to some of the other online social networks. I'm a former web developer and I'm really trying to get past being repulsed by the Myspace interface, but it's hard. I've been much more active on Imeem, where I've amassed a friends list of over 20,000 in just two months, and just recently, last.fm, Facebook, my Blog and iLike.com among others.

I am somewhat lucky in that I have music out there that people are still playing and talking about even though I took a 2-3 year hiatus from the biz.

Right now, the centerpiece of my tribe is a group that i help to moderate on Imeem called, "Pimp My Song". It is a collective of artists who help to promote one another on Imeem and other social networks and internet radio stations. We use our friends lists and fan bases to spread the word about music from members of the group. It's an idea that has some traction because of the fact that it's always better for someone else to recommend you than for you to recommend yourself.

The group has only been around since Oct 1st, but we've attracted some pretty cool members. The OFFICIAL profiles of Beyonce, Scarface (Geto Boys), Willie The Kid, Nickleback, John Mayer, and Maroon 5 have all joined our group, as well as a number of really good artists from many different genres of music.

Since moderating this group I have seen the hits on my Imeem profile, songs and playlist increase quite a bit. I entered a remix contest on Imeem that is sponsored by TheTruth.com. When I found out that I was chosen to be a finalist I was already ahead in the voting, but when I alerted my tribe, they went into high gear and I now have over twice as many votes as my nearest competitor.

The next step is to expand the influence of this group to other networks and eventually turn it into support for sales and live shows. So far so good.

The best part about this Tribe is that it benefits all of the members, not just me. If you'd like to check it out, visit us on Imeem. Here is the link -

http://www.imeem.com/groups/14CuLVwf,pimp_my_songgroup/


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