Live Nation Announces Lineup For Free Yahoo Streamed Concert Series
Neil Young Prepares For Late 2014 PonoMusic Launch As New CEO

The Artists Declaration of Independence: Johnny's Story Part 3

Jamie-legerBy Jamie Leger of Modern Artists Academy.

This is part three of the ongoing series - The Artists Declaration of Independence: The Transition To The Modern Music Industry.

If you’d like to have each new post in the series sent to you automatically so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the training-you can sign up here and also receive a free copy of The Grassroots Music Marketing System, gratis.

We approached it from a completely different angle.

Instead of additional loudspeaker announcements of their album-available at their merch table, or badgering our Facebook fans with marathon coupon specials-we activated our entrepreneurial skill-set to embrace greater opportunity and see from our Entrepreneurial Perspective.

The prescription I assigned him was the name of the GAME itself. The Grassroots Artist Marketing EXPERIENCE.

The first thing we did was create a sophisticated Music Marketing System that we would build, optimize and run all our fans through.

Leveraging digital technology and the automation of building an online membership site, we quickly created a complete sales system-using virtually no new content, and costing next to zero dollars. We exploited being LOCAL as an advantage that we would utilize and very quickly we had a recurring sales machine.

How did this “virtual sales machine” work, i’m sure you’re asking?

Well, we simply recorded a few videos and attached them to a series of pages that led them through the experience of their EP. That told the story of their music, and gave them some “behind the scenes” footage for a few songs. They talked about the songs and what some of them meant to them, how the ideas were born, and added this extra content packaged together, for free-in exchange for a new subscribers contact information.

In return they developed a bond with new fans. After the free content series ended they recorded a video that basically asked new fans to support them by becoming True Fans, if they liked the band and the art they were creating. They had a few options that fans could choose from-but their primary offer was to purchase a “backstage pass” for $25 a month in exchange for the new content they created that month. This became really appealing to their fans because they were basically given a unique window into their world on a weekly basis. They got to feel like they were truly apart of the Bands journey and that their support, their input, their feedback, was appreciated and meant something to them.

For a small monthly fee, they basically got to get in on the ground floor, to support a local act that they grooved with, and were easily kept up to date on what the band did next!

Let's pause and hit rewind for a moment.

Now, look closely, because although this sounds simple-there is a lot happening there.

They were charging $25/month for Johnny and the band to CREATE THEIR CONTENT, and further both their career and artist development!

Yet it was a total win-win because what they were purchasing was a behind the scenes view of their journey. These were LOCAL supporters, who’d had a real life connection with Johnny and the band, and were joining them in support of their vision. PEOPLE want to help PEOPLE. They want to support you because they like what you’re doing, and they like you. But you gotta give them a reason to.

Now, perhaps the coolest part about this system was that we leveraged the digital technology, and the tools of the modern creator and we turned their content into a form of currency that made them recurring income every single month, for them simply doing what they would already be doing.

This is the next level of Artist Development. PAID Artist Development!

Wouldn't it be nice to get PAID to create the content that you were going to create even if you weren't going to earn any money from doing so??

We printed out what we call your “backstage passes” or what some people refer to as their "golden tickets" that they can give to people that they’d meet on the street, in a venue, at a party, or anywhere else they make new connections in person.

I made sure that Johnny and the Band never left home without these cards. I made sure they never came home WITH them either! These were the LINK. I told them that their job was to go forth, connect and share your gifts with the world-i tell ya! Their Job is to connect with potential fans and then get them to take the next step and jump into their system. To receive that whole experience they'd created already!

This little invitation was essentially a download card with their fan magnet offer for them to experience the band and their music for free by visiting their offer page (new fan invitation page) via direct link or QR code.

Like the drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket I beat it into them that they ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE CORE.

On or offline they engage with potential fans and earn new fans by Connecting, Over-delivering, Receiving, and Elevating the level of engagement.

I had them focus on and get really good at the CORE of their GAME.

They were to:

1. Connect 1-1 with anyone who might like their music and/or them.
2. Make a promise/offer for a bunch of their best content, hand them a card, and OVER-DELIVER with their content. Nicely automated via their sophisticated music marketing system.
3. Reciprocate. Ask them to support them and take them up on their offer-if they liked what they were getting and wanted to go further/deeper with them.
4. Elevate the levels of engagement and always focus on the experience.

Follow this recipe anywhere across any medium, and you will not go wrong. Whether that's on Facebook or on a Street Corner, the CORE duties of your GAME remain the same.

You job as an Artist in the modern world is to first master these fundamentals, and then let me teach you new strategies and campaigns to apply it with and add to your Playbook as you watch your Fan Base, your income, and your happy time (creation mode) increase.

"Just follow your GAME Plan i reminded him. That's what it's there for."

The cool thing is that their is virtually no cap on how many new fans you can add into you Music Marketing System. And keep in mind that this is just the first level of engagement in your funnel.

Not only are there multiple avenues to earn extra income through such as licensing, sponsorships, crowd funding, VIP fan days, virtual concerts, inner circle parties, house concerts, new merch etc. etc.... There are all kinds of creative ways you can add offer tiers and deeper, higher priced levels of engagement. Products and services at various price points and levels of interaction.

Starting to see what i mean?

This is what we call your Fan Engagement Elevator.

You already learned about that, and included are worksheets that will help you construct your own.

The Fan Engagement Elevator works pretty simply. You setup the options you want to offer as ways to interact with your various types of fans, and then your fans get to choose which level they want to interact with you and your brand. If they want to move up a level, then an easy way to remember it is that they have to pay the FEE to do so. It's sort of like what you may reference as "Crowdfunding," only it's ongoing, and you OWN the platform as well as the fan relationships. And their are no minimum requirements. And you get to keep all the money.

Better act like you want it!

Like busy little bees i made sure they had a daily regiment of "shaking hands and kissing babies" in their local town. Minimum 10 new connections. Every day. No exceptions.

Now this may sound like a lot. But this was their full-time living. For them, and this situation, it was more than doable.

I had to rally the troops. It was time. We were really trying to get the word out!

"If you really want the dream career you drew out for me, then prove it, I said." Grinning with a Triple Dog Dare ya-inflection, "then you will throw your butt into any place where you can meet and connect with new people, and at least go and hand these 10 cards out to 10 different people each day. That goes for all of you."

After you go and do that, then we'll make sure you are going to the right places to get the best results.

Needless to say. He did. And we tuned in to the most effective scenes to scout out potential fans and lure them into their authentic experience of awesomeness that they'd created and given away for free.

After 30 days, he came back to me excited and astonished by what had happened and what he had to share…

“So far i've personally added over 100 New Fans into our System, altogether rounding out to almost 220 New Fans across everyone in the Bands Daily effort."

I nodded, impressed by the volume, and before i could ask my next question - "we've now enrolled 40 members into our back stage pass membership as result of those 220 New Fans we personally connected with, as well as continued to deliver our content and engage with our members every week… and somehow I just signed my eighty-second backstage member, Gary!”

Johnny could hardly believe it! That's what i'm talking about Johnny, Congratulations! I said.

"But, if you don't mind my asking, where did all the other new members come from?" I curiously asked.

See "What happened," he explained-"is that the majority of the 40 members we enrolled had gone out and told a friend."

“It just doubled… and so did our income!" He said proudly.

"We now have almost 400 New Fans into our Database, and that's crazy!"

"Well how about that I said! Johnny, you just had to give the ball a little nudge to get it rolling!”

Now, let’s take a step back and look at this a little further.
In the span of less than 60 days Johnny's band had added a new, recurring revenue stream into their Content Business that brought in an extra $3,000 Net, in pure monthly recurring profits. What’s more is that Johnny and his band had leveraged the best of both worlds and created a system that kept them accountable and engaged with their core fans, continuously creating, and paid to do the work they loved while building an authentic bond with their true fans, nurturing and slowly developing their super-fans.

Their Fans not only fell in love with them and their music, but they told their friends and family and spread the word because it was valued. Their fans not only loved what they were doing, but also connected with why, and HOW they were doing it.

In just six short months that seemed to fly by through multiple campaigns, following their GAME Plan, they surpassed the 1000 True Fans mark. They had built a loyal, engaged, community of True Fans and Super Fans through multiple levels of their Fan Engagement Elevator, and all kinds of creative offers that enhanced the experience and the options for their fans to support them. It all stemmed from their one backstage pass membership for 30$/month.

Johnny had grown his GAME substantially, integrated the entrepreneurial perspective and through developing his Entrepreneurial Skill-Set he was finally building a 3D Brand.

He learned how to run campaigns of his own.

He learned how to lead and manage projects.

He learned how to use the tools of the modern creator.

He now understood the fundamentals and began to master them like a Modern Artist does.

Leveraged licensing and a Star Team for support.

We started finding and pitching his music to licensing and placement opportunities, and eventually hired someone to do that as well as some other administrative tasks that took up time unnecessarily spent on things he didn’t need or want to do.

We started turning his shows into events, throwing contests and raffles and drawing larger and larger crowds each time. ALWAYS collecting and maximizing new fan contact details, adding them to their system that delivered their story and content and sparked engagement, interaction, and new sales… He began to treasure and nurture the relationships with his fans and share stories told to him by his backstage pass members, his newsletters and at shows.

He sold t-shirts, virtual concert tickets, coffee mugs, dinner with the band coupons, join us at the studio sessions, VIP house concerts, and all kinds of creative stuff at his merch table. He had been well trained and now collected every last Email address he could scoop up at his gigs and when he made new connections.

He recently reported a 4 figure placement with a nice sync fee for one of his old tracks as well. Johnny now had control. His wife and everyone in the band couldn’t be more proud. He doesn’t need to be apart from his family for extended periods of time if he didn't want to, and he didn’t need to compromise. He just needed to make a few breakthroughs. He needed to find the ART in his GAME. He needed to embrace what it means to be a modern artist.

That all starts with the mindset, mastering the tools, and developing the supplementary skills so that BOTH sides of your brain can work together to give you more power and creative control than you've ever had before!

Johnny is now in control of his fate. He's joined the Modern Artists Revolution. He is the Creator of his own economy and takes full responsibility for what that means. He joined one of the thousands of Modern Artists equipped to lead and enjoy full creative control and freedom in the new economy. He's developed the obtainable skills and tools accessible to everyone, and followed a clear strategy and blueprint that was now his to customize, and add new income streams to. He was now confident in his ability to alter the road ahead-to merge with whatever goals or artistic direction he and the band chose.

He, like so many others have broke-through to the realization that they actionably have no need for a traditional record deal. They’ve woken up to the fact that this was never their TRUE intention or goal anyway. It wasn’t fame or fortune they were really after! Their calling, their passion, and their purpose went deeper and through persistence they’ve been able to experience the holy grail of our emerging economy... That’s the promise of the Modern Artist.

Freedom and Fulfillment Doing What we Love, for Those that Love What we Do!

Is your goal REALLY to explode like Bieber? Do you really want to be like Brittany Spears? Poor Girl. Last I checked, she wasn’t doing too well... But I haven’t checked in a while.

That's the old economy. The traditional music industry. This is the New Economy. This is the Modern music industry.

This is you and me and we're in control.

Johnny and the band CREATED their very own version of paradise.

The numbers here aren't all that important. Johnny was a long time coming. He was ready, and the time was right. I just made sure he was able to optimize and accelerate the results he already deserved. He still had to do the work. While his results were impressive, they were not outrageous. And while everyones at different stages and their are no guarantees in life, i can tell you that you are not alone. You have more power than you even realize. and their is no reason for you to ever think you can't do something similar or even greater than what Johnny Accomplished.

Some of the Biggest Epiphanies are the simple ones.

I'll never forget the ear to ear AHA smile Johnny cracked when he realized the benefits that true Clarity and Focus would have on every aspect of his career and his life.

While johnny had some profound discoveries, the one he later mentioned really flipped a switch in his brain was when he was able to connect to the real reason he was sort of stagnating in the first place... He was afraid to step out of his comfort zone, and he didn’t have a reason that compelled him to put himself out there. He was thinking in limited ways instead of expansive ones.

But who can blame him? Can you say that you are fully leveraging your content, your assets, and maximizing the effort you are making, pushing yourself into uncomfortable territory on your own accord?

It’s not quite as easy as it sounds... and anyone who thinks “well that doesn’t apply to me...” are probably missing some blind-spots that just about everyone has in some way shape or form. Especially those who are more experienced and have been around for a while.

He wasn’t thinking practically, consciously, about what he COULD do; instead he was thinking restrictively about what he COULDN’T... Or WHY he shouldn’t. Through getting clear and focused on those 4 simple-yet profound questions, he sparked a whole new force of energy and passion for his music, for who he was talking to, why he loved doing it, and what he was actually saying!

He learned that he needed to think like an entrepreneur and develop the entrepreneurial skill-set, because it was up to HIM to run his business. All in all, If he wanted to call himself a Professional, he needed to manage his brand like one.

Consequently he learned to enjoy promoting his message, he found he was actually pretty good at it when he got a bit creative and put some intention behind it. He began to cherish all the interaction he had with his fans as a huge privilege, and they responded favorably as well!

It was just communication after all.

The business and entrepreneurial aspects became a fun little GAME he got to play, in addition to his art, and which he was in TOTAL control of! His renewed enthusiasm sparked a slew of creative marketing and publicity ideas and everything poured out of him at his shows. This positive contagiousness snowballed into bigger and bigger turnouts, more and more sales, better venues, and a substantial online following that he cultivated and grew a committed relationship with.

All of it became apart of his work. He was able to shape a more precise and congruent experience of his art, PLUS he was able to develop more meaningful, more valuable relationships with his fans and followers.

Johnny learned that he was actually doing himself a disservice-by holding onto some of the unsubstantiated beliefs and ideas that lingered around his noodle. His career suffered based on a misunderstanding of what he thought was possible, what really running a business was. He didn't need to compromise as long as he was willing to do the work.

He got over silly ideas he'd formed around terms like Marketing, Sales, Advertising….

I had him throw all those words out and replace them with one simple one.


Advertising and marketing can become complicated in other industries for many reasons.

But for CONTENT Businesses, for you as a Modern Artist, your job is to build a CORE base of True Fans and that will be done by always focusing on the name of the GAME. The Grassroots Artist Movement/Marketing/Music Experience!

Connect, Over-deliver, Receive, Elevate.

That's all Artists in the Modern World have to know about traditional ideas of marketing or advertising.

This is not fifth avenue, and we are not slinging sugar water…

We are painting and sharing the world from our mind, dreaming in color and in rhyme.

We are 3D creators.

Go Johnny, Go Go Go!

Johnny learned the power was always at his fingertips. HE was always in control. Johnny learned the unstoppable force of Clarity and Focus coupled with a solid game plan and consistent execution.

Starting with some slight shifts in perspective, answering some very simple questions, gaining a little clarity and focus and putting those seeds to work in a practical way completely altered Johnny and his Bands career and what he’s been able to accomplish in the world and with his Content Business.

Consequently, can you guess what Johnny’s new nick name became?

You called it...


I hope you’ve had at least one major insight and saw some of the impact points going through the transformation from tip to tail. My hope is that you have gleaned some wisdom that you can apply right away from Johnny’s story. I encourage you to write that down, to summarize the lessons and insights you had, and implement the actionable ideas ASAP.

Using the tools of the Modern Creator, we can communicate our music and build the key to long-term success doing what we love, a CORE fan base that loves what, why, and how you do what you do.

It's not a matter of "deserving/not deserving it," or how few connections and contacts you may have, it's not about having virtuoso talent or a face made for TV…

You don't need permission, or a label, or an agent.

All you need is loyal fans that value what you do.

Today. Now. This is our time. This is the Artists Declaration of Independence. You are a gold miner in the new economy. Stake your claim and mine your gold.

Artists and Creators require no gatekeepers' permission, no background "favors" or politics…

It's called the Modern ARTISTS Revolution because in the Modern World ARTISTS and CREATORS are in control. They are the leaders, influencers, storytellers and innovators.

Whether you like it or not… You cannot deny the power, potential, and capacity you now hold. What you'll do with it is up to you. But know this, you'll always have me in your corner.

It’s too easy to get overloaded, overwhelmed, or to overcomplicate the sheer volume of tools, technology, tactics, conflicting advice...

It’s too easy to listen to the voices and people around you who cause you to doubt your capability, or your possibilities, and your unique artistic expression that has never before, nor will ever again exist...

Don't listen to the grizzled and bitter old vets, or anyone that'll tell you what you can or cannot do.

But it is up to you to test the limits of what's possible. To resist the resistance. To keep the dream alive.

It’s your JOB to tell the stories, question the patterns, create your ideals, tell your fans their story, reflect and represent your world views, prove what can be done, create your paradise, live your FRICKIN DREAM!

Seriously... It’s up to you.

The Modern World is the Creators Paradise. The tools are here. The infrastructure is setup. It's time for you to step your GAME up and become a MODERN Artist!

We’ll pick back up from here in Part 4.

This is part three of the ongoing series - The Artists Declaration of Independence: The Transition To The Modern Music Industry

If you’d like to have each new post in the series sent to you automatically so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the training-you can sign up here and also receive a free copy of The Grassroots Music Marketing System, gratis.

Stay Fresh,

Jamie Leger
The Content Business Architect for Artists and Creators