It was announced yesterday that David Dufresne is now the CEO at Bandzoogle, so I took a moment to catch up with David and ask him a few questions.
David Dufresne: I met Chris Vinson (Bandzoogle's founder and visionary) a few months ago while I was looking for a technical co-founder for a music tech startup idea I had been working on (called Backfed, stay tuned for this one). Chris was looking for an experienced business partner to help him take Bandzoogle to next level.
I was quickly impressed by the depth and user friendliness of the platform that Bandzoogle has built and by the fact that the company has grown organically to more than 10,000 members, with a very healthy business model behind it. Meeting the full team and a good number of praiseful members at the New Music Seminar in NYC in mid-July reinforced my motivation to join the company.
Why do you think Bandzoogle is one of the web's best kept secrets?
DD:The Bandzoogle team has built an all-in-one site builder and marketing platform that thousands of happy members have embraced. They control the design, the experience and the branding of their own sites, which partly explains why Bandzoogle isn't a household name in the online music universe. Bandzoogle is behind the scenes, making sure that everything runs smoothly.
Most of the growth in membership has come from word-of-mouth; musicians recommending Bandzoogle to their fellow musicians. All of this won't change, but my role will be to shine a huge spotlight on the product, the team, and the best examples of our members' websites, so that more people try it.
In your new role as CEO, how will you work on getting Bandzoogle more exposed to indie and DIY musicians?
DD:There are some corporate partnerships that we are working on with online platforms that complement Bandzoogle's feature set.
I'm also working on marketing initiatives, targeting music festivals, conferences and websites that attract a large number of serious musicians, allowing them to try the Bandzoogle platform for free. But, more importantly, we want to build on the great word-of-mouth that we've been getting, by positioning Bandzoogle as an educational resource for artists looking to optimize their online presence (hint: it starts with awesome music, and a well designed website where you control the fan's experience).
How are you going integrate an education intuitive into your platform? And, why is teaching best practices to artists so important?
DD:There are so many thing that bands are expected to do online these days. We want to help them make sense of it by letting them know what really works. Having me on board, Chris' focus will be the product and tech, but also condensing his 15 years of experience building artist websites into lessons that musicians can apply. He recently gave a talk at the New Music Seminar that was very appreciated by the artists in attendance and we want to build and expand on that. We're starting by launching a series of free webinars for artists, on how to optimize their websites.
To get notified about the next one, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on Twitter. We'll also be expanding our blog, and featuring some great guest-bloggers to talk about a variety of topics to further musician's careers.