As you consider content that converts, don’t take personal blogging for granted. Here’s an example of how a former entertainment lawyer changed his life and is helping educate and fix an industry through his blog.
Bob Lefsetz has, depending on the source, between 250,000 and a million readers of his daily blog, The Lefsetz Letter Lefsetz has attracted attention from prominent publications, with Wired Magazine calling the letter “…an online record-biz op-ed that mixes analysis, rants, boomer-rock reveries, and the odd bit of futurism.” He has nearly 50,000 followers on Twitter.
“Companies don’t realize that people don’t want everything, just the right thing.”
Lefsetz was fired from a record company gig over two decades ago. Today he is one of the most read music biz writers in the world. His perspectives on music, artists, music executives and marketing are legendary. So are the celeb reader emails he posts regularly. He addresses the issues of the day in the music business including the problem with record companies, downloading, copy protection, pricing, what it takes to make it in music, and more. He criticizes and applauds, never afraid to tell the truth as he sees it. And he flys solo…completely unattached from the industry and no need to stroke any egos. His readers include thousands of stars and music industry players including Steven Tyler, Kid Rock, Quincy Jones, Peter Frampton, Irving Azoff and Bryan Adams.
“If you’ve never heard Stephen Stills’ debut your jaw will drop. You won’t believe there was an era when people with this amount of skill walked the earth and created masterpieces like this. That’s how bountiful the classic rock era was…
Having worked around the music industry, I appreciate that he raises real issues, states opinions which are spot on, entertains, educates, informs and bottom-line…makes you think. While he has haters, many insiders feel he is extremely valuable to the industry.
Building A Community That Converts
Lefsetz has slowly but surely built a tremendous community. And it converts. He delivers consistent and valuable information. He stands for MUSIC and BUSINESS. His content is relevant. Consequently, Bob is able to make a living the same way artists do, he performs. Because his content is free to anyone who subscribes, he has become recognized as an industry authority. It has paid off. Today, he is hired and paid well to speak at music conferences around the world.
“You young ‘uns who are Internet savvy who don’t even remember when MTV played videos. It’s your sandbox. Record at home, distribute online and ignore the old farts lamenting the way it used to be, those days are never coming back. Music has been a second class citizen for this entire decade. Sure, it was the canary in the coal mine for technology, but it’s become a football kicked around by fat cats and is peopled by lowest common denominator denizens. Music can’t drive the culture, because the people in it know little about data and think that you win through intimidation.”
“No, you win through ideas. That’s what songs are. One great one can change the world.”
And while it is sobering to watch the music business I grew up with rapidly tanking, The Lefsetz Letter, and its readers who frequently reply, provide great hope, insight and some valuable history lessons. Can’t beat it.
Responding To A Changing Industry
You see, big record companies once ruled the industry. They pushed music on us and we bought it by the millions. Back in the day, an LP or “album” could be one hit song (or at least it appeared to be a hit thanks to radio and record promoter “negotiation”) and 8-10 additional songs not worthy of our time or money. But, we wanted the album. We believed in the artist and desperately wanted to like all of their songs.
Today, the music business is all about building community. Fans buy only the songs they want along with concert tickets, and merch. Large record companies are slowly taking retirement with little or no “social” security. Indie labels, many artist-owned, have taken the lead. Touring is everything. Engagement is the life blood. Social Media is the promoter and community builder. Cross-promotion rams across all media platforms. Knowing and constantly communicating to your audience and staying true to your music, that’s the ticket.
Another Lefsetz quote to leave you with:
“Make it about the music. If it’s good enough, riches will come your way.”
For more content creation tips, check out our free guide: The 5 Ws of Content Creation.