Going Glocal

Building an Audience from Home to the Ends of the Earth – How do you reach them?

When the internet came into play, Acts 1:8 went live.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,  and to the ends of the earth.”  There has been no previous time in human history that man could minister in living rooms around the earth without leaving his own living room.  The power of digital media has enabled us to reach vast amounts of individuals, in different times zones and across the seas all at the same time.

Globe-with-people-vector-graphic 2You would be hard pressed to find someone today who doesn’t have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone.  All across the universe, there are avenues in which one can connect.  We truly are living in the midst of an ever-changing, digital culture.  We utilize FaceTime to talk with loved ones in the armed forces miles away, create new memories with children and grand babies who live on the other side of the planet, play a concert to thousands through streaming services, and co-write using tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts and Jitsi, just to name a few.  New resources are popping up daily.

How effectively are you utilizing digital media to get your message to every corner of the earth?  From the creation process to promoting/marketing the final product, the digital world provides ways to work smarter, instead of harder.

Although the world is at your fingertips, building a solid, loyal audience still takes thought and planning.  Use the bible as your guide to create a framework.  The disciples started in Jerusalem.  Right there in the city where they lived.  Think of Judea as the next county.  Samaria as the bordering state.  Pull up a map.  Draw a circle around your city, then draw another circle around that with a 50 mile radius.  One more circle around that at the 100 mile mark. Once you have those drawn, put together a database that has all of the communities within those circles on the list.  Yes, they will be a lot. Having these to research and build on gives you a starting point.  There is nothing you can’t find on the internet.  You can dig layers deep. Most people use the internet to share their lives, promote their events, and talk about their interests.  It’s your job to find them, figure out what is in their pockets, where they are hanging out, what they are hungry for and then go and feed them!

Now, you are asking, how about the global part of glocal?  Well, each of those individuals who you are making an effort to pen in ‘loyal’ next to their name have connections through social networking that is world wide.  Making a connection and cultivating a relationship with them takes them from a casual acquaintance to an engaged and loyal follower. Unsolicited, meaning you have zero relationship, takes a much longer time and you get lost in the sauce of so many others trying to win their attention. Working smart with social networks by developing a true, solid audience will get you to the ends of the earth with an all access pass in hand.  Keep in mind, this does not happen over night and is a long term strategy to win friends and influence people. Its like a dimmer knob, not an on/off switch. The more you turn it, the brighter the room.

How are you promoting your mission?  Scheduling an event and not marketing it, makes as much sense as preparing for a party and not inviting anyone.  Social networking is more than just sharing what you had for dinner or that cute picture of your cat.  You need to have a plan of action in place.  When you look at the artists that are successful using social media, there are two things you will see; consistency and content of value.  You engage, wanting to see what is next.  It has value to you.  You become emotionally involved, and this is the key. People who are emotionally engaged read what you write, listen to the music or message you create, and buy what you are selling. However, discovery is a two way street.

Knowing who your audience is and then knowing where they are, enables you to reach them socially around the world.  The two biggest, of course, are Facebook and Twitter.  There are more sites like Pinterest, About Me, LinkedIn, YouTube, God Tube, Vine, Tumblr and many more.

We don’t advise everyone to use all of these avenues.  As you read above, you need to know who they are and where they are.  If you are wanting to reach the 35 to 55 year olds, then you probably won’t find them on Vine and Instagram.  You are more likely to see them on Facebook and Pinterest.  Once you pinpoint where they are, you can reach them and their friends around the world with a plan of order and action.  Again, that word plan is essential.  Your social and online campaign should be well thought out and pointed at the right target audience.

We’ve all seen the ‘viral’ explosions.  They amaze us.  Most times they are unique, albeit simple. It’s not about being perfect these days, it’s all about being relevant.  Everyone is looking for a way to ‘go viral’.  We are asked this question so many times, how can this happen for me?  Let’s go back to that loyal audience.  Think of a set of dominos, set up side by side.  When you have them all in place and you push one over, they all touch each other and go down one by one.  The same happens when there is a viral explosion.  Having that loyal base in place makes this possible. Each one of those connections touch others, their friends, their fans, their followers and then complete strangers begin to join in. The viral message begins to spread like wildfire.  The way to touch the entire globe is to put this into action.

The way to reach an audience has been reinvented.  It’s time to take the “digital leap of faith”, dive in and invest time in this process.  You can touch the ends of the earth with your music.  With the power of digital media at your fingertips, your influence has no limits!

Play The Field

keith_pitching

 

Ahhh, spring has finally sprung after a long, cold, snowy winter over most of the USA. Being in Nashville, our winter wasn’t nearly as bad as what our friends in the Midwest and North-East endured. I love spring, not only because I get to mow my lawn again (I get many of my ideas while cutting the grass:), but because it is time for baseball season.

keith_baseball_then-and-nowI played baseball in high school and college, and I was pretty good! I was All State my senior year of high school and we went to the state finals in 1980. In 1981 I was scouted by the Baltimore Orioles and had the opportunity to spend much of the season as batting practice pitcher. What a thrill for me, I was 19 at the time, and being exposed to the game at a professional level was quite the experience. Turns out, I was never drafted and soon gave up my dream pursuit. I was disillusioned, bitter, dejected, and felt it was not how good you were, it was about who you knew and politics.

I turned my attention from baseball to music, which is ironic because I hear from musicians and artists every now and then who feel this has also happened to them. The realization of what I had felt at that time was at the core of my desire to create an organization who valued all artists and musicians and provide an avenue for them to present their content to the world, called Indieheaven. And here we are 17 years later!

So many lessons to be learned that I want to share with you, but the takeaway is this; you should never let your dream or desire die because you feel rejected by the “powers that be.” We live in a time where the “powers that be” are more like the “powers that were.” Creatives can go right to the people without the aid of a middleman to reach them. I see many doing just that. However, I also see many who still think the only way to play the game is in the big leagues, in the big stadiums, in front of thousands of fans.

I think this mindset is misguided and causes great distress. For starters, in order to play the game at the professional level, one must possess the skills and stature of a professional. Many, though, are simply not at a place where they can write or perform music at that level (even though one’s family, friends, or church-folk may say you are the next big thing who needs to be on American Idol or The Voice.) When I think of the word professional, it means being consistent with a high degree of accuracy or proficiency. For example, I can go to the driving range and hit a golf ball straight 300 yards 1 or 2 times per bucket of balls. Tiger Woods can do it every single time. That is what I’m talking ‘bout. Consistency at that level comes from a huge commitment to practice and conditioning.

For most of us, we’re never going to play the game in the professional arena. So the question remains. Do we play the game at all? Do we go up to the gates at the stadium, bang on the door and yell “Let me in, I want to play here!” Wouldn’t you agree with me that this looks rather delusional? Do we spend our time in bitterness rather than better-ness? The easy way out is to be bitter, jaded, cynical and blame the music industry gatekeepers for shutting us out and not getting our music. That is a defeatist, victim mentality and keeps one ensnared in mediocrity. We’re better than that, right? The pathway to success is built on inconvenience, because it takes time, commitment, education, determination, passion, and excellence to be a professional.

A few years ago while watching a Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards, I had a crazy vision that I was on the pitchers mound once again, striking out batters, and back in the game. In my vision, I saw myself jumping over the railing, running across the outfield, pushing the pitcher off the mound, taking the ball, and then…pulled that special muscle. Ouch! OK, dream over! What was crazy with this dream? For starters, I’ll be 52 this April 25. And even though I started working out 18 months ago to get into playing shape, played in a 45+ senior league, and struck out some batters last summer, I’ll never pitch off a mound in a professional setting. My time has come and gone. But you know what? Just the fact that I worked hard to get into shape so I didn’t hurt myself, (or others:) found a team to play with, and got back in the game was awesome! What a thrill to be competitive again! It was good. And it was God. And God is good.

So, my final word for you is to get in the game, and find a field to play on. They are all over the place! The more you play, the more proficient you will become. And, you may just one day get in the big leagues, or you may not. That’s between you and the plans that the Lord has for your life. The main thing is to have fun and play the game on the field that’s made just for you.

Keith Mohr