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Out of Dust Marketing’s Brandon Forschino: Spotify Influencers

February 20, 2020

Breathing life into your organization.

Brandon Forschino is the Founder and President of Out of Dust Marketing and Communication.

Out of Dust Marketing and Communication uses a proactive content marketing strategy to help engage your audience, increase brand awareness, and inspire conversion.
They do this through a four-step approach:

  1. Identify communication objectives
  2. Identify communication channels
  3. Create strategic plan
  4. Deliver the message

Learn more about how you can employ Out of Dust's four-step approach by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on  Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. All right with us right now we've got Brandon Forschino, and Brandon, you're the Founder and CEO of Out of Dust Marketing and Communication. You're on the web at outofdustmarketing.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Well, I'm really excited to chat about this because, you know, once in a while we'll get clients that our creatives, particularly musicians, and so musicians creativity Artists, they want to get their stuff heard. And you know, obviously they're leveraging every aspect of social they can, you know, maybe they're using Oh gosh, what's what are some of the if you're if you're a music artist, what are some of the tools that you're using to try and attract attention? Before we get to the big one that begins with an S?

That's right. Well, you've got everything from Apple Music, you know, Amazon play, you got you know that that whole strategy, you've got YouTube, you've got your own Instagram and Facebook, your website. And again, you know, big transition going from the actual CDs, the mp3 is to now these digital streaming platforms, SoundCloud, right. And obviously, like you said, the big one right now, Spotify and even Pandora.

Yeah. All right. So let's talk specifically because you and I talked before this call about something that I think is actually quite brilliant. Maybe this is common knowledge for everybody comes in artists. But so one thing that's very, very common in Spotify, and Spotify cachet how many like 14 million? It's gotta be.

It's so many user platforms? Yeah, absolutely.

Right. So to hear, throughout that 14 232 million active users, and 108 million paying subscribers, that's how many are in Spotify. So, one thing that's really wonderful about Spotify and why I love it over, say Apple Music and Amazon and some of the other playings is discovery. This discovery is so good. And one tool that Spotify makes really good use of our playlists. That's right. That my friend is your that's your segue. Now I want you like if you're an artist, and you want your stuff to kind of connect the dots a little bit here and you want your stuff heard. what's what's really really great about Spotify? Is there are Spotify

influencers? That's correct. It's all about playlist marketing and promotion, right? It's identifying who has your audience, for your genre of music, so that when someone is looking for a genre or mood that day, they're going to stumble upon you and your voice, right? And it's not going to be something they're listening to this Why did this just pop up on this playlist like this? This sucks, right? So the key here is, you know, number one, it's it's finding out who these influencers are, right? And then making sure that your music is going to connect with their audience, the moment you find that and you crack the code, you're now you know, driving your stream, you're driving your listeners, and you're creating engaged fans that have never heard heard about you before.

And so the I think the idea is it just a couple things I want to talk about number one is how does someone become a Spotify influencer? And then number two, we'll talk about you know, how, how might someone engage with a Spotify influencer? We'll start with the first one like how did like I just searched one guy. So I'm looking at Christopher banks right now. And he's got an EDM hits playlist, and it's got over 117,000 followers. How did he do that?

You know, I think it might be a combination of just being first to the party, and then being listed at the party. You know, I think the name of the game here, as you know, is content, right? content is always King. And, you know, you know, number one, this, this is a pretty new, it's not completely new, but it's definitely becoming something that's more on the rise, especially with the competition, right. So a lot of these people who were in this early and saw the functionality and the features these early adopters, I mean, they've got a huge advantage and there's a big runway for that. I'm seeing a lot of these playlists influencers, actually promoting and advertising their playlists. I'm seeing people create webinars. I'm seeing people do their own SEO for their playlists. I'm seeing them, you know, advertise on Spotify and they're building a business and you know, a lot of these guys as they grow their their clout and their influence, you know, they have monetize their operations. to maybe review music and say, Hey, you want your song on my playlist? Well, it's gonna cost you some money. So yeah, well, I'm looking at

this playlist. I'm looking at this playlist description right now, EDM hits 2019, the best EDM hits of 2019. It's, you know, I'm looking at all the songs here. They were all updated like five days ago. So that certainly adds the freshness that users love. You know, he has a bunch of artists, they names as examples are your favorite EDM festival hits, updated weekly. And then it says, and there we go. submissions, and he's got a link to his Instagram and his Facebook.

That's right.

Yep. And so talk about what is likely going to happen. If If I reach out to this playlist curator who's got 117,000 followers, and I say, hey, I'd love for you to play my music. What do you think's going to happen?

Well, I what it's going to happen is they're going to test the seriousness of your your patience, and your commitment to really being heard. So they get these submissions all day every day. And so they've created their own systems and processes to weed out, let's just say the week and weed out the ones that aren't so serious, especially, you know, the ones that are robotic and just using artificial intelligence to just manufacture that whole thing. So typically, the submission processes are pretty lengthy, they're not easy. There's a pretty lengthy, you know, submission process that includes, you know, filling out a form submitting music and then obviously, there's some that will put a monetary value on that. This is a way that they're weeding out the people who are serious and, you know, for for a large part of it, you know, if you're fortunate enough as an artist that your musics already in a top chart, a top streaming charts, the top 20 you're going to have a good foot in the door. Another thing that they're looking for in my experience is they want to see the quality of the production meeting, you know, who produced the track, you know, is there is there some really big name producers that are associated with the single Is there a record label attached to it, so they are looking for some modifiers you know, some key Kind of figures there to see. All right, how serious is this? Because you don't want just some average Joe Schmo who just decided in his bedroom one day, he's gonna throw up a nice, you know, dance track or something like that. So that, you know, it's, it can be a lengthy process. It's not typically as easy as you know, just hit me up on the slide in my dm on Instagram, or just hit me up on Facebook. There's a process right and it and it certainly I would say it certainly mixes away 75% of the people who are doing this submission process now.

And so, you know, it's probably some back and forth, you probably he probably has a page it's all set up that explains the process, you know, some editorial process for sure. And then I wonder what the going rates are, you know, for, say he's got 100,000 followers, maybe we can only gas. But what have you seen? Have you gotten any proposals back as you've been working because to you you work with you work with with creative artists? Absolutely.

Yeah. Yeah, there's some proposals that come through and There's some figures that they shoot back. And it's not typically something that's, you know, out of this world. I mean, I think the most that I've ever seen for a playlist that maybe 100,000 followers can be anywhere from 15 to, you know, $99 sure, for example, but that's not just one playlist, that's typically going to include a selection of maybe two to four, it's going to have a certain timeframe of when that song is going to be up there are you know, you're not guaranteed to stay on these playlists, right? Yeah, how, however, the one thing that is super important, and it was, it's like anything, if you are added somewhere, the more people respond positively to that track, the more people are on that, and he's tracking those analytics to see which songs are performing the best your chances of staying on these playlists are better, even outside of the paid partnership, if you will. And in a lot of times, you know, you don't need to lower yourself to a paid promotion. I think, again, if you're targeting the right playlist owners and you're genuinely up Think about it. These playlists owners are fans of music, they wouldn't have just started an EDM playlist because they're like, oh, That's a great business model, they're not giving out that they're genuinely passionate about the music. So when you present something that's, you know, that's going to relate to them, they're going to be in favor of doing that, and you're going to have a little bit better of a chance of getting that success, right. I've had playlist owners literally respond like, wow, that was a good hit, I'm adding it to my own personal playlist, in addition to this playlist here, thank you so much for bringing me you know, up to speed on this is creative, and this is a really good vibe. And, you know, the discovery, the discovery goes exponentially from there because again, you know, you're going to see, they were discovered on your playlist, a, but then they obviously added it to their own, you know, like song playlist on Spotify, and then you're starting to cultivate, you know, and new fans, which is really cool. There's a lot of aspects that go into that, you know,

this is kind of like, you know, the old days of disco, you know, where, you know, you'd have artists that would go from DJ to DJ, you know, like, hey, new track, you know, from It's like he saw the series to get down

These record pools back in like, you know, New York and Boston and, you know, having those record pools where you're literally in your neighborhood, you're just, you're just trying to get on these DJ radar locally. Yeah. And essentially, you know, and not to mention, I'll tell you, you know, in the music industry, especially United States, it's extremely hard to really make it in music. I mean, especially on pop music, for example. And, you know, to go to radio with a song, it costs a lot of money, I mean, the cheapest, the cheapest I've ever seen in my experiences, you know, a radio distributor or promoter who is charging maybe 3000 a month just to take your single and go to his Rolodex of radio stations and producers and directors and saying, hey, you're single, you're single, you're single, and it may or may not even get added to the radio station, right? So you're spending thousands and thousands of dollars to try to get a single to radio, even the ones that are signed to major labels, and you're not guaranteed anything, all you're guaranteed is a potential audience that would hear it right with Spotify or YouTube or Pandora, whatever these streaming platforms are, there's analytics associated to it that tells you exactly how How many impressions exactly how many streams? How many fans, you know, listeners, so you can give them real data that say, No, this is exactly how many people heard your song. This is exactly what their gender was, this is where they were located. This is, you know, this is their other the other artists they listened to, right. So we get a chance to get that data to use it for our next campaign. So now if we're doing advertising to promote music, the followers we know what the ages we know, their gender, we know where their locations are, we know their interests, we know their behaviors. So it goes beyond just getting on good playlist, but, you know, how do you leverage the results, not just the streams and what data you receive from these platforms? How do you take that to the next level?

Um, you know, okay, so let's say that there's an artist and they're like, Okay, well, I guess I could just manually do this myself as best as I can. You guys have developed some software and some sort of tools to kind of speed up the process a little bit. What does engagement look like? If an artist wanted to approach you like, Hey, can you help me get some more visibility? I I just want people listening to my music, you know, it's my dream to kind of, you know, have a, you know, just get something to get some traction?

Absolutely, well, we've developed a system that's based on the time it takes to submit a certain amount of stream. So we have about five packages that go from, you know, the beginner to what we would call mainstream or epic. You know, Pandora amp has a category that they categorize audience based on, you know, up and coming or established mainstream. And I think they have these categories. They give artists based on their traction. So we kind of follow the same rubric. And we have these little categories. So, you know, the lowest level package may only be Spotify, it may only be five song submissions a month, or six months, right? Or the highest level might include Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube, and it includes like 25 a month. So really, we have different packages based on us manually building the relationships and doing the time, taking the time to actually find out which would be the best networks, the attitude, that's a retainer based situation that we have right now. And it's been pretty minimal. And, you know, that's that's where we start at this point. Our proprietary software really helps to streamline that. So we have created a proprietary software which is helping us it's really helping us research quickly the people we want based on the the odd the identity of the art, the artists or the creative. So everything they want to do is completely built around their brand, and their you know, their audience in general. So we're not just Hey, we have, you know, thousands of relationships, people that may not be relevant for this guy who's doing this particular genre.

Yeah. Brandon Forschino, you are the Founder of Out of Dust Marketing and you can be found on the web at outofdustmarketing.com. Contact Brandon and if you're a creative and and I would imagine Brandon you probably have you do consultations and kind of figure out and make some recommendations on best course of action. So Brandon, want to thank you So much for joining us today.

Yeah, it was great talking with you, man. Thanks for having me on your podcast.

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