I’ve spent a fair amount of time around musicians and I’ve never known a single one to have only one project on the go. I’ve often wondered, and occasionally even asked in a interview, how, when you’re in more than one musical outfit, do you know whether a song it for one band or another?
David Shrigley, Pretty Thoughts Inside Your Head, 2018.
I imagine that if you’re a songwriting gun for hire then it’s a somewhat clear, in most cases the track goes to the highest bidder. However, what if you’re emotionally invested in more than one passion project, and you’ve got a great feeling about a new creation or idea, then how do you determine which outlet to use?
As you would expect, different people in different circumstances have different approaches.
When it comes to deciding who gets what in the marketing realm there is usually some sort of signal, such as audience media consumption habits, strategic marketing goals or branding guidelines. However there’s no denying that to some extent the signals can be same-same and there is a reliance on a good idea to cut through and leave an impact.
So why then is it often the case that arts marketer’s marketing is ad hoc and unartistic? I’m putting my own hand up here. I have two subscribers on my email list – but I can give you a killer strategy to triple yours in six months and engage with them all to create a lively online community. This lack of strategy and action is not because of a busy workload or lack of imagination.
It’s because I give all of my good ideas away.
My clients get first dibs on any 3am creative epiphanies. They get my top shelf fundraising ideas, they hear about new research first, they get to use new frameworks and strategic tools I’ve unearthed, and they get any introductions or hook ups I can offer. There’s no holding back. And when you’re giving all of yourself to your clients and projects in that way, there simply are no decisions about which ideas go where, it’s innately obvious.