With the recent rise of “do-it-yourself marketing” and music streaming, the chances of finding success in the music industry has become a much more accessible feat than it has been ever before.
From entrepreneurs like Ryan Leslie who focus on creating one-to-one relationships with his fans through SuperPhone. To Atlanta’s Russ, who has built one of Hip Hop’s top fan bases through consistency and constant engagement.
The question of the hour is: Which is a better growth strategy? The “Russ” Formula or GaryVee?
To begin, what is a growth strategy?
A growth strategy is a combination of questions that need to be answered:
- How do you gain fans (engagement, advertising, brand association, etc.)?
- Where does your content live (YouTube, SoundCloud, Website, etc.)?
- How do you gauge growth? (engagement, streams, capital, etc.)
Growth strategies are about creating a formula and being able to quantify your results (scalability, repeatable schemes and sustainability). Cultivating an effective growth strategy can help you build a solid foundation for your career.
The beauty of growth strategies is that no matter how many fans you gain — your creative process remains the same.
Focus and simplicity at its finest.
‘This is what I create — This is how I get it to my fans — This is the value being created.’
The fact of the matter is that everyone’s path to success will be different. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to growing a fan base. This is why developing a growth strategy has become valuable asset in today’s attention-based economy.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding which growth strategy works best for artists, musicians and content creators.
My personal philosophy when it comes to content creation is:
“Those who produce the most, make the most.”
Before reaching mainstream success and topping the Billboard Hot 100. Russ dropped 11 projects before even joining SoundCloud. In conjunction with releasing one song per week for almost two years.
Russ’ distribution strategy was that he wanted to combine high quality and high quantity content. Totaling 98 songs on SoundCloud before producing his first hit — all through experimentation, dedication and consistency.
GaryVee’s content model is based around creating one piece of core content — per day — that you can re-purpose across multiple platforms and content formats.
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GaryVee utilizes a “reverse pyramid” strategy that was first coined in journalism. He begins each day with video, then breaks down that piece of content into smaller content formats (articles, keynotes, daily vlog, Q&A, audio and video clips from his podcast, etc.)
Understandably — both Russ’ and GaryVee’s growth strategies are effective.
The bigger question that needs to be answered before you embark on your journey is: Which growth strategy works best for what you’re trying to accomplish?
If your focus is creating content and releasing new material everyday, great. If your focus is creating content and releasing new material weekly, that’s even better.
The most important aspect concerning growth strategies is doing what works for you!
GaryVee’s Content Strategy focuses — more so — on creating value and building a brand through social media (on a daily basis) which can translate into long-term value and can speed up your process.
The “Russ” formula is centered around providing quality content (on a weekly basis) which can translate into a more sustainable pace, higher engagement and long-term value.
Either way, you will get to where you need to be through “time”.
The one BIG difference between these two growth strategies is that Russ is a “musician” and GaryVee is more of a “traditional content creator”.
So, sustainability means something completely different to their formulas — respectively.
While developing a growth strategy for your career it’s important to create habits that will allow you to create content at a sustainable pace. The beauty of content creation is that you can always “hit the gas” if need be.
If you’re just starting out, releasing content on weekly basis could be the most effective route for you to take. Weekly releases can allow content creators to get a feel for their creative process. Eventually building up to a daily creative process.
Distribution is a key aspect of growth strategies because you will want to be strategic with your timing. There are a number of different growth strategies that you can deploy to build a fan base. Check out a few in the article below.
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You will always want to experiment with your creative process.
For example, the standard for artists in Atlanta is to record ten songs a day. Therefore, the expectation for producers is to make ten beats a day. This is a process that allows for creative collaboration, increased value and more opportunities for success.
This a key growth strategy within Atlanta’s booming music industry and it goes back to,
“Those who produce the most, make the most.”
For artists, musicians and content creators you will always want to be strategic in everything that you do. Having a plan in place is a great way to measure, experiment and improve your creative process.
One key factor that most people skip over is to engage with fans and create value. This can be accomplished through networking, building direct-to-consumer relationships or building a fan base through consistency.
The basis of growth strategies lay in connecting the dots. Who are the people you are talking to and how can you create value within that community.
No matter if your growth strategy involves releasing content daily, weekly or monthly. Having a plan in place will substantially increase your odds of success.
Check out the video below where Russ sat down with GaryVee to discuss the hip hop scene, concert promoters in the music industry, growth strategies and building your personal brand.