I’m currently reading James Altucher’s book Choose Yourself! and just finished the chapter where he shares an interview he did with Alex Day, a young musician from England.
The following nine lessons are from that chapter which Alex used to build his independent music career, get over 1 million YouTube subscribers and he’s just 23 years old.
Lesson 1 – I can choose myself to call anyone I want.
If they want to talk to me, great.
Lesson 2 – All the conventional methods for making money and distribution are out the window because the barriers to entry that create premium value are gone.
Lesson 3 – Everyone will say you CAN’T. Especially when you’re young, but if you can pick and choose how to work with the entrenched system, you CAN.
Lesson 4 – The power of the community you build will be felt in ways you can’t predict.
Lesson 5 – Persistence is more important than industry validation because it’s not the industry that is buying what you’re selling.
Lesson 6 – Focus on what you can do for your art/business right now instead of trying to aim for things ten years from now.
Lesson 7 – You need a mentor.
Lesson 8 – Pick your social media outlet, master it. It’s not enough to master your art form. You have to personally master how you will distribute through some social medium, engage with fans, etc.
Lesson 9 – Talk to your big fans.
I checked out Alex Day’s YouTube profile to see what he was doing, since I wasn’t familiar with him beforehand, and this is what I noticed. Alex is simply being himself, posting a couple of videos each week sharing whatever is interesting or topical with him, a lot of it isn’t even music related.
Jamie Curry from Jamie’s World which has over 7m Facebook fans does a very similar thing.
It’s all very personal, like you’re seeing a video update from a good friend. No secret social media strategy there, just a person brave enough to put himself out there to be liked or criticised, and being very consistent about it.