104 - Connect with people to Collect an audience

Hello and welcome to the The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get what you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.

I’m your host Tucker and this week we talk about connecting with an audience and collecting those interested folks. 

In our last interview episode we talked with Cory Smith a software developer and musician. Cory has done a few songs based on the tech world and at the end of the episode you can hear his song Developers (here is an aside: in the episode I ask him about a song he wrote comparing writing code to writing songs and neither of us could remember which one it was. Turns out it was Developers oh well.). The songs we talked about last episode - Developers, One More Thing and Takin’ VC Money have 61 thousand, 11 thousand and 28 thousand listens respectively on his SoundCloud at SoundCloud.com/Smixx. Cory says this is because the songs resonated with a specific audience. He says in the interview that he just wanted to write something that he wanted to hear and figured that other people like him, developers who are fans of rap, would like to hear it too. He was right and submitted it to places where he knew his audience was. TechCrunch.com for example and when it was posted the song connected with the audience he was aiming for. It also lead to him being invited to fly to a couple conferences and perform live in front of those audiences. 

That’s the Connecting part. 

To get listens or views or downloads or comments or likes or money or whatever it is you are trying for with your project be sure to know the audience you are trying to connect too. And like Cory you can start with and audience of just you and grow from there. 

Now the Collecting part. 

This is where it starts to feel funny for people. I know I struggle with it constantly. Cory got over 100 thousand combined listens on the three songs we mentioned previously. 100 Thousand people were intrigued enough to listen to the song. Sites like TechCrunch posted the song. When Smixx releases a new song how many of those people will he be able to tell? How many people will he be able to contact so they know that he has a new song that may resonate with them? About none really. See, even though he did the Connecting he didn’t do the Collecting. No emails were collected in exchange for this listens or downloads. No calls to action were created to push a potential fan to a Facebook page or Twitter account. There was no way to create a reconnection. No way to grow that collection.

When Cory puts out a new song he has to start again from scratch basically. He has made some connections with the blogs that shared the songs previously but he doesn’t have that place where he can collect those he’s connected with. No place where they can all get together and talk about music and technology and share new songs when they come out. 

There is a listener to this podcast who has created a colouring book called Doodled Blooms you can find her on twitter @MJ_Flowergirl. In the back she wrote small blurbs about each of the pieces she drew for the book. For image 10 she wrote this … This is super fantastic and makes me happy like you wouldn’t believe. It’s a real connection. It’s a great connection. I’ve made a connection. At the risk of sounding crass I’ve also collected her. We chat on twitter but as she’s mentioned it’s not her main social platform.

So now on to Michelle. She’s collected me for sure. I follow her on Instagram at DoodledBlooms we talk via email and I bought her book before I even knew about the awesome blurb she wrote. But beyond that she is connecting with people in real life. She has set up a colouring club in her town and has had book signings where real live people share their colouring they have done with their own hands and talk to her face-to-face about what creativity is and how happy they are when they colour her drawings. She’s connecting with people in a very personal way. I can only hope that if she hasn’t already that she starts collecting these people as well. Getting an email list going or pointing them to a Facebook group. 

Did you know I have an email list? Did you know that if you sign up for it you get a free ebook called The Three Most Difficult Simple Things: guaranteed to transform your creative work. Probably not because I’m a terrible collector. I’m half-decent connector. I have quite a few people I talk with because of the podcast. But I haven’t significantly tried to push my email list or start a Facebook group or get all these people into one place to start a community to build a tribe to make a little family of people who love to talk about creativity and it’s challenges and rewards. I will though. And when I do you’ll be the first to know where to go to start our little family. You know why I haven’t yet? It’s like when you throw a party and you think. What if no one shows up? What if I make this place for people to come and no one comes. That will make me sad. But at the same time you know who’ll care? No one ‘cause no one came so no one knows it was a flop and I can just try something else. Okay that settles it. Before July hits I’ll have a place for us to hangout. Probably Facebook to start. What do you think? Let me know where you think we should collect ourselves? You can get me on twitter @sparkartpodcast and by email at Tucker@TheSparkAndTheArt.com

Do you know someone who has trouble connecting or collecting? Please share this episode with them and let’s hope something sparks in them and they get their stuff going. The easiest way to share is to use the short link TheSparkAndTheArt.com/104 the hardest way is transcribe the entire thing onto lite-brites and string them up around your friends deck like patio lanterns. 

Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.