The art of asking

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Most music industry executives live in the past.

Music executives obsess with how to get people to pay for music in a world of free. They obsess over radio airplay when true fans no longer learn about new music on the radio. Music label execs actively discourage people from learning about new music on YouTube because they are afraid of "free." What stupidity! On one hand they are eager to be played on the radio that few listen to. On the other they claim copyright infringement and take music off YouTube where tons of people look for new music!

Amanda Palmer has proven that "How to get people to pay for music" is the wrong question. Rather, she asks: "How do we let people pay for music."

Amanda delivered an amazing TED talk titled The art of asking which was just posted.

You don't need to be in the music business to learn from Amanda's story of success.

No matter what industry you're in, marketing today is about giving. And about asking.

Give away your content

You've got to give away your white papers and ebooks (with no registration required). Freely give your blog posts and videos and Twitter streams and Instagram images and infographics. Heck, make your full-length book totally free on Kindle and iPad and Nook and as a PDF.

The world of marketing has changed. Don't let the executives tell you to put gates on all your content. Don't obsess over traditional ROI measures. Give away your best stuff!

Then ask

The fans you build with free content will want to support you. But you've got to ask them.

Amanda Palmer has made an art of asking people to help her. She didn't make people pay for music. She asked. "When you connect with people, they want to help you," she says. Like when she asked people to fund her new record on Kickstarter and nearly 25,000 people responded with about $1.2 million.

It's not easy to ask for help because asking makes you vulnerable. Take Amanda's advice: "Give and receive fearlessly. Ask without shame."

Here is my ask

Do you need a speaker at your upcoming conference? Are you interested in personalized training for your staff? I'd like to help. Here is a short video about my customized marketing and leadership presentations. Shoot me an email to learn more.