Apply Obama’s Marketing Strategy

How did Obama do it? Here are five easy steps to a dynamite campaign.

“The market for something to believe in is infinite.” – Macleod

The Rules Of Engagement

  1. Truly believe in your cause. Work harder than anyone for the cause.
  2. Spread the word. Be ready to tell it in 1 word, 10 words, 100 words, simple and powerful, all the time. Know it’s essence and never stray from the core message. Constantly champion the stories of those behind the cause.
  3. Make it urgent. Always be beating the drum for some impending deadline to advance the cause.
  4. Give the power to the people. Let it sell itself. Give them the microphone, the communications tools, the community building tools, the network and get out of the way. Create environments where it flows. Ride the movement with everyone else. Give up control of your movement, open up to THE movement.
  5. Report from the front-line. Hard-working, open, authentic, sharing, available communicators gather supporters by simply participating in our hyper-networked world.

Short and sweet: Believe in your cause, spread the word, make it urgent, power to the people, and report from the front-line.

The Rules of En-J-ment

  1. Truly believe in my cause: Nothing is more important than making and sharing great art, song. This year I need to make a great album, site, and share it with Austin (DC, New York, San Diego…) and the world.
  2. Spread the word: I am a songwriter who cares about lyrics and poetry and uses a palette of folk, funk, soul, jazz, latin, rock and reggae. Everyday J making poetry pop.
  3. Make it urgent: Countdown to the next album: 5 months. It’s been 4 years since my last album and I’ve got scads of unrecorded songs. I’ve been in Austin for 13 years and am almost completely unknown beyond my friends. The time is NOW! Make a great album, show, site. Get on the map in Austin, at the very least.
  4. Give the power to the people: Solicit fan feedback on everything I do. Listen, write, record, perform for them. Create ways for fans to easily share it with their friends.
  5. Report from the front-line: Progress reports all the time from the center of the action.

In a nutshell: Make music, post songs, live for deadlines, share and engage with fans, always be broadcasting cool new stuff. Break!

I’ve got 5 months to make an album and 6 to sell it. I’ve got 8 songs picked for a theme and want it to be a soul album called Folk Dub for its personal funky acoustic beach reggae feel. Songs stripped down to rhythmic essence adorned with funky jazzy bass, guitar, organ, horns, and back-up singers. Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder and Jobim. Manu Chao,  D’Angelo, U2/Eno/Lanois.

  1. I Can See You –  reggae soul
  2. God Has Been Good To Me1 and 2 –  gospel funk
  3. Sat Morn (video) –  funk folk
  4. Mi Estilo Es Tranquilo –  reggae tejano
  5. Un Momento Perfecto – folk samba jazz
  6. Lake Rules  –  reggae kids fun
  7. All The Above –  pop folk rock funk vocal
  8. Speeding1 and 2– reggae folk rock bluegrass
  9. Nobody Knows What It Means – soul pop horns and harmonies
  10. Dub Lub – stone cold reggae jam (needs lyrics?)


Pressing FOK DUB

Today I turned 38. My birthday wish is to make my second album, FOK DUB. We went into the studio yesterday and laid down some nice drum and bass and we’ll finish up tomorrow.

I’m taking pledges for the next 38 days at Kickstarer from anyone who wants to hear the album and support my music. Check out the video, drawings, and custom art I’m offering. Pledge now for your CD and Tshirt!

Kickstarting “FOK DUB”

Here is the first draft of a video I’m submitting to, to use their service to get the support I need to press my second full-length album, FOK dUb. The video is rough, and has no titles, text, but I think it gets the idea across.

Kickstarter is a brilliant idea that creates an interface for artists and supporters to work directly together. Direct engagement is exactly what I’m always reading I should be doing, and Kickstarter inspired me – with it’s endless catalog of interesting, funded projects – to use it to try to explain to my fans exactly what I’m trying to do and why I need their support in the clearest value proposition possible.

I discovered how much better it feels to ask people to fund a project than to buy a product. I want to believe in it, not feel like I’m bugging people. It’s a better application of the Obama campaign communications code.Fok Dub

I still need to do some creative thinking about what I can offer for various levels of support, but basically I’m going to start with

  • $1 gets you the digital download
  • $5 also gets you the CD
  • $10 also gets you the t-shirt
  • $50 also gets you a custom song
  • $100 also gets you a house concert

I don’t know what the right goal is, but I’m thinking somewhere between $500 and $1000.

Originally conceived of over the last year as “Folk Dub,” I’ve spent this year refining the set and the business behind it, into “fOK DUb,” an acoustic-soul reggae-remixed album of ten songs.

I’ll record the album at Tonehaus and ask fans and friends to remix the tracks, dub-style (or however they want).

There is a funky, syncopated feel and frequent beach/water theme running through the songs below, making them a perfect set to subject to a reggae-remix production.

  1. I Can See You –  reggae soul
  2. Mi Estilo Es Tranquilo –  reggae tejano
  3. Un Momento Perfecto – folk samba jazz
  4. All The Above –  pop folk rock funk vocal
  5. Speeding1 and Speeding2– reggae folk rock bluegrass
  6. God Has Been Good To Me1 and 2 –  gospel funk
  7. Sat Morn (video)
  8. Nobody Knows What It Means – soul pop horns and harmonies
  9. Lake Rules  –  reggae kids fun
  10. Dub Lub – stone cold reggae jam (needs lyrics?)

That’s FoK DuB. Over the next six months I will make an album out of these songs with full band, horns, and backup singers while at the same time asking friends, fans, and the public for feedback and colaboration. As I post songs please make sounds of your own, send to me to remix, or remix yourselves. fOk dUb.