Touted as the most versatile DJ in the world, Ryan Alexander, more widely known as DJ Private Ryan, (appearing above the movie in Google search listings from my browser), rose to fame by skillfully producing audio mixes in a cadre of genres. Ryan has distributed Alternative mixes, Dancehall mixes, Hip-hop, House, Parang, Pop, Reggae, R&B and of course Soca. He’s even successfully released mixes according to timelines, 80’s 90’s and 2000’s.
I couldn’t help but notice that Ryan doesn’t only have loyal fans and followers, he has evangelists. DJ Private Ryan’s army of evangelists plays his mixes exclusively, promotes his music across online and traditional platforms, recommends him, and plays his podcasts at all their social gatherings. The question then is: how? How has this St. Mary’s old boy gained such a tribe-like following, and how can you do it too?
The answer is Sharing.
Gone are the days when being the authority in a category means that until you are paid to share, you arrogantly hoard information and value. In a time where every millennial worth her salt can Google almost anything with a success rate of .9999, keeping your valuable information until after the Cheque is signed means waiting a long, long time for any customer to give a damn about you and your brand. Our versatile DJ clearly understands and demonstrates this. By making scores of highly valued podcasts available for free streaming and download, he has mixed himself into the homes, yachts and gyms of thousands of evangelists.
In addition to availability, a core attribute of DJ Private Ryan’s mixes is that they’re extremely easy to get. If you’re like my Father, and you’re on Facebook, but you don’t know how, effectively to run a Google search, Ryan (himself) regularly updates his Fan Page and Group (<— necessary for his community to communicate with each other) with links to listen to or download his podcasts. He manages the distribution of his mixes through Libsyn, (most easily explained as Blogging site for podcasts) as well as his aptly named website djprivateryanmusic.com. He, along with his loyal community would tweet and retweet the links for new podcasts every time they’re released.
A general rule of thumb for leading communities is that they share because they care, because they are, on some level, emotionally involved in the brand; therefore, your main job is, simply, to create opportunities for them to share. Ryan uses Twitter and Facebook as platforms that enable sharing of his valuable content.
By now you must be asking: “but how would I make money if I give away all my valuable stuff for free?”. Well I’m glad you asked. For those who aspire to be thought leaders and authorities, a possible revenue model is:
Step 1: Gain equity through adding value to those who are paying attention. Show them that you care about them and want them to enjoy the fruits of your knowledge, insight, music, art or whatever.
Step 2: Keep doing step 1, but by now, do it across a few different platforms (at least 2) so that its easily accessible, and, more importantly, easily sharable. Do a little research and see which ones best suit your offering
Step 3: Now that your brand has gained some equity, in a very general sense, determine your pricing regime for providing a tailored offering or dedicated time to individual clients.
Step 4: Make it easy for them to access your service; your email address, phone number, twitter name, or LinkedIn profile should be accessible if a prospective client wants to book you, or buy one of your products.
Once you’ve gotten that down, like Ryan, you too could be well on your way to branded merchandise that folks will pay for, or international bookings by friends of loyalists. A very important final point to note, however, is, be amazing! None of this will work if you suck, or if your work is substandard or poorly presented. There are way too many resources available out there. When you enter the market, be sure to fog up d place.