Women in Music 2016
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Want to Be Niche-Famous? How to Make (Online) Friends and Micro-Influence People
Want to be niche-famous? Want millions of strangers to know your (user)name? Follow these expert instructions -- and you too will soon be on your way to smartphone stardom.
STEP 1 FIND YOUR BEST PLATFORM
Does Instagram, Vine or Snapchat best suit your strengths? Decide and commit. "You can't put out something great and go away," says Adam Alpert, CEO of Disruptor Management, who works with viral-DJ duo The Chainsmokers. "If people aren't looking at you, they're looking at somebody else."
STEP 2 CONNECT AND COLLABORATE
Make friends and engage with influencers, but don't lavish them with disingenuous praise. "Reach out to people because you enjoy their content -- and say why," says Brandon Martinez, CEO of INDMusic, YouTube's largest music network. "No one's going to turn you away because you think they're awesome."
STEP 3 GET A TALENT MANAGER
Creative Artists Agency and United Talent Agency both represent micro-stars, but don't pitch them. Instead, focus on getting everyone else's attention. "The best way for these digital stars to build a great team of representatives is to build up large following, create great content and get mainstream media recognition," says United Talent Agency rep Kendall Ostrow, who has worked with Jack & Jack.
STEP 4 GO ON TOUR
Now it's time to meet your fans. Hook up with DigiTour, a traveling festival of social media stars, or just book dates yourself. "You see the talent's follower numbers spike like crazy because everyone who attends wants to connect with them," says Ostrow.
STEP 5 MAKE BRAND DEALS
Marketing agencies like GrapeStory connect micro-creators with brands: Vine partnerships, for example, can run up to $20,000 per clip (which averages $3,300 a second). "You don't need to have a million subscribers," says INDMusic's Martinez. "If you have 100,000 actively engaged, that's great too."
STEP 6 CELEBRATE (AND CROSS OVER)
Hooray, you're a micro-star! Now it's time to become a real-world mogul. Your next steps: 1) Sign to a major label; 2) Use your influence to crowdsource a crossover project; 3) Start your own micro-content agency, where you can teach aspiring creators how to become a for-real power player like yourself.
All illustrations By Remie Geoffroi
This article first appeared in the April 18 issue of Billboard.