Can you fill a room?

A few years ago I found myself sitting next to Brent Sayers (b/k/a Siddiq), CEO of Minneapolis hip hop label Rhymesayers, on the set of a Brother Ali video shoot (long story, food related, totally random). Dealing with the chaos happening in magazine publishing at the time, I couldn’t resist asking him to tell me about the music business. He laughed and said, “Music business? There is no music business anymore.” He went on to explain that the days of A & R people scouting undiscovered talent and bringing them up, developing them, were long gone. Now artists needed to find their audience, and fill a room, before a label was likely to look at them seriously.

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When Siddiq said artists need to build their own audience, the implication was because now they can. Businesses, too, need to be able to “fill a room” with an engaged audience well before a relationship can become transactional. Consumers now expect a lot more from the businesses they support.

The beauty is—the ability to connect with people in so many ways and with such immediacy, is now possible. And it’s powerful. The trick is to find the things that really work for your business.

Dena Alspach