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Today Greg Rollett jumps on the workshifting stage to provide lifestyle design tips that we can learn from rock stars.  Greg is a young entrepreneur that helps 20somethings live untraditional “rock star” lives.  He also helps musicians understand the importance of marketing and social media at Gen-Y Rock Stars.  He loves to meet other open-minded young people who have ambitions to change the world.  You can connect with Greg on Twitter as @g_ro.


There are a few ways you can view the current music business and at this point in time, you would probably be right. From top level executives with inflated paychecks to underperforming new artists and a lack of product development, some might say the major labels look more like Chrysler at a Congress hearing than taste makers who make the world sing and dance.

Just like the corporate shakeup that has caused you guys to be reading a site like workshifting, musicians have looked to using the tools that social media offers to manage their careers, connect with fans, share in content creation and find revenue opportunities in real time.

Working with musicians over the last few years has shown that musicians that take the initiative to make lifestyle design and workshifting-type changes are very similar to the sales rep or consultant on the go.  Here are 4 things that Gen-Y Rock Stars can teach you about workshifting:

Automation Lets You Focus on Your Strengths

Musicians do not like to think of themselves as marketers, they are artists. The problem is that no one is going to do the marketing for you if you don’t get it started somewhere. Through automated tools like ArtistData to distribute show listings to over 15 sites as well as shoots out messages to major players like Twitter, MySpace (remember these are musicians) and Facebook. Other tools like TubeMogul make iteasy for musicians to upload a video once and share it on all the video platforms where their fans hang out and come to one place to manage stats and interactions.

What this means is more time to create music, talk to fans and play shows. The same applies to your business. Get the tasks that take away your time and put them on autopilot, into delegation or down on the to-do list so that you can focus on getting more business or delivering better results for the clients you have.

Use Your Fans to Create Revenue Streams

In the music industry there are some great options to create and manage short order products from a single t-shirt to print on demand CD’s. Startups like AudioLife allow artists to upload and manage virtual stores that handle on demand printing and direct to fan drop shipping of products, so there is no loss when no one orders.

Amanda Palmer took this to another level on a boring Friday night during a non-touring period. She took to Twitter and started talking to fans. Before the night was over she had designed a tee shirt based off her Twitter conversation, threw it online and sold 200 of them that night at $25/ea. By the end of the weekend the number reached 400 shirts grossing $11,000. Not bad for talking to fans and creating a product on demand.

When you have an opportunity to capitalize through conversations with your fans, look for ways to satisfy them immediately. If you have to take an idea to the boardroom and wait for approval, it’s too late. Amanda and other musicians are taking advantages of the instant interaction they have with fans and workshifters can have similar powers if they can create that same level of connection.   

World Tours From Your Bedroom

Workshifting can mean working from a coffee shop, an airplane or the comfort of your own home. Musicians make a sizeable amount of their income from live shows and events. For those musicians not in a financial position to jump in a van and head on a road trip, they are bringing the energy and excitement of a live show to live streaming services and charging covers to get in and creating an environment for fans to feel like the band is right in front of them. What’s better is they can take requests right from the chat features on uStream or Justin.tv and give the fans a personalized experience that may not even be possible at a venue.

Digital nomads have an equally stellar opportunity, from having a meeting on Skype to hosting workshops through GoToWebinar. Forget the telephone, give your clients and bosses the opportunity to see the magic you bring to the table via live video calls.

Integrate Media in Live Settings

The convergence of real time media into our real lives has not escaped seeing live music or going to events. Taking a traditional local or indie show and throwing up projects hooked up to TwitterCamp create interaction with the crowd, allowing them to interact with each other and the band through their cell phones and a big screen.

Other musicians are using Google Docs and a laptop to manage mailing list signups for more accurate submissions, much better than the pen and paper.  Live inventory and band management software such as Bandize and PulseAmp are making the roadie and retail aspects more consistent and manageable and helping bands stay legit.

I hope you can see a parallel between the life of indie bands and that of the workshifters in the corporate and freelancing world. Technology, lifestyle design and coffee shops are making things very conducive to growing your business and living a life that you can wake up and be excited about. You may not be rocking guitars and sleeping in campsites on the way to Podunk, USA, but the dream of being a rock star is something we can all strive for in our lives.

Photo by: Sicran

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