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The One Thing

Marketing is just a game of attention.

Published 8 months ago • 2 min read

Finding success as an independent artist lies in mastering the great game of attention.

Ultimately, we want to focus someone’s attention on our music for three and a half minutes (let’s be honest though, these days it’s really more like two and a half minutes) over and over again.

But while getting listeners to our music is the ultimate goal, the game doesn’t start there.

If we want people to listen, we have to get their attention in the first place, keeping it long enough to earn their trust, and then redirecting their attention toward where we want it to go.

So how do we do that?

Gaining attention

The internet is built on battling for attention.

It’s the foundation of social media, search engine optimization, and pretty much every other mechanism you can think of.

And just as in every nature show you’ve ever watched where the bird is attracted to the mate that morphs into some sort of insane-looking, colorful plume, so too are we hardwired to respond to things that stick out, things that attract attention.

This is where the concept of a “hook” comes from.

Whether in organic content or paid ads, the best-performing content starts with a great hook.

And the best hooks stand out in a sea of sameness.

Something surprising, something contrarian, something challenging, an odd question—all of these are examples of great hooks that can draw someone in.

If we want to gain the attention of potential fans and send them to our music, we have to create content that hooks them.

Spend time crafting the right hook, and you’re onto something.

Keeping attention

Getting someone’s attention is hard.

Keeping their attention is even more difficult.

Crafting content with a good hook is just the starting point.

If we want to ultimately get someone over to Spotify to listen to our work, we have to keep their attention long enough to earn their trust.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a great song and use it in our content.

If we can craft a great hook to capture someone’s attention and then quickly keep that attention by getting that person to engage with the right section of the right song at the right time, we have a good shot at earning their trust.

All this in the span of a few seconds of video content.

Once we have someone’s trust, it’s time to get them to take action.

Directing attention

Gaining attention and keeping attention counts for virtually nothing if we’re not able to direct that attention in a meaningful way.

Playing the great game of internet attention solely for likes and views is short-sighted.

Those are surface-level metrics that don’t actually move the needle in a way that will change our lives for the better.

If we want to see an impact from our efforts, we have to successfully direct attention toward the other side of those metrics.

For traditional businesses, this means sales.

Get someone’s attention, keep someone’s attention (earn their trust), and direct someone’s attention (earn their business).

For us, it means streams (which, in and of itself, is a form of sales too, really).

Creating effective content online is ultimately about directing people toward our music.

If we can do that, we have a repeatable system that can improve, expand, and, ultimately, win the great game of attention in a way that will change our lives for the better.

Whenever you're ready, there are four ways I can help you:

  1. Read the Newsletter: Read previous issues of The One Thing to learn at your own pace and upgrade your marketing knowledge for free.
  2. Book a Consultation: Schedule a one-on-one call with me to improve your marketing across paid advertising, social media, and more.
  3. The Spotify Traffic Accelerator: Join the hundreds of artists who have successfully learned to automate their growth on Spotify using paid ads on Instagram.
  4. Become a DuPree X Artist: Hire our team to manage your marketing across streaming platforms and social media so you can focus on what matters most—making music.

The One Thing

Tom DuPree III

One high-leverage idea to scale your audience (and your business). Delivered every Tuesday.

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