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Ben Rector: A Case Study in Brilliant use of Social Media

I originally found independent singer/songwriter Ben Rector via NoiseTrade, where musicians give away songs for free – no strings attached – in hopes of building a following. Not only have I enjoyed Ben’s music and proven the NoiseTrade business model true by going out and paying for more of his music on my own, but I’ve also become a huge fan of how brilliantly Ben uses Social Media. His YouTube channel is hilarious, and his latest effort to engage and reward fans surrounding his new album’s release is classic Thank You Economy.

Below is Ben’s video asking fans to help spread the word about the new album, and what they’ll get from him in return. The effort apparently paid off. In less than a week, his album went to #4 overall on iTunes and #1 on the singer/songwriter list. All this without a major record label or promotional effort behind it!

As a bonus here’s one of my favorite Ben Rector songs. If nothing else, follow this guy for his Social Media savvy, because he’s doing a brilliant job!

Why Derek Webb responded to me on Twitter, and how it changed my life

Derek Webb = Twitter Gold!

I don’t think we can overestimate how important the “@” reply and “RT” features on Twitter can be.

Case in point: Derek Webb is hands-down my favorite singer-songwriter. His songs have brought me closer to Jesus than anyone else, and done so more times than I can count. His lyrics tell the truth in a raw, unvarnished way that resonates all the way to the core level of my heart and soul. He also has a snarky sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously. In short, I love the guy for his talent and authenticity.

Needless to say, whenever Derek Webb responds to a question or comment I send his way on Twitter, it means more than he’ll ever know.

From a Personal Branding perspective, Derek Webb does a great job of connecting with and engaging his fans via Twitter. I’m sure it goes a long way toward explaining how successful his career has been despite not having Major Label support and basically building his entire solo career (after many great years in Caedmon’s Call) from the ground up. Webb shares his life – the good, the bad, the ugly – with his fans and followers in a real, authentic and oftentimes humorously self-depricating way.

From a much more important perspective – God’s – Derek uses his gifts of music, humor and candor to share the Good News and reach countless people.

Below is a video of one of my favorites from Derek – “Ten Thousand Angels.”

My favorite line, which comes after a beautiful instrumental bridge:

“Ten thousand angels will light your pathway/until the day breaks fully in the East
And they will suround you/and make your way straight
‘Cause love has come, love has come, love has come … for you.”

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