Dalton Sim on the rise of Guster and using grassroots marketing in the music business

By March 6, 2017

Being a great band manger is more than doing what’s best for the band, it also means doing what’s best for the fans

A good manager brings an artist to new levels of success, a great manager creates new ways to define success. Dalton Sim, manager of Guster, Dispatch, fun., Father John Misty, and more is the definition of what a great manager can do for talented artists. We were lucky enough to have Dalton speak at our joint event with Northeastern University. There, he spoke to Music2020 co-founder George Howard about his rise as a manager for Guster.

In this video from the event, Dalton Sim speaks about creating a grassroots distribution network to get Guster’s albums out to colleges around the country. By creating an honest and beneficial relationship with every fan that enjoyed Guster’s music, they created their own network of reputable distributors. No matter how advanced algorithms become, there is nothing as powerful as a friend suggesting you listen to a record.

What we learned from listening to Dalton’s story is that, simply, customer service is important. I know, that sounds stale, this is music! The music business has, for too long, seen itself outside the normal constraints of marketing for business. The music business functions the same way every other industry does. Marketing and regular business strategies shouldn’t be ignored just because it’s a special product. They should be embraced and used to make the musis industry as robust as possible.

Take some time to watch the full video to hear Dalton’s story. The details and lessons he’s learned have implications and applications no matter what technology is available or what level of artist you love. Genuine love of an artist is the most powerful tool music has to survive. We, as consumers and music lovers, create the music industry we’ll inherit and deserve. Together, with a little help from experts like Dalton, we can make music better for everyone.

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