All My Friends Manchester

Introduction into AMF and Marketing Executive, Liam

Hi Aaron, I’m really excited to chat with you today about myself, marketing, and of course All My Friends (AMF). My names Liam and I’m a marketing executive with 2+ years in the industry working for an IT specialist recruitment agency in Wilmslow. I’m also a DJ and have played music in Manchester and ran events for the last 7 years.

AMF is a Manchester-based dance music blog. I run it out of my studio at Brunswick Mill. I release fortnightly mixes on my website by collective, producers and DJ’s from across Manchester and beyond.

As well as releasing fortnightly show AMF also covers issues around gentrification, club culture, and night-life issues.

Why did you decide to start AMF?

It was during my hunt for some studio space that I decided to start AMF. I was living in a block of flats in the Northern Quarter and I didn’t want to disturb my neighbours with loud music so I was searching for space where I could make as much noise as I wanted.

I found Brunswick Mill and it was amazing, having a dedicated space to play records and be creative. Moving my turntables out of my home was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made. Having a separate creative space to go to when I want to work on the blog frees me up from the distractions I experience at home.

I’d had the studio for a few weeks when I decided to start AMF. I’ve run events in the past with friends and they’re really fun but a lot of work. My friends have since moved to other cities and it was impossible for me to organise a club night on my own. You only need to look at the costs for; venue hire, DJ’s, hotels, transport etc to realise you either need a collective of people working together or you need to be very wealthy to make a club night happen.

This realisation was a bit disheartening at first. I wanted to make sure I was still involved in Manchester’s dance scene but saw a big financial barrier stopping me. That’s when I thought a blog would be a good idea.

It gave me a creative outlet to play music and it let me meet a lot of great people in Manchester. Since starting the blog in March 2018 I’ve been playing regularly around town and have had guests such as; Sprechen Records, Supernature Disco, and Ruff Diamond guest on the blog.

How long have you been involved in marketing?

My career in marketing started just over two years ago. Before my first role as a content creator, I was working as an art & antique valuers for a North West auction house. An interesting career but one with a foot firmly in the past (pun intended).

The antique industry is a slow-moving behemoth and I wanted to work in a fast-paced, creative role. I also wanted a job that would give me skills I could apply to my musical career too. Marketing was a great fit.

My current role requires me to wear a lot of hats. My main focus is the production and recording of technology podcasts but I also manage an online community and run several offline events a year. As well as this I also contribute articles to our companies blog and help with our overall SEO strategy.

All in all, a really mixed bag of experiences. I quite like that though. I’d always look for roles where you’re not pigeon-holed into doing one task over and over. I don’t think I could work in a big corporate where their marketing teams are so large you’d never feel like you’ve made an impact.

How do you think the way that businesses market themselves in 2020 (and beyond) will change?

I think the biggest change we’re going to in the next few years is Google’s increased reliance on advertising. As much as I don’t want to see it: I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years’ time the first page of Google was all ads.

In between the ads, featured snippets, and direct answers you could be scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page before you see your first organic result. It’s a move by Google I’m not a fan of but all we can do as marketers is to adapt.

SEO managers will have to look into understanding more about ad words and optimise their content so it can get picked up as a featured snippet etc.

On the flip side of this coin is Google’s emphasis on EAT. This acronym stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. With AdWords taking up so much of the SERP results I believe that any company that wants to compete using SEO alone needs to place new importance onto EAT.

A great tactic for building up your EAT score (Not too sure how EAT is scored, I wish Google would just tell us their algorithms) is by creating author profiles for your content with crawlable links to other sites validating the authors.

The last big shift I’m planning for it the rise of the personal brand. When I first heard the term I assumed it was something aimed at influencers and company’s that relied on affiliate marketing. After attending a few marketing meetups,  I’ve come to realise personal branding is an excellent b2b marketing strategy.

As the old saying goes ‘people buy from people’ and creating an online brand for a company founder can personalise and humanise a business and product. It’s a great way to get your product or service in the minds of potential customers in a non-intrusive, and sometimes fun, way.

What are your marketing plans for All My Friends in 2020?

A lot of the plans for AMF in 2020 are marketing related.

The blog is going really well at the moment and I’m in a position now where I cannot keep up with the demand for content. Before the New Year, I’d like to take on a volunteer to help me by writing dance EP reviews for the review section of the blog.

I’ve been connecting with record labels across the globe and I’ve signed AMF up to their promotional newsletters so my inbox is slowly filling up with unreleased demos from producers. Once I have a steady stream of promo’s I’ll look for a reviewer. It’d be great to help somebody else start their marketing journey and I hope I’d be able to give them some tips on creating a successful marketing career.

As I’ve already mentioned, I want to produce more content. The blog mainly gets its traffic from direct channels at the moment so the most straightforward way to increase my number of visitors is to increase the number of mixes, articles, reviews etc I’m putting out there. Doing that without sacrificing quality is the difficult part.

I’d also like to move into video and start live-streaming mixes from the studio. A lofty goal but one that is definitely achievable next year. I’m always very cautious of biting off more than I can chew though so I wouldn’t want to undertake this project until the reviews are up and running smoothly.

A few other projects in the pipeline include; creating a strategy to target Google EAT algorithms, re-organising my content around pillar pages to maximise the amount of organic traffic coming to the site, and I’d like to start targeting bigger guests for the show. A big goal for me is to monetise the blog. If I could get it to a point where it pays for the studio that would be ideal.

I think that’s everything. Phew, a lot to do! I always say though: as long as you’re having fun it doesn’t matter.

Thanks for interviewing me Aaron, it was really fun chatting with you about everything.



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