How to build your Dream 100

How to build your Dream 100
How to build your Dream 100

I wanted to answer a question that recently came through on Instagram.

If I were to break it down, the essence of it is this:

  • How do I build my Dream 100? Who do I model?
  • How do I connect to my Dream 100?
  • How do I model my Dream 100?
  • How can I collaborate with my Dream 100?

Let’s get into it!

What is Dream 100? Why Would I Want to Build it?

Before we get into the meat of this, it’s probably worth explaining what the Dream 100 is.

Chet Holmes came up with the concept, and Russell Brunson has been popularizing it.

As applied to music marketing, or any other type of marketing, it means to make a list of 100 people in your niche or industry that have access to your target audience (you are not required to stop at 100).

Why would you do this? To build a relationship with them, and ultimately, to collaborate with them.

For instance, if you’re a hip-hop artist and getting a mention from Snoop Dogg would boost your career (it would, wouldn’t it?), you’d add Snoop Dogg to your list!

No, you can’t build a relationship with Snoop Dogg overnight. But give it time.

Although I don’t know if this quote attribution is correct, billionaire Bill Gates has been quoted as saying:

To get results from the Dream 100, you’ve GOT to have a long-term mindset.

How to Create Your Dream 100 List

So, I already know from having talked to other creatives that your first instinct might be, “I can’t even think of 10 people or companies to add to my list let alone 100!”

Give yourself some grace here. I’ve been in the music business for over two decades and am well-aware of the various players out there. Sure, some do come and go, but I’m constantly culling my list to keep it tight.

Creating your Dream 100 is going to take some time. It doesn’t need to take weeks or even months, but you might need to sit down for half a day or maybe even a full day to start to get a sense of who you might add to your list.

I’m a blogger/writer/author. So, it makes sense for me to connect with just about any entity in the music business that has a blog.

PROs, music distribution companies, online mastering services, magazines, service providers who sell to musicians, and more.

If you’re a musician, you might target booking agents, managers, record labels, songwriters, and maybe even better-known artists.

Here are some additional tips that could help anyone in any career or profession:

  • Search social media — you can find people and groups in your niche by entering relevant keywords into native search
  • Listen to podcasts- you’ll figure out who’s who in your space relatively quickly
  • Subscribe to magazines — pay attention to the ads as well as the names that come up in articles

I think the main thing that’ll stop you from creating your Dream 100 list is fear! So, let yourself dream. Aim high! Include people or companies on your list you think are beyond your reach.

How do I Connect to My Dream 100?

In general:

  • Follow them on social media and comment on their posts
  • Join their Facebook group (if they have one — they usually do)
  • Get on their email list
  • Buy their products (they’re more likely to interact with you if you do)

You can also do a lumpy mail campaign introducing yourself to your Dream 100.

Is the postal mail part necessary? I don’t think so, but it was part of the original marketing strategy developed by Chet Holmes.

I would suggest that if you have a good reason to do a lumpy mail campaign (e.g. you’ve got a new album, big tour, etc.) then do it!

How do I Model My Dream 100?

Modeling is not copying.

No marketer in their right mind would tell you to copy anyone, because copying could get you into a lot of trouble (cease and desist letters, legal proceedings, burned bridges, and so on).

Just wanted to get that out of the way.

So, the best way to know how to model your Dream 100 is to see what they’re doing, and preferably, only see what they’re doing.

The problem is, right now, you’re following all kinds of randoms on social media, and it’s not adding one bit of value to your career or life!

So, go and follow your Dream 100 on the social media site(s) you use most, and unfollow everyone else (by the way, you don’t need to unfriend anyone).

That way, whenever you log in to social media, you will only see what your Dream 100 is up to, easily be able to interact with them, and see what posts are performing well.

When you see something that’s working, model it in your own marketing efforts!

Image for post
Image for post

Music distribution company TuneCore is on my Dream 100. This Instagram post had disproportionately more likes than other recent posts of theirs (nearly 1,500!). I could easily model this. Take an artistic black and white photo with my photographer, add text that reflects my brand, and done!

How do I Collaborate with My Dream 100?

There are basically two ways to work with your Dream 100.

You can work your way in

Or buy your way in.

Let’s look at each.

Work Your Way in

If you did everything I said to do earlier consistently, you would naturally begin to build a relationship with your Dream 100.

Discussing collaboration is all a matter of timing, but is a natural extension of your outreach efforts.

I recently had a music catalog management company like and comment on one of my tweets. I replied, thanked them, and mentioned that if they had a blog, I’d love to put together a guest post for them.

They responded favorably, and before I knew it, I was direct messaging with them, working out the details.

Trust me — it need not be a whole lot more complicated than that!

Be active in your niche. That will ensure that like-minded people will see your posts. Be proactive in reaching out when the opportunity presents itself. Don’t wait for others to get in touch!

I also like to pitch at least one blog on my Dream 100 per day (although I don’t always get around to it) to see if they’d be interested in a guest post.

Maybe you could pitch one YouTuber per day and see if they’d be willing to make a video with you!

Buy Your Way in

So, you’ve exhausted every channel of communication. You can’t get in touch with someone on your Dream 100 no matter how hard you try. Emails don’t get responses. Pitches don’t get answered. Social media comments go nowhere.

What now?

Here’s the sneaky cool part. There is ALWAYS a way to buy your way in.

Some of the people on your Dream 100 are bound to have ad space on their website or magazine. So, if you could buy an ad on their website or publication and get seen by your target audience, that would be sweet, right?

Yes, it costs some money. But if you’ve got a new release to promote, for instance, being able to get it in front of your dream audience efficiently puts you in a position of power.

But let’s say you’ve exhausted all those opportunities too. Maybe the ads are too expensive. Maybe you can’t buy an ad on Green Day’s website. Whatever it is.

You can still remarket people who go to their website using Facebook or Google ads!

Basically, there’s no such thing as exhausting your options. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You can always buy your way in.

Dream 100, Final Thoughts

Because I’ve seen how some musicians communicate, I can see things going awry rapidly with the Dream 100 for some.

So, here’s a tip. Go and read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People cover to cover. Then, read it again.

You’re going to fail miserably at Dream 100 if you have no empathy, and many say that’s a rather rare trait these days.

Not surprising, considering the media essential raised us to be self-centered and insecure.

If you don’t have the right skills, Dream 100 will NOT work for you. Otherwise, it’s a solid strategy.

Do you have any other questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Originally published at on October 6, 2020.

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