Jaime Bilotti is known for elevating the voices of fangirls everywhere with Fan To Band, and now with mutuals Agency she aims to further that initial mission and change the marketing game while she's at it. We caught up with her to talk about her new venture and the challenges she's faced.
Hi Jaime!! So glad to catch up!!! What inspired you to start mutuals Agency?
Jaime: So great to be chatting with you, especially with the public launch of mutuals Agency. For mutuals, I didn’t see another company defining fan engagement how I needed it to be defined. There was a clear gap between campaigns and audiences and I wanted to create a solution to align the industry needs with fan wants.
What is mutuals' main mission? What do you hope to accomplish?
Jaime: mutuals Agency’s main mission is to work with audiences that are going to add value to the industry and cultivate a community around people who really know what they want to say and further amplify that through our campaigns and roster of clients.
There is so much music these days, and the industry is completely oversaturated - we want to look for the artists and audiences who are aiming to break through and make new rules while also understanding there is a game to be played. We are not seeking instant gratification; we are building long-term careers and relationships with not just what looks good to work on but what feels good to be a part of.
Tell me about Fan Analysis and why it’s important.
Jaime: Fan analysis will mean something different to each person you ask this question to. How you measure fandom, at least today, is subjective and I do not see it becoming objective soon as fandom changes overnight. At mutuals, fan analysis is understanding a fandom outside of the traditional demographics to really find out every single reason behind why each person is a fan of that specific artist and how we can properly cater to them as such and include them in the larger conversation. It is not always about who is in an audience right now, but who can be in an audience - what potential does that community have, and how can we cultivate that without losing its authenticity by bringing together people who let each other feel seen and heard.
We’ve talked about how fans need to be represented more how does being a fan translate to marketing?
Jaime: The number one rule of marketing is understanding who you are marketing to. Just solely saying the fan perspective is like saying the human perspective - it is extremely vague and doesn’t properly categorize who you are talking to and why they should care about what you are saying. That is exactly how marketing works, and understanding who the fans you are speaking to are is the first step in truly marketing to them in a way that makes a good campaign a great campaign.
I feel like we still have so much of old men in the music industry controlling things, do you feel like that era is going away?
Jaime: Oh god. Old men. As a young woman in the industry, I am often faced with the stigma of being called exactly that. So for that reason, I won’t categorize all old men as the same as I have met a lot of great ones that get it, but it would be a lie to say that they don’t hold a lot of the control in the industry and rarely break from a traditional set of rules until it is a necessity to survive in the industry. I am always a big advocate of having different perspectives in the same room because if we all followed the same set of rules nothing would change. This generation of music industry professionals and the next generation of aspiring professionals instill me with the hope that it will absolutely change as we realize every day how important fresh ideas are and how much power the consumer truly holds.
What has been one of the challenges of starting mutuals?
Jaime: It is less about us and more about challenges that many if not all entrepreneurs face. The fact that you can’t give up when anybody else would and your definition of success might not be the same as everyone else’s.
Without your own opinion, not only in the industry but in life, you become a projection of the opinions of others around you. The hardest challenge we have faced in starting mutuals is taking the long route that comes from sticking to your own opinions and not compromising to those who define it differently. Soon enough they will get it, they will see what you see, and most of the time realize that you were right all along.
What keeps you motivated?
Jaime: It’s the fact that I can vividly remember how badly I want to get into this industry, and I made promises to myself about what I would do when I got into it. That want to work in the industry has not wavered even in hard times, because there are hard times, I always remember making those promises to myself and make sure to hold myself accountable for future me.
I skipped no steps to get to where I am, and I am proud of how I got here, as well as what I have accomplished along the way. A huge part of why I work as hard as I do comes from the people I work with and their trust in me as a leader - and I trust them just as much.