Behind the Artist: Benjamin Lifson, Eleven Seven Music

3 min read
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Messenger marketing strategies & the music industry

This is a Q&A style interview series featuring the people behind the artists: the marketing heroes you don’t hear about that often. They are the ones who help artists build a brand and a strong online presence. This time round we talked to Benjamin Lifson from Eleven Seven Music about his career and digital music marketing in general. Read all about their thoughts, their expertise and their vision for the future.

Can you tell us something about yourself and what it is that you do? We’d love to hear about your personal background and your professional history.

My first experience in music started as a teenager, when I would book shows and run social media for my high school garage band. This led me to pursuing music in college, where I graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a BS in Music Industry.

While in college, I was fortunate enough to intern at Epic Records for two summers in their Digital Marketing Department, where I was exposed daily to the techniques and campaigns needed to market artists from Fifth Harmony to Meghan Trainor.

Once I graduated, I was able to secure a role in Digital at the independent rock label Eleven Seven Music (Papa Roach/Five Finger Death Punch/Mötley Crüe). I’ve currently been at the label for just over two years and work each day to expand my knowledge of the digital landscape.

How did you get into the digital marketing business? Can you tell us how you got involved with music marketing, specifically?

When I was asked about what department I was interested in interning for at Epic Records, I said ‘Digital Marketing’, without even knowing if that type of department existed at labels. Luckily the department not only existed, but encompassed all aspects of music marketing I wished to explore.

What got me into music marketing, specifically, was that, in my opinion, marketing can only be truly enjoyable when you are passionate about the product/service you are promoting, and there is nothing I enjoy more than music.

Helping others hear and discover new tracks from their favorite artists is a dream come true, especially when it makes a real emotional impact on their lives.  

Who’s your favorite artist? What’s your favorite genre of music?

I do not have a favorite artist, but my favorite genre is Pop Punk/Punk Rock. My digital ‘side hustle’ is running a lifestyle Instagram account for other lovers of the genre. The account has accumulated over 70,000 engaged followers within its first year. @thepoppunker if you’re interested.

Can you tell us some more about your job? What’s it like working at Eleven Seven Music? How did you get there? What does a regular day look like? What do you like most about your job?

It’s unique being able to work at an indie label in 2019, but now that streaming is really taking off, we are expanding and operate as a major label in an abundance of ways.

I specifically work on our artists' long-term digital strategy, as well as work with management to satisfy an artist’s day-to-day social media needs. Our digital team also doubles as an in-house creative department, so we are constantly pumping out graphic and video content to help us complete our goals and create a specific brand/narrative for our artists.

What I like most about my job is being able to work with a tight-knit and open-minded team that embraces each and every new idea brought to the table.

What artists do you get to work with? Do you work with them personally?

As of right now, I am working rock records for Papa Roach, In Flames, Bad Wolves, Nothing More, From Ashes To New, Diamante, and an alternative record for an artist called JUST LOUD. We work with them personally, helping them to communicate with their fans on platforms as effectively as possible.

What are the biggest challenges that you encounter as a Digital Manager? Can you pinpoint a specific example? And how do you go about overcoming these challenges?

The biggest challenge is when artists don’t understand the importance of socials in today’s realm of music. Engaging with fans on social media is no longer optional for success, it is a requirement.

An artist is only as strong as their base audience, and a base audience can be most easily accessed on social media platforms.

We also need to consistently remind artists to share personal, lo-fi content, in order to create a real connection.

Solely using polished advertising puts artists on a virtual pedestal that causes a disconnect between them and those who love them most. The ultimate goal is for fans to feel like they are a part of every step of the album cycle.


Do you work in music marketing and are you interested in participating in our Behind the Artist series? Get in touch by sending an email to hello@iampop.com

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Jonas van de Poel

Customer Success & Content Marketer at I AM POP. Poet, linguist, polyglot and wordsmith armed with fountain pen and ergonomic keyboard. Wears shades at night. Dreams in breakbeat at 174 bpm.