Ottawa’s Music Marketing Agency, Pop Of Colour, Ready To Paint The Town Whatever Colour They See Fit

Photo credit: Sophie Joslin

Ottawa Life Magazine's Jason Wilkinson has the pleasure of talking the music industry over coffee with Clara Charron, owner of Ottawa music marketing agency, Pop Of Colour.

Ottawa Life: Hello Clara, tell us a little about your music marketing background and when you decided to start your company?

Clara Charron: I started in music as a singer-songwriter. However, I pretty quickly realized that I don’t like being the centre of attention, my real calling is to be a helper. The feeling performers get onstage, where their heart is set aglow, that’s the feeling I get from teaching, offering advice and creating tailored strategies for fellow creative souls. Really, it’s all about making people feel special. I even send my email list members handwritten, glittery birthday cards in the mail!

I went to high school in Ottawa (where I was apparently known as “the girl who sings her own songs at coffeehouses”), and took the Music Industry Arts program at Algonquin College (Class of 2017!). In this economy, no one is going to hand you a job upon graduation, especially not in show business, so I started my little marketing agency while I was in school.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

Well, Clara means “bright and colourful” – I like to joke that my parents chose the perfect name for who I grew up to be, personality-wise. When it came to naming my company, I really wanted to weave my core personality traits into its DNA – so “Pop of Colour” is what I came up with; because here I am, talking about the music business in bright and colourful ways!

What services do you offer?

I specialize in building personas. You know how theatre actors wear stage makeup to enhance their facial features for a larger audience? I do that with a musician’s personality – whether it be stage, social media, or for press interviews.

It’s a delicate art: to be able to turn up the volume on your best personality traits, without going too far and coming off as a parody of yourself. Authenticity is key, we just need to find ways to help the artist have a consistent voice across all mediums – will fans know who is communicating with them without having to look for a name?

On a day-to-day basis, I write bios, audit online presences, help with email campaigns, build websites, and brainstorm grassroots marketing ideas for small artists and start-ups in the music and tech space.

What advice would you give a new artist looking for marketing?

From the current state of the blogosphere, to community radio, to synch licensing, to social media advertising, what venues to play, and who they should meet, no artist will be a good fit for everything. They will always be too obscure, too mainstream, too progressive, too generic, etc… for some type of promotion!

The first thing I do with my marketing clients is sit down for a cup of tea and discuss who they are and what are their goals – short and longer term – and build them a plan for what would suit them.

Tell us about your blog and late night show.

I write a weekly blog article for my audience of musicians – some recent personal favourites include “Blockchain Technology Will Spark A Revolution For Songwriters,” “Rewarding Brand Loyalty: Artist Fan Clubs Meet Enterprise Gamification,” and “10 Predictions for The Music Industry in 2019.”

On Monday nights at 9pm, I host a late night show live from my Facebook Page! I got the idea from watching American political talk show clips on YouTube, and thinking “hey, it’s just a guy and a desk. I could do that!” So now I spend 30 minutes a week on my vintage pink sofa, recapping relevant industry news to my audience of independent musicians, and going in depth about a different subject each week. I launched the show last March, and I’m having a lit of fun with it – especially the live element! It’s also landed sponsorships with Eastman Guitars, Shubb Capos, and DAVID’s TEA!

What are your thoughts on the DIY generation in regards to home recording, handling your own marketing, building your own website etc…

I love it! At the very beginning stages, we kind of have to do everything ourselves – and for the most part, we should. Building a loyal fan base is more important than building a fancy website. Eventually, however, we all reach a point where we don’t have enough hours in the day to learn more advanced skills (commercial radio level recording) or do labour intensive tasks (burning CDs on your old laptop), and you’ve advanced to the point where the DIY method looks unprofessional and is holding back your brand. That’s when you call in help.

Honestly, my end goal is to know everyone in the music business, and host tea parties where I conveniently seat two people, who would be the perfect collaborators next to each other.