John Mayer

At A Glance
John Mayer is a multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter from Connecticut signed to Aware/Columbia Records. His fan base was built by spending hard hours mastering his instrument and his songwriting technique. Because he mainly writes about his own life struggles and experiences, Mayer's writing has an honesty that people can connect with. He has been able to maintain a high level of excitement about his career through genuine and frequent interaction with his fans.
Mayer jump-started his career with very little use of the internet. He instead chose to get his name out and develop a following through live performances in Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding areas. Aware Records, a subsidiary of Columbia Records, picked him up after he played at the South by Southwest music festival.

However, since becoming a prominent public figure, Mayer has taken full advantage of online interaction with his fans through two blogs (here and here), a Twitter account, and his own personal YouTube account.

Mayer's main website has evolved into an exploration of his newest project. "It's a house, in a clandestine location, that's being converted into a music studio. No, not a music studio. An entire music experience. A living, breathing, ever-evolving organic space that contains every part of the record making process." Through videos of new approaches to guitar, experimentation with hip hop, interviews, jams with his friends, and a glimpse into his newest songs in their nascent stages, he truly connects with his fans.

Mayer is also very active on Twitter. His "tweets" range from daily workout routines and diet, to funny stories, to random bits of philosophy. He has also created a contest in which the best reply he receives wins the contestant a hand drawn Twitter background from Mayer himself.

Other contests Mayer has organized include T-shirt designs, inter-faith baking, and a very compassionate MySpace idea. He listened to songs that were sent to him, and using his public spotlight to raise awareness, he put his favorite song in the fourth slot of his MySpace music player for that month.

In addition to his music, Mayer has received great acclaim for his comedic pursuits. In 2003 he filmed one episode of "John Mayer Has A TV Show", in which he showed footage of him dressing up in a bear suit and patrolling the parking lots of his concerts. He has a full season of a variety show in the works, and has been known to randomly drop into comedy clubs and perform a quick set of stand-up.

One thing we like about John Mayer is how accessible he allows himself to be, not to mention his outstanding musicianship. Even if you're not a fan of music, you can't deny that this guy has some serious skill when it comes to his craft. It must have something to do with attending Berklee for a couple of semesters!

While the official John Mayer fan club - the Local-83 - is a paid subscription, there are many other forums where fans congregate. The hub of all things Mayer is a site called TRY JM - A collection of news & notes about John Mayer. There are links to nearly every fan forum from all over the world, as well as links to live recordings. Mayer encourages his fans to record and share his shows online free of charge. TRY JM also has the latest gossip on Mayer.
In Conclusion
All in all, John Mayer has been able to survive and thrive in this ever-changing music industry.
What Stands Out
  • No communication barriers between Mayer and fans (contests, Twitter, MySpace).
  • Humor. Not only does Mayer have humorous blog posts, he actually creates comedic projects such as TV shows and stand-up comedy routines.
  • Great Musicianship. Mayer’s musicianship stands out in today's music world. On top of writing his own material, he is able to cover classic songs such as Jimi Hendrix's "Bold As Love", Eric Clapton's "Crossroads", and Tom Petty’s "Free Falling".
This case study was written by Jordan Casty, a 2nd-semester Songwriting Major, and Amy Mantis, a 2nd-semester Music Business/Management Major at Berklee College of Music. They are both guitar principals.

You can connect with Jordan on Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube.

You can connect with Amy on Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube.

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