Kirilin described MuseScore as a place where "people contribut[e] a bunch of goodness," so it made a lot of sense for him to start working with the platform's users — educators, to be exact. When you register, you have the option to tag yourself as a student, transcriber, or an educator, which is how Mikhail found all of his future collaborators. In his article
, he writes that he sent around 60 emails to studios, schools and workshops to run a pilot course. "One of the first guys who answered was Kenya Hagihara from Haluna Guitar Studios, and he agreed to organize a lesson [on] digital music transcribing," he tells me. This marked the first MuseScore event in Japan.
Since MuseScore has such a loyal user community, Mikhail didn't stop there: tapping into its community forums, he spent four months in the role of a community manager. Browsing through the website, Mikhail discovered that there were about 2000 active people like Bernard Greenberg
that did the most engaging activities, such as creating their own classes. "It's easy: some google forms and personal negotiation," he says. "If you're working in PR, especially if you're working with [a] community, you need to learn about social engineering."
Understanding that due to Covid-19 restrictions many teachers were stuck at home without any knowledge of how to establish their classes online, the PR manager offered free subscriptions. Although the professors were given pro accounts as a perk for working with the platform, most of them found value in the human-to-human connection that Mikhail tried to establish. "[We gave] something non-material: a good talk, personal technical support for users and a lot of h2h work between all the team and community," he shares.
Talking about how to grow your business and market it without a specific budget, Kirilin advises to build your marketing team in order to avoid spending a lot of money without any palpable impact. "You can start everything without any budget, especially [if it's] an open source project," the manager elaborates. At the same time, encouraging cross-collaboration between separate teams in the company can lead to more insights and ideas.