So, as I’ve said before, I do a lot of research on the things I love, feel passionate about, want to be successful at, need to know for work stuffs.
I have read a lot of blogs and articles on how to be a successful musician, having a good website & blog, social media, you know – the whole shebang. I try and implement as much as I can ~ but with a twist.
There are some things I disagree with.
I am not going to go to other band’s shows and promote myself. I have had people to this to my old bands, and I’ve seen it at shows where I was in the audience. My general rule: if you’re not playing, don’t push yourself. Sure, there are exceptions! If you are playing that venue later that week, then promote some – BUT, ask THE BAND THAT IS PLAYING if maybe they’ll give you a shout-out! I have found it anywhere from tacky to downright offensive to see bands hanging out at shows (and usually disrupting them) by trying to get the crowd to come to their show or buy their EP. It’s even worse if you show up at someone else’s show and try and get the audience to leave the show they are at to come yours! Yes, I have had this happen while I was playing onstage.
There are ways to handle this, but I’ll get to that some other time.
Another I can’t say I’m all about…
Tell Your Friends! Do I want people to share my music with their friends/family/bunkmates/crew/random people they meet on a Greyhound Bus? YES! TOTALLY! I will even ask that people share my music or posts every once in a while.
The catch there – once in a while.
So much of what I have read tells us (musicians) to ask you (the listener/fans/strangers at the Greyhound Station) to Like/Comment/Share/Tag A Friend – SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! TELL YOUR FRIENDS, TELL YOUR MOM! TELL CHARLES DICKENS, BECAUSE HE WOULD DIG THE MUSIC!
I think if people want to share, then they’ll share. I hope some of the people who listen to my stuff find it worth sharing – or they have that one friend/family member/bus driver that they think of when they hear a certain song.
And, if not…
That’s just fine by me!
I don’t want to pressure people into sharing my music, or make people feel guilty if they only listened but didn’t buy, or they only dropped one dollar in my tip jar when I play!
I don’t want to be a pushy musician!
Here’s one that I am trying to let folks know I don’t do…
The E-Mail Sales Pitch.
Like any musician, I have a growing e-mail list (have you signed up?). See what I did there? That’s about as far as I’ll take that. In so much of what I have read and researched there is a lot of “Sell Through Your E-mails!”
I use my e-mail list to let people know about upcoming shows, new songs that have either just come out or are about to come out, send fun pictures of my cats giving me funny looks, and – of course – book reviews!
Do I ask if people have bought/listened to my album? Sure. I’m not that stupid. BUT, I don’t hound them with it! I also ask them to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t shove it down their throats.
I wouldn’t read an e-mail that was all sales and pushy gimmicks. Would you?
So, here is what I don’t do.
And now, back to what I do – in fact – do.
I’m gonna have a sammich.