Cool your engines

Hello again everybody, this entry I will be focusing on running a smarter campaign to avoid the backlash overdoing your promotions or (worse case scenario) being labeled a “Spammer”. Yes, people do throw that and many other terms around too loosely, we all do. And I admit I have been guilty of overdoing posts in the past. But instead of defending myself and starting arguments I decided to evaluate how I was going about spreading the word about my music and this blog while sharing what I learned with you. Your goal when being on social media is not just to get people into your music music but also, entertaining them or engaging them with an interesting post, like a picture you took or asking them a question about a music related topic. Make it interactive and not just about you, people will respond more and, to quote Bill Cosby but you may even learn thing or two (Hey Hey Hey).

Yes it can be nerve racking to think that so many bands are out their posting their music and your album may get buried. So you may feel that tweeting every 30 seconds and or posting to facebook every hour on the hour will increase the amount of people that know about your band. That may work however, your goal is to get people to listen to your music, not to annoy them by posting everywhere constantly and making it so their feeds or timelines are littered with your updates. It will do more harm than good and essentially be a waste of YOURtime, which could be spent practicing or writing music. This goes along the lines of common courtesy and being excepting of other people’s views. Not to mention that when you do this, it appears that you are just all about yourself or your own music and nobody wants to be involved with an artist that is self absorbed. This is especially important when dealing with social media, you need to know if your Facebook post is appropriate for the group you are posting in. Why post in a group that focuses on local events in an area, when you don’t even live there? or a different style of music than what you play? It’s ok to be in that group and comment (NOT argue) on the posts that others submit because that in the long run will do you more good than posting an unwanted post that most likely will annoy people. REMEMBER: Go where you are celebrated, take note of what people and groups are most receptive to you and focus on them. You are not on social media to pick fights or get involved in drama of any kind, You are there to make friends and spread the word about your music. Also try and avoid posting about anything that could cause an argument such as: religion,politics,race, or any other sensitive topic. It may cause you to lose support and not everyone who likes your music will agree with your views on the world, and it is their right to feel how ever they want. It is not your place to have an opinion on it either and why should you? (are you a musician or a Psychologist?). I’d rather have someone who disagrees with me 100% on the state of the world as a fan, than make an enemy because I had to get my two cents in, bit your tongue and go write a song.

If you have your sights set on keeping a band going for years to come, you should always be looking ahead and thinking of how you will be able to branch out. For me, I see social media as an icebreaker, just way to get people to be aware of my music. And I know, some people will really like and some will really hate and every other opinion in between. But either way I just keep creating music and if I do get a compliment or a message from a new fan, I thank that person in kind and talk to them briefly about things such as their favorite bands or where they goto see shows. That will go further than posting 50 times a day to the same group. You are selling yourself and your music, and most will remember a polite and friendly encounter and will be more likely to support you. Just like in real life situations, if you are pushy, or self centered you will turn people off. Especially if it is your first encounter with this person. Kinda of like the guy that goes to parties and introduces himself like this: ” Hi, I’m John, I’m in a band”. Let people get to know you and discover for themselves that you are in a band. The way I see it is eventually you will be able to do professional promotions, such as reviews of your album or ads, and after “priming” the public with your shows, and social media posts. You want people be able to open a magazine and say: “oh, yeah I know these guys, I’m friends with them on facebook”. This way your hard earned money that went into buying that ad paid off because you already promoted smartly when you had no budget to do so. People will always buy something they are familiar with, over something they are have never heard of before. Think about, you buy a soda and I’m sure just the word soda made you think of Cocoa-Cola or Coke. A long lasting name that has been around forever. That’s why “knock offs” are so much less expensive and sell less.

There are still several free ways to get people interested in you and your band without the risk of being labeled a nuisance. Like I stated in my last post, it is good to see and hear other bands, we are all in this together and people who play music understand the work you put into your music, so it is easier to be friends other musicians in most case(I’m sure you are aware that plenty of bands get a “God complex” over just a few great shows, let them think that, just don’t get in their way when they are in front of mirror,lol) Being organized will also help with this as well, for example when I get a new follower on Twitter I like to send them a “welcome tweet”, and actually hashtagging the word welcome along with #music ,#nyc,etc and adding some links to where they can hear our music and so forth. That way they see that we are aware that they follwed us and so they can download our music, see our You Tube videos, and like us on Facebook. I saved that preset tweet in my email drafts, becasue I know it will be used again and again. However, If I got 10 new followers I send one or two the welcome tweet (usually the one with the most followers, yes it is being and opportunist, but no one is perfect) and send the rest I sent them a direct message. Also, I retweet for other bands and followers too. It’s a big world out there and there are many bands that share your goals that you could learn from and vice versa if you take the blinders off and take a listen, and share with those who are receptive to you. It is great to be driven and enthusiastic about you are doing, but the music business is very give and take and those who take with out giving back eventually end up being marked lose friends and contacts, Don’t be that Guy or Girl. Many bigger names have played in other bands, fronted by other people and so and so forth (Robert Smith of the Cure for example played guitar for Siouxsie and the banshees). There are so many people that have come in and out of my projects that played with other people, and if you sit and think about that’s how most bands are.

Thanks again for reading, I hope all of you saw where I was going with this one and will promote more effectively. Please enjoy the song that inspired the name of this post and in the next post, the video will be chosen from a reader, by request. You’ll see why. Best always, Nate

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