The River's Badge

Friday, March 25, 2011

Promotion




I've been thinking a bit about promotion (or "marketing", as the snake oil salesmen prefer to call it).

As musicians and/or songwriters, everyone tells us that promotion is key. In fact, there are a WHOLE BUNCH of sites out there just begging us to believe that.

But do we ever stop to think about who we're marketing to, and why?

Here's the thing; I just like making music. In fact, I find that I like the process more than I like the finished product.

Thus, even though I created my own ReverbNation site for my acoustic songs, by no means does that mean that I'm looking to grab the brass ring, or any other cliche you can recite. I just wanted a place to keep all my songs in one handy spot. Not everyone with a music page is trying to promote themselves (but I guess most probably are).

The fact about ReverbNation, Soundclick (that old chestnut), PimpMyMusic.com, ListenToMeOrElse.com (okay, I made up those last two), etc., that none of those sites want you to figure out is, the only other people there are other artists.

Yet, all these sites are more than happy to try to get you to buy the "pro" package, or "pro" widget; pretty much the "pro" anything. Can't they make enough money from ads? And why in the world would I need a pro package? Will that get me discovered? ha ha

I've ranted about "fanning" before, but humor me: I keep getting all these stupid emails clogging up my in box, telling me that John or Estelle just became my fan. Yet, when I checked my stats on ReverbNation today, I've had only 26 song plays. Twenty-six song plays and 58 fans. It's amazing!

So, this morning, I posted this in my bio:

PLEASE NOTE: I REALLY APPRECIATE GETTING FANS, BUT I RESPECTFULLY ASK THAT YOU DON'T BECOME MY "FAN" UNLESS YOU'VE ACTUALLY LISTENED TO MY MUSIC, AND YOU LIKE IT. I WILL NOT TRADE "FANNING". THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING!

I haven't gotten an email since! Wow ~ I don't get it! ha ha

I consider it a rookie mistake to post one's music everywhere on the web, and to take seriously someone deciding to become your "fan". I'm not saying there aren't any true fans out there, but believe me, they're few and far between. As I said before, 99.99% of the people on these sites are other musicians, and they just want you to listen to their music.

If I could remember every place I've uploaded our music, I would go to those sites and cancel our membership, although I've noticed that some sites don't even give you that option.

Choose one or two sites to host your music, at the most. Then you'll still have a place to direct your friends to, if you want to share your music with them. Cuz honestly, it's only your friends that will listen, and even they might not really want to.

As the manager of our band, I've decided that I'm only going to promote something I really like. Face it, every artist does a lot of songs; not all of them are gems (just ask me!) I'm focusing on promoting the best of the best.

And by promoting, I mean, trying to get the best of the best to someone who might actually do something for us. (Never fear, since this is my personal blog, I'm going to continue to promote all our stuff here; that's what blogs are for!)

In a future post, I'll talk a bit about "opportunities"; the good, the bad, and the ripoffs.

And yes, I love fans ~ real ones!

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