|I recently read an online posting in which someone was venting about the apparent apathy of indie music people. He wrote "People tend to be lazy and greedy -- a sour combination. Many people aren't aware of these traits in themselves."
Here are some thoughts on this topic:
I totally agree with that statement. People naturally do take the easy road and think primarily of themselves. That not only includes indie musicians and small label people, it also includes music industry bigshots and media people of all kinds.
We can bitch about the sorry state of human beings or we can learn to work with it.
By doing these two things:
1) Make it easy for people to help you.
I used to be a magazine editor/publisher. Like many indie media people, I was overworked and underpaid. Far too many bands sent out sloppy packages without focus and then expected me to do all the work to give them exposure. The bands who gave me what I needed, came up with interesting story angles and made it easy to cover them usually got press (as long as they had a story worth telling).
It's no different with your fans and people in other areas of the music biz. Make it simple and easy for people to get on your band wagon, order from you, etc... and make them look good in the process. Which leads to...
2) Let people know up front what's in it for them.
If all you're doing is asking for handouts and taking, it's no wonder you're coming up short. Use other people's self-interest to your advantage and let them know what you can do for them.
Most bands who try to book gigs talk about how great their music is and how many CDs they've sold. Does that matter to the agent or club owner? Hopefully it does, but usually all he/she cares about is the cash register ring at the end of the night.
I once booked several solo shows by sending out a simple post card with a large headline that read: "I want to help you sell more beer!" Many of the bar and cafe owners who received it were impressed that an artist actually kept their needs in mind. It hit their self-interest square on the head ... and profited as a result.
The bottom line is: Accept the fact that people are human and use their tendancies of laziness and greed to your advantage. Take control of the circumstances, don't be controlled by them.
Bob Baker is the author of "The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" and "Branding Yourself Online: How to Use the Internet to Become a Celebrity or Expert in Your Field." Get FREE music marketing ideas by e-mail when you sign up for Bob's weekly newsletter, "The Buzz Factor." Just visit www.bob-baker.com for details.
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