Another weekend bites the dust and yet again I read numerous blog entries aimed at independent & DIY musicians with advice on how to use the internet for promotion and marketing.
Surprise, surprise, nothing new!
You’ve got to be on ‘Facebook’, 'MySpace’ and ‘Twitter’, possibly some other social networks and look at adding ‘streamed’ gigs with ‘ustream’ or ‘livestream’.
I know the people writing this information are either trying to help and want to be seen as ‘knowledgeable’, have tried this and it has worked for them, or are just repeating what they have read to pull more readers to their own piece of ‘blogland’.
But really, how many more unknown bands do we need with an ‘identikit’ promo campaign?
For any new artist or band to get noticed they ‘need ‘ to have something different about them, either musically or a great promotional/marketing idea and doing what everyone else does just helps them loose their originality if they had any in the first place.
It’s fine with people making these suggestions and looking like it’s a bright idea and it might work for some, but it won’t work for everyone.
A lot will depend on the music you make and your target audience, but if anyone really thinks that a ‘ustream’ gig, with bad lighting, one dodgy webcam and questionable sound is going to attract a new fan base who have most likely grown up with MTV, Playstation and Xbox, then I have to question their way of thinking.
I’ve watched some ‘ustream’ gigs from indie artists and none of them have had me wanting to watch anymore other than for the ‘curiosity’ factor. They look like tv broadcast experiments from the 1940’s.
I’m not denying it’s a good way to keep your ‘live’ performance up to scratch if you’re not gigging regularly or a good way to try some new material for a few ‘hard core’ fans, but they generally are pretty bad and the idea that some people will hand over hard earned cash for a recorded version makes me laugh.
How many music dvds/videos have you got that never get watched?
And they are professionally produced, so what chance does an bad quality ‘ustream’ gig have?
Every tool that an unknown artist can use to get their music in front of people is good and ‘social’ networks are tools that are readily available to everyone and that is the problem. If everyone is doing the same thing, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
When wearing my ‘Somojo’ hat or ‘Editors’ hat at Somojo magazine, I’m regularly surprised at the bad quality of work that lands in front of me. Badly mixed or produced music, photography that is badly framed and non-colour corrected, work that really shouldn’t be allowed out of the door, especially when trying to promote the artists.
Combine this with an ‘indenti-kit’ promotions package and my finger automatically reaches for the ‘delete’ button.
There are people out there with original ideas, but you have to find them and talk to them. The reason they don’t put this information on the internet and in blog posts is to keep it special for the people they work with as they don’t want everyone to become ‘identi-kit’ copies of their ideas!