It’s nothing but a good thing that musicians are interested in self promotion, but speaking from both a musician and a vendor’s perspective, it’s not the most effective promotion strategy.
When I managed a record label I received more than anyone’s fair share of self promotion emails, letters, and even whilst running this website I get a lot of artist’s looking for promotion. It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that more often than not these kinds of emails go in the trash (sorry).
Here’s my honest advice. If you want me (or pretty much anyone in the music business) to help you promote your music, start being selfless. If you’re a musician in Melbourne, invite me for a coffee, or if not, selflessly share your thoughts on the website with me and offer some ideas to improve the site or share this website with your other musician friends, or even just chat to me on Twitter.
The 30-Day No Self-Promotion Challenge
Start now with this challenge – for the next 30 days do not ‘self-promote’ at all. Spend the month showing gratitude to your favourite music bloggers, meeting and starting conversations with people on Twitter, and building your network. I’ve done a lot of work researching how people meet and grow their network (I wrote a book about it last year) and if I could share one piece of advice with you, it’s that you have to be proactive building your contacts if you want to succeed, and to do that you have to get past people’s bullshit radars, in other words, you must drop your agenda and be genuine.
I have a near bullet proof level of confidence that you will make more long-term progress this month if you replace self-promotion with pro-active selflessness and gratitude towards the music industry.
When you try to self-promote your music, it loses effectiveness due to your blatant bias. However, when you promote someone else’s music, blog, idea, or book, suddenly you gain a lot of credibility.
Here’s how I think of it, when you say ‘check out our new song, our best yet!’ it’s like saying to a girl (or a guy) ‘I’m great in bed’… somewhat ineffective. When someone else says ‘their new song is their best yet!’ it’s got a lot of credibility as it’s seen as impartial, it’s kind of like another girl saying to the girl ‘he is great in bed’ :)
Remember that analogy, it’ll help you build new relationships and when you start helping others, suddenly a lot of other people begin to help you.