If there is one thing I’ve learned from creating and growing my own business, it is the importance of promotion.
If you’re a musician trying to make a living, you are in a market whether you like it or not. More than ever, the laws of business apply directly to you.
There’s just one problem: there are simply too many other musicians, or mechanics or shampoos out there for somebody to notice you without promotion.
But here’s where being a musician is great!
Promotion is fun.
This is where most artists check out. They think their music is sacred and that to sell-out or sell anything is the death knell of their creativity.
But what if musicians started thinking about promotion as an extension of their creativity rather than being the enemy of it?
What if you started thinking of promotion as fun?
Last week, I saw a former student named Colin Huntley perform. It was a great performance. The following act was an experimental Belgian singer/songwriter/electronic musician who programmed her keyboard with all sorts of pre-recorded effects.
At one point in the show, she had audience members come up and play with some prerecorded spoken phrases during a song. What a great example of interactive promotion!
It’s a very simple change of perspective. Rather than resisting the godawful feeling of putting yourself out their, vulnerable and imperfect, what if you embraced the beauty of being who you are and having a darn good time doing it?
Remember, people don’t want to buy from a robot that spams their inbox, puts banners on their web pages and places pop ups where they’re trying to read the news. People want to buy from a real person just like you.
If you promote yourself as a person with value, rather than a robot trying to shove yourself in everyone’s face, people will be attracted to you.
My favorite example is Derek Sivers of CD Baby. When customers would buy a CD from CD Baby they received the following message:
“Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!”
Who wouldn’t want to shop from his store again? And I bet he had a good time doing it. You can check out his story.
Making a living as a musician only seems like a job when you think of promotion as something you have to do. But what if you thought of it as fun?