Marketing Mistakes 101- Chapter 1

The One-hit Wonder

You know ’em, you love ’em, but you don’t remember them: artists who had one hit and went away forever. That’s because marketing, like comedy, when it’s effective, comes in threes. Whether the product is an album, a concert ticket, or a booking, one “impression” does not a sale make.  Sure, once in a while you do get caught by a single event that is so extraordinary that you are moved to action, but that is a rare exception, and we’re trying to get consistent results.

Three impressions in a short amount of time. Why three? How long is a “short amount” of time? To tell the truth, I don’t know why, why, why, it just is, as Van Morrison says (Using 3 whys…). OK, four is better, forty even better, just don’t put all your chips on ONE or TWO. As for the time period for the impressions, the quicker the better, as the “spin” speed is higher. Read more


Going Around the Blockage

This no-brainer of a strategy comes straight out of the Republican playbook, and you’ve got to give them some credit- just use it towards better ends, please. I did music for a documentary on Jesse Helms a few years back, and spent quite a few hours listening to Jesse’s henchmen describe how they put Senator No into office and kept him there for years. The smart guy was Richard Viguerie, a long-time politico/marketing genius, credited with “inventing” direct mail marketing. He holds up his left hand, back to camera, and then describes going “around the blockage of Dan Rather, CBS news, the NY Times, the liberal media”, his right hand moving around the left, like a shark going for the kill- “straight to the voters”  with his direct mail appeals.

That’s what the modern musician can do, if he/she/they can leverage the internet, really use the tools that are available- and there are plenty- to get and keep fans. Who are you trying to reach? Where are they hanging out? At a nearby club? At the country club? In front of their computer??

Answer one question at a time, add your own, and stay tuned!

Pioneered political use of computerized direct mail. That technology was the Internet of its day: it enabled conservatives to get around liberals’ dominance of the mass media; it allowed thousands of conservative candidates, organizations and causes to get their messages to grassroots Americans. – RV


e-books for musicians….

There’s no room in the mini-van for a maxi-book collection, and there are some great ebooks available aimed at the working musician, on every aspect of the player’s life. We’ll keep you up-to-speed on the latest.

The famous “Dummies” series has an excellent home recording ebook, with a definitely dumb title,  Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies. You don’t have to be dumb to get something out of this one

Info includes:

  • Create a studio around your budget
  • Direct signal flow to maximize your sound
  • Apply the best microphone techniques
  • Use compressors and limiters properly
  • Build a space for optimum mixing

Get it here…


New Music

A song is worth a thousand pictures.

A interpretation of Duke Ellington’s Melencholia, I’m playing the piano at the Rubber Room in Chapel Hill:

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Folk music??  I don’t know.  Download the MP3