March 11, 2014 , ,

Don’t Be Stupid


Don’t Be Stupid

Let’s pretend that you’ve followed our advice thus far.  You’ve got a snazzy website, Facebook (artist) page, and you’ve got a whole bunch of followers on Twitter.  You’ve also posted a few sweet videos to your YouTube channel, and your newsletter is being read by thousands!

Now it’s Miller time. You’ve done your part.  The rest is up to your legion of fans.  Just sit back, crack open a cold one, and watch the magic and money come rolling in.

Not so fast, Chester.

Marketing, especially online, is all about aggregate growth.  Basically, one fan becomes two.  Two becomes four.  Four becomes eight, and so on.  You can’t just flip the switch.  You also can’t sit back passively.

The folks at Google have a secret algorithm that determines how websites show up in Google search.  It’s a combination of relevant keywords, amount of traffic to the site, user-defined preferences, and a whole bunch of other stuff they won’t tell us.  So as your website expands (‘cuz you’re blogging, adding info, gaining fans, etc.), people will ultimately be able to discover you easier.

Think of it this way.  Suppose you open a store (a real one, with a front door and no public restrooms…).  You’ve stocked the shelves with merchandise and taken out ads in the local papers.  Then you walk away.  Or at best, you visit the store once in a while.  Other than that, you’re totally hands off.

What’s gonna happen?  Your store will die.  The inventory will grow stale, out of date, or simply be gone.  As the public moves on to the next new thing, you’re left behind in the dust.

And no, your store won’t be viewed as charming and vintage.  It’ll be seen as irrelevant.

Facebook and Twitter are exactly the same.  They’re not something you can do on Mondays for an hour and not touch ‘til the following week.  That’d be stupid, and we’re telling you to not be stupid.  To reiterate: It’s not like you can eat a ton of cheeseburgers on Monday and not eat anything ‘til the following week.  We’ve tried; it doesn’t work.

Your business (and let’s face it, being a musician is akin to being CEO of your own start-up biz) requires constant care and feeding in order to grow.  How you do it is up to you – we’ve already outlined ways to pre-schedule and manage things, but the “don’t be stupid” message bears repeating over and over (and over).

Also – there’s a ton of companies that want to sell you products to automatically do something.  We saw this on a website:


Think about it for a second.  If you could just buy fans, why wouldn’t you already have a bunch?  Isn’t $57 pretty reasonable?  Earlier on we determined the “value” of a Facebook fan to be $9.56.  If you spend $57 to attract 1,000 fans, that’d be a (theoretical) profit of $9,503.  Not bad for a $57 investment.

Unfortunately, the only real success you’ll see from this (if any) is in growth numbers.  Taking this to a slight extreme, suppose you’re still in that heavy metal band.  You hire this type of company to give you a thousand new fans.  You get them (maybe), but it’s not targeted.  Now you’ve got an extra thousand followers who are going to do nothing for your band/career.  They might be country music or classical or polka fans, but the actual odds of them liking your music is fairly minimal.  And if they don’t like your music, what’re they really going to do for you?

Some might argue that just having a thousand fans on your page is a justification for other people liking you.  The theory is that you must be good if this many people like you on Facebook.  While that may work for some people, this sheep mentality doesn’t carry much weight when your goal is to actually get folks to your gigs, sell music and merch, and build a real community around your music.

So again, don’t be stupid.  If it was meant to be that easy, you’d already be flying around on your private jet as you go from arena to arena on your sold out world tour.

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Don’t Be Stupid