Every so often a small topic comes up that needs addressing…or some discussion at a minimum. Small things don’t need a whole blog post, so here’s a potpourri of little things that make a difference in your music career.
As a rule, (there’s always an exception, of course) music insiders do not put much value in the content of ReverbNation and other sites of similar nature. There are good, solid reasons for this. Music pros are not on a scavenger hunt to hear your music. If you want someone to listen, ask if you can send them your favorite cut and see what the response is.
Further, by relying heavily on sites like Reverb, what you’re doing is building their credibility and their brand over and above your own. As an indie artist, your brand is the priority. Keep that in mind.
Many times a day people ask me to vote on something. Fans are your primary target within the realm of accumulating votes. When you send a music pro a request to listen, like, vote, or whatever, you have wasted your time and potentially made a weak impression. The intent behind such strategies is to build or accumulate data that you can then take to a music pro. Instead of asking them to join your fan base in voting, ask the music pro if you can give them the data alongside the music to see if it is useful to them.
Both topics addressed above bring up a more important issue. Most of the requests that I get, (other music pros have expressed this as well) come from people totally out of the blue. They haven’t tried to even say hello. This is a basic infraction that many indies should avoid at all costs. In essence, they are handing me a homework assignment with a pop quiz that I didn’t sign up for. My time is valuable and so is the time of other music insiders. Being respectful of their time will get you much further than arbitrary requests.
On Twitter, there seems to be a misconception about the number of followers vs. the number of people followed. Artists without an established career or name recognition show a great deal of narcissism when they follow very few people and expect many to follow them. This is social media folks, not anti-social media. Engagement is the name of the game.
For every person who requests that I follow them on Twitter and Facebook, I check out their profile, links, location, and their thread. For those that don’t indicate where they’re located, they’ve missed a great opportunity to engage. I understand that some profiles are written with creative intent. Telling me your location is planet Earth however, is not helpful to me or anyone else.
Time and time again, when asked to visit someone’s website, (I almost always answer the request) there is often a huge disconnect when music is on auto-play entering an artist’s site. Usually I’m already listening to something else and suddenly I have to log out of one or both places because two different pieces of music are bleeding together. The assumption that being hit with your music is somehow going to endear you to me is a double-edge sword. If I am really impressed with what I “choose” to listen to, I’ll get back to you, and you have my word on that.
Above all remember that music is a business, and there is a certain etiquette required before you hit someone up to do you any favors that require the investment of their time. Being polite will put you head and shoulders above the competition.