Periodically on this blog, I will be posting advice as to marketing and promotion. Things I’ve seen work and things I’ve seen fail miserably.
[Note: This is not meant to be a reprimand or an accusation. It is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the ramifications of doing something the easy way are not considered.]
Last night, I was cleaning out my last.fm inbox and listening to every single band who message me over the past six months or so. (I have no problem with receiving polite messages asking for a moment of my time to listen to one song). While I was on one band’s profile, I mistakenly clicked ‘edit’ instead of ‘read more’ and I found this:
This band is actually pretty good and had I missed this, might have received a write-up. I won’t even mention their name now. The time and effort they spent creating fake accounts could have been much better spent booking and playing shows. People like this are the reason that websites like IMDb have become almost impossible to edit. If things like that continue, there will come a time when musicians can’t edit their own profiles on last.fm because they can’t prove they are themselves. Do not be the person who makes that happen. It won’t benefit you or anyone else. I don’t care if you have 1 listener or 1 million. If your music is good, I will listen unless you pull a stunt like this.
Years ago, I was doing promotion for a film that was playing the festival circuit. Around halfway through, one of the producers posted on the street team forum asking everyone to make multiple accounts on a festival’s website to vote up our film and vote down all of the rest. About an hour later, the director replied and begged anyone who had done that to go back and delete those accounts and votes for fear of being disqualified and possibly removed from the festival altogether. A number of street team members were furious and left, never to return for another festival. The film didn’t win the audience favorite award but it did pick up best director and did so honestly. Three years later, that film still has not been released to the public, due in large part to the fact that its promotion team was practically non-existent after that. Your friends and supporters are some of your greatest assets and mistreating them will never get you anywhere.
It is wonderful if your film wins awards, your album has 1000s of listeners or your book is bestselling but only if you came by them honestly. I am more than willing to help anyone who has gotten where they are through hard work. All they have to do is ask.