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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



It’s The Little Things That Count – You Are The Press.

August 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Categories: New Music Strategies · tips for musicians |

Sidelong Glace by Patrick_Down on FlickrOver the years, I’ve sent literally hundreds of CDs to magazines and radio, in the hope of reviews and airplay. And I’ve had a quite large amount of both:

But, what is evident to anyone who experiences these things first hand, is that word of mouth – my listeners telling their friends and family about the wonderful music they’ve just discovered – is worth more than all that mainstream press put together.

That’s not to say the radio and magazines aren’t useful or wanted – I LOVE it when we get played or featured – but that the single biggest observable impact of radio and magazines is people who already know about us talking about the press we’re getting! The amount of ‘nought to 60’ discovery that happens via normal channels is statistically very small, so requires the channel to have a MASSIVE audience for it to have any recognisable impact on recognition or sales (which is why TV works still works.)

But, the bump that happens – when I send out an email telling people about the radio/magazine/website that’s featured us – is easily observable. There’s often a sales spike and an upsurge in plays on apps like Spotify or sites like Last.fm, as well as visits to the site and views on youtube.

So, this is where you can help – every time you

  • Add a video to your Facebook page (just pasting the URL into your status with a note about why you like it is GREAT)
  • Tweet a link to the album of ours you’re currently listening to,
  • Click the ‘love’ button on Last.fm
  • Click the ‘like’ or ‘add to favourites’ button on YouTube
  • Clickshare’ at the bottom of any post or page on this site and send it to one of your networks or via email
  • Take the opportunity presented by Bandcamp to let your friends on Twitter or Facebook know what you’re just downloading
  • Email a friend who you think will enjoy what we do,
  • Put the music on at a family gathering,
  • Bring friends to a show

YOU are acting as part of a movement more powerful than the massed ranks of the mainstream press.

Fan-power.

You can make a difference. It’s all about percentages. If you tell 3 people in a year about our music who then get into it, that’s a four-fold increase in our audience because of you – from one listener to four listeners. If you send a tweet to your 30 friends on twitter, and 10 of them click the link to hear what we’re doing, that’s a huge help.

photo by push...design on Flickr

Why? Because you’re not alone. The social web is empowering us all to become the recommendation engine that the press used to monopolise. I spend most of my time online telling people about great music that I find.

  • I use my Posterous blog to share links and songs and videos,
  • I tweet about them,
  • I come up with easy ways for people to share what I do and what other people do.

We no longer need to hit the streets with a pile of paper flyers to be part of a movement.

This isn’t ‘the future of music’, it’s the glorious now of music. All these tools are here, and while our friends are sitting at home feeling nostalgic but strangely unfulfilled by the latest crop of hopefuls on X-factor, we can point them to something altogether deeper, more real, more connected, more significant – great music, played by real people telling their own stories who are available to chat about it, to thank, to become friends with after we’ve heard what they do.

How great is that? Very great indeed.

miley cyrus uk street team by theskywillclear on flickr

So, at the moment, the current record for us is “Live So Far“, and our latest video is the one for Happy. So you can:

  • Share the link
  • Write a review
  • Embed it on your blog
  • Download it and give it to someone as a present
  • Play it to your friends
  • Keep a track or two from it on your phone and bluetooth it to people who you talk to about music.
  • Use all those like/love/favourite buttons that litter facebook, last.fm, youtube and vimeo.

Try it. Let’s call it an experiment. How far can our album go in a week?

I’ve no idea if this’ll be ignored, or take off in a massive way. It’s in your court.

Feel free to post a progress update in the comments below!

(all three photos in this post licensed under Creative Commons)

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Fuzzy

    Hi Steve been a while since I’ve had a rummage around this bit of the interwebs and came across this post which reminded me of this wee video of Donna Maciocia who explains mostly about the effect of podcasting but how that led to having their fans raise the money to help complete their first album. She also is with you on the posting your music on your website so fans can suss out your music which leads to more sales, more fans showing up at gigs, it just grows and grows.

    So the power of word of mouth and now extended by social networking on’t the web. More power to you and us!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XD1sGt1nNg