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Thread: Brutal Honesty please...

  1. #1

    Brutal Honesty please...

    Hi there,

    We're on a quest for self improvement and are keen to hear peoples honest thoughts about our tunes and shows. We've attached our vid from one of our gigs and would really appreciate your thoughts. Also, check out our Myspace for our other tracks and details. All opinions welcome so don't be shy..


    YouTube - Confusion by karma fx, live at the Newport Hotel Fremantle

  2. #2
    Honestly, I am at a loss as to what you expect: A Music Critique (off topic) or Promotion advice (on topic).

    You can have everything musically for success and poor promotion can effectively destroy that potential. The brutal honest truth is bands just love to sacrifice commercial success on the altar of artistic freedom -- and that fully and completely extends to horrific site design. And I am talking about design so bad it acts like Teflon for cash. It's like the band is made of money repellent.

    Want some brutal honesty? Separate the art from the business or you'll drive anyone offering you advice nuts.

    Myspace may be the place for bands to be. The layout leaves a lot to be desired for fruitful promotion of a band. Layout is like a junk drawer, with little to signal the site visitor where to start or how to move through the design to find what they want.

    There are a large number of techniques for making a band successful. Get with a marketer. Develop a sane promotion and marketing plan with the express goal of making money. Then do those successful things that bands who know how to use the internet do to make money. Do not do what bands with a five million dollar recording contract through offline means do on the internet.

    First concept is developing your fan club and merchandising plan. That means membership fees and stuff for sale and finding out exactly what works and what does not. Get with a designer and either set up a better Myspace layout or drive traffic to a separate site you can develop better.

    Stop thinking "if the fans love me they'll just spontaneously send me all the money I need." That's do-you-want-fries-with-that thinking.

  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply. We really appreciate your thoughts and you've helped us develop our thinking and our promotion plan. I'm keen to know if you have any bands in mind with "Successful" band websites. Can you point me in the right direction? And what are your ideas around the fan memberships, I really like the idea of that and building that base. Are you happy to share some more thoughts?

    Cheers again, appreciated.

    Karma fx

  4. #4
    Can you point me in the right direction? And what are your ideas around the fan memberships, I really like the idea of that and building that base. Are you happy to share some more thoughts?
    Sure. But you're not ready for the "to do" list yet. Let me put it this way: When clicking the player on your Myspace page doesn't lock up my browser (FF 3.6.6), we'll talk.

    So, your particular don'ts might be:

    1. Don't lock up the user's browser
    2. Don't make the site's "information scent" confusing
    3. Don't do what Radiohead did with In Rainbows, even when everyone is saying what a big success it was

    What makes sense is not going to come from the answers in the back of the "Band Promotion Book." Someone is going to have to take a look at your band, figure out an identity, then sort through and test out methods that fit your way of relating to your fans.

    Due to some rather extreme incompetence in testing and results, it's better to make up a list and run through a string of viable variations until you figure out what's really working or not. And we're talking an integrated plan spanning both offline and online endeavors.

    The CD ties in with and "promotes" concerts, and the concerts tie it with and promote merchandise, and how the membership package is designed promotes merchandise and concerts and CDs, and word-of-mouth.

    What works for Madonna ain't gonna work for Gwar or Insane Clown Posse Juggalos. (Little hint: When they're calling themselves "lil monsters" 'n' stuff, your promotion plan is working. Contrary to graphic design lore, that phenomenon there is an identity.)
    Last edited by D856C; 24-09-2010 at 01:10 PM.

  5. #5
    It's amazing how many different places you can find inspiration for your musical career. I was reading a book on copywriting, when I came across some great tips. I adapted them for musicians.
    1. Never tell anyone you're not successful. Always say you are. Success is a relative term. Are you successful? At what? You're playing live. Yes, you are successful compared to other musicians who aren't. There are a helluva lot who don't get out of the practice room. So believe in yourself. You are a success!
    2. Write thank-you notes...even for the smallest reason. Thank venues. Thank other bands. Thank agents. Thank individuals. Thank everyone!

    3. Offer old clients new ideas. If you've had people book you before. Contact them every six months. See if they have need of your services again. If not, see if they know anyone. Chances are they do.
    4. It's better to work for a little money than not to work at all. How many small businesses might consider throwing down $25 to have live music. Yeah. The pay sucks, but IF you need more gigs to start building a profile at least you will make something. This also opens you up to focus your efforts on businesses that have steady stream of clients... high profile. So book it. You'll make a few bucks and Feel more professional. Plus, you'll get your name out there better. Just remember to focus on promotion. Have business cards ready and play your best. Some of our best gigs have come from referrals at high profile unpaid gigs. Sad, but true.

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