Remember when I said a few articles back that despite all appearances, nobody cares about your music? I still stand by at statement – and in fact, there’s a whole lot more to it than initially meets the eye. Not only does nobody care about your music – but if you overmarket yourself then you are going to be on the losing side of things yet again. While there certainly is no such thing as bad press in my opinion (Especially in a day and age that has a diminishing market for negative critique) the key word there is ‘press’ – a word that implies other people are writing about you because you see, writing to much about yourself is almost guaranteed to hurt you.
There’s a couple of key ways that you can generate negative opinions about your band by posting to much. The first, and most obvious is that people get sick of seeing your Facebook statuses about your music. By all means post tour dates, a few cool live pics that your friend snapped, or things of that ilk, but constantly sharing memes encouraging people to buy music (Even worse – specifically your music) Or overposting on Facebook begging people to come out to your shows is only going to get people pissed off. If they are interested in underground and local music they probably have a whole bunch of bands that they are into – and while yours may be on of them, oversaturating relative strangers with content is not usually the way to win their favor. On a similar note – mass messages to Facebook friends and fans is rarely going to ed well either. While it certainly could be valid doing it no re han once a year will keep you in your friends good graces.
The same goes for PR campaigns. While getting multiple PR campaigns at once is often a good idea, I feel like capping it at two is probably your best bet unless you know that they are going after different markets. I’ve had multiple media friends complain to me about bands who hit them up to much, it’s easy to forget when you’re in a small local scene that people like me get hundreds if not thousands of records in a week. There’s only so much that a guy can do though. I cover something like five hundred to seven hundred and fifty bands a year, which is a heck of a lot if you don’t mind me saying – but that’s really just the number of bands who get in touch with me in a two week period. If a band keeps nagging me to cover them and filling up my inbox I am almost inevitably going to get frustrated and block them as a sender. This isn’t because I’m a dick, it’s because I have a whole bunch of stuff to write about and until you definitively prove to me that your band is worth it I am not going to be willing to cover you. I don’t think this is because I’m a jerk, but just because I am so gosh darn busy.
It’s easy to see where a lot of this stemmed from though. Ever since Facebook made it a lot harder for bands to get their content out in front of their fans it’s become a dog eat dog and every man for himself kind of world. And that’s actually really scary. I don’t think that anyone wants to have to cut their friends throat in order to survive, but we’re getting to the point where it increasingly looks like we don’t really have a choice. You need to pay quite a bit to get the word about your band out there and then when you do that people call you a poser. Of course – that’s just what the Man wants. What you need to do is to look at this pain and instead use your platform to promote your friends bands. Yes, you need to be careful to become ‘that guy’ in the worst sense of the term – but you do need to be someone who actively contributes to your scene.
It’s increasingly difficult to get the good word of your music out there these days, and I don’t really blame you for hiring to many PR companies or posting to much about your band. It really is annoying to other people though and it’s going to make them less likely to work with you it simply makes you look unprofessional, and non of us can afford that. There’s an appropriate way to write about your own music. If you’re not sure how – just look at the Facebook pages of your realest and most successful friends. They’re probably full of self promotion, but also dotted with moments of self deprecating humor and more often than not a very real bitterness that probably needs to be treated, that’s a different story though.
What I’m trying to say is that while it’s great that you are using your own social media pages to promote your band, you need to be careful with how much you do it. None of my friends in major signed bands post about their own group more than once or twice a week, and they never ask for people to buy their records. Instead they share pictures of their rehearsals or silly moments from the studio. They don’t share their own songs or write long treatises about how music was better back in their day. They’ve figured this stuff out on their own, and you slowly need to do hat too. It’s not an easy process and it’s certainly one that is easy to mess up – but by the end, people will appreciate working with you more because thy don’t feel like you are trying to shove your product down their throats.
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