Because it’s all about you. You only care about yourself and your band.
There are only two times someone will buy or invest time or energy into something. When it’s a necessity, or when they gain value from it.
Musicians, I hate to break it to you, but your music is not a necessity. I have an iPhone with limitless amounts of music on it that is probably better than yours anyway. Nobody NEEDS your music. But, the good news is, you can still make people WANT your music by providing some sort of value to them.
The problem is, 99% of musicians don’t provide value to anyone but themselves. Handing out a free CD, tagging someone on facebook or asking someone to listen to your music provides zero value or purpose to the consumer, it only provides value to yourself as an artist. Gaining one more listen, share or “like” is only meaningful to you. The listener gains absolutely nothing. And yet, I look around and that is all I see musicians doing. Spamming facebook, handing out free CD’s to strangers, posting thousands of images Instagram of their newest youtube videos, it doesn’t work! Those posts do absolutely nothing for the consumer.
I’m so tired of bands thinking I (or a “consumer” in general) am dumb enough to believe that they actually care about me. I know that you don’t. By getting me to listen to your music you’re hoping I’ll buy it so you can make 10 cents.
But you’re working backward.
I’m the consumer, it should be about ME. Your goal should be to please me, not yourself. The mind’s of musicians (and everyone else) are self-centered. That’s the reason so few bands succeed. Why do you think Taylor Swift has gone out of her way on multiple occasions to sing at weddings or visit children in the hospital? Because she’s not thinking about selling albums or how she can benefit from something. She is too busy providing value to others in a real way. In return, she is one of the highest paid artists in the game right now.
I guarantee if a band went into the bar that they were playing a show at, bought drinks for a few people and sat down and talked about something that wasn’t related to their own personal music, they would sell at least double the amount of merch that night rather than the band who sat backstage, played their set and then asked people to meet them at the merch table. I know that I personally would go and buy a t-shirt or at the very least sign up for the band’s email list if someone went out of their way to come have a meaningful conversation with me.
Guess how many times that’s actually happened?
One time was I at a show when the singer came up to my girlfriend and I, asked our names, where we were from and held a great conversation regarding the night and the local music scene. It wasn’t until he went on stage that I even knew he was in a band. I immediately went and bought a t-shirt and have been to their shows every time they’re in town.
I felt valued.
So bands, please, stop wasting so much energy on being professional spammers and start to think about how you would like to be sold to. I promise it will work out better for you in the long run.