Music Marketing Advice: Be a Friend First, Artist Last

Some of My Best Friends Are Artists (t-shirt)
Some of My Best Friends Are Artists (t-shirt)

First, I want to say thanks to everyone’s feedback and criticism on my “value of relationships” piece. Personal connections are a lot more powerful than I have been willing to accept, because I used to feel as if superior talent and skill should carry an individual to greatness. Well, talent and skill are fairly subjective in nature when it comes to the arts. I mean, initially, it is to easy to distinguish what may be good or bad in the most basic of stages, but as one delves deeper into minuscule details it becomes an issue of taste. While I may not dig Mike Jones‘ music, I cannot hate on the thousands of people that do. It is just time to concede that there is room for everyone to get a little limelight.

Here at Frying in Vein, we recognize everyone’s entitlement to creative expression, whether we like it or not. If someone else thinks it is good, then let it be so. This doctrine is what makes the current music industry a befuddling mess. If we can just let anyone make music and expect to be considered a good musician based on one vote, then how do you set yourself apart from the pack? Well… it’s simple really, treat your artistry like a church and build a ministry on it. Evangelists are going to be your best weapons in blowing up in your respective music scenes.

Consider this a continuation of the message I tried to convey in my surface review of Mayer Hawthorne’s A Strange Arrangement. Basically, I find the music I enjoy the most these days are records that I have a personal connection with the artists. While most of these artists are at least acquaintances and many times good friends, connections can be had through reading a bio and identifying with it or checking out an interview and appreciating whatever the act has to say. This connection pushes me to want to share. Whether it be the story behind the music or how cool the artist is, it does not matter. It goes hand-in-hand with PR, “any news is good news.”

I write this from the perspective of “the fan.” You know, those people that you seek to make you feel cool and possibly make you rich or something. While I dabble in music myself, I am not thinking like an artist when I talk about relationship building and how important it is in the Internet Age.

Think about it. How many shows have you gone to where a really subpar artist seemingly had the best show because he/she/they brought the most people to cheer on their performance? I bet that made you so mad, right? Now does your anger ever make you wonder how that person/group got so many people to attend his/her/their performance?

My position on this whole scenario is this, friends are the best thing you can have as an artist. You should be trying to make as many quality connections as you can. We all know what friends do for one another. Why not leverage that power? Instead of spending so much time telling people to “buy [your] stuff,” why not spend more time making real connections with real people?

Again, think about organized religion and how they gain millions of followers based on the zeal of real people. I wish Billy Graham would co-sign my art; I would be made for life! In short, your friends can be your biggest evangelists.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Hit me up in the comments below.

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