Four good reasons: communication
My last story was all about what not to do when leading a band. Now I’m gonna focus on what’s a good practice. All of the below is my experience: as a musician, as a band former, as a PR guy and as a human being who developed many different connections with other people.
In very simple terms, it is you who’s responsible for what others speak about you. We all build our personal brands through selective social media updates. You do not post bad Instagram pictures (unless you make sure all the audience knows it’s ironic). You delete tweets with typos and drunk Facebook statuses. Your followers know you went to Sundance, your heard in the subway story has an enormous number of comments and everybody liked that selfie with your mum posted on Mother’s Day. What the followers don’t know isthe debt on your credit card and your dermatitis.
Offline is a bit more complicated: you cannot plan in spontaneous relationships with people. It’s ok not to post on Facebook but your real life friends will easily find the reasons for all the decisions you make. And they will do it having a limited information, filling it with their own guesswork or hurt egos — and in the most instances, these stories will picture you in a completely different light to what would you prefer. This is how the gossip works.
What is has to do with a band? You want the people to talk about your music, your style and its evolution. If something bad’s happening, you need them to know your side of the story first. Dżindżer projekt (my original band) listeners, who got used to our old style, were shocked when we replaced the bass guitar with a synthesizer and re-arranged our music completely. But we informed about it using our media and explained it further in one or two interviews. So later, during the live show, no-one was disappointed with the new style. What’s more, we created a positive buzz around the new fashion.
Speak only about what’s interesting to your followers. If you don’t have huge names in the band, skip the info that Kuba will not replace Bartek on the lead guitar. Don’t post that inspiring bootleg of an unknown 90s band. This is relevant for you but not for your audience. We did that, so I know what I’m saying.
I’ve complained lastly about our naive image, but a consistent communication like celebrating the small wins (local newspaper coverage, 1000 likes, being shared on some Georgian blog…) steadily influenced the approach towards us. Our presence was clear, our success was consequent, and our ambitions were high.
I’m going to elaborate on this is the future, but warming DP2.0 up I use a lot of tools to be on the top of what people speak about it. One of them is this blog. The second one is a newsletter:
The plan was now to move the next reasons but the article would be enormous. Therefore, let me split the content into 4 pieces. For the next episode, I’ll talk about people — and how to approach them.