Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

News, notes and ideas on music marketing, self-promotion, artist empowerment and more

July 22, 2005

Connecting With Music People Who Matter

If you don't know my indie marketing philosophy by now, here it is in a nutshell: Your #1 priority is to connect with fans. The more the merrier. Your #2 priority is to connect with people who can help you connect with even more fans.

Of course, other success factors include great music, a great live show, dedication, passion and integrity. But all of these factors and priorities will be greatly affected by the quality of your people skills -- your ability to communicate and establish meaningful relationships (and I'm not talking dating here :-)

For some tips on this topic, I'll turn to my friend Scott Ginsberg, author of The Power of Approachability. In one of his recent articles, he discussed the Top Ten Ways to Maximize Your Approachability.

Here's Scott's advice on breaking the ice when meeting someone new at a networking function:

In the event that one of those Fruitless Questions like "How's it going?" "What's up?" or "How are you?" comes up, don't fall into the "fine" trap ... A great technique is to offer a Flavored Answer to a Fruitless Question. Instead of "fine," try "Amazing!" "Any better and I'd be twins!" or "Everything is beautiful."

Your conversation partner will instantly change his or her demeanor as they smile and, most of the time, inquire further to find out what made you say that answer. Because nobody expects it. And offering a true response to magnify the way you feel is a perfect way to share yourself with others, or "make yourself personally available" to others.

So what if you're a social and promotional introvert? Scott says "have no fear" regarding the negative thoughts that go through your head:

They won't say hello back to me. They won't be interested in me. I will make a fool of myself. This is the number one reason people don't start conversations. However, practice will make this fear fade away. The more often you you start conversations, the better you will become at it. So, be the first to introduce yourself or say hello. When you take an active instead of a passive role, your skills will develop and there will be less of a chance for rejection. Also understand the gains vs. losses. For example, what's so bad about a rejection from someone you don't even know?

Finally, Scott stresses the need to give people communication options:

Your friends, colleagues, customers and coworkers will choose to communicate with you in different ways. Some will choose face to face, some will email, others will call, while others will do a little of everything. The bottom line is: make all of them available. On your business cards, email signatures, web sites or marketing materials, let people know that can get in touch with you in whatever manner they choose. Sure, you might prefer email. But what matters most is the comfort of the other person and their ability to communicate effectively.

Great advice. Use it to meet more fans -- and the people who can help you meet more fans.

posted by Bob Baker @ 12:32 PM   1 comments


At Oct 18, 2005 10:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is really true, the fans matter most. I sort of found myself distracted after doing a show, thinking about a million things, but it's important to keep connecting w/fans a priority, no matter what. - I, NY


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