Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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

September 14, 2005

Why Your Audience Needs You

I just read something that literally gave me chills as I absorbed the significance of it. In a recent blog post, Joe Taylor Jr. described how many of his clients had expressed a feeling of insignificance after watching all the events related to Hurricane Katrina.

Musicians asked him questions like "Why is anybody going to listen to my music when they're glued to CNN?" or "Will anyone even come to my show if they're spending all their money on overpriced gasoline?"

Joe explained that these are all understandable questions to ask. Then he issued the following challenge:

Your audience needs you today, more than they have ever needed you before.

You possess gifts that deserve to be shared with as many people as possible.

This week, like the weeks that try us all in private or in public, should remind you that your talents are more rare and more valuable than you believe. Sure, you might surf every indie music weblog and bulletin board around, and maybe everyone you hang out with is a musician just like you. I know that it can sometimes feel like everyone is trying to do the same things as you are.

Pull back to the satellite view with me for a minute.

Very, very few people on this planet understand how to play an instrument, write a song, or even stand in front of an audience. You didn't get these gifts by accident.

Now, more than ever, is the time for you to share those gifts.

Send that newsletter to express your sympathy for audience members and loved ones touched by tragedy. Unite your audience to help relief efforts. Show them -- by your example -- that the world keeps spinning.

Later in the post, Joe adds this wisdom:

Finally, entertain your audience. Let them escape into your world through your music, your lyrics, your art, and your craft. If you sing about the world and political affairs, let your audience use your shows to share their grief and their anger. If you sing about love and fun and happy days, let your audience come to you for a well-earned respite from the depressing and bizarre news of the world.

As with all things about your music career, the relationship with your audience is the most crucial factor. Putting aside all of our usual discussion of achieving success and breaking away from a boring day job, your audience needs you right now. If you take the time to read this note, you are a beacon, a leader, and a shining example to at least ONE person in your audience -- whether you believe it yet or not.

Awesome! Thanks for this important reminder, Joe.

posted by Bob Baker @ 11:33 AM   3 comments


At Sep 15, 2005 1:08:00 AM, Blogger David Hooper said...

In another example that great minds think alike, I just added an entry to my blog about this very email.

You mention being "an optimist and a possibility thinker" and I think, strangely enough, Katrina is something that I think has helped to show us what is possible. If you believe the media, there was a lot of "bad" going on, but that's not new for New Orleans and all I saw was the same clip over and over again.

Katrina also brought out the best in people. That doesn't sell advertising though and won't help Fox's pro-Bush agenda.

More thoughts here...

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

Yeah, I don't remember this often enough. I sometimes struggle with the meaning of what I'm doing vs. world events, etc. But your article helps me keep perspective, thanks! - I, NY

At Nov 14, 2005 9:20:00 PM, Anonymous Rad-Z said...

Powerful powerful and inspired words that every indie artist should achieve and believe


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