Realistic Music Careers 101: Too Much Information
COLUMN: With the creation of the updating and micro-blogs such as Twitter, Rejaw, Plurk and Kwippy, as well as the status updates featured on sites like MySpace, Facebook, Imeem and other social sites, getting a quick message out to the masses is easier than ever. People can send a text from their phone or update from their computer and immediately send out information to the masses. But when is it too much?
Where is the line between marketing and sharing too much information? Does too much information end up hurting more than helping?
Separate your personal life from your professional life.
These microblogs provide an easily accessible means to provide others with information. However, every nugget of personal informationâ€”from what you had to dinner to the crappy day you had–may be too much information, especially when you have fans following your updates.
Separating your personal life from your professional life is a good idea that will keep the bulk of people subscribing to your updates interested and actually reading.
Maybe you have a Facebook site or something that is strictly limited to you personally. This should be the place where you can share personal information with people who know you and care. Your other internet sites–MySpace, Twitter, Last FM, Etc,– bear the weight of your profession. These are what the rest of the world will read.
Mix these two and suddenly everyone subscribed to your feed knows that you’re about to go to the gym or going for a walk at this specific park. What if you or your band has crazy stalker fans? What if by sharing personal information, you put yourself in danger? Another good reason to separate the two, don't you think?
And now for the latest
Let your band sites, your music networking sites, and your micro-blog sites all reflect things that are pertinent and related to you musically.
An effective and productive example feed may read:
– Link to pictures from our Show in NYC last week
– New blog on the latest recording sessions
– Update from the road â€“ Austin
– Show cancellation info for 3-10-09
– New song available today on Itunes
– We are on the line-up for this festival
– New video link from our Saturday show
– Link to a new article about us in The Boston Globe
– We are appearing on this TV show on this night
– Anyone know of good restaurants in Atlanta? We are playing there Friday.
– Check out the band we opened for the other night
– We are launching our new website tomorrow.
These links pique interest and I might follow them to find out more information. There aren’t excessive or irrelevant posts, so I’d probably stay subscribed to this feed.
It is true that some of the heavy-hitting celebrities have thousands of people flock to their updates just to hear that they’re out for a jog. But it’s doubtful that a new fanâ€”or even an established fan who actually, you know, has a lifeâ€”is going to want hear all of your personal thoughts on life, politics and the universe in general.
Don’t be one of unprofessionals who flood their feeds with superficial and stupid updates. If you are only putting up interesting, informative and solid updates, then you will maintain the fans and followers you already have and potentially draw others to you.
Bad examples or what not to do
These are a couple examples of pointless updates that I found on three different sites in less than five minutes.
I hate you Jim. No, well maybe a little.
Madoff pleaded Guilty; he could get one hundred years.
I'm frustrated with Twitter
Chris Brown is a dick
Is kinda bored and cant wait till tomorrow
Sitting at my computer and never going to make it in music.
You've got to let me go
No one showed up last night, our fans really suck
Watching Seinfeld and don't feel like practicing
Says go donate money so we can go out on tour
And this is one I saw yesterday and is the reason I wrote this article:
I'm going to the (band x) show alone tonight since my friends are standing me up. They suck, why doesn't someone meet me there.
This was listed on one of the sites where anyone can see anyone else's post. Upon following the link, I found this person’s music profile, their link, and their location. For the reasons I’ve already highlighted, this was not a smart move.
Astoundingly, this is very real and happening everyday. Not only can too much information be damaging to your marketing and promotions, but it can be downright dangerous.
Separate your personal life from your profession. I know that music is a passion, but I don't care what you had for lunch today. I want to be interested in what you post. I want to discover things that would make me want to buy your music and your products. I want to receive updates that are professional, but fun, as well as intriguing.
With people supplying an excess of information that might only apply to a very select few, limiting your posts can be one of the key elements that will get people to actually read your posts. Your goal is to organize your pertinent information in a manner that will optimize your marketability and bring you positive promotion and exposure. Write in order to hook new fans and to maintain the existing ones. It is the best plan and approach to get the most out of these sites.
If you still want to post about your personal life, be my guest, but do it on a site that you keep strictly personal and limit it to your friends and family. You will appear much more professional, much more interesting and you will be much more likely to have fans that will subscribe to and read your professional posts.
Watch out for Loren Weisman's book â€œThe Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Businessâ€ coming in late fall 2009.