You’ve Got 3 Seconds
Updated: Sep 5
I don't talk a lot about what it takes to market and promote myself as a performer and teacher. There are people around who are way better at it than me. Some of them even market themselves as marketers.
I need to be paid, but I'm more interested in the content I produce than I am in promoting and monetizing it, so I'm not promoting myself as a marketer, but as a guitarist and teacher. Whatever skills and knowledge I have relative to marketing and promotion are secondary and driven by necessity, not passion. However, I have learned a little bit over the years and have written a few things if you're interested:
Early in April of this year (2023) I received a Facebook friend request from a woman I didn't know claiming to be a music promoter. I went to her profile and it seemed legit. So I accepted.
A few days after that, I got a private message from a musician friend asking me about her; he had received a friend request from her as well and noticed me as a mutual friend. I told him,
"I don't have time to really vet everybody who sends me a request. I go to their profile and take a quick look to see if there's anything obvious that would cause me to decline. Her page looked legit but she wasn't from around here, so I accepted thinking it was nothing; she's probably just following friends lists of musicians. I agree with you that she's fishing for numbers to make her page look good."
A few days later, on April 16, I got a PM from her:
"Hey what's up" - no punctuation.
I responded simply, "👍" and ignored it.
8 days later, on the 24th, I got the identical message and responded the same. She was more persistent this time:
If she's smart I'll never hear from her again; she shouldn't waste any more time on me, I'm not what she's shooting for.
I went back to her FaceBook profile and dug a little deeper; she's 25 years old. So I'm guessing she's a beginner in this game and trying to get this marketing and promotion business off the ground. I decided not to unfriend her; I felt a little compassion, maybe it's misplaced but I decided to send her one last message - a little fatherly advice if you will:
Apparently, I know more about marketing and promotion than she does. You can go to school for that. One of my sons did. I have a nephew that studied marketing and promotion as part of his business degree. I've got none of that; my school was life and hard knocks, lots of mistakes, wasted money and experience. Some of that story is in The Fun Has Not Yet Gone Away.
For instance, I know that, statistically, you have 3 seconds. That’s all you’ve got to snag the person from a marketing perspective.
"Hey what's up" - you've just used 2 of your 3 seconds.
Let's say I go for her pitch:
According to her profile, her pitch is for Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud promotion. Think about the market she's shooting for - DIY artists without a record label or business management team, but are serious enough that they already have music recorded. They might have their own record label, publishing company and BMI or ASCAP affiliation - I have all these things, and have had them for decades. You can already find my music on all the major platforms.
So she needs to be able to do marketing and promotion better than me. That's not a tall order because I'm not very good at it. But her opening pitch, "Hey what's up" doesn't inspire any confidence that she can.
She needs to get me to at least suspect that she can do promotion better than me, and she has 3 seconds to do it.
On the other hand, what do I know?
Maybe she knows exactly what she's doing and I have fallen right in line with her agenda. By accepting her friend request she has added me to her numbers, which makes her profile as a promoter look more impressive.
Then, just 5 days later, on the same thread, I get the same opener,
"Hey what's up"
"Read the thread," I said.
Ok, that makes me think she's (or, "he's") a scammer. This is a classic scammer mistake; same opener on an already established thread. The mark falls for the YouTube promotion spiel, sends money for the promotion and there ya go.
It appears my compassion was misplaced. I considered unfriending her (him?) but decided not to. Some things have popped up in my feed that are consistent with marketing/promotion activities. So...maybe she's legit.
Remember I told her that her opener is used by pornographers? The fact of the matter is, pornography has been on the cutting edge of using the internet for marketing and promotion since its inception. A huge percentage of the marketing technology used today was pioneered by the porn industry.
Here's a blog from that world: 5 Marketing Tips I Learned From Working in Porn.
Maybe, "Hey what's up" is the statistically time-tested and proven best-ever opening line in marketing and promotion history.
It should be shortened to, "S'up".
Now you've got 2 more seconds instead of just one.
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