Pretending to be more than you are - Lying in marketing. 
May 26, 2009
Loren Weisman in artists, bands, loren, marketing, music marketing, musicians, promoting, weisman

You need to professionally present yourself, your music and your career.  Your recording, promotion, marketing as all your soliciting materials and legal materials need to be done the right way. A strong professional package and promotional presence goes a very long way while a fake or weak presence will hurt you more than you know. Too many bands out there are trying to paint a picture they can't live up to and it is hurting much more than helping them. 

Everyone wants to look a little more pro and a little more together than they actually are. Presentation is key, but the problem lies in the fake presentations that just don’t balance out. While you are trying to look a little sharper, stronger and better, you are actually doing exactly the opposite. 

Think about what impresses you and why. Then think about what is considered strong in the industry. Think about what is impressive on a more professional and business level. Lean towards a mix of something in the middle. There are artists out there that brag about the cars, the jewelry, the money and the fame before they make it. They have major labels or investors that are giving them all the materials they are bragging about. 

Now, when you talk about your “ride” being the best but you are sporting a broken down Toyota, this sends a negative message. The other artist you are emulating has the label or investors behind him to basically live up to the hype. You, on the other hand, are failing miserably. 

It’s the same when a majorly invested artist brags about their sales and profits. There is a marketing campaign behind some of these artists that in turn will make these sales actually meet the hype. Now, for most people, when they talk about all the sales and are barely scraping by, it does not look strong. 

You want to stand out, you want to appear professional, while at the same time showing your own personality to an industry that is full of copycats and liars. Yes, there are molds and templates, parts of which can be beneficial, but do you really want to be just another copycat?

For example …In the “do you really want to be that guy or that girl?” category..

Do you really want to take the promo shots of you on the phone? 

Come on! How many poser looking people take shots of themselves on the phone looking like they are doing business while trying to pull of a “cool” pose at the same time? I don’t care if you are an artist, a manager, a label rep or anyone else, taking a picture of yourself on the phone is overused, overdone and only makes you look like a poser. 

You really want to do that?

Instead….

What about shots of you on a typewriter, with a bullhorn, giving off the town crier vibe or something a little more original that might give off that cool business sense you are trying for, but adding a touch of something different.

Do you really want to be that asshole with the excessive bling?

The jewelry shots: because that is so original. It is so overdone. At one point, it was impressive, but now it's gone completely over the top. 

You really want to do that?

Instead..

Go minimal, try something else clothing or accessory wise. Try something that will make your picture look like yours and not the carbon copy of a hundred thousands of others. 

Do you really want to be the guys surrounded by the girls…like EVERYONE DOES?

What about all the scantily clad women around the artist? Because again, no one has ever seen thousands of these pictures. 

You really want to do that?

Instead..

Come on, have your picture, image or ideas stick out from the bland and repetitive. Maybe go opposite and have a bunch of old men around you. I know, a little weird, but still, a touch different.  

Do you really want to be the band or artist to brag, put down and over talk?

Think of all the overly hyped intros of songs and all the shit talking in the blogs, on the websites and on the networking sites. So very unoriginal and so very annoying. 

I am the best!

No one can touch me

We don’t sound like anyone.

All the girls want to be with me, all the guys want to be me.

You really want to do that?

Instead..

How about coming across confident and assertive with out being arrogant.  That would be a serious breath of fresh air. Show and showcase your ability through the ability and not through trash talking, overhyping or, worst of all, putting other people down. 

Do you really want to be the liar with the fake music business?

There are way too many people out there making one of the biggest mistakes you can make: claiming to run a label, a management group or be an agency when they actually aren’t. 

People out there calling themselves CEO’s that are not even incorporated are trying to look all cool and hip, but to the industry, they look like morons. People implying that they have these intense and immense organizations that are looking to sign artists or have contacts to all the major labels put up a grat deal of red flags to the industry professionals. While a couple girls and a few fans might think it is cool. You are actually hurting yourself and your chances. 

First off, the upper level industry may shy away from you thinking that you are either a real organization that will only make it harder to work with you and add additional middle men and additional trouble. Or they may take a quick look and realize that you are not a real company at all, losing you their respect. 

Finding out whether or not a company is real is very simple.  All you have to do is go to the attorney general's website for that state or run a national search with the name of the company. As soon as it does not come up, you immediately have started up in fifth gear with the bad impression. 

You really want to do that?

Instead..

Tell the truth or start an LLC, a small company or a sole proprietorship. Make it legal. Make your words match the facts and help make you look like a true pro, regardless of where you are. 

Conclusion 

It's funny how sometimes what we think is making us look really good or really professional is actually doing the exact opposite. What is lame to you when you are making fun of someone for doing any of the above is probably just as lame if you look in the mirror and realize you are doing the same lame thing yourself.

Take the steps to stand out as professionally as you can, as creatively as you can and as originally as you can. Use the ideas that work, but add your personal touch to them. In an industry where it has all been done and seen before, the more you can alter, adapt and add to anything and make it a bit different than others, you will display the truest level of professionalism and show how you are more than many by your actions and your truths instead of your lies and your fake presence. 

 

 

Loren Weisman is an accomplished music producer and drummer based in Seattle, Washington. Having worked on over three hundred albums, Loren has also worked on numerous television, film, video game and radio productions, from New York to Los Angeles, Boston to Seattle. Loren is the founder of Brain Grenade Entertainment LLC, and the author of the Freedom Solutions Recording Plan. Loren has also written “The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Business”, a book to help independent musicians achieve self sufficient and sustainable success.

 

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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