Over Promotion and Promotional Etiquette

19 May

Over-promotion. It’s a fact of life. On social media, or any platform for that matter. Billboards, newspapers, magazines, television and even your cell phone.

However, there is no doubt, promotions, advertisements and messages are least welcome when you are not opting-in.

Just because you co-exist on social media or share a cell phone number with a promoter — does that mean you have opted-in to receive their messages?

This is the crux of an oft-heated debate.

Of course, most people expect, and understand, that they will see an ad in a newspaper, on television, or in a magazine. Once you pick up the paper, or turn on the TV, you have opted-in to both the content and the advertisements that pay for it.

Opt-in = expect and understand.

Social media is a different story, for most people, it’s a personal space. So what really ruffles the average persons proverbial feathers isn’t the ads in the header or on the sides, its the user-generated over-promotion, getting all up in their personal space.

But wait! Didn’t you accept that persons friendship? Are you not saying by accepting, or making, that request that you are that persons friend, and that you accept that person for who they are, on and off-line?

Ahh, yes and no. It’s all about the etiquette.

Recently, I read for about the tenth time in the last year, someone complaining about receiving dozens of promotions in their Facebook inbox. They posted their complaint on their wall, which rallied others to chime in on this matter as well. There was an overwhelming response of annoyance.

I understand. I am frequently annoyed by the over-promotion as well. So what is the etiquette? What is that balance between annoyance and acceptance?

Let us examine this, here are the two most common issues:

Hijack-A-Feed
One post a few times a week leading up to you event should be fine, sure, you know that posts get buried after a while, but some people may not have as many friends as you, so your multiple posts will start piling up. Annoyance can quickly turn to resentment and no one is going to support anyone they resent.

No One Likes Spam
You create an event, and you send out an invitation. Some people didn’t respond, and some people never will, and even those that do RSVP sometimes do so to get you, the promoter, out of their hair. One follow-up message is fine, but multiple invites is like ringing someone’s phone, over and over. They are not picking up, ok. Give it up.

Inspiration and the Entrepreneur

13 May

I recently overheard a colleague getting a bit down on herself, just feeling the common frustration of an entrepreneur, trying to do great things and make ends meet. Most of us, especially the DIYers, have felt this way at some point in our journey and it inspired me to pen a few mantras for the frustrated entrepreneur.

#1 Believe in yourself.

    You don’t need to have all of the answers. There will be ups and there will be downs, in anything you do, in every area of your life. Clearly identify your dream and stay with it. You will be fine.

#2 Its all about balance.

    Not getting to high when things are rolling, but still enjoying it. Not beating yourself up to bad when things are taking a turn for the worse, humble yourself and learn from it.

#3 The 80/20 rule.

    If you give anything your best shot, with a little common sense, a lot of purpose and with the best interest of everyone involved in mind, most of the time, things will be just fine.

#4 You will be a great success.

The Art of Promotion – Deep Thoughts, Take 1

12 May

Promoting a local show is a lot like announcing a new business venture, who cares?

No really, who cares? Not in a sigh, shrug and give up kind of way — but in a genuinely inquisitive, prospecting adventure, kind of way!

Lets start with the basics:

    Who typically goes to these kind of shows?
    Where do these people congregate?
    Does the band that you are promoting have a good connection with fans in the community, on social media platforms, etc.?
    Is there a story to tell about this band or show that is PR worthy?

The closer you can be to this bands circle of influence the better chance you have at turning someone on to your show. In other words, people who are closest to the band, or the music community that this band relates to, have the greatest chance of showing interest in talking up and coming out to your show.

Once you figure out who these “low hanging fruit” prospects are, make sure you are communicating with them. Don’t just expect them to show up, you still have work to do, if you truly are interested in making your event a success.

    Handbills at the shows they attend.
    Posters at the places they hang out.
    Messages on their social networks.
    Messages from the bands.

You get the picture. Communicate, communicate, communicate with the people who should be the biggest fans, because chances are they will be the most likely to support you.

Ah, but here’s the tough one, the fringe group. These are the people who don’t know about your show, or the band you are trying to promote, and frankly, they don’t care… yet.

Why should they care? Why would they want to change their usual routine, whatever that may be, to go to your show. This is the question that you must ask yourself. You need to compel these people to let you into their world and change their routine, and believe me, that is hard to do!

So what does it take?

    Is it your passionate plea?
    Are you helping them relate to this unknown artist with similar artists they may know?
    Are you creating a unique event that they may want to check out because you have peeked their curiosity?
    Are they your friend, or acquaintance and they are willing to support you even if they do not know what they are walking into?

Chances you are going to have to figure out who you know in their circle of influence and is that mutual acquaintance willing to help you convince them? It’s no easy task, but it is vital to your success.

A successful show has a healthy mix of regulars and newbies. The regulars may be the easiest to convince, but never take for granted that they will just show up. Put in the effort. The people on the fringe may be the most challenging, and time consuming to capture, but if, and when they do show up, don’t forget to convert them into to regulars!

*Replace the word show/bands with new business venture/product

A New Project For Music Education!

7 May

I am excited to announce that I am working on a new project with legendary Sacramento musician/educator Harley White Jr.

The project is called “Louis and The Wolf.”

In this project, the 1936 Sergei Prokofiev symphony, Peter and The Wolf, will be adapted and reimagined to incorporate the instruments, players and history of Jazz music with Louis Armstrong taking the place of the stories main character. Hence, “Louis and The Wolf.”

This innovative program would serve as an introduction to Jazz music, reigniting a connection to an important musical heritage while compensating for lost music and arts education programming in our schools and communities.

There are more details to come, but in the meantime, we have created a fundraising event to help get this amazing music and arts education project off the ground.

About the event:

Concerts 4 Charity Presents

A Very Special Benefit for Music and Arts Education featuring: Harley White Orchestra and a Caravan of All-Stars including: Tais, Aaron King, Anthony Coleman and many more TBA!

Thursday, May 20th
Townhouse Lounge, 1517 21st Street, Sacramento
8PM // 21+

Here is a link to the event on Facebook:

Hope to see you here!

Concerts 4 Charity

1 Apr

As I mentioned in my introduction, my personal mission is to help foster a healthy independent music and arts community in Sacramento by supporting and developing music and arts education projects, putting on great shows and supporting working musicians and artists.

Here are just some of the events, projects and ideas I am working on through Concerts 4 Charity.

Sacramento Latin Music and Arts Festival

Concerts 4 Charity has teamed up with the Sacramento Latin Music and Art Festival to produce a world-class event celebrating the Latino culture while raising money to develop an arts education organization called Teatro Nagual, to introduce innovative arts education programs to schools in the Sacramento area.

The SLMAF will take place on October 2nd, 2010 during Hispanic Heritage Month. This family friendly event will include a variety of musical and theatrical performances, sumptuous cuisines, art exhibits and activities highlighting the history, tradition and heritage of the Latino culture.

A strong PR and three-phase marketing plan along with an innovative sponsorship program will provide businesses, community organizations and community partners with a strong platform to interact with our target audience throughout the life cycle of this exciting event.

Music Education: Musical Charis

Research shows that involvement in music and the arts provides significant benefit to children and teenagers including; academic achievement, social and emotional development, improved motivation, concentration and critical thinking. However funding for these critical programs in our schools and communities has been disappearing.

Concerts 4 Charity in an effort to further its mission to support music and arts education projects in proud to partnering with the Musical Charis Music School to provide financial aid to students.

Musical Charis Music School offers a variety of lessons and workshops to musicians of all ages and skill levels. Through its partnership with Concerts 4 Charity, Musical Charis will be able to provide additional financial support to students that have fell upon financially difficult times, so that they may continue to take music lessons without interruption.

Second Saturday Sacramento

Second Saturday is a wildly successful phenomenon that provides an opportunity for the greater Sacramento region to converge, primarily in the midtown Sacramento region, to take in the arts as well as the sights and sounds of what has become a citywide block party.

Concerts 4 Charity produces an event each month to showcase local musicians and artists and to provide a platform for businesses to engage with a highly sought after audience of Second Saturday revelers, while supporting the local music and arts scene.

Thoughts?

Contact me to find out how you or your business can contribute to my efforts to support music and arts education as well as contributing to the success of a strong indie/DIY music and arts community.

The Passion of The Entrepreneur

1 Apr

Putting on an event can be one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors.

A successful event, like any achievement, is truly a labor of love. There are countless hours of planning, with every detail carefully reviewed and revised and reviewed again, there are terrific brainstorms that keep you up for many sleepless nights, yet, no matter the headache, heartache or challenge, there is nothing more exhilarating than seeing your vision come to fruition.

I believe a comparison can be made between this process and starting any business, project or entrepreneurial venture.

In fact, this is exactly my motivation for starting this blog. When I reflect on my ten years as the architect and director of a national non-profit organization called Concerts 4 Charity, knowing the adversity I have overcome to continue doing what I love, is inspiring, and through this blog I hope to share a variety of connections and insight I have found between developing, marketing and producing successful events and how it relates to sales, marketing and business development. Perhaps I can inspire someone, besides myself, to keep creating, to stay strong and remain passionate about the one thing that I believe can truly change the world, the entrepreneurial dream.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!