Can You Hear Me Now?

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!? — Communication in your Indie Music Business/Ministry.

“If you are not ‘out there’, how will they know you are ‘out there’? Communication of your vital information to your audience is what sets the successful ministry/business apart from all the others.

Let’s talk a little about the avenues of communication and where they should go, when they should go and how they should go.

Promotions and “moichandizing”. Remember that famous quote from SPACEBALLS, “Yogurt: “Moichandizing, moichandizing, where the real money from the movie is made. Spaceballs the T-shirt. Spaceballs the lunchbox. Spaceballs the coloring book. Spaceballs… the flame thrower! Kids love it. And my favorite, Spaceballs the Doll — me!”[Pulls string] Doll: May the schwartz be with you!Yogurt got it! He knew that once the movie was over, the continuation of communication would come not just from new individuals watching the movie, but also from the hands-on merchandising that would lead new and old viewers to continue engagement. From working with independent Christian musicians for almost a quarter of a century, we understand the meld that takes place when merchandise-ing yourself broadens the promotion of yourself. Therefore leading you into communication with your audience. It’s like a domino game. One touches the other and then touches your audience, who then touch others with your ‘stuff’ and thus the circle comes back as they reach out and touch you! This is viral marketing 101!

Another avenue are those age old Press and Info Releases. There was a word we came across this week, “retrocede.” The definition which leads us “returning to” takes us back to some of the grass root ways of communication and then we build on this recipe by adding the ingredients of this age of new communication. So much of your information get’s ‘lost in the sauce’ of the world wide communication outlets, due to the construction and implementation of your information. For example, many artists we sit down and talk to want fast food hype. They expect one bit of press/promotion to blow up their name and they sit back and wait for it to explode. We are always amazed at their disappointment when it actually implodes like a soufflé that has been taken out of the oven too soon!!! Promotion and Marketing need to have time to marinate. There needs to be a plan for each and every stage. Hit and Run promotion can leave your audience with a big huge “who was that?” Once your promotion is ready, provide it everywhere and then provide it again and again. Re-cycle and re-use. Go green with your promotions. Disney sure does. They regurgitate songs that are 10 years old and put them into a brand new compilation with a couple new artists and then artists of old. Then you hear about it EVERYWHERE…Unlike yesteryear, the modes of communication are limitless. They are vast. Use them and fill them up with YOU!

Don’t hurry and forget the facts. Be clear. In this age of “over-sharing”, many of us are tapping our foot, waiting for the information to be released, justifying the saying, “Just the fact’s ma’am.” My response to this quote is PLEASE provide the facts!!!! I opened an email this evening inviting me to a face book event. I was extremely interested in the artist’s gig, but lo and behold I couldn’t even tell what city it was in. All that was provided was the name of the street. How many of your audience are so enamored with you that they will take the time to ‘guess’ where you are going to be. Promotions should not be a “Where’s Waldo’ search and find puzzle. Everything should be extremely clear. Reduce it to the ridiculous! Have a checklist in front of you before you start, so none of those important details are omitted. By doing so, you make the numbers larger who will reply just by taking that extra step. An awesome flyer reiterating all of this info sure wouldn’t hurt also. Put together a TEMPLATE and then fill it in with the info from each and every event you are going to play. If the venue has already done one, use it! Remember if you don’t use it, you will lose it!

Update to Communicate. How often do you take the time to update your website/face book/twitter, etc? There are so many other places that individuals can ‘click’ on UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE or you be will OUTDATED. Old news is bad news and is worse than no news at all.

There is so much more to talk about in regards to communication, but to size it all up, remember the most important aspect in anything you present to the public is the quality of your content. People respond to content that moves them, from music, to press releases, bios, pictures, everything. Make sure what you are producing will move and serve the consumer in some manner.

As you can see, we have barely touched the surface in regards to communication with your audience. There is no ceiling. Especially when you work in your box, but outside of the box of the rest of the world. The key is your plan. Making sure that all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are at least in the same alphabet:)

We’re here to help you evaluate your content, and provide helpful suggestions to improve. Contact us at: keith@indiemechanics.com or sue@indiemechanics.com and we will schedule a time to personally work with you and your needs. In the meantime, remember to keep your communication open and out there. Until next month, we are,
Creatively His,
Keith and Sue Mohr
“The Indie Mechanics

Keith Mohr and Sue Ross-Mohr have years of experience serving independent Christian artists, musicians and songwriters. Keith founded IndieHeaven in 2002, the leading portal for Christian independent music. Sue Ross-Mohr founded The Inner Vizion in 2003, a creative promotions /marketing/ consulting service to individuals and companies worldwide.

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