This past week I thought I’d try an experiment. I thought, if I invite all of my friends to my ReverbNation page and ask that they listen (listen, not necessarily download) to one song, with no obligation to do anything like buy something or forward it on (although doing either would be a bonus), how many song plays might I get and how far up the local rankings for my genre might that take me?
The answer is – nowhere near as many and nowhere near as far as I thought.
I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not complaining. This was an experiment, after all. And there are so many factors that may have led to a complete lack of interest in the idea. The trick is being able to sort out what those might have been. Was it because it was a holiday (which I picked because I knew many people would be home); was it because I sent out the invite too soon or too late; was it because they didn’t understand what I was asking; or was it because people had other things to do and/or just weren’t interested?
In truth, I believe none of those things actually matter. Because the reality is that when it comes to social media, having something go viral or having people take interest, it really is something that happens out of passion. People, even friends or family, have to be passionate about what you’re pushing to them if you expect them to either contribute or take part, and hopefully spread the message on.
And that’s really a brand thing.
My brand has been so confusing these past few years that I don’t think anyone really understands what it is I’m actually trying to focus on anymore. “Oh, he’s doing comedy writing… but wait he just got credited as an Assistant Director for this project?” “Oh, he’s a podcaster… but now he’s preparing to release a new album? He just did release a new album?!” You know, that kind of thing.
What I’m gearing up to do over the course of the next couple years is rather ambitious, particularly when you’re a new Dad. I’m not just intending to release a new album next Fall, but to journal its development and production in sound, video, blog and social media forms. And I don’t even know how I’m going to do that yet. But I’m hoping that by inviting everyone in, seeing how the whole thing is progressing and allowing people to become invested in what happens next, the next time I invite people to come listen, the results will be much more positive.
In the meantime, I’m gearing up to demo some new ideas throughout the months of September and October, while also cataloging some tablature and chord charts for future band members. November and December should see some reviewing and selection processes taking place with producers and management, and the real beginnings of finding the flow and the thematic progression of the album. I already have a ton of ideas, but I don’t know whether or not that will coagulate successfully. And that’s all to say that 2015 is going to be a fun year!
At the moment, I’m working on creating my gear cart – capable of handling a large bass amp, and three different guitar amps that provide various sounds from effects pedals and boxes build off of Line 6 technology, with a Novation sampler thrown in. The idea is to be able to create sounds that can be turned into or utilized on songs, to take contemporary concepts and make them sound like they came from the future. From there the setup could be used in live situations, since someone is going to have to handle sample loops and guitar sounds on stage.
Again, like I said, ambitious.
So stick around. Let’s see what happens!