Thursday, April 19, 2012

Make the most of your 15 minutes

Andy Warhol may well have been right in his view we'd all be famous one day and the way the internet has opened up the world to your audience sure helps. From Facebook to Twitter, to Resident Advisor to the new frontier of Beatport DJ pages, everywhere you go, everyone has a profile to push and a name to make - but I despair - far too many people are failing to deliver anything to differentiate themselves from the masses and in a world where 15 minutes is more like 15 seconds that's fatal.

The basics of marketing can be applied to absolutely anything - cars, soap powder, chocolate bars, diet plans and people - engage your audience, express your difference and then sell them something. In this case that means when someone hits upon your profile you want them to:

1. See who you are
You're a DJ, promoting music you've made or the label you own - why the fuck do you need the headphones then - it's unlikely I just randomly found you and have no idea what I'm on your profile for - so the headphones are just one of many cliches over used - be different, get a good quality portrait done by a mate.

This image has been carefully chosen so not to offend the scores of Facebook friends I could have used wearing headphones in their profile pictures.

2. Tell me why I want to be your follower
As some of you will know I hate biographies, mainly because I've read the sames ones time and time again. How, you discovered music at an early age (surely that's true of everyone, unless you were deaf until your mid-teens or beyond?). How you developed a love of house before buying decks and quickly becoming the hottest DJ in your backyard. No doubt you've been around the world DJ'ing, supported by a host of top name DJ's and resident here, there and everywhere. Fact is, so has everyone else - take the test, hop onto Soundcloud and read the profiles - you'll be asleep before you know it.

An example from a very famous people...

"Since the young age of 14 the passion and ardor for the techno movement in Europe, encourage him to explore the variety of the expression of tendency that was revolutioning the world music Club scene"

The other pet hate I have of these profiles is speaking in the third person - as in speaking about yourself as if you're not you, for example 'Bob's' profile:

"Bob has developed a classic sound without ever sounding dated. A perfectionist both in the studio and behind the decks, Bob’s hard work is now coming to fruition. Bob has built on the string of..."

Here's Atnarko's entire profile as an example of keeping it short, uncomplicated and bullshit free...

"I am DJ and Record Producer originally from Canada now living in Florida. you can find me Dj'n in your town or in my studio making music. Releases and remixes under my name (Atnarko) or with pal Huggy as Formidable Force on labels like Lowdown, Tango,Robsoul,2020Vison,Lazy Days and Kolour as well as my own label EIGHT-TRACKS"

For me it expresses who he is, what he's done and spares me the hype. It won't work for everyone and adding a list of recent gigs and the all important links to RA, Facebook, Beatport and the like is of course a must. I often connect across the whole suite of links once I find someone I'm interested in hearing more from and I can't be alone in that.

3. Be consistent
That inter-connectivity of modern times is great, it can push people from place to place, draw them to you from Stumble-upon, Pinrest or a list as long as some discographies people insist on posting as profiles. What's important as people find you and connect is that the experience is what you're aiming for wherever it comes - keep up to date on things, out of date profiles aren't a good look if I'm trying to figure out if you're the person that's made that cool remix I've just heard.

It's time consuming (be warned) so being everywhere might not be the thing to do if you're going to manage it right. Beatport's new pages are all brand new and exciting, but what is it going to bring you as a DJ without a product to sell on the retail side that RA doesn't already offer you?

Being seen everywhere means you need to value your personal brand and pay attention to the details. Spot the typo's in Atnarko's profile text? (I should point out I'm terrible at typo's and spelling before I get a hammering)  - get someone to check it if you're rubbish like me, but inconsistent capitals, spacing or spelling errors all influence how someone thinks of you - if you wouldn't put it on your real CV then don't do it online either. 

4. Seal the deal
After hours of profile perfecting, account registering, uploading, tagging, posting and connecting you come to the business end of things - quite literally. Whether you're an artist, DJ, remixer or label owner (and forget the "I'm in it for the love of house" crap - there's a difference between loving doing something and being in it for love alone - the latter means you've no need for a profile at all, after all you're not looking to profit from this are you?) the relationship is consummated with a financial transaction at some point - be that DJ booking, remix, release or licensing deal - it's what you can gauge the success of your social media hard work. So, make it easy for me, add buy it links to Soundcloud clips as soon as you can, promote your release as much as you can (all too many people think their job is done once a track is released), if you're doing a guest mix include your tracks - not all of them, but the odd dusting of self promotion is a good quality.

DJ charts are a major part of the current brand promotion used by many, and given the piss poor way some online retailers catagorise deep house, it's the only way to hear deep house on some so make them part of your routine. 

But, (here comes another moan) don't just fill them with your own tunes, your own label or that of your mates - the reason I followed you to start with was because you had a difference, you were my guru of all things deepness, you were introducing me to new and exciting stuff - but I'll quickly lose interest if you don't maintain the standards and when I see that link on Facebook my reaction won't be the one you've worked hard to get.

Tom's is a great example - I'm sure he and I are on similar mailing lists, and I'd heard half of these before but the one's I hadn't I now own - and that is a reason for labels to be keen to support someone in the future - he's demonstrating his difference at the business end of things. Yes, the opener is his remix (and a quality one too) but the variety and quality is there to make me check out his next chart without question.

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