If you're here to look into new and different methods by which you can market your band or artist. You've come to the right place. I'm Tom Colohue, and this is Marketing Methods; your guide to traversing the basics of the marketing world while avoiding the pitfalls, the traps and the unreasonable arseholes in it.
Marketing Methods by Tom Colohue
Part Four: Establishing A Reputation
Having unique performances is certainly one big step forward when it comes to establishing your reputation, but there is much more to it. In truth, practically everything that you do, as a person and as an artist, is essential to making or breaking that reputation. While being labelled a bad boy' can have certain reputation benefits, you then have to stick to it or risk being labelled a sell out' simply because you're not always exactly the same person each and every day.
It doesn't matter how popular you get, and this is something that people forget far too often. You might be a nobody or you might be a celebrity; you still have a reputation to uphold, it's just that less people are sharing it with others. The major difference, as you gain popularity, is merely the height that you fall from. One of the most important things to consider when trying to establish that reputation is consistence. Another, though in the same vein, is reliability.
Reputation is based entirely on the long term. In marketing, all of the strength for hiring you, using you or consulting you is in your name, which is the carrier of your reputation. While one person might have one opinion, and another person another, there is an average to all opinions that forms the reputation. If one person hates you and another loves you, the pointer balances in the middle.
Memorable performances can't happen constantly if you want any of them to be memorable, but they have to happen often enough so that people expect them from every show. If you're selling a magazine and give something away for free, doing it once does very little to establish your reputation as being worth the money. One of the things that I've discovered as a writer is that your deadline can be your best friend if you never, ever miss it. Once it's part of your reputation, and it's expected of you, it becomes a trump card that puts you above and beyond any other contenders, and that's what you're looking for, as an artist.
You do, believe it or not, have deadlines as a musician. Arriving on time is good. Arriving early is better. Closing a set is the same. If the people want another song, ask the management if you can provide it. More entertainment means more people sticking around, which means more customers; so they're unlikely to say no. This will help a solid reputation come from the venue as well as the fans, which is often the opinion that other venues are more likely to listen to.
Advertising and marketing done externally does not establish reputation beyond the trends of that advertising and marketing. Reputation is forged entirely around the product itself. In the case of a musician, that's not the music, it's the presence. Music entertains the ears yes, but you have to try and entertain every sense in order to really stand out from the crowd.
Tripping up on your own reputation is something that all artists need to consider. If you've always done things one way, breaking that trend and going against your reputation can be a bad move. Over time, your reputation becomes something of a checklist or a specification that your fans expect you to complete for every show. You don't want to set your sights too high, so some things have to be rare, pleasant surprises.
The reputation is the criteria by which venues, potential fans and other artists judge you. As long as you're careful not to fall into the traps, it can be your best friend.
Tom Colohue is a writer from Blackpool, England. Though he specialises in Fiction, he also writes music theory articles, and new media articles based primarily on the internet. On occasion, these also intermingle. He is well recognised by numerous critics and analysts for his integrative descriptive work and his cynical textual mannerisms. For more information, Tom Colohue keeps a Facebook Fan Page, which contains updates from new articles and his personal blog, Mental Streaming. This page can be found via this link.