Permission to Speak Captain. The unspoken rules of self promotion and internet manners.

Man with black tape over his mouthWe all know the required etiquette for waiting our turn in a doctors surgery. We know how to behave when we are in other peoples homes, places of worship, airplanes and just about any other convenience or public place, so it makes you wonder why we cant quite achieve that level of social norm online.

The world wide web was created sometime between 89 and 91 with Berners Lee sending out those first text body comms, and sparking something that would change our lives forever. Bearing in mind we have had some form of spoken language for millennia, and have  been creative artistic people since we strutted about in caves, you would think that a mere virtual place to chat and swap ideas, would be an innocent stress free medium and everyone would just get along.

The history of this globalisation ‘tool’ is still in day one infancy. No one knows less cares about being polite 24/7 playing by unofficial forum rules, being moderated and herded by over zealous site admin any more than they do when 18 and on holiday with there mates bowling across town like you pretty much own it.
You can take a tour of your community online and just like in ancient times, street preachers proclaim the end of days, how to live a clean life, tales of sorrow and woe and words of self appointed wisdom. Yes, the internet has so many opinions now, everyone and there cat, yes CAT, is a blogger like me, or a part time broadcaster who thinks there big view of the world needs to be followed.

Its the difference between advice and offering a perspective on how you have found parts of your life came out complete with highs and lows, versus loud belligerent ego herding you into there click. The power of this Un Policed social medium is no one really understands where the boundaries are and if everyone else is even paying attention. i mean theirs nothing worse than standing in line and the cashier pulls down the window curtain for the day whilst others are skipping the line and cutting in.

This is a new civilisation but realistically, its not even a good 15 years old. Most people just didn’t go online at all until 10 years ago as dial up moved to the side and allowed for life to move at a sensible speed.So bearing in mind, this brand new place that connects you to every culture, every good or bad habit you didn’t realise you had, is it any wonder that when we learn to use it to assist our lives or careers, we are either scared witless of breaking too many rules that others just impose at a whim, or we aren’t even sure how far your voice will reach. A lot of us are trying new ideas, ways to be noticed in our working career and we still aren’t harnessing what there is out there.

I’m not any level of an expert in web related promotion but what i have seen so far is, it is so colourful, fad/ trend driven, that you need to link all your promotion and tie it into something tangible.

Like a campaign for example.

Perish the thought we might collate all our ideas for a project and find a way to schedule some info once a week, tie in other media to generate easy cross platform promotion! lol

The simplest way to think of trying to have a voice online is to think numbers and the pyramid effect you need to actually reach people. You have something new to show people, you tag where you can, you also say check out some new artwork on Pinterest, or catch me on twitter for exclusive download links. i mean you can just link from a host of options and have them self circulate like a whirlwind effect, and the part that matters, everyone who has seen it and shows interest, is helping you by leaving there trail online too. They might tag a friend, re post on Tumblr or facebook,google+ etc.

Having a focused project like this is great cos lets says your releasing an album of trailer cues or a collection of your new folk pop tracks etc blah blah, you can announce something very cool is coming,and you cant beat adding an actual date with that.

Thats why movie posters, album releases,books etc all have that date stamp. Not just so you make a calender note, its cos it looks exciting. its physiological. Your hard wired to respond to things that you believe are important, even when its actually quite low key and unimportant.

Follow up on that date with a new date!! Show some artwork pics, a small blog about the making of your new movie, 4 track EP or whatever it is you want to generate some clicks from. Seeping out your media in an organised schedule means a lot to people.No matter what you might think about how bloody trendy and flaky we are all now, we still love to know “when its coming out though”??

A schedule is brilliant cos its training your audience to subliminally be in your eyeline roughly when you want to be seen.


Now this is the one EVERYONE brings up a lot. How much is too much self promotion????

I have a bug with this topic and ill explain why. Now in any other real world situation, lets say you were buying radio tine, tv ad time, billboard posters, mag article space etc THE WORKS, how much does this really affect you?? seriously??

I mean are you REALLY that pissed off that you keep seeing an artist on tv? If you have that level of repulsion, to be fair now, it means you are so not there target audience and your unlikely to be swayed by any amount of super catchy tunes, what the band does for charity, and the last thing they ate for dinner, but if you vaguely like this kind of music, your keen, this is for you.

You get pulled in, the catchy tune gets under your skin, its the genre you love, and this new band is actually pretty cool so your responsive now to all the ads and radio play. Think about all the biggest bands or artists you adored as a kid, now can you recall you were never sick of hearing about them?? of course you weren’t, you had posters on the wall, you watched them on chat shows, on tv and in movies.

So why we have such a huge aversion to self promotion? Bearing in mind, as above, we are happy to skip the rules online cos frankly we’re just not sure it really matters cos its not real eh?? its just computers and online crap?? right?

We hate to promote cos we think a few relatives and peers (when i say peers i mean no one that will employ you, just 500 others who do the same job as you), will get so sick of this stuff, you might be……


drum fucking roll please………….


Seriously?? This is what stops you actually promoting what you do? you and the rest of the entire world understand the concept of marketing.Your either spending millions driving it home or your buying into it. Does it really matter that a 100 of your composer friends for example have dropped you from there feed cos this guy is always on the sell?? Your trying to sell to an industry, not a stream of friends and buddies.

I just say to friends and family, if my shit drives you nuts, don’t stress, just unadd the feed.

Then you get this golden gem, “i only use my facebook music page to promote so it doesn’t annoy anyone”

Yeah cos there are 2 big things wrong with that statement. Firstly you aren’t really using the page, and most people aren’t actually doing what they claim annoys the crap out of you, and secondly, its so so short sighted to just lump all those eggs into Zuckerbergs basket. You have so many ways to communicate now you really don’t need to be worried about the world judging you on this one platform.

Dont you find that part funny? We worry about that kind of promotion thinking a million people will think im a schmuck when a million people is exactly what you want to reach!!?? Who gives a crap if the ratio of a million viewers equates to 800k think your work is mediocre and just annoying? Your could break that down over and over and if it leaves you with say 10,000 interested viewers who want to know more, they will do the rest for you. its FREE. They will re post to friends who DO like this kind of shit.

Your need to hone into a market and audience is so much simpler now. All the like minded groups, chat board, forums,social media sites etc will have trending, things we want to see. When you get some of this working for you, you have an army of publicists working for free who are talking about what you do.

As corny as it sounds, even when its not always good, when people aren’t saying great things about you, there still working on your behalf cos your reaching a huge audience and again, you can ratio that exposure down to some hard core followers.

If your looking for work, you do need to be inventive. You need to look polished, professional, punctual with your promo schedule and deliver something great as often as you can .Saturation only falls on its backside when you are screaming through a brick wall at the same time as 1000 others, all shouting at something that cant respond.And standing behind that wall is nothing like your target audience. Hand out some thrash metal CD’s and concert tickets to the retirement home down the street just for kicks, cos you know there gonna be great numbers……..

Saturation is when you start allowing yourself to feel self conscious whilst bombarding a tiny minuscule audience.

What i have tried to do, is meld networking into a way to promote something about what you do, and then as i said, link and branch this into other types of medium other platforms. Even when it seems there is no big immediate reaction, remember when your selling a brand or product, it takes the big companies millions of dollars, huge airtime and every trick in the book to make some of this stick, so don’t be shocked and all fucking upset just because 2 weeks or posting on facebook didnt bring about new gigs lol

Try forming a schedule. Write it all out and understand how and why your using other mediums and sites to create this machine.This entity that will take on a life of its own. I know that by looking at all the people i love to listen to and follow, 90% of all the work is done for them. I cannot go anywhere online in communities, enthusiast sites without seeing the same names coming up again and again.

But when you spend time looking at how much that person is contributing? its actually not a great deal. They just delivered some regular elements to there brand to your door on schedule and with some variety.

Blog posts, video blogs, teaser work, self promo congrats patting oneself on the arse posts, you name it, its all a piece of it.

As for tactics, you need to be honest and real with people, your audience and/or future Client but that’s just my take, my opinion and what im happy to live by. You wont have everyone playing house rules if we believe there are any! You will see so often, internet sociopaths, bleating on, but not giving an opinion, there crafting a way to make you feel small, to feel like any other way of life, way of thinking puts you on the outside, exiled.

All i will say as a signing off comment, only ever take what you need from people when they offer advice or an excerpt from there journey. It will only work for them in that exact dynamic blend. Your beliefs, your ethics, your sensibilities are your own and your big and ugly enough to work all this out on your own. You don’t need to be part of any gang, any club or click, so you never need anyones permission to speak per se, but the adage “opinions are like arseholes, everybodys got one”, stands the test of time!

As for actually daring to be heard, to promote what you do? Don’t be afraid to sell who you are and what s great about you.Let those numbers do what they do, you will grow your target audience the more you put into this. Just please please look beyond the safe FB haven and really exploit those platforms. There all making millions of dollars from YOU because your audience is there potential sales revenue for advertising etc