What if he had a megaphone. And implored those in attendance to join
in, telling them he was the new dance king and they'd enjoy
He'd have been shouted down, if not stoned to death.
I won't say the gentleman in this viral video dances as poorly as
Elaine on "Seinfeld", but the moves he's busting are not attractive.
And his appeal is not his handsomeness, rather it's his joy and his
lack of self-consciousness. We're drawn to those who are not sheep,
who do their own thing, who BELIEVE in what they're doing.
He's dancing alone. For almost twenty seconds. And rather than being
right down front, where everybody can see him, he's in Siberia, on the
side of the lawn, way in the back.
Those two geeks dance together for fully thirty seconds, not needing
more people to continue. Then, a guy looking like Dan Schneider, the
fat kid on "Head Of The Class", comes down and joins them. THIS is
not a party you want to attend by mainstream parameters. These are
geeks, they're to be ignored!
But twenty five seconds later, new dancers join in. They were not
recruited, were not sent text messages, were not victims of
promotional e-mails they didn't sign up to get, rather they joined
purely on the desire to be a part of the fun!
Suddenly, a handful of seconds later, it's a party. Then people are
RUNNING to join in. By the two minute mark, it's a CONFLAGRATION!
It's the highlight of the gig! People don't want to be left out,
they're trampling others to join in!
This is the arc of an act's career today.
You're doing your own thing, seemingly in the wilderness, with the
goal that a spark ignites others to join in. Your main sales point is
the fact that you're doing it. It's not about marketing, new media
just allows the word to spread faster if you catch fire.
All those great bands of yore… They sounded NOTHING like anything
else. They weren't an instant hit, but suddenly Jethro Tull was
selling out arenas. They weren't jammed down people's throats, but
word of mouth as to their difference, as to their uniqueness, as to
their QUALITY, caused an audience to form.
The Tommy Mottola/Clive Davis marketing technique is now a sideshow.
Wherein you ramp up the publicity to a fevered pitch, so everybody has
to buy in! Few are paying attention to the mainstream media, album
sales are abysmal, people want something different.
But we've still got an industry that's looking for the secret, how to
tap into today's audience and make a fortune.
It's very simple. You create something different, that's good, and
hang in there until you hit critical mass. And this mass will be
decided by the audience! If you do anything to goose it, you'll kill
it, or at least cut down its longevity.
This is anathema to American business. We've got stockholders! We
need short term results! Wring more money out of the customer!
Charge more, and people won't bother experimenting. It didn't cost
anything to join this dance party, just like it shouldn't cost
anything to hear your music. But if an attendee has a good enough
time, he'll come back NEXT YEAR to Sasquatch! Just like someone who
loves your music will come see you LIVE!
Everything's slow now. It's about perseverance and credibility. If
you can't wait… If you're not willing to continue polishing your
act, getting better and better, with little revenue to show for it,
you don't belong in this business.
Just like Phil Schiller got better at giving Apple presentations by
doing them, you're going to get better by doing more shows, by making
more recordings. Initially Phil was lame, like the kid in the back of
the class asked by the teacher to do a social studies presentation.
Now, years later, forced to take over Steve Jobs' gig as spokesman,
he's finally good!
Don't expect to be good immediately. Don't follow, don't do what
other people already are. Seth Godin nailed that re Bing… Do we
need another Google? NO! We need something new, and different, that
speaks to us, that we couldn't FORESEE!
Your goal is not to do market research, to ask the public what it
wants, but to believe in yourself. But belief is nothing without
practice, without quality. And the focus is on music, not marketing.
So, if you've got a great Facebook page, it's not as good as a great
song. As for practicing… Read "The Talent Code" to understand not
all practice is the same. It's when you challenge yourself, make
mistakes, do something new, that you get better. Not when you get
together in the garage and rehearse the same damn songs over and over
and then play Xbox.
This video is a metaphor for the music business. It happens slowly,
you can't give up. But if you're electric, charismatic, singing
material the public can relate to, you can become gigantic overnight!
(After ten years/10,000 hours of working in the trenches!)