Over the last week I was away in New York City on vacation. No doubt one of the best experiences of my life, my trip was filled with subway rides, hot pretzels, jazz clubs, shopping and lots of booze. Seeing as I was on the other coast since the last post, my intention for this one was to take any insights from my trip and bring them back to share with you. I noticed many things, here are a select few:
- Everyone in NYC wears stylish shoes. Everyone.
- Virtually every (non-taxi) car on the road was a BMW or Escalade, even in Harlem.
- The vendors HUSTLE. They are not afraid to get your attention, get you in their store, and get you to buy. They are not shy.
In several parts of Manhattan – I was blown away by the degree to which people were working to get my attention and make sales. If it was legal, they would likely push you into the store and take the money out of your pocket. Mind you, I’ve never been to an open-air market in a third world country, but I imaging that the sellers’ approach would be similar.
Whether selling Broadway tickets in Times Square, I ♥ NY shirts in China town, spaghetti plates in Little Italy or hotdogs on street corners – all these vendors had a mission and were 100% unconflicted about it. Even musicians in Central Park were much more forward about encouraging your monetary support than I have seen from street performers. Many of these individuals make their living off of their wares and performances and it shows.
Similar to producing and DJing – these people need to stand out above the competition and reach their target market. What was most interesting to me was that this outgoing attitude was so vastly different from the attitude in BC and especially Victoria. Up north here we are generally (more or less) polite and dislike being self promotional.
While I am not saying that an aggressive in your face approach to promoting your music is the best way to grow your audience, I encourage you to look at the extreme end of sales, and try to find a happy medium that works for you. If you want to get your music out to the public – a certain level of self promotion is required.
While it is by no need a requirement, consider hitting your favorite clubs, streets, parties, cafes or anywhere and spread the word about your music. Perhaps grab a ghetto blaster, go hang out downtown with your music pumping and hand out promo CD’s. People will inevitably stop to chill and ask – you are welcome to inform them of upcoming shows and releases. I’ve heard the SHAH DJ’s in Vancouver have had success with this approach. You have everything to gain.
- Consider: Where can you step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to connect with your audience? Make it happen.
- Try this on for a week – pretend that your music is paying your bills. How would you act differently?