Why Bands Are Invisible: Report vs. Rapport

If you are a musician, comedian, actor, or have some other type of creative career, you are probably guilty of the following:


Or perhaps the history of your Twitter account looks like this:

• Dark Dragon Watch our new BEHIND THE SCENES music video on YOUTUBE! http://tinyurl/q8b5q0
• Dark Dragon check out NEW mp3 MIXES on our MYSPACE http://myspace.com/darkdragonbandrockslamusic
• Dark Dragon ADD OUR OTHER TWITTER feed for SIDE PROJECTS and special offers and WIN A FREE CD http://www.twitter.com/darkdragonlarocksbandmusicsideprojects

But for some reason, other than your friends, no one responds or shows up. You have probably noticed this phenomenon and attempted to counteract it. Your band figured, “Not enough people are reading our data, so we have to make it more visible. We must not be posting it in enough places.” So you posted it in more places. You signed up for a couple of extra Facebook accounts, some Livejournals, 2-3 Flickr accounts, and a YouTube. Copy and paste, copy and paste. You went on Myspace and posted it all over everyone’s Comments along with a very large, obnoxious flyer. You made a YouTube video begging people to come to your show. You made Bulletins, Tweets, Blog Entries, Status Updates, and even thought about going to Kinkos and printing up old-fashioned paper flyers, then taking a picture of your flyer and putting it on Flickr. But still, no one notices you.

The problem with this is that unless you already have loyal followers, no one is going to care or read this useless data. This is the problem with “Report Communication.”

Report Communication is a communication style based on broadcasting information without regard for who wants to hear it. Most commercials on radio and TV are Report Marketing. Seth Godin also calls this “Interruption Marketing.” You’re watching your favorite TV show, and all of the sudden, you are interrupted. As a result, you tune it all out. Often changing the channel or lowering the volume. It’s nothing but obnoxious noise.

Do you really want your band to be lumped together in all of that cultural static?

Of course not. So that’s why you need to do more Rapport Communication.

Rapport Communication is all about building a relationship with your listener, whether it be one person sitting at the dinner table with you or a live audience. It is about treating them as humans, rather than consumers who exist only to make you rich and famous. Do not dominate the conversation, interrupting them to constantly say, “BUY A SHIRT.” You would not do that in a regular conversation with someone.

Artistic types claim to hate the business side and want to just focus on being creative. So why is it that 99% of the artists on the internet spend their time spamming everyone with meta-data? It is a waste of time.

Here is what you need to do:

1.) Stop.

2.) Learn how to tell a unique, personal story with your art. Focus on doing something interesting and unusual — something with a different perspective. Something creative that permeates every aspect of what you do, whether it be video, audio, or text. Make your art the center of your message. When you Tweet, upload a photo, write a blog, make it stand on its own as a creative work — not just as a cheap ad for your next show. Build a mythology and community around your ideas. Connect them all together. Document them. Give people something to explore.

If your ideas are powerful enough, you will attract followers. But first, you need to focus your energy on developing and deploying your strongest ideas — ideas worth sharing. Seduce people into your world. Be open and inviting, and keep the conversation going in both directions. In other words: build Rapport.

If you do not, your communication will be as effective as a homeless person on a street corner. The louder you scream, the more you are ignored.

Originally posted on http://www.drzoltan.com.

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Ultravision Future Goggles

Dr. Zoltan danced with heavy, stamping steps. His costume, which smelled like an attic full of old electronics gear, was made up of a large number of things… and clumsy. A dark, rough trenchcoat, head-to-toe cargo fatigues from some ancient intergalactic war, padded armor gloves, and a sturdy Swiss backpack purchased from Staples — all of these things gave him the appearance of wearing a cyber-punk-bio-mechanical exoskeleton. Not like a real one; more like a halloween costume. The most impressive element to the whole ensemble was the magenta and green lights flashing through the tangled milk-crate of Radio Shack wires connected to him. He checked them often, and would not have been seen in public this evening had they malfunctioned. 

This “life-support system” caused him great difficulty — of an amount considerably above normal — while moving at a speed faster than a walk. Would his glued-on beard fall off? He hoped not.

Tonight, he was running, but only in one particular portion of space. He felt off balance. Disoriented. It was becoming difficult to see in the dark while wearing fogged-up sunglasses. He considered cursing, conjuring up the memory of slang adolescent phrases he learned in a previous life.

His backstage passes flapped around the back of his neck and became tangled. Would he be permitted backstage if his laminates were facing the wrong direction? He hoped they would not become detached accidentally and fall to the ground. He directed his mind towards the possible actions he could take in such an emergency.

The skin on his face shed a few small drops of salty liquid that fell onto his shoes, which were square, uncomfortable, and full of sand. He had kept up this pace for the past two minutes, and was losing his patience. His equipment-filled backpack banged and rattled around like a vagabond bouncing down a staircase — a tumbling ball of limbs, kipple, and grocery cart.

The instructions in the manual said that if he ran at a steady gentle pace in this very specific, exact position for a full three minutes, a means of entrance or exit to another world would open. But this was anything but gentle. Dr. Zoltan wore far too much sci-tech weaponry for this much fancy foot-work. What if the coordinates were wrong?

He did not have much time. The rental car was due in an hour in San Francisco, and he abhorred paying late fees. He needed this “spell” to work, or he would become doomed. His credit card in this version of “reality” only had a $200 limit. One false move and he would be paying off the exponential fees to the Saudis for another two hundred years.

In a booming voice (pitched down a semi-tone with a Melodyne plug-in installed on his laptop) he pronounced, “This reality is one big pyramid scheme!” The overdose of oxygen he was experiencing momentarily re-contextualized what he was saying to himself. His mental record-player skipped as he considered the esoteric symbolism of the pyramid scheme and wondered if this was some sort of clue to the secret and hidden mysteries of the universe. But he had no resources to deploy as a means of accomplishing the results. 

He was quickly becoming drained of physical and mental resources, and did not bring any folded hand towels or bottled water with him. His d20 popped out of the side pocket of his backpack. His “Ultravision Future Goggles” were slipping down his face with increasing regularity. Tension. Terror. Panic. 

Dr. Zoltan is anything but a mouth breather, but his nostrils are too small to allow sufficient oxygen to pass through them under catastrophic stress. This mad dance inflamed the tissues in his computer-hacker leg muscles. In this mundane reality called American Capitalism, he was unable to activate his Hover Toggle — a device that had not been invented yet due to its non-marketability among the lower class. 

He made a vigorous and determined attempt to swat the bugs out of his mind and sustain his geosynchronous stomping for another 60 seconds. He failed and collapsed face-down in the seashells.

Join Dr. Zoltan on his next adventure Beneath The Imaginary City.

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Lakers Vs. Dragonforce

Dr. Zoltan was prevented from escaping a fancy Hollywood bowling alley for several hours last night, while on a routine anti-social data-gathering mission. There, he discovered many large projection screens at the end of the lanes — through which, several youth-creatures were admitting as legal and acceptable data to stream directly into their subconscious minds. On one screen, The L.A. Lakers. On another, the rock band, Dragonforce. Since Dr. Zoltan was in robot configuration and unable to properly have and be able to use a bowling ball, he allowed sports and rock music to compete for his attention. Here are his findings:

• Dragonforce required fancy camera angles, video effects, and wind-fans blowing their hair around in order to impress the viewer — their primary discipline (music) does not stand on its own.
• The Lakers do not require special effects. Their abilities are judged objectively, in real time, according to statistics.
• Dragonforce can pretend to be “amazing.”
• The Lakers do not have to pretend.

Ask yourself: Is it art or entertainment?

The Winners: The Los Angeles Lakers! True artists of the impossible!

The above content contained therein and herein is made public by Dr. Zoltan and must be read with scrutiny by the intended recipient in perpetuity throughout the universe. This blog entry is not meta-philosophical advice or an investment recommendation and should not be construed as such.

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