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:

Dark Dragon VOTE FOR OUR NEW SINGLE NEW EP COMING SOON T-SHIRTS ARE NOW IN OUR STORE $10 PAYPAL would like to be your friend!

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

• Dark Dragon LIVE TONITE @ BEAR CLAW, 523 HAIGHT STRT, SANTA MONICA $4 COVER, 9PM
• 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 LIVE TONIGHT @ OPEN MIKE — WEAR OUR SHIRT AND GET $2 OFF $10 COVER OR $1 OFF BEER IF YOU BUY THREE OR MORE. http://tinyurl/v87btek
• 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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5 Responses to “Why Bands Are Invisible: Report vs. Rapport”

  1. rose went to the beach and complained:

    You’re a true visionary, despite your affinity for squirrels. Plus, I’m a sucker for wordplay.

  2. lee went to the beach and complained:

    yes, right on doc.

  3. Phil went to the beach and complained:

    You, sir, have one heck of a brain! I found your site by complete accident but I found instantly that we speak the same language.

    I have run my own business for over 5 years (no fun), just built a recording studio from the ground up (NO fun), and am trying to create something musically with a unique personality.

    Best to you and your Zoltan self!
    -Professor Polyester

  4. Mike went to the beach and complained:

    It makes sense. Unfortunately, most musicians don’t understand that it’s about art first, money later (if at all). Of course, that’s what separates the guys who make it from the ones who end up hashing covers in a bar in their fifties.

    Even the village idiot can see when you are bullshitting him.

  5. Rockula! went to the beach and complained:

    I saw somewhere that you had a list and one of the entries was “Learn to create in a vacuum” or somthing like that. it appears that I am at a crossroads. I too ascribed to the Rapport style when I was in my Tool sounding band half a decade ago. We used the “coupon” flyer method and I always had the biggest numbers because I actually attempted conversation with the person that I was handing the flyer. Now that I am playing music that doesn’t try to sound like someone else’s, I find that the Rapport style only works when people actually give a shit about your music. After all, my music can’t be shittier than anyone else’s so why is no one paying attention? I find myself constantly frustrated by the vaccum I am currently experiencing. People all tell me how great my performances when they happen to be in the bar I am playing. Unfortunately, that is the last time I hear from them. yeah, I have lots of MySpace friends but none of them pay a bit of attention to what I am doing if it involves leaving their houses and paying money to watch me flail around .It is comforting to know that there is another person who has gone through the exact same thing and is willing to impart their experience to others. Most of the rest of us just grumble and tear each other apart on local scene message boards

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