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Are you an Anti-marketer?

Special guest blog about the “Drive-by” from StreetJelly blues musician: Clifton Printy

An interesting phenomenon occurs every few months or so. I call it “anti-marketing.” There are those who for some reason feel entitled to viewers coming to their shows. Some are atrocious hacks and some are superb artists, but almost all of them are completely without a following. They get on StreetJelly and play for a short while.

"Did you just pull a Drive-by?"

“Did you just pull a Drive-by?”

As a passerby, they wander through other shows gradually adopting the attitude wanting… no demanding… other musicians’ viewers. Then :bam! They announce in someone else’s show for those viewers to come to their show. It’s the infamous “Drive-by,” the biggest faux-pas you can make in online live streaming.

There are regulars on the site who have shared so much of their crowd.  Like Larry, Image and Family, Heading West, and Kelly_Mark who have honed their branding and created a crowd. Larry brought his following with him. He still frequents other shows and introduces many to the SJ family. He advertises his shows on Facebook and talks directly with his followers. Beside him being a professional musician, Larry constantly checks out new artists and encourages them. Heading West spent months supporting SJ members before ever doing a show. Some send out tagged Facebook posts to her followers and her fans every single show. She supports other shows and engages the audience directly from her show. Image and Family has supported everyone, worked to solve problems, created events for other artists, and sends random swag to individuals. Kelly_Mark has done a few shows and has supported hundreds.

The examples are endless and exactly what it takes to relate to a crowd in the modern age. We deliberately build connections with our followers. It helps them identify with us and conversely us with them. We connect and support one another. There will probably be viewers at any given show, as it is at most venues. But we must not forget this is a stage. Your viewership here depends on you, your sound, your ability to perform, how well you engage the audience, and how well you treat others.

The problem I see with the drive-by is not only for the musician getting his viewers barked at, but also for that person committing the blunder. It is very hard to discern the talent level or personal attitude of the individual. They may very well be a person of quality and integrity with a great show to offer. Because of this I think a lot of us are willing to overlook the intrusion into our time, and the disruption of our show’s flow. We try to encourage the other artist to the extent that we pseudo endorse the encouragement of that artist. Our fans also reciprocate the same. So that person then some how has become part of our “brand.” Basically, the people on SJ are so nice that the offender may not even know he has trampled on others.

Further; there are many performers in these virtual settings that feel entitled to a stage. It is important to consider that these shows and the attendance is not always about talent. Sometimes we are talking about long forged friendships and value systems. As an example, would a Christian band’s fan-base be likely to attend a death metal band show? Probably not. So why would an artist expect to solicit viewers from a completely different genre? Also, it does happen sometimes that a great performer sits empty on SJ while at the same time a so/so artist has a great draw. It’s just something we have to accept.

Having witnessed the huge heart of our regular StreetJelly crowd, I know how hard it is for people to discourage certain behaviors. There is, however, no benefit for you as an individual artist to allow this bad behavior, i.e. the drive-by. Go ahead and say, “It is really not polite to come to my show and tell people your are going to play in 10 minutes.”  My friends, it is not about attitude nor is it rude. Would you go to an amphitheater and ask the people to come to the parking lot for a show? Would it be polite to walk up to the stage at a local pub and ask people over the microphone to come next door in ten minutes? It is an unethical practice that steals from the moment of the performing musician, and puts the offender in an unfavorable light. The dreaded Drive-by is the opposite of marketing. It’s anti-marketing!

Posted under: Guest Blogs, Industry Rants, Support, Help, Tricks

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  • John Bishop on August 28, 2015 at 7:21 pm said:

    Well said Clifton. I haven’t experienced this myself recently , but a few times during the early days. When I saw the title about anti-marketing I just had to check it out and you made it worth my time. I was curious because I’m kind of an anti-marketer…but not to the “driveby” extent. I don’t advertise my shows and I hardly ever schedule my shows, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my viewers. I’m just an old fart playing music because I love it, and if people listen that’s great, if they don’t, no biggie. I am an anti-marketer just because I don’t see the point, at my age, of trying to somehow “make it” in the music industry. That ship has sailed long ago, but it was a fun and crazy ride that I would never trade for anything. Anti-marketer…lol…yeah…that kind of describes me. Just glad to see I’m not the type of artist you were talking about here and whew…that’s a Anyway, great article and hopefully the people that need to see this will. See ya soon on the Jelly my friend.

  • Clifton Printy on August 28, 2015 at 7:31 pm said:

    I think the people who need to see it are the nice ones. The ones who would never say “Hey partner your being rude.” Honestly John your halfway there. I could see you being tolerant of a drive-by, but I also know you have no problem with telling someone the truth. Mua ha ha. Thank you John, I am a fan.

  • Great blog Clifton, only problem is that most of the people doing the “drive by” will probably never read this, or the rules of the site. There are times ignorance is not bliss…

  • Damian Trujillo on September 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm said:

    To be truly honest with you if someone wants to announce their show while I play, it does not offend me or bother me in the least. I am glad they are listening to my show in the first place. You see music is not a competition to me, it is not about ego, it is and will be about the art of music. I tend to play from me heart whether there is 1 viewer or 100 viewers. The concept of street jelly is busking online, just as you busk on the street, one day there will be many and the next day nobody. I choose not to promote or advertise too much and play randomly to get the random audience. If my show can assist others with their show, so be it. I tend and will always be the one thinking outside the box. Regardless of my opinion, nice write up Cliftion. Rock on sir. Damian

  • Your point is well taken. I thank you for your kind words about me as well. The truth is, an audience is earned. My fans are my friends, and I try to treat them with kindness and respect. As a performer, you just have to put your heart on the line and sing as if you are speaking directly to everyone in your audience. If they get your message, they will come back. I am so fortunate to have my friends come to see me every time I perform here. Frankie has created an atmosphere of fun for the listeners and performers alike. Performers need supporters, and supporters need performers.. It’s a truly symbiotic relationship, and a good performer realizes that. I try to support other performers, as others have supported me. Thanks Clifty for expressing your view-I will try to support more performers more often, and I urge other SJ performers to do the same. As the old bra ad used to say- “Support can be beautiful!!!” Thanks to all the non-performing listeners as well.. You are the reason for SJ’s existence, and I thank you all for being there!

    • Thank you Larry for your wonderful music! My girlfriend and I are always amazed at the variety of your repertoire and to see and hear how many songs you know and can sing! You are becoming a tradition for us on weekends now (of course when we have the time!), and it’s always a great joy to hear you share your warmth and talent with us all! Sincerely, MAPO!!

  • I’d never go to someone else’s show with the intent of advertising my own show but I do think sometimes, people just will let it slip as casual conversation. I.E. I’m doing a show in a bit. I often come in and watch a show and don’t speak. I wonder, considering that the performer only know a specific person is there when they type in a message, if sometimes, when someone says something, who may have been there for some time, it may be construed as a drive by. Just wondering.

    Where I do think it might be appropriate to mention your own show would be if you had been watching for a bit, and it was clear the show was about to end, and it is mentioned as something to do after the current show.

    I have a suggestion to the streetjelly people. I understand they can’t be paying out tiny sums to artists as it would be an administrative nightmare, thus the payout at thresholds of 50 dollars. What I think would be great for musicians would be that if you have accumulated a small amount of tips, you can simply use that to tip another artist. The reason this would be beneficial is I assume a certain number of people, try out performing a bit and may do a good job but don’t want to do it often, and probably won’t be around to claim their small tips. If they find another musician they like, tipping that musician from their unpaid accumulation would help that musician.

  • Yeah, the drive by is not cool. And most of the performers will announce that so and so is coming up next. If someone asks me in the chat, “hey, you going on tonight” of course I’ll respond, But I never go to others shows advertising my own..just not cool