April 14, 2010- Belief and Fans
“The problem is this: no spreadsheet, no bibliography and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it’s one the rest of us don’t think is a good one. Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission-which is emotional connection.” -Seth Godin
I work in world that requires proof. Regardless of the merit of the music, its real worth in the performance market requires proof of CD sales and how many fans are showing up at performances. One of the first question an agent is usually asked by a buyer concerns draw, butts in seats,heads through the door, PROOF of ticket sales. Where are your numbers and what do they look like?
After a performance is booked, the publicist steps in to promote the appearance. She must have PROOF this band has merit and when pitching a story will point back to those believable numbers like ticket and CD sales. Will inclusion of this band or artist boost readership? Draw attention to the website or podcast? Do you have proof?
We offer proof of a band’s worth by numbers, spreadsheets and list of references from other buyers and venues. We focus largely on numbers in a market that thrives on and expects them. In the absence of proof, we must ask for BELIEF. We must focus on the ability of the music to spark an emotional connection with fans.
We convince the fan to BELIEVE. The fan convinces others to BELIEVE. Those who BELIEVE show up at performances knowing all the words to the songs. The performance becomes an interactive experience. Those who don’t know the music find themselves engaged in a wave of BELIEF that spills over into chatting about the band and the music on twitter and facebook. The talent buyer picks up on the wave. Certainly he can glance at his numbers and know ticket sales were good and bar sales were great and the audience truly did seem to love the group and only then, does he actually BELIEVE.
Belief often hinges on proof. Proof hinges on numbers and documented evidence. But at the end of the day, success is in the hands of those fans who BELIEVE.