Look before you leap!

Blog by Mark Knight - Right Chord Music under Artist Managers, Creative & Branding, Media

Mark Knight runs Right Chord Music (RCM), a music management and consultancy business that works with unsigned bands and independent artists. Alongside a new music blog, RCM offers a range of resources to help independent artists; including music marketing seminars, one to one sessions and best practice guides. RCM aims to bring the discipline of brand marketing to music marketing, helping artists promote their music in a more effective way.
There seems to be a new irritant on the scene ’Like To Play’ whereby bands are encouraged to drive their fans to a promoters Facebook page to ‘Like’ a post or page in return for the promise of a fantastic reward or prize.
It would be easy to name and shame, but rather than pointing the finger we’d rather focus on highlighting some of the pitfalls of these kinds of competitions so fewer bands waste their time and money trying to win the impossible competition. The best possible result would be for new bands and artists to boycott these competitors, so they disappear.
Fan voting is nothing new, and on paper it seems like a logical way to choose a winner, it rewards bands for being able to mobilise their fanbase. But the moment votes are cast online the mechanism becomes open to abuse with bands finding ways to cast multiple votes.
Why do companies still persist with these types of competitions? The simple answer is for shameless self gain. They want more traffic to their site to boost awareness and advertising revenues, and frankly they don’t care how they get it.
But so what! Isn’t that the way of the world? After all everybody looks after themselves? At least somebody wins… right?
The next time you are approached by any company or promoter offering you a ‘fantastic’ opportunity’ consider the following before deciding whether to pursue it:
Who is offering the prize? Google the company, do some background research is the company leggit? Is it likely they can deliver on this prize?
Do you have to pay to compete? Why? Ask yourself how often you have paid to enter any other form of competition? Conclude paying just to enter is wrong and a waste of time.
What is the prize and is it worth winning? If it sounds bad from the start, ignore it!
Is that really the prize? If it sounds amazing, please read the small print and double check. You’ll be amazed how often the actual prize differs from the advertised headline prize. Do you really need to jump through all these hoops to get on the radio? / get your music heard by an unknown A&R? get to play at an venue at midnight on a Monday night!
What do you have to do to win? Check how many steps or rounds there are. Asking your fans to vote once is one thing, but twice or three times could lose you friends. Are they asking you to travel to heats? Consider the costs to take part versus the financial reward of winning if there even is one!
How many people will win? How many people have been offered this unique opportunity? If everyone is offered the same exclusive gig how many of you will actually get to play and for how long?
Does somebody definitely win? Or is this just a cunning rouse to get more site traffic or ‘Likes’
How does the winner win? There might be a fan voting mechanism at the start but if the ultimate decision is made by a judging panel or organiser you might never win even if you do win! Especially if their son or daughter happens to be entering!
What is the impact on your fans? If they have to register to vote and are then spammed by un-targeted mailings your attempts to engage fans may result in more lost fans and bad blood than anything else.
Finally it’s always worth remembering the following. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never stop dreaming, but maintain a healthy skepticism and don’t let your heart rule your head when it comes to business decisions.


mark knight, right chord music, unsigned bands, unsigned musicians, emerging talent, facebook page, music promotion


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