This blog ISN’T about religion! It’s about how I might help “Power of Prog” musicians(& other proggers) be more successful. 🙂
The one thing that makes me feel really good about myself is helping others & being liked for it. I discovered twenty years ago that helping others through “random acts of kindness”(as they say), or sharing of knowledge, gave me a feeling of self-worth unattainable by other means.
For many years I’ve supported myself mainly as a “Meals on Wheels” delivery man bringing food & my sense of humor to elderly & disabled in my community(it’s a paid position because the size, complexity, & variability of the route precludes volunteers …& I need to eat, too! ;). Now, Mother Teresa I’m not; nor am I perfect or silver-tongued. However, now that I’m middle-aged my self-esteem is slipping & I long for that feeling of self-worth more than ever before.
How this relates to “Power of Prog” & others: My first effort at building self-esteem by helping others online was by starting, “Awesome Band“. Here I place a spotlight on some of the many great artists I regularly discover here(& some recruited from other sites). The thanks expressed by them has been very generous making me feel good about doing something to raise awareness of quality music hidden in the sea of mediocrity on giant music sites driven by the demands of pop culture. The only sad aspect of “Awesome Band” is that only 40% of notified featured acts say,”Thanks”.
Here’s my new idea: I once earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Economics with an emphasis on Marketing, but this knowledge is of little use in my current jobs. Therefore, I’d like to apply marketing to help prog musicians. “Marketing” is the selling of products or services & the business activity of presenting products or services to make them desirable. In this case, the “product” is your music & “presenting it to make it desirable” means attracting people to buy it.
Time & again I come across bands that, when given a fair chance & listen, are quite good. Unfortunately, while they may be talented artists, their careers are inhibited by weak marketing. The two main faults are: #1. Playlists which present the bands’ music in an unflattering order discouraging listening & #2. Poor profile pics & less-than-ideal photo galleries/site layouts. Regarding #1. Playlists suffer because once a band has composed, performed, & recorded their songs, they’ve heard them a million times! This destroys any chance of them being able to make objective decisions as to which order the songs should appear either online or on cd. Plus, consider that an album with only eight songs has 40,320 possible song orders! The formula for this is: 8x7x6x5x4x3x2. A ten song album has 3,628,800… you get the idea. I’ve a talent for narrowing-down these numbers to arrive at the optimum song sequence based on a variety of factors.
Also consider that the cd order, which may be assembled to tell a prog story, may not be the best order for casual listening/advertising sites such as RN, SC, MS, BC, etc where potential new fans may only click on the first song or two before deciding if they “like it”. If your story begins slowly, they may never know of the excitement that lies ahead! Therefore, these sites require a different ordering strategy.
Now you may be thinking, “Who the hell’s this guy & how’s he more qualified than our band to make these decisions?!” Well, I have objectivity for starters & hopefully you’ll visit my “Power of Prog” page: http://powerofprog.com/profile/LenRice, listen to a couple of songs & read the listeners’ comments down the page which will perhaps demonstrate that I’ve some musical aptitude. As far as proving my marketing skills, you’ll have to trust me when I say I have lots of ideas; some perhaps more useful than others, some you may not initially like, & some potentially insulting, but objectivity & honesty go hand-in-hand with the goal being a better chance of your success. I’m both a musician & one with a keen interest in marketing which I believe is an uncommon pairing. This is why I want to lend these skills to help others.
So, you ask, how might this work? …Firstly, any band open enough to consider consulting with an initial stranger should contact me via my “Power of Prog” page, or https://twitter.com/LenRice, & ask if I have sufficient time, interest, understanding, & enjoyment of their particular musical style to be willing to invest my free time in assisting them. I might decline & certainly make no guarantees my input will help if I agree, but I’m also not charging any money for this service! All I ask in exchange is verbalized appreciation. If I actually help: maybe a copy of your cd(not required), & at most perhaps my name mentioned somewhere tiny in the liner notes if I was really super-helpful(also not required). Secondly, tell me what kind of help you’re seeking: playlist input, site ideas, profile pic/gallery suggestions, etc. Thirdly, I’ll of course need to hear the songs(not previews/edits), preferably on SoundCloud.com because it’s easiest for me to quickly navigate around the songs there(no facebook). Also note that I do not provide editing/mastering services; you will receive only your song titles in what I believe is the best order(in some cases, I may supply a second option), plus other suggestions as requested.
Lastly, because I’m donating my time & have other obligations, I’d expect courtesy lest the help abruptly end. Though I’ve enjoyed & been successful in helping a few bands so far, I’ve no idea if anyone will have interest in my offer & can’t predict what demand may result. Maybe no one will reply, or perhaps so many I’ll have to turn people away. I guess I’ll find out… 😉
P.S. Let me know if you’ve any questions by using the Comment wall below, or Twitter, @LenRice ,& I’ll do my best to clarify any points for your benefit & that of others. Thanks! 🙂