Opinion

Welcome to Passive Promotion

proofreading blog posts

Over the past fifteen years of promoting my music, I’ve developed some strong opinions about what works and what doesn’t. As I promote my new seventh album over the coming months, I will argue that new web sites and technologies like Pandora, iTunes Genius, and Last.fm will have a larger impact on my success or failure than traditional efforts like promoting to radio or securing brick-and-mortar distribution. It’s not exactly viral marketing, but social networking plays an important role.

If great music promotes itself, you might ask what there is to write about. Of course, I need to lay the foundation by getting my music into the right hands. I’ll also talk about what doesn’t work, and why.

I should mention that I’m a “pure” recording artist, in the sense that I don’t perform live. I’ve never been on a label (other than my own, 11th Records). I consider Color Theory a hobby. My goal is to create music that uniquely reflects myself and present it to a growing audience. If it makes a little money, all the better. To date I’ve sold $39,848 worth of CDs and t-shirts, and taken in $7,654 in digital sales, which together averages out to about $280 per month. When you factor in expenses, I’m barely in the black. I’m not about to quit my day job. Fortunately, I don’t want to!

Two days ago I approved the artwork proofs for my latest CD, my first release in five years. It’s due back from replication in about two weeks. So here I am, looking down at the starting line. I intend to lay out all my plans and crazy schemes here for your amusement. Maybe in a few months we can look back and draw some useful conclusions.

Photo by Ruben Schade

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    EchoVictor
    October 30, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Hey Brian,

    Eric V. from WI (well, not anymore, but it’s a long story) here. Looks like I get the honor of being the first commenter on the new blog….

    Congrats on the new album! I just placed my pre-order, so hopefully I get one of the first ones out of the chute.

    Hope everything’s going well with you and yours (Cole must be getting big now, eh?), and keep the great music coming.

    Thanks,
    EV

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