I don’t like the word “fan”. I dislike using the word or being referred to as one, because I consider myself an artist as I write and create music (and I have a few thousand fans on my Reverb Nation, FB and Twitter pages), but when I hear another artist say they don’t deal with folks at a certain level because “They are JUST fans,” they lose my support forever, no matter how great they think they are as artists, because frankly, artist or not, I am a fan of people too and fan’s buy the music and spread the word.
People who listen to your music are the reason why you make the music in the first place. You don’t spend thousands of dollars creating music so that you can sing to empty walls. You need people to hear your music, like it and buy it, so if you don’t honor the fact that they buy your music and that it is also the fan’s word of mouth that actually interests others in hearing and purchasing your music, you lose big time.
Artists need to be nice to those who listen to their music and spread the word about your art, ALL OF THE TIME. Whether you are fatigued from traveling a lot and playing at different places, feeling that you have license to let out your frustration at someone can be devastating. One careless word to someone can do great damage to someone who has loved and followed your career. In the age of cyber communications, words, photos and bad news spread around the globe like wildfire and that’s just as quickly as great news about your music does.
Fans are the ones who take you where you need to go and keep you exactly where it is that you are. Be very careful not to destroy your career by being insensitive to even ‘ONE’ fan. Nobody will want to manage you and that’s because when word gets around, nobody will want to book you.
You stand to lose GREATLY when you take the most important people in your career for granted and there’s a penalty for how badly we treat others in music. Your reputation gets around, which means you have to work harder to undo the damage you have done to try and win back public confidence. So why work hard when you can work smart. Just as the great news of your wonderful music got around fast, so does the bad news of how badly you treated someone get around fast also.
Your music maybe the new flavor of the month and so are you, but you need to remember who has placed you where you are. First God’s will and then those who listen and are blessed by your music. So keep it clean, be thankful to Him and to the listeners and honor them in all that you do.
The same applies for how we speak with people we think we don’t know over the telephone in customer service. My husband and I executive produced a show in New York (“Melodies of Spring Concert 2013,” http://www.melodiesofnyc.com) and elected a well known ticketing service in New York to do ticket sales. I called their hotline one day and asked a policy question about the show that we were doing pertaining to ticket purchases, because someone I knew complained about having problems with the service. I did not say who I was, but I soon realized that my concert goer was right. The agent I spoke to was very crass and had a very unfriendly, condescending tone on her voice.
With an angry tone, she asked me a question because she was not clear on the guidelines. I finally said, “I am the producer of the production that I am asking the ticket sales policies about,” she quickly changed her tone and became nice and friendly. So you see no matter what side of music or entertainment one is on, one must always be mindful to observe friendly, courteous and supportive behavior.
Listen to Carmen host the New York Podcasting Cafe