STOP Astroturfing. Create REAL Fans with REAL Content.

Quickly defined, “Astroturfing” is creating “fake buzz” about your band or product.  This has always existed in one form or another.  Take for example the stories of record execs visiting local record stores to buy up all the product in an effort to make it appear as if their act moved a ton of records.

When forums first came about, bands would create alternate ID’s to go in and talk up their music in an attempt to stir up some buzz.

It’s fake. Just like Astro-turf It has no roots.  Just like Astroturf.  So it is easily removed and replaced with something else.

Lately, I’ve been seeing some businesses use this approach. I’ve also been running into bands that still use this approach, and it has been mainly taking place on Facebook.

Tell me if this looks familiar:

“Get all of your friends to post how much they like our band and leave it as your status update for an hour!”

Look, I’m no guru or anything. I don’t claim to be an expert…ok, maybe I do claim to be an “expert”.  😉

But don’t you think it is much more organically powerful to create REAL content that people can share to spread your message?

That’s a rhetorical question.  IT IS MORE POWERFUL.

Here is what I mean by real content

1.  Videos of you performing acoustic cover songs or originals and posting to Youtube/Vimeo so your fans can easily embed and share.  Videos of you on the road, backstage, soundcheck, doing comedy skits.  Check out Guster’s Joe’s Place Webisodes for a perfect example.  Jakob Freely (my band) did some of these while recording our last full length.  Click Here to view that one.

2.  Blogs, blogs, and more blogs:  I started blogging in 2004.  By 2005, it was the most popular page on my website.  I told REAL stories from my life and the road.  It gave “fans” more access to me and when I saw them at shows, it gave us an opportunity to talk about things other than music and build a stronger relationship in the process.

3.  Demo & Live Recordings:  Aside from a Flip type video camera of some sort, the best investment you can make in your bands web content strategy is a ZOOM Handy Recorder.  Record demos, shows, rehearsals.  Put them all up on your website for free download.  I can’t stress this enough and I am BLOWN AWAY when people resist.  People will still buy your music…stop resisting giving some of it away.  BE GENEROUS.  It will come back to you ten fold.

Listen, or uh read:  Quality over Quantity.  Now repeat that.  QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.  You want quality fans.  This is the only way you are going to get them.  By being there for them and “rewarding” them with 24/7 access to you and your music.

Show me an artist with even 1,000 hardcore fans and I’ll show you an artist with a very meaningful and lasting career.

We can go much deeper with this, but I’ll stop here for now.  The meaning of this post was to get you to realize that “fake buzz” does nothing more than satisfy your own ego.

Create talk that has some real roots attached to it…

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Twitter:  @davemhuffman

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2 Comments on “STOP Astroturfing. Create REAL Fans with REAL Content.”

  1. sharpmusic Says:

    Amen, brother. Too many indie musicians spend too much time trying to convince themselves they are cool…which makes them not. People see through BS.
    – Chad http://sharpmusic.wordpress.com


  2. That’s funny you mention “too cool” Chad. When I first started chasing a career with music, I prematurely hired a manager.

    The manager told me to “act like a star” everywhere I went.

    I never really understood it and I’m glad I didn’t act on it…could have turned a ton of people off.


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