This is not going to be one of those deep, thoughtful, analytical posts (as if I ever wrote one 😉 ). I just need to vent.

Last Saturday, in Prince Street, in the middle of Soho, a man (I will not mention his name, because as you will see, he does not deserve publicity) was handing out CDs. As with anything digital, I felt the urge to find out more, so I took it. Before I could even read the cover, he said “are you going to pay or what?”.

Surprised, but still curious, I saw that there was a website on the CD’s cover (no link, since he does not deserve any publicity). Since I was in a hurry, and without a way to find out what was inside the CD, I told him “I will go online and check it out”. And he replied “if you ain’t gonna pay, no need to go to my website… better yet don’t go to my website you @#$%”.

Since I did not want to get into an argument, but wanted to make him realize that his “business model” was failing, I asked him a question to make him think (if, given the words exchange we just had, that was possible): “do you take credit cards?”. He just took the CD from my hand, furious, and look the other way.

Basically, here are some basic lessons, for you aspiring “my-own-record-label” artist handing out CDs on the streets:

  • Do not insult your potential “customers”
  • Since nobody can find out what your “product” is like, how about playing your music from a boombox?
  • Take credit cards (easy with Square)
  • Welcome any interest, you never know how much influence the blogger you are talking to may have 😉
  • If anybody pays attention to your music, make it easy for them to find out more, and to share it with their friends
  • It’s the XXI century, for the love of God, use the frigging net and not just a static website made with Photoshop (sic) with not even samples of your work!
  • Throw-in some additional value (autographs, stickers, concert tickets, link to special video-clip, etc)
  • Add social: netwok, events, newsletter, rss…
  • Quantify, more important than monetize (as long as you know what to do with that info, which I doubt)
  • And remember: you are supposed to be doing it for the lulz, just like all of “us” 😛