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 CDs 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 aint 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” 😛