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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
theleveller I need some honest advice (91* d) RE: I need some honest advice 27 Feb 15

Hi Alan. I was in two minds about whether to send this or not as it might sound a bit harsh, but I hope that you may get something positive out of what I say.

I came across your post on a rare visit to Mudcat and clicked on the link out of curiosity. I don't know who you are, so what I have to say is purely based on what I've seen in your video. I want to comment from two perspectives:

Firstly, as a punter. Would I pay to see you, based on your video? No. In fact, I'd pay not to. You come across as an amiable but irritating buffoon. I've never been comfortable with the comedian/folk singer combination for me, it seldom, if ever, works. Your appearance is that of an unsuccessful children's entertainer maybe a Wurzel Gummage impersonator. Your jokes aren't funny, your material is banal and, to be honest, there are hundreds of amateur floor singers out there who can play and sing better than you. These days, for better or worse, successful professional folk musicians are generally slick, highly accomplished and have something unique to offer (I'll come to that later). I think you need to a bit of make-over.

Secondly and this is probably where I can give some useful advice as an advertising and marketing creative director who has created hundreds of commercials and promotional videos. Basically, from a production point of view, your video is a mess on every level. Pretty much any savvy teenager could create something better on their iPhone (do you know any savvy teenagers who could help?). My best advice would be to befriend a student who is doing a film or media studies course and persuade them (strong liquor is always good) to take you on as a project and use what they are learning/have learned to put together something that looks great and is maybe even a bit radical, and most important attention-grabbing from the word 'go'.

Next, to you and your material. If you're sending this video out as a promotion it must be what you consider is the very best of what you do. Really? No wonder it isn't getting much response. You need to look carefully at yourself and, if possible find a USP (unique selling proposition). What makes you stand out from the crowd? What are your really, really good at? It may be that you need someone to shoot some specific footage of you, perhaps performing one of your best songs that really showcases your talent. Your film student would be delighted to do this and make sure that the sound and visual quality are amazing. Think of yourself as a brand and decide what your proposition is, what your brand values are, and how these best come across.

Then you need to think about who you're sending it to. Do a bit of research on what type of artistes they usually book; do they like comedy; do they prefer traditional stuff; are they into singer/songwriters? Then tailor your video specifically to them this isn't hard to do with today's digital technology and it may be that you just need to create three or four different versions of your video. Then and this is the secret of good cold marketing ring them up beforehand to introduce yourself, and ring them up when you've sent the video, to make sure they've received it and hopefully played it, and to get feedback, which will be more valuable than anything I or anyone here, can give.

Hope that's a little bit helpful. Best of luck.

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