What Poor Evangelism Can Teach Indie Artists

Most musicians who weren't handed everything to them have spent some time in the service industry and everyone who has worked in the service industry has had someone tip them in a pamphlet about religion instead of cash. Now, these people (probably) don't mean you any harm nor do they consciously think they are doing anything wrong. They genuinely think they are helping you by sharing something they love and value that information more than the money that they would have given you.


It is a simple separation of values and a complete misunderstanding of effective communication. No matter the religion, when evangelizing they are people who are passionate about their beliefs to a level where they are willing and enthused to share that with anyone they can. Sound Familiar?

Musicians are the same way - They just love their music so much that they can't stop talking about it and they want to let everyone know how great they product is. Often times they will even share this music in situations that dismiss the standards and values of other demographics. For example, almost every artist (ourselves included) have tried passing out fliers in the windshields of cars. We know that no one likes to find something shoved in their car window but we all do it anyways. We ignore the wants and likelihood of success to promote ourselves anyways even if we already know that people don't want you to.


We, as musicians, ignore these signs because we value one more fan and increased awareness of our brand more than we weigh the cost of people's slight frustration of removing something from their windshield. In fact, we improperly weigh these factors because we put additional value by believing in our product so much that we believe anyone who takes the time to listen to our music will become a fan of our music. When you put in the small cost to print these fliers and the small amount of time it takes to pass them out in an urban area it is almost a no brainer for bands to be willing to do this.

To go back to evangelism - we just need to remember that these people are the same as us in that they mean well. It used to really piss me off when someone would leave me a message instead of a tip but they don't realize that they are hurting their religion's image more than they are helping and it's not because they are leaving pamphlets or because they make us uncomfortable - it's because we work hard at our jobs and deserve to be tipped for waiting on someone hand and foot.

Just keep in mind when trying to come up with a marketing strategy (whether for a band or a product or anything) to put yourself in the mind of your target audience and use their perspective to get them enthused for your product instead of frustrated that you wasted your time.

Thanks For Your Time - Tip Your Bartenders.