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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Learning Promotional Methods from the White Girl Mob
Thursday, July 07, 2011

I am not here today to debate the merits of the music of the White Girl Mob, which is made up of Kreayshawn, whom you already know I dig, DJ Lil Debbie and V-Nasty (pictured L to R). I’m here to tell you they’re kicking your ass when it comes to internet promotion. Actually I’m not just here to tell that to you, I’m here to show you how they’re doing it.

Kreayshawn is the star of the crew, but the promotional firepower starts with DJ Lil Debbie. Her Twitter bio at @L1LD3BB13 links to both @kreayshawn's and @vnasty35’s accounts (the latter was JUST changed to @THArealVNASTY a few days ago. I'm sure Lil Debbie will alter her profile accordingly). That’s nearly 15k followers who can now easily find the rest of her crew. Kreayshawn already has nearly 70k followers, but V-Nasty is just over the 13k mark. The link she put up with her Twitter bio goes directly to a hulkshare file of one of her songs. The song has been up since the fall of 2010. With her 13k+ followers she has over 11k downloads. Even assuming half of those downloads aren’t from her Twitter followers, that’s still one heck of a large percentage. There’s a lot to be learned from all of this.

What Lil Debbie has done reminds me a lot of the old website and blog networks, which were a way for sites and blogs with similar content to share their readers with each other. On a smaller level, this is what Lil Debbie did with her Twitter bio, and in the case of V-Nasty it worked, because I don’t know if I would have clicked on her page if it wasn’t right there in front of me. Artists who make it easy on potential listeners usually get more listeners. That’s pretty simple artist math.

Far too many artists try to shove a ton of things down everyone’s throat at once. “Download my 79 minute mixtape.” “Buy my album.” “Download this song by signing up for my email list even though you’ve never heard my music before.” The simplicity of just saying here’s one song, one four minute song you can listen to, and if you want it you can download it for free, isn’t just beautiful, in a world of short attention spans and a million artists vying for everyone’s listening time, it’s smart. As hard as it may be to hear, 99.9% of the world isn’t going to download your 79 minute mixtape just to find out who you are as an artist. As V-Nasty has shown, however, a fairly decent amount people who may only have a passing interest in you because they’ve heard your name once or twice will listen to and download one song. What an artist does after that will decide where their ship of fans will be steered, but the key is the fans will be there.

Email lists are easier to get people sign up for once there’s some familiarity with an artist's work. I signed up for Kreayshawn’s email list. It was required if you wanted the free download of her latest song, “Rich Whores.” Since I liked her first song so much it was a no brainer for me, which is why if you’re an underground artist it makes sense to give away a song without making people sign up for your email list. Hook people first, then make em do something to get the music. People are more willing to jump through a hoop once you’ve given them a reason to. Another way to think of it is like dating. If the goal is a relationship you have to take steps to get there. You don’t start on the tenth date.

The first email I received as a member of Kreayshawn’s list started out with a phrase more email blasts should start with – Thank You. She thanked everyone for downloading the single. It’s such a small act, but one that shows there’s a genuine appreciation and I, like most, am more apt to continue reading an email blast if it doesn’t start with a spewing of self-promotion and requests to spend money.

Love em or hate em, the ladies of the White Girl Mob are utilizing some time tested methods of internet promotion that are right there for everyone. They’ve shown artists the blueprint, now make it work for you.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:32 AM  
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