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Cris Cohen
178 followers -
Professional social media for professional musicians
Professional social media for professional musicians

178 followers
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Cris's posts

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I have found that rough video snippets can be just as interesting to fans as full length, polished ones. I posted this to the Cowboy Mouth page last night. It is just 26 seconds and was taken with an iPhone, but it is already getting a great reaction.

Some things to keep in mind... (1) the video can't be too rough. If the camera is shaking or the audio is completely unintelligible, people won't watch. (2) You need to choose a good snippet. However, what constitutes "good" will be different for everyone. It depends on the band / business, what fans love about them, etc.

This clip works because it captures one of the Cowboy Mouth concert traditions. Audience members bring red, plastic spoons to the shows. (I've heard local Dairy Queens get a surge in traffic before a concert.) And when the band gets to that one point in the song "Everybody Loves Jill"...

https://youtu.be/WmD1mhPDszs

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If you can hire a professional photographer, you should. The results they get are amazing and will make your social media content look much better.

However, even amateur photographers like myself can take photos of value by capturing those moments that most fans are not privy to. For instance, here is a shot I took yesterday at the sound check for clients Cowboy Mouth. It is not as exciting as photos from the concert, but I think it is a cool, contemplative moment that most people don't get to see. 
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At some point you need to be brave and post original content. I see so many musicians who just post other people's content on their own pages because they think that is the short cut to success.

Yet if you went to these same musicians and told them they should give up on their own material and just become a Taylor Swift cover band, they would be insulted. But really, that is what they are doing with their social media.

Actually, they are not even doing that much. Cover bands at least play instruments. These people are doing shows where they connect their phone to some speakers and play Taylor Swift songs on shuffle. Then they wonder why they can't sell tickets to their concerts. 
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"Being a musician is all about leaving a legacy. And that’s not about money. That’s about music. If you can’t leave a musical legacy, if you can’t be remembered for what you did, there’s no sense in doing it. It’s not just about making a hit right now, making a few dollars right now, make a lot of dollars right now. It’s about people leaving a stamp that a lot of people are going to remember." - Kim Wilson of clients The Fabulous Thunderbirds
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I've seen client Rich Redmond covered in sweat after a sound check. There are some performers who phone in the whole concert. Meanwhile he doesn't even coast for a 15 minute test of mics, instruments, and synced video effects. When he sits down at the kit, he commits himself fully, whether it is a packed stadium or an empty one. It's a great example to follow.
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Cris: How would you describe your sound?

John Papa Gros: New Orleans is a neighborhood town. All of our music comes from neighborhoods. Fats Domino came from the Ninth Ward. The Neville Brothers came from uptown, the Thirteenth Ward. But every neighborhood has its own little take on this music and it has been evolving for the last hundred years. So what I call New Orleans music is an amalgamation. We always use the reference of a gumbo. Our music is like a pot of gumbo, where all of these different ingredients are thrown into the pot and and what comes out is as unique as the cook stirring the pot. I play New Orleans music.
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The not-so-magic formula

Everyone is trying to figure out the magic formula for social media. If all you care about are the number of followers, then that formula is (click bait headline) + (trending hashtag) + (cat video or fail video). However, if you want genuine fans, customers, people who will spend money on you, then this formula will not work.

If you want followers of substance, you need to create content of substance. To acquire genuine fans, I think the formula is (quality content) + (patience) + (persistence).
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If you publish a post on a Facebook page that is only text, the algorithm will intentionally squash it so it is seen by fewer people than normal. To avoid this, every post on a public page should have a:
> Photo 
> Video
> Link to a news story, blog post, etc.
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I met Glenn Frey once. It was around 1991. I was working as an assistant to Jim Ladd at KLSX in Los Angeles. Frey was a guest on Jim's show one night. He brought several bottles of beer for the two to share. 

My job was to screen calls before they went on air. When I asked the callers what they were going to ask Glenn, they answered with questions about songwriting, touring, etc. Then when they got on the air they inevitably just blurted out "When are The Eagles getting back together?"

During a commercial break, I went in to the booth and apologized. I explained that they were intelligent with me on the phone, but lost it when they got on air.

Glenn smiled and said, "OK, Cris. But if the next calls suck, we're blaming you."
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One fan's great tribute video to clients Huey Lewis & The News. Filmmaker Michael Feld sings "The Heart of Rock & Roll" in all 14 cities mentioned in the song.
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