You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover, But You Can Buy One

Omar Abdul

Omar Abdul

So last night I posted a ton of things on craigslist, as I am moving out of my apartment and need to get rid of stuff.  I couldn’t help but notice how fast responses came back for a few of my items, while people never showed interest in other items. I started to wonder why this was. Yea, you could make the argument that certain items are more useful around the house, and that’s why they got scooped up first.  But, in reconsidering a few things and revisiting my craigslist posts, I noticed that the camera lighting in certain pictures made the items more appealing.  One person wrote back and said, “these two pieces just pop out and say buy me”.  Meanwhile the dullness of my other pictures made other items look like crap!

So today’s post is about presentation. Everybody’s selling a CD, just like everybody’s selling their living room furniture on craigslist.  Why should yours be the one they buy? 

Avoiding Tunnel Vision
Sometimes we get so consumed with what we’ve got going on, that we forget we’re not the most important thing in the world. Musicians often suffer from illusions of grandeur, convincing themselves that just because they’re putting out a new CD, everyone will want to buy it.  Wrong!  This will most likely never happen and it will probably take longer than you think to sell those first 1000 units. BUT avoiding tunnel vision is half the battle.  Don’t assume everyone wants what you have.   You can’t sell yourself if you’re already sold.

Go Out of Your Way to…
…make yourself look better than the rest.  But don’t even be a snob about it.  Whether you’re pushing a physical copy of your Cd, a gig, or something else, strive to raise the bar.  Raise it so high that even you have a hard time reaching it. It’ll keep you on your toes.  Make sure your sound check is done way before people start tricking in.  Plan for the whole band to be on stage at the same time. Nothing worse than 4 out of 5 members standing around waiting for their drummer to get on stage so they can start the show.  Have great promo material that looks professional (yes, this costs money).

Even After You’ve Proven Yourself…
…don’t sacrifice on quality.  Never let your guard down. Be someone people always expect quality from.  Just because they already know you can deliver, doesnt mean you shouldn’t deliver anymore. Omar Abdul, 1/2 of the team behind Pittsburgh’s monthly “The Big Throwback” says it best: “Doesn’t matter how bad you suck, as long as you’re consistent, people will keep coming back.”  Perhaps there’s some truth in this…but i happen to think it makes a world of difference if you don’t suck 🙂

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One Comment on “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover, But You Can Buy One”

  1. […] You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover, But You Can Buy One […]

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