The CEO of Rock Blog

The Quest of a Student/Entrepreneur to Add Value in Music and Business

Six ways to make songs that get people talking!

I am not talking about poor quality guitar strings or amp distortion cranked up to 11. At least not this time.

I am talking about making music that people talk about.

The author of Buzzmarketing, Mark Hughes, identifies six “buttons” of conversation starting subjects. While I am sure these are not the only ones, these are tools I hope you can be aware of. Press one, and you will see their effects. Press more than one, and you will have stronger buzz around you or your music.

1. The “Taboo Button” – Being a rebel is not an unusual concept to music. Many genres of music were birthed through expressing distaste for the status quo, and hold it as close as a family crest. Many songs have sexual innuendos ranging from the subtle to the blatantly obvious, from Jason Mraz’s “Clockwatching” to Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl”.

2. The “Unusual Button” – Similar to taboo, but rather than offensive, this button leans more on the seldom done things. If you want examples, Weird Al’s “The Food Album” or the “buffalaxed” bollywood music video.

3. The “Outrageous Button” – in the Buzzmarketing book, Mark Hughes talks about the site/company, To promote their site, they convinced a town to temporarily rename their town “Half”. It was crazy, so it made headlines. For a more music industry-themed example, look no further than Kanye West’s non-acceptance speech that occured at the VMA’s where Taylor was trying to thank those who helped her win. Outrageous? Yes. Rude? Yes. It just goes to show that you can be rude or not rude while still hitting the outrageous button.

4. The “Hilarious Button” – Humour sells, especially when combined with any of the previous buttons. Steven Lynch has been making a career of performing songs in his comedy act for years. I am sure he is not the only one.

Politics is a good place to find humour as well, as it combines your humor with the popularity of major political figures.

5. Push the “Remarkable Button” – This is the one that I favor the most out of all of them because of its reputation building power. It is also the subject of many Seth Godin posts and even a book of his titled Purple Cow. This comes from delivering value above and beyond what your competition offers. Steve Vai does it with guitar, Josh Groban does it with singing, Daft Punk does it with robot- influenced techno music.

You can also do it with promotion. One example of this is a Radiohead album that was released by the band at a “pay what you want” price.

6. The “Secret Button” – You may be thinking it is hard to promote something by keeping it a secret, and it is. What you can do is create mailing lists, forum groups, and other systems which create exclusivity. You can charge extra or only admit a certain amount of people at a time. Once you do, provide value above and beyond to them. Free concert footage, inside looks at your new songs, participation in the writing process, parties, or backstage passes are all methods to try. With a little brainstorming you can come up with several yourself.

While I read the entire Buzzmarketing book, you can get this information in his words by going to his (Mark Hughes) website and downloading chapter 13 in ebook form without paying a dime.


October 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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