I’m procrastinating - looking to do anything other than the job that I need to do (I’ve even done my taxes).
The job I need to do is to send messages to people to let them know that I'll be playing a gig near them soon and it will be great to see them. Now this is obviously a pretty important job to do, however, due to the algorithms on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, and the fact that we tend to follow an awful lot of people, not that many of you see my tour announcements or are even aware of the fact that I’ll be gigging nearby very soon. Therefore the only way of making sure that people know - is by putting something in their inbox.
I always try and be really nice about this, I personalise each message where I feel appropriate and try and have a catch up as well. The majority of those exchanges are really wonderful and it's great to talk to people, but, every time I do it, there is always someone who says, "you only ever contact me when you have a gig". Now while this is true for most of those who I'm contacting, I want you to factor in the following things:
1. I respond to every message I get, so if you’ve not heard from me since the last time I was on tour, then it probably means that you’ve not messaged me either. So, it’s a little bit annoying (and hypocritical) when someone has a pop at me when they haven’t made an effort themselves. I mean we could go on being Facebook friends forever and neither of us ever messaging each other, but what would be the point in that? Plus, I always make sure I go through and wish everyone a happy birthday, so at least once a year you’ll hear from me in a non promotional capacity (unless you’ve got your birthday hidden on facebook).
2. I never get annoyed if people say they can't make it, and as I said, I always then try to have a conversation about other things, it's not like I send the message and when you say you can't make it, I just ignore you, and that is in spite of the fact that I'm probably messaging a few hundred people in a short space of time. I understand that people have a lot going on in their lives and coming to see a guy who's pretty unknown sing some songs isn't going to be high on many people’s priorities!
3. I've got about 4000 facebook friends (not that I’m bragging). It is really hard to keep in contact with everyone constantly, especially when I have plenty of gigs keeping me busy and I've got my close friends and family who hardly see me! If I spent every other minute messaging people then I'd never write a song, or make any more music. The only thing I'd ever have to write about is sitting in front of my computer chatting online. I think I've covered that topic well enough in Confessions Of A Facebook Stalker! It's time consuming enough to message people just when I've got a gig coming up, and I always try and thank those who come to the gigs afterwards as well (if I've not done this to you, please tell me off!)
4. This is my job, and if I'm not asking you to come to my gigs when I'm nearby, then I'm not really doing it very well.
5. Who are your favourite musicians? How many times have they told you about their gigs personally. I know I'm probably not anyone’s favourite musician (apart from maybe my mum’s), but you understand my point!
6. Most people who I'm friends with on Facebook added me as a friend. I'm assuming this is because they've been to a gig or know of me as a musician. If you add a musician for that reason, they'll assume that you're interested in what they do (maybe not, but I'd say it's a pretty fair assumption). To then get annoyed when you hear from that musician about their music, seems a bit harsh. And if you don't like it, rather than have a go at them, the easiest thing to do is just delete them as a friend! I have no issue when someone unfollows me or removes me as a friend. If you're not interested any more in what I'm doing, then it's the best way of stopping me from bugging you! I used to have 5000 facebook friends so I guess I’ve annoyed a lot of people in the past!
6. The other annoying factor in this, is that I tend to not message those who have already got their tickets, who often are the ones who make a point of finding out when I'm playing near and getting their tickets early. I apologise to those people, as I guess you may hear less from me, despite the fact you're always there for me! I really hope it doesn’t appear that I’m taking you for granted.
So I'm trying to save myself time by getting people to sign up to my new mailing list, so even though it won't be personal, I can hopefully put a message in people's inbox without me feeling like they've not signed up for it. You can sign up on my website and it really would be great if you did! Of course, you can also unsubscribe pretty easily if you feel I'm sending too many messages (I'm going to aim for no more than one message a month!)
I also really hope I see you on the tour dates I've got over the next few weeks. All the details can be found here: www.davejgiles.com/gigs. If you've already got your tickets, then I'll see you there. :D If you haven't, then you can probably expect a message from me over the next few days and I’m looking forward to catching up with you as a result!
I hope you're well.