Last night I went to a free show at the Satellite. Ordinarily I wouldn't have gone out on a "school night" but the show was free and I was trying to purge my ill feelings that are usually associated with Mondays.
We missed the first band because its LA and parking is a nightmare anywhere in the city. The second band reminded me of something I would have listened to as an angsty youth. And the third band was, well, I will let you decide for yourself after you read this gem of a lyric:
"My dick in my hand, my unborn children screaming 'don't sleep with that man'"
The upsetting part was that this band had all of the elements that go in to becoming a decent band. Musically they were wonderful, sometimes even reminding me of Black Keys. That is until, I listened deeper. If I had never spoken a word of English, I'd have been led to believe that this band might actually make it on the radio. I'd feel privileged to have heard this band in a small venue before they "made it big." Unfortunately, my English is fluent and my ears are still functioning.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well like any Growing Pains or Full House episode, there is always a moral at the end of the story. Building a brand (or band) requires planning, tenacity, consistency and quality. You can't just slap together a group of mismatched people and crank out a few half-decent songs. Eventually, someone in the crowd is going to call bullshit and write a strongly worded blog post about how you have no idea what you're doing, kind of like this guy...
If the band (which will remain unnamed) had sought out a professional to help write their lyrics before cranking out a free show, they would have made a positive lasting impression on me (which may have resulted in me purchasing a t-shirt, attending a future show, downloading their album on iTunes, etc.) They obviously didn't get the memo that it takes a village to build a brand.
You don't (and shouldn't) do everything yourself. If words aren''t your forte, it's OK to hire someone to write your blog posts (ever heard of niconewmedia.com? :) )
While it's important to keep costs down, especially if you are a small business, you are doing your brand (and your audience) a disservice if you deliver a product that isn't quite right for consumption. You must give the crowd what they want each and every night--a kickass performance.