This morning I have been having a discussion with someone I know – let’s call her Pauline – about putting a review up on the Facebook page she has for her business. It would be a good, and legitimate review, as I experienced what she does recently and it was fantastic.
Pauline asked me to post one a few weeks ago, and having thought about it for a while, this morning I declined, and have been trying to explain my reasons. I did say that I would be happy to recommend her service privately, but that I didn’t feel comfortable posting a public review.
Pauline has been persistent in her request, and I admire her for that, because persistence is generally a good skill to have in life. If you have it, you are more likely to succeed at tasks that take some doing. I have been told by many radio DJs, reviewers and journalists that they are more likely to read your email (which probably requests them to play/listen to/write about your music) if they receive it more than once.
But I also believe that excellence trumps persistence every time. If you have a killer track, the radio DJ is going to want to play it without you even having to ask. If you have a reputation in the music business as the best trumpeter in Ireland, then when Michael Bublé comes to Dublin and his trumpeter gets sick, he’ll ask for recommendations and you’ll get the gig.
But that recommendation will have come from someone in the know, someone who has knows how good you are at what you do, not from a review you have asked someone to put on your Facebook page.
Now I know that there is a balance to be struck here. Every business has a different marketing strategy, and for some, it might be to get as many favourable Facebook reviews as possible. And if you have decided that that’s your strategy, then you have to be persistent in following it. It’s certainly true that if you have an amazing service and no-one knows about it then you’re not going to get any business.
However I also believe that you are going to be persistent, maybe it’s better to be persistent at thinking of ways to make your service better, at practicing your craft, or at finding that elusive word that best suits the lyric you are trying to write. Then you won’t need to be as persistent in other areas, because people will come looking for you, as they already do for Pauline.
It’s also better in the long run to get a gig because someone wants you, rather than because you have hounded them into submission. The dynamic when you actually go to do the gig will be far more favourable to you in that case, and you are also more likely to be asked back.
Sisyphus was persistent, but it ultimately didn’t do him any good. Be persistent by all means, but be sure you’re being persistent in the right areas.