Jamie Dailey’s keynote speech to open this year’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh was the equivalent of mom urging you to ignore all the sumptuous entrees and desserts on the table and eat your vegetables.
Playing music is fun, but bands operate at their own peril if they don’t take time to focus on the business aspect of the music business, he said, tailoring his remarks to the focus of this year’s bluegrass business conference: Branding.
“In this day and age, we have to modify some of the ways that we conduct our business,” said half of one of acoustic music’s most successful duos, Dailey and Vincent.
Every band, traditional, or envelope pushing, needs a social media presence, which Dailey called a great way to build brand recognition on a limited budget. He also urged bands of all stripes to buy into using video, citing research that social media users are 10 times more likely to engage in posts that include video.
But, he added, bands have to be careful to restrain the hype, lest they can’t deliver on their promises. If solid branding was a three-legged stool – my words, not his – the legs would be credibility, honesty and authenticity.
Finally, he suggested that bands look for fresh, innovative ways to present their stage show.
Then and only then can bands do what they do best: Step up and play.