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Wednesday, May 07, 2008 

Crossing the Line to Make a Buck in the Music Business

by Madalyn Sklar

We all know there are sharks out there waiting to take your hard earned money. They promise things but don't deliver. We always keep a watchful eye out for them. And I must say it's just as upsetting when they disguise themselves as do-gooders with loads of free information to gain your trust only to lead you astray or give out bad or inaccurate information. It's crossing the line to make a buck.

So with that said, I'm always on the lookout...

I get really irritated when so called fellow music industry professionals use inappropriate marketing tactics to get you to buy something so they will earn a hefty commission. This happened yesterday on several Yahoo discussion groups that I'm a member of. I felt compelled to respond and call this guy out on what he was doing.

The subject of his email read:

Get 10,000 MySpace Music Fans/Buyers Every Month!

Okay wait a minute... that was an immediate red flag to me. You cannot get 10,000 fans/buyers (um "friends" would be the appropriate term here - another red flag, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about!) every month. In his post he talked about how it's important to have a Myspace page and that you should check out his FriendBlasterPro "informational link" (love that one) on his Myspace page for details.

So I go to his (not impressive) Myspace page and there are several paragraphs of inflated numbers that would make just about any naive indie musician salivate.

Here is a condensed version of what it said:

Add a whopping 350 fans/buyers daily! Balloon your network to 2,450 fans/buyers weekly! And, gather an incredibly humongous 9,800 fans/buyers monthly!

And, your number of friends added will easily go to over 10,000 each month due to other people visiting YOUR friends that you have added and seeing your link on THEIR MySpace sites. At the end of one year of having used this automated software on a daily basis, your MySpace Friend Network will have grown to over 120,000 people!

There were links to take you to Friend Blaster Pro, which by the way I think is a great program to use when it comes to adding friends quickly and efficiently on Myspace. But what people don't realize is that this guy is getting you all worked up so you'll buy this program which will in turn give him a nice commission per sale. Now I have NO problem with him saying, "hey I love this program and recommend it" so that you go to the link, buy it and he gets a kickback. What irks me is the WAY he's doing it!

So I responded to this man's post on two Yahoo lists to let him know how I feel and to educate him as well as the readers.

Here's my response (I removed his name and took out those Myspace stats quoted above):

That is not very responsible advice you are giving out about Myspace and Friend Blaster Pro. I’m not against using adder programs but what you are telling people on your Myspace page is not smart. If you use an adder program and do 350 friend requests a day you will red flag your account and possibly get deleted. I have been working bands Myspace pages for years and my advice is to stay under 300. Ideally do between 200-275 daily.

What you are doing here, and I’m going to call you out on this, is that you are getting people excited about these inflated numbers so they will check out Friend Blaster Pro from the link you posted on your Myspace page. If they buy it you get a commission on the sale. I’m not against you sending people to a site you think is worthy where you get a commission but the way you are going about it is not very appropriate. It’s no wonder so many indie musicians have a hard time trusting us music industry professionals when a sneaky tactic is used to get them to buy a product so you make a few bucks.

It’s not right! Maybe it explains why I’m a successful music business coach/consultant for well over 12 years because I don’t believe in these tactic to make $. Yes, I will refer people to a product or service I believe in where I get a referral commission. But I DO NOT use a tactic like this to do it!

I felt I did the right thing calling him out on this. I do not like seeing indie artists getting taken advantage of. Maybe that was not his intention. I don't know. I'm patiently awaiting his response to this.

I would LOVE to hear your comments on this subject. Please feel free to respond.

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out http://www.indiemusiccoach.com/ for more info.

Great post as usual! The part that caught my eye was actually your recommendation for how many MySpace adds to stay under each day. I would love to read more blog posts featuring your advice on MySpace marketing and other online marketing for musicians. Practical advice like that is just what many of us need. ☺

These tools are great and theres lots of useful stuff muso's can use to promote on the net.

But I would strongly suggest agree using these tools is best approached with the advice of someone who knows how they should be employed with some knowledge of sound marketing basics to create the most positive and effective results.

Somebody like this, if not the same person, sent my band myspace something like that. I think calling him out was definitely the right thing to do.

Well it's been one week and the guy has not responded to me directly nor on the Yahoo lists where this occured. It's speaking volumes about him.

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WHO IS MADALYN SKLAR?


    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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