The myth of overexposure

GeckoAfter sharing with a good friend a recent video I created, he asked if I wanted him to post it on his Facebook page. I didn’t ask, nor did I really expect him to since he generously posts things about me from time to time. Following that question, he made a comment that struck me that I thought was worth some consideration.

He expressed his concern that posting it might be overexposure for me. I certainly understand where he was coming from. “Yet another posting about a Mike Lake thing.” But, it raised a bigger issue in my mind that relates to marketing. What is overexposure?

Coke spends well over $1 billion each year on marketing and advertising. Is it because there are still tons of people that don’t know what a Coke is? No, it’s because at every given moment, their potential consumer is assaulted with competing marketing messages and drawn to other soft drink options. To keep top of mind with as many consumers as possible, Coke is everywhere: Billboards, television commercials, magazine ads, sponsorships of hundreds of events, merchandise, social media campaigns. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were vying to project their logo on the moon.

Back on earth, the skill of creating quality brand exposure is lacking for a group that needs it most desperately: musicians.

Let me just say that I don’t think there is any such thing as overexposure. I’m not referring to saying or writing the same boring thing over and over until people are sick of it (and you). But that’s just redundant annoyance, not good marketing. As with Coke, if you have a product/service that you believe in, you owe it to yourself to create ways to consistently promote it to the widest possible audience.

Here are just a few things you could do to promote your music or performances – and do them with creativity and frequency!:

  • Videos on your Youtube channel. Step one: start a Youtube channel. Your videos could be performances or explanations of how you do things with your music. It could be interviews with people in your musical “space”. If you have the personality for it, you could video yourself just being entertaining. Gerry Pagano does this exceptionally well, but not all of us have the personality for it.
  • Build an email list so that you can promote your music to your “tribe”. It’s not a quick process to build a good list, but if you are persistent, you can grow it into a very useful tool. In fact, I would say that your list is one of your greatest assets. You don’t have millions of dollars to advertise, but you can build a list of followers who want to hear about your music. Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response are just a few of the many services that are available to help you with the mechanics of list building and emailing from that list.
  • Social media postings are something you probably already do, but are you getting the most out of it? There is no one way to work social media. Find the sites that complement your music and personal preferences, and develop a systematic, persistent process that works for you. I look for things that will engage my audience of trombone players. I recently posted a recording of Frank Rosolino and Lou Levy playing and discussing a couple of tunes. Not only was it fascinating to hear Frank play, but it was a slice of history that trombone players are likely to appreciate. Maybe a video of kittens playing with an empty box attracts likes and comments, but does it attract and serve the interests of YOUR audience?
  • Do you have a web site? This should probably be number one on this list. But having a website is just the beginning. How are you using it and what does it contain? It is built using current technology (is it an old Flash-based site or a newer WordPress platform)? Does it prominently promote your music? Is your full contact information easy to locate? Are you including your web address on your email signatures, posts, Youtube videos, etc? Remember, no such thing as overexposure!

As you can probably tell, I’m an enthusiastic marketer who enjoys talking and teaching it. Feel free to reach out to me or leave a comment on this post asking a question about improving (or starting) your marketing. Remember, there’s no such thing as overexposure. Just ask Geico!


  1. Jim Winters on October 15, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I really enjoy experiencing individuals expressing their ideas! Wes Funderburk’s absurd funniness; Stafford Hunter’s haute couture and panache; Trombone Shorty’s over-the-top, rock-star-esque quality; Wynton with the aplomb quality of a musicologist and PhD. I must be thinking of theatrical qualities. I say all this with deep respect since I have no idea how they see themselves.
    Most likely marketing’s association principle is at work. Wes in is outrageous as he feigns chaos or shock. In one photo he holds his horn to the side so that he can take a serious call to a banana with his left hand.
    Stafford always seems thousands of miles from home; impossibly dashing with his tux and his upstream angle, his speckled bell, and rimmed in blue light.
    Wynton gazes off, don’t you suppose, and then articulates complex thoughts about jazz history and life.
    Trombone shorty is flat out mythical– “the mythical trickster;” the idea that he played from birth, his 24k gold horn, his B.A.C. horn, the ocean of people as he outstretches his arms.
    I hope my thoughts helped a little.
    Music still has its spell 🙂 the Mojo!

  2. Jim Winters on October 15, 2015 at 10:26 am

    And of course Wynton was included for his great persona and branding, yet admittedly he is not a trombonist. 🙂 His brother Delfeayo is.

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