I've been dealing with this realization for quite some time. This is a tough one, especially for someone who isn't naturally outgoing like myself.
The excuses are as numerous as they are easy. "Can't I just play my music?" "They came here for music, I shouldn't have to go around meeting and greeting." "It doesn't matter anyways. If they like my music they'll remember me."
It amounts to wussing out. We know this is what the game is all about. But that doesn't make it any easier.
In last week's post I introduced the concept of the velocity of your fans. Guess what spurred that idea on?
Your music doesn't seek out people's ears. (Although that'd make a sweet music video.) You've got to carry it there. And even then, there's no guarantee people will remember you even if it's amazing music. The world is built around personal connections. Use this truth to spread your music.
Good people skills helps in two ways.
1. Increases the chance that someone who hears you will like and remember you.
Even seemingly trivial things have a profound effect on how people remember things. You want a fan to be able to say 'Oh yeah, I met ______. They're awesome, really cool to talk with. Here, I'll play you a song." This will increase the chance that someone who hears your music will remember it, like you, and (possibly) become a fan.
2. Increases the number of people that will hear you.Surprise! For as good as social networking is for contacting people, they're not nearly as effective as face-to-face contact for building relationships. Don't bother friending random people on Myspace, your time is better spent at a concert for a band similar to yours, talking to everyone in line about your band.
In later posts I'll detail little nuggets of knowledge about what "good people skills" exactly are. It's been a difficult process developing these talents, but they're already paid off a million-fold. Social skills are AMAZING to have.
Yes, it's hard if you're not naturally out schmoozing.
But yes, it will get your band results.