Tuesday, 24 April 2012

How not to promote yourself on YouTube

On April 5th, I received this message from another YouTube user:
Hey Graham
Any Chance Of Doing A Video Reviewing My Band.
I Am Sure You Will Rip Us Apart And It Would Be A Funny Project To Complete.
If You Wish To Appear In Our Video Let Us Know That Would Rock lol
I wrote back saying "Sorry, but I'm busy with my own videos and don't have the time right now". And they wrote back with this:
Hey Graham
You Know I Always Love Your Channel.
Sure Would Be Fun To Do A Song With You When You Get Chance.
lol Can't Believe You Answered Me.
and that could have been the end of it. They asked; I said Sorry, no. 

Then, a week later:
Hey Graham
Any-chance Of Commenting On This Song.
Post One Of Your Videos On My Songs.
 And a day after that:
Hey Graham
If You Post One Of Your Videos On One Of Mine, I Promise It Will Get Action All Day Long lol.
Plus Of Course This Would Mean That I Know Someone Famous Which Is Not A Bad Thing lol.
I Love You Twitter Video.
And the following week:
Hey Graham
New Song Here, Please Post One Of Your Videos On It.
You Rock
Now, if you make stuff - whether it's music or art or sequences of words or cartoons or whatever - it's natural to want to get that stuff out to as many people as possible. And if you find someone who does stuff that you like, you probably want them to like your stuff too. And if they have a bigger audience than you, you'd probably like them to share your stuff with their audience, or even work with you on your stuff. 

Nothing at all wrong with any of that, and it does no harm to get in touch with the people you like and ask.

What I don't know is if the approach illustrated above works. I don't know because I've never tried it. On the occasions I've written to More Famous People asking them if they'd collaborate, and they've said "Sorry but No", I've thanked them and left it there. 

But who knows, maybe if I'd pushed it they would have changed their mind and said "Hey you know what, I'm not so busy after all and I will make it my mission to help you achieve the recognition you crave." Maybe I'm not tenacious enough. 

And maybe I was being a total dick when after receiving this message, yesterday...
Hey Graham
I Know Your Channel Rocks.
However I Can Make It Rock More. Box Me And I Will Box You Back. Show Some Love Bud.
Post One Of Your Videos On My Songs, PLEASE
You Rock

...I wrote back saying something like "Come on, this is getting a bit spammy now." 

Because that reply got me this:
Spam Is What You Put On A Sandwich lol
I Thought You Knew That Graham.
Ok I Be On My Way, Won't Bother You Again.
You Talk About Being Polite, You Have Never Stopped By Any Of My Songs And Left A Comment. I Guess Your No Different From The People On Your Twitter Video.
So Lets Just Ignore Each Other In Real Time.
Thank You Graham You Have Restored My Faith In People.
Have A Great Weekend.
So, I don't know. Am I obliged to watch every video I'm invited to watch? If someone demands that I comment on their work, do I have to comply with that demand? Is that how things work now?

Or is this just Not The Way To Do It?


This just in (a response to a mail I sent asking the questions directly above):
lol Graham
No Wonder People Want To Break Your Legs.
It Called Being POLITE, Every Sub On My Channel I Support,
If You Want To Take That Approach It Don't Surprise Me.
Tell You The Truth I Am So Glad You Sent This Mail, It Tells Me All I Need To Know About You.
I Have Always Supported Your Channel.
This Is How You Treat People.
Really How Hard Would It Of Been, Just To Be Nice.
You Are No Different From Any Other Semi Famous Person.
I Hope I Don't End Up Like You Bud.
My Music Might Suck, But At Least I Can Write And Play Music.
I Really Enjoyed Your Mail
I Guess Its Easy To Stamp On People Like Me, When Your People Like You.
May Good Fortune Smile On You Always


Margotka said...

People who beg for comments like that usually produce nothing worthwhile, so my guess is you're not missing out :)

Jeremiah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremiah said...

Oh, wow.

I felt bad a few months ago when I flat-out ignored a fan's request to promote their channel, but I couldn't help but remember a comment they'd left years ago that stuck in my craw. I don't know why, but YouTube comments are the one area of my existence where I hold grudges...

But you took the time to politely respond to his request and he completely turned it around. Maybe this works on his parents or something.

Andrew Bossom said...

This is why I usually don't bother even responding to messages like this. I'm not even remotely famous and I get weird requests to do stuff; usually, solve people's problems (one guy wants a Skype session with me across an ocean and about seven time zones so I can fix his problem with a buggy playlist). It feels heartless at first, but it's quite simply not worth the mental torture.

I think what I've learnt is this: The minute you give certain people the slightest cause to think that you're paying them attention, they think they've struck up some kind of relationship with you. When you break off that relationship (the one that existed only as a figment of their fevered imagination), they react as if you'd just broken a promise.

Now all I've got to do is to work out why I am currently being spammed with invitations to pilates conferences in South America.

Mike Booth said...

It's always a risk, Andrew. I try to reply to most personal messages if they ask a question (unless the sender is proselytising or insulting), because it seems the decent thing to do. But you're right, there are LOTS of strange people out there who will then think you're suddenly their best friend.

Furtheron said...

Odd all round... all mails are addressed to Graham, who is the fictional character not Mike the artistic creator... so is this guy in the fictional part of your life or the reality. I say this as someone who recently commented on a blog that is written by a fictional character and as soon as I'd hit "Publish" thought - "hang on where is this in the reality scheme of things?"

Having said all of that - I am a singer/songwriter who is very poorly promoting himself at the moment... maybe this guys guerrilla tactics are the way forward...

Anonymous said...

It's all that LOLing he's been doing. Hard to think straight when you're in a semi-recumbent position.

Mike Booth said...

Another good point, Furtheron. When asking for favours from people it's often good form to do a teensy bit of research into the person you're intending to pester. Like, for instance, finding out what their name is.

eddy said...

people get on the internet and they think if they could build a network they would get famous but they forget the only thing that gets people to watch your video or read your blog is good original creative content.
i would suggest not being so polite and just ignoring such shameless self promotions.
P.S visit my blog here...... just kidding!!!

Charlie Swan Pullin said...

His Way Of Typing Like This Really Annoyed Me.
This is how you do it!
You could report his last message to the authorities mentioning breaking your legs.

Unknown said...

Hmmm, I'm torn on this one. His messages were all kind of clever and overall well put together. I don't know what his actual content is like, but if he puts the same amount of thought into that as he does into his PR then maybe he is actually decent. Can't really know for sure tho. I can say that his messages made me curious, even tho they did take a turn for the sour at the end. then again that is fitting the GreyBloke humor.
He might have even known exactly what he was doing when he sent that to Grahm and not Mike

Sam Pryce said...

Why does he capitalise every word in his sentences? That's rather annoying. Could you ask him why he does that?

Artistic Monster said...

Yikes. People suck -this is a known fact. Next time don't even bother to politely say 'no'... just ignore.

The badgering emails was one thing but his use of "lol" was irritating. I imagine a crazed man with an appetite for flesh and a nervous winded laugh. I hope this psycho has left you alone.

Edwin S Anthony said...

I think we might have to blame the 'fans' out there who most times make it clear that if you aren't famous or supported by someone famous, then you aren't worthy. People have generally lost their tendency to discern outside of the directives of 'celebs'.

For myself, I seek to do what I do and it matters not what any celeb says. Their approval, these days, generally means that I've conformed to their standard of 'good'. Personally, I know that there is more to art than meets the eye of most fame and profit-driven celebs of these days.

The journey continues.