That’s The Way To Do It

Wilful Missing's calling card - front and back views
See the full tracklisting for this week’s Introducing Mixtape on my BBC blog.

After giving a keynote talk at Unconference in Leeds the other week – as part of the Live At Leeds festival – a number of musicians came and said hello to me afterwards. Many of them had demo CDs but almost all were nonplussed by the question “where can I hear your music online and how can I contact you”.  Most of them had to borrow a pen and write the information by hand on the back of my lecture notes.

Wilful Missing however handed me a small, attractive card printed with their name, logo, website, email, Twitter and Facebook details. Within minutes I was listening to their music on my iPhone, which proved to be every bit as strong as their marketing skills. They’ve released two EPs (2009‘s Vast Atlantic, and 2010‘s Loose Ends) and I’ve included my favourite song The Waltz from their debut album MOLEHILLS OUT OF MOUNTAINS on this week’s BBC Introducing Mixtape.

Getting these calling cards designed and printed is such a brilliantly obvious idea. You never know when you’re going to meet a useful contact or colleague – or just someone you like and want to impress. Every member of the band can slip a few cards in their wallet and carry them everywhere they go.  Why don’t more artists do this?

You tell me.

 

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...

5 Comments

  1. Thanks, Tom. I’ve always been keen to make it as easy as possible for people to connect with Wilful Missing – and by ‘connect’ I mean, listen to our music, to find out more about us, and or to get in touch. That’s why I was quite insistent that we should have these cards made, and carry them around with us. More artists (in fact *all* artists) should, as you say, do the same thing.

    We are lucky in that our drummer, Ruth, is also a talented and imaginative artist, and it is down to her that our cards look rather pretty too.

    Many of the things you said in your keynote talk at the Unconference echoed my own thoughts about being a musician in the 21st century. This is a fantastic time to be making music, but it’s no good simply making the music and thinking the work is done. Artists need to make the most of the internet and the opportunities it offers. Part of this means having a functional website that contains all the important information, so that people like yourself, who want to find out who is making the music can do so with ease.

  2. Tom

    Nice one Albert. Actually your example is a timely nudge to get my own business cards redesigned and reprinted. Where did you get yours done, what size are they and how much did they cost? The card feels semi-glossy and pretty high quality….

    Also *rueful grin* what is that barcode thing, what does it do, and how would a luddite like me set about using it?

  3. Adam

    That bar code thing is a QR code. Download a QR reader app to your iPhone and point your iPhone at the QR code.
    There are plenty of online QR code generators – google one. You can mess around with the detail you want in there until you are happy.

  4. Tom

    Cheers for that Adam. For God’s sake don’t tell anyone I had to ask… at last night’s Sonys my NowPlaying show was acclaimed as supposedly the most interactive thing on radio :-(

    *note to self* QR code reader, QR code reader, must remember to get a QR code reader…

  5. Don’t worry, there are lots of people that aren’t yet familiar with QR codes. That particular one on our card would take you straight to our website if you scanned it, to save you having to type it in.

    We’ve also actually got a special QR code in the booklet of our album, and that one takes the listener to a ‘secret’ page of our website where alternative mixes of the album can be downloaded. The rest of Wilful Missing were rather reluctant to allow this to be included in the booklet, as it does somewhat spoil the aesthetics of the artwork. But I persuaded them, saying, “No, listen to me, we really *must* do it! I’s an an innovative idea, and it will create a real buzz!”. So far? Ahem, tumbleweed. Oh well.

    Our cards were made by Awesome Merchandise. It was our Ruth (drummer/artist) who sorted these out for us. Details of the size and cost are on this page of their website:
    http://www.awesomemerchandise.com/business-cards-band-cards-p-17.html

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