Once the happiness of booking an upcoming show fades, reality begins to
creep into your thoughts. How many people will be there? How do you get
new people to the next show? Will it be the same old people who always
come? How do you get the media to come or write about the show? How do
you sell more CDs at this show?
Sorry. I know these are the issues that always come up and the list
could go on and on. However, the way you promote your next show can tell
you a lot about you, your band members or the people supporting or
working with you!
For example, I have been preaching for the last 20 years to first give
out sample tapes or cassettes, until they died out and then sample CDs.
One of the constant issues that artists call me about is the following.
They will say, "I have been following the strategies in Tim Sweeney's
"Guide To Successfully Playing Live" and seeing some good results but I
want my music, shows and CD sales to get bigger."
The first thing I will ask them to do is describe how and where they are
handing out their sample CDs (as well as what's on the disc. Very
important). Usually I hear pretty much the same story including the main
problem they are not recognizing.
They will identify which places in their target markets they are going,
how many samplers they gave out and then start to talk about how they
are the only one in their group doing it or how they have a tough time
talking to new people.
This is the critical point that will show you how successful you will be
at getting more people to your shows and selling more CDs.
If you are in a group of 4 people and you are the only one handing out
CD samplers, it says a lot about the commitment and interest of the
other band members. What are they doing to get new fans? If one of them
wants to focus on getting media attention for the show, that's fine,
they still need to hit the streets! Their lack of interest in finding
new fans can be and usually is a sign of someone who doesn't want the
project to grow any further. Ironically they always seem to be the ones
to complain about CD sales when they don't get off the stage and try to
sell any. They insist they have to break down their gear, which
ironically they could pay someone to do out of the CD sales they could
generate in a few minutes after the last song. After all, you are
playing shows to sell more CDs.
The big question to ask yourself is, are you doing the same thing?
Are finding reasons not to meet new people and get them to come to your
shows? Just emailing your mailing list of people who aren't going to
come except for the same 25-50 family and friends who already own your
Do you avoid going right into the crowd after the last song to sell CDs?
Is it more important to break down your gear than to make more money?
Human nature can limit you or stop you from moving forward. Your initial
challenge to yourself, your band members and those working with you is
to push forward and stop listening to the little self doubting voice in
your head that keeps you from trying anything new. Step past your doubts
to show people who you are as an artist and talk with them about what
you are trying to communicate.
Where do you learn this new philosophy? In your living room listening to
a copy of Tim Sweeney's
"Guide To Successfully Playing Live". Contact me
Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."
Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".
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