High Profile Gig$
Commentary by Kenny Love
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Gigging musicians can become so caught up in the normal "work" syndrome that, when a highly publicized
and well paying performance opportunity comes along, they become so concerned with the performance aspect that
they completely forget about doing their part to promote it.
And, regardless of how well paying the gig is, they unknowingly and potentially, lose a tremendous amount of peripheral
income in the process. So, allow me to show you how *not* to do so...
The next gig that you have, that is in a fairly decent sized metro area, or is a major event, consider contacting
a popular retail music store in the area, in the interest of adding more income to your opportunity.
You could do an in-store performance, on the day of your main performance, in stores that allow for such and would
welcome it as an attractive added feature to their normal blasť traffic.
And, it would certainly go over well with the record-buying public, not to mention serve as a perfect opportunity
for you to introduce yourself, while selling additional CDs, even before your performance.
10 Steps to Use:
Let's say you are a Kansas City-based act, but have just gotten a gig in St. Louis, which is a few hours away (be
sure the gig is already under contract and is a done deal first).
1. Contact a
retail music store in the St. Louis area, starting with the chains. If chains are not receptive, move on to smaller
independent stores that are likely to be interested.
2. In a large
metro area, try to choose a store that is centrally located (usually in the downtown area) that will allow for
equal access for all potentially interested attendees.
3. Call up the
store manager, informing him on the date and time of your main appearance, and requesting to know if you can arrange
a prior in-store performance on the same day (an hour-long performance or so, should be good enough).
If you manage to secure a store gig, don't drag in the same amount of equipment that you normally require on stage
but, otherwise, use the 'bare bones' amount that you need, in the interest of the store's smaller space and acoustics.
4. Also, inform
the manager that this will be a no-cost performance to both the store and its customers. Offering a freebie will
dramatically increase your chances of a store performance, as well as allow the manager to promote a FREE performance
to his customers. And, as human nature readily subscribes to "free," you will naturally draw a larger
5. Give the
manager your web site (which, hopefully, you have your music in "streaming" format, and not in MP3 time-wasting
downloads) so that he can listen and review your material in advance.
6. Also, offer
to send out a press kit, in the interest of product credibility, and so that he can see that you are a "real"
artist, with a commercially released recording, and not simply an artist with only music files, and no actual product
(hopefully, you also have a bar code on your CD).
7. Also, offer
to send fliers that are customized for the store performance, which include the store's name, address, telephone
number, date/time of performance, your own web site address, small versions of both your CD cover and photo, and
any additional information that might be important.
The fliers should be simple 1-page 8-1/2 X 11 hand-outs for the store's customers. Consider sending a couple hundred,
or whatever amount the store manager desires. You should be able to easily design these on your PC, then have a
master copy duplicated at a copy shop if you do not also have a color printer.
The good thing about the flyer promotion, is that you don't now need to rely solely on the store to promote your
appearance, and it will also eliminate any additional work on store personnel, as customers can simply pick up
a flyer from the counter on their way out.
Also, be sure to plug the event where you are playing at the bottom of the flyer (as long as it is a public function
and *not* a private one). As people are busy, or tend to forget, doing so will give them two opportunities to
see you perform.
8. Also, ask
the manager if he will consider making your music available for sale while you are performing, in exchange for
a commission or percentage of each sale.
Most likely, the manager will have no problem in doing so and, your resulting performance, audience reaction and
sales, might also lead to the store desiring to carry your music on a regular basis.
As well, and if you can afford it, have a counter display made of your act's photo (usually, these are 1-2 feet
cardboard cut-outs that outline your photo silhouette), and that can be placed on the store's counter as you perform.
This display will allow your audience to make the "visual" connection, particularly, in large music stores.
All in all, the absolute best reasons to already have a bar code.
9. On the chance
that the manager will, indeed, be interested in carrying your music, be prepared and ready to do business by having
your own consignment form with you.
There is a possible chance (depending on the store) that it will carry its own consignment form. But, whether
it does or not, having your own form will present you as business oriented.
10. If time
and the event permits and, again, if the function is open to the general public, and is not a private one, consider
contacting television stations, radio stations and press publications in the gig area, in the interest of having
them either review your in-store appearance, event performance, or both for local news coverage that will further
serve to help you sell even more music, and for a longer period of time in each of such gig areas.
Kenny Love has
an extensive background in both the Music and Writing industries. Learn about the new services that he is providing
to unsigned and independent recording artists in response to today's shaken and fractionalized Music industry by
sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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