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Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

How to get people to come to shows

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Tim Sweeney, one of the music industry’s most sought after experts and consultants, offers this advice….

A few weeks ago a new artist called me and asked how he can get more people to a new venue he wanted to play. The booker told him as the opener he had to bring 25 people. Not an overwhelming number by any stretch. The only problem was he was averaging 5-10 people per show.

I asked him what he had done to promote his previous shows. He sent me copies of his emails or should I say, “show announcements.” He discovered about 2 percent of his mailing list responded to his emails and he wasn’t sure if anyone was ever coming to a show. With that in mind, I told him let’s start with a basic idea, go through your mailing list and make a list of fans you feel you can count on to really support you. He came back with a list of 57 people who lived in the area of the new venue. I told him to start calling each one. For the people he didn’t have phone numbers for, simply email them a note asking them to call him, nothing else.

We talked in great length about what his conversations should be about and also we wrote a new email to go out to the rest of the list. While he first complained about the amount of time it would take to call everyone, I reminded him of the joy of playing to an empty venue.

To make a long story short, 39 people came because of the phone calls and another 16 came from the new email. Then as life goes, he learned some other important lessons that night at the show.

As the “opener” he brought 55. The person who played after him brought 10 and the “headliner” brought 4. Not only did the booker get mad at the other artists, he gave their money to my guy and told him he would pay him double if he played there next month as the headliner! The other artists asked him how he got so many people to come. They said they had sent out emails like they always did and didn’t know why people didn’t come.

The comical ending to the story is that the artist sold 21 CDs to the people including fans of the other artists and even one to the writer from the newspaper who always ignored him. The writer told him he was there to review the headliner but came early because he really liked my guy’s email about the show. Good thing he called all those people and connected with them more personally then an email!

The moral of the story? Most likely you got someone’s email address from talking to them in person. You had a connection with them for them to give it to you. Pick up the phone whenever possible and continue the relationship. You call the bookers to get a show, the press for a story, industry people to see if they reviewed your music, call your fans!

– Tim Sweeney (

DIY takes more time than many think

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Imogen HeapBuilding a successful career in music on your own terms and with your own two hands is a difficult task – the business side and the art of self promotion, may rain on the “rockstar” parade.

Your reaction may be – is it all worth it?

Another successful example of the wonders of social media and the marketing genius behind a talented DIY (Do It Yourself) artist, describes Imogen Heap as she tweeted us through the 2 years leading up to the release of Ellipse. Yes, she has a major record label, and when she began promoting Ellipse she already had a committed fan base – a host of films and TV shows featuring her music.  But with Ellipse Heap has expanded her reach exponentially thanks to her determination.  She refinanced her house to fund recording, and with over 1 million twitter followers, she communicates constantly with her fans. ” I’ve been tweeting about making my new album, Ellipse (out 24th Aug). Now… I guess I’ll be tweeting about how it gets from my studio to your ears.”

Using Twitter to allow her fans a glimpse into the world of a “rockstar” with a few lines of text en route to a Berlin airport, or while preparing for a video shoot –  responding fans RT or reply, just as friends would, and as the relationship grows – so grows the fan base and eventually trickle through revenue.

So, is it all worth it – considering the artist/fan relationship is the “expected” in today’s music marketplace and that relationship also takes a lot of time and energy to maintain – and with every successful relationship, takes time to nurture?  Being ‘all about the music’  is being about your career, and there are many other responsibilities vying for your attention.  Depending how deeply you feel your passion, and what sacrifices you’re willing to surrender in order to manifest a dream into reality – is the hard work, commitment and dedication really worth it – time will tell.  Join as many music networking sites as you possibly can, and build your Twitter profile, and may be the most important in your arsenal of social media tools.

And if you need a hand, don’t forget – There is professional help, that’s what we’re here for!

giving back to the independent community…

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

It now seems that major labels Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music no longer have a firm grip on the artist or the industry, and the old model of doing business their way is a thing of the past.

On the forefront of an ever-changing music industry, is Brian Message, manager of the alternative band Radiohead. Brian Message along with co-founders, Adam Driscoll, chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group, and Terry McBride, founder of the Vancouver-based management firm Nettwerk Music Group and former manager of Barenaked Ladies, have united to form the new business venture, Polyphonic. Polyphonic will look to invest in new and rising unsigned artists and then help them create a sound relationship with their audiences over the Internet. Artists will operate like start-up companies, record their own music, and choose outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring. The Polyphonic founders plan to invest $300,000 in each band. The firm will then guide the musician and manager who will function a little like the band’s chief executive, to services that will help promote the artist’s online presence.

Polyphonic and similar firms are seen as a risky investment by private investors. For the founders of Polyphonic, giving back to the independent community, and mentoring the new artist or band appears to outweigh that risk. Success is all about giving back. Witnessing the dedication and commitment to the independent community by those that go before you is a valuable lesson in filling the gap between artist and label – a practice we should all remember!

Source: New York Times, 2009/07/22

The 10 Commandments of Music 2.0

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

According to there are 10 Commandments of Music 2.0:

The first Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Worship False Prophets – Neither a record deal or auto-tune are your saviors.”

Coming in at a very, very close second “Thou Shalt Worship Only One God – He (or she) is called The Fan.”

Following the first two (which, I might add, should be your daily mantra) are Commandments 5 and 6 respectively – “Thou Shalt Blog – Your flock wants to know what you’re doing, and Thou Shalt Create Profiles – Wherever your flock may go, you must be there.”

Closing out the “Holy Grail” with Commandment 9 “Thou Shalt Share Thy Bounty. Share gigs. Share ideas. Share with your fans.”

And let us not forget the final Commandment 10, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You – You meet the same people on the way down that you did on the way up.” asks for an eleventh Commandment? “Thou shalt Twitter – tweet like you’ve never tweeted before.” Twitter is the ultimate tool in the world today which allows you to reach out and given 140 characters per tweet, you speak to your fans as though they were in the studio with you. Bonding and building your personal relationships creates a loyal fan base. Thus honoring Commandments 1 through 9 – number 10, that’s between you and your conscience.

Because it is daunting to accomplish all these tasks while trying to be creative, Pro Soul works with artists of all genres, helping them develop their music careers in a changing industry to meet the needs of the modern music lover without taking any rights or profits.

$15 for a CD? That’s old school!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

More and more artists are finding new ways to get in touch with their fans.
The first major artists to actually really listen to their fans, and not demand attention from them, was NIN’s Trent Reznor, and Radiohead. These two bands showed the world what is to come in the music industry: connecting with your fans as a way to earn income with music.

Over and over again, you hear industry leaders saying “Connect with your fans, connect with your fans!” and for good reason. Trent Reznor and Radiohead practically gave their most recent CD’s away for free and generated significant income, and now there are many artists doing much the same with success.

Gaining the respect of ones fans is now the only way to go. Who wants to have a fan’s friendship and loyalty for one hit single, or even one CD? What is that worth in the long term? Not much. The more an artists connects with their fans, the more likely a fan is willing to pay for that artist’s music, and support and promote anything the artist does for a long time to come.

Not to say that earning income from what one has created is not important. Downloads and ringtones, donations, as well as earnings from YouTube and imeem can provide some of the income to fuel the new music business. But only by serving fans and adding value to that relationship can music begin to move from pennies to dollars again.
After much effort, many indie artists are now earning a full time income using these techniques. Examples coming in the next post…