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It’s Your Gyrl, Ms. Carmen aka Platinum Voice PR bringing another relevant topic to you!
You must first pick the right Venue. Too often artists do everything they can to book a venue at a club, only to find themselves performing for two men, three women and the barmaid on a Monday night. This is counterproductive. Chances are you will not be invited back to this club to perform a second time.
What do you do if you show up to the venue and there are no customers?
Many artists believe it is the responsibility of the place they perform in to have customers and they should be paid regardless. I think this attitude made Karaoke the biggest threat to live music since the phonograph! I’m just saying!
So it makes sense to build up a following in a more organic way. Look to alternative venues — private parties, college venues, churches, even open-mics — to not only refine your live show, but to begin building a fan base. To this end, it’s essential that you collect information (email and twitter account) from those who attend your shows. It’s often not enough to simply pass around a mailing list. You may want to consider burning a three-song CD to give out to people only if they sign your mailing list. In this way, you’re not only giving them an incentive to sign your mailing list, but more importantly, you’re giving them a tangible souvenir of your venue (encourage them to burn copies for their friends).
Once you’ve played enough of these non-traditional (i.e. non club) venues and have developed a decent mailing list, you can begin thinking about booking a “professional” venue – that is, a venue in a club.
Once you book this venue, your work really begins. You have to not only tell all of those people whose names and emails you’ve collected about the upcoming venue, but you must also try to maximize the venue in other ways. It’s imperative, for instance, that you notify the local media (press and radio) of your upcoming venue, and try to get whatever coverage for the venue you can. This may very well be just a listing in the paper or an announcement on the college radio station, but also being a reminder to those who know your music, it also serves the purpose of putting your (or your group’s) name in front of those in the media. Doing this repeatedly will cause them to take notice and eventually lead to more substantive press and radio coverage.
Of course, you should use the new tools as well. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are effective ways to alert people of your upcoming venues. My only caution regarding these new tools is that you must do the core things (build a following organically, have great songs, etc.) before you will see any sustained long-term benefit from tools like MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/). You must effectively tweet (No Spam) on Twitter and keep your posts fresh on Facebook! Network until you turn blue in the face!
Once you’ve successfully performed at a few club venues, you have to begin timing your venues. Too often artists over-perform to their home market. You really shouldn’t perform your home market more than once a month in the same area (I’d recommend once every three months or so). You have to make every venue an event. If you’re performing every weekend, it can’t be too eventful. What should you be doing during the time between home-town venues? Get out and perform in other cities of course. Repeat what you’ve done in your home town in the cities within driving distance to you. One way to accelerate this is to find an artist who is in a similar career place and musical style as you are, and trade opening slots. That is, if you can draw 150 people in your home town, and there’s an artist a town over who is stylistically like you and can also draw 150 people, you go open for him in his town, and let him open for you in your home town (Again, Network, Network, Network) In this way, you can speed the process of developing a following or fan base in nearby towns. Keep doing this, in ever-expanding circles away from your home base, and pretty soon you’ll be trending in the right direction.
I’ll leave you with the one fail-safe way to get more people to your venue: make an emotional connection with them when you perform. Build a relationship with other artists as well. If you do this, and follow the other guidelines I’ve listed above, you’ll build a real and committed fan base.
You never know where I may be bringing you the events of Chicago, so make sure you follow this blog and Follow me on Twitter, @PlatinumVoicePR! If you need your name and craft to buzz out here, go to http://www.platinumvoicepr.com. Until next time, See ya later Babies!
(PlatinumVoicePR is the source for the events and has no legal bindings with associated parties)
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