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May, 2008

"Performing: The Reality Part 2"

by Webmaster

You worked a club date: you loaded up the equipment, drove to the club, unloaded, set up equipment, did a sound check, ran through a couple of tunes to warm up, greeted the people who came in, did your 3 or 4 sets, worked the crowd till the last person left, tore down the sound system, loaded the car, drove home and unloaded the car.

You're done working.

No, you're still not done.

You can still work on building your fan base. You want to attract new fans.

There are ways to get publicity for your gigs in local papers and on various music-based web sites and community calendars. Find out what's available in your area and what it takes to get into those papers and onto those web-based calendars. Then follow up on the information for every one of your gigs.

  • Use Google to find out what papers and community calendars are in the area where you will be playing.
  • Use the web site for each paper to find out how to submit information to publicize your event
  • Follow their directions. If they say some information is required, give them the information they want.
  • Give them the info in a timely manner: even on-line sites have deadlines. Respect those deadlines and comply with them.

Don't count on the clubs to provide you with a full-house of potential new fans. The clubs are counting on you to bring them new customers to cover the money they spend hiring your to play music.

Once you have a fan-base, you've got to keep in touch with them to keep them coming back to your gigs.

The easiest way is to have an email list. So, you have to get email information from your fans at your gigs. And then, you have to add that info into your emails list. And, you have to actually send out emails to your fans and tell them where you'll be performing and how much you'd like to see them again.

  • Keep your email "newsletters" newsy and friendly. Tell your fans something about yourself and your life.
  • Also, keep it reasonably brief—respect their time the way you'd like people to respect your time.
  • Give them as much info as you can about the gig: where it is (venue name, address, city, state), when it is (day and time), a way to get more info (phone number, web site) and any other details that make the location or event special.
  • Send enough gigs at a time so that you don't wind up spamming your friends and fans. See bullet 2 about "respect." Once or twice / month is probably okay. Twice or more per week is probably annoying.

Another good way to keep in touch with your fans is by having a web site that's easy to use. Make it easy for vistors to find what they want.

  • Have an updated calendar that loads quickly and has correct info on it.
  • Have small music clips that download easily.
  • Have a way to contact you that actually works. Lately, ISP have been installing software to filter out spam. Anti-spam coding on a web page may include a hidden forwarded address. The ISP's have been assuming any forwarded email is spam and may be deleting your web site email without your consent or knowledge. Check your contact from your web page periodically. Keep it working.
  • Include fun photos from your latest gigs, as well as any other great publicity that you may have gotten.
  • Think about your web site as if you were a fan, a visitor. Make your fans feel welcome to your web site, too.

So, what's your job is when you finish building your band and your repetoire? It's to promote your gigs and build your fan-base: make connections with people and make them want to come back to see you again. Make it easy for them to come back to see you again. And, make them glad that they came back to see you again.

And, remember to take advantage of publicity opportunities to promote your events to people who just might be interested in coming to hear you for the first time. See next month's column for more information about that.

Thanks for visiting AcousticByLines.com!

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