Here's an idea for your stage show or next music video that will get you some attention...
New movie coming out June 7...
It has absolutely nothing to do with the music business, but one of the ways they're promoting it will help you double your show attendance...
Yesterday, I was at the self-checkout at Kroger. It usually prints out coupons for food it thinks you'll like, but instead, it printed this...
Like you and your music, the biggest issue new movies face is that nobody knows about them. Sure, the trailer above is online, and it's available to anybody, but if you don't know it exists, it might as well not.
The BOGO (Buy One, Get One) offer above, which you can modify and use for your live gigs, works because of this:
Almost nobody goes to a show alone.
There is no "one ticket" option here. If somebody wants to take advantage of the freebie, he has to buy a ticket and that means he ends up with two. A single person doesn't need two tickets to the same show, so he's very likely to start talking to his friends about attending the event with him.
This starts a discussion.
"Oh, you don't know about this movie? Check this trailer online, because it's hilarious..."
If you do a promotion like this for your band, the conversation will be more like:
"Oh, you don't know about this band? They are awesome! Here's a link to some music..."
What's that worth? Much more than the price of the free ticket you're giving away.
What is the price of a ticket anyway? For club shows, it's almost nothing, because club shows have a fixed cost. You can play to 100 people for about the same price as you can play to 50, so why not bring in as many people as possible?
The longtern payoff is much better than the shortterm of doubling attendance at a show though. You now are right in the middle of a shared experience between friends. If they have a good time on the initial outing, they'll be likely to repeat it -- and buy your music as well as other things you're selling, so they can take the experience with them.
Want more ideas like this? Read my book Six-Figure Musician - How to Sell More Music, Get More People to Your Shows, and Make More Money in the Music Business.
I read some statistics over the weekend about creativity and how it is affected by age. During the related study, it was found that 5-year-olds had original answers to questions 90% of the time, while 45-year-olds had original answers only 5% of the time.
Somewhere during our lives, most of us lose our creativity.
You'd think in the music business, because it's (apparently) built on creativity, things would be different.
This is especially obvious when you listen to music or see how it's promoted. The majority of what you see, both on the creative and business sides of the music industry, is copied. In some cases, it's downright plagiarized.
I get it -- especially when it comes to songwriting or the way songs are performed. It can be an uphill battle to get people to listen to (and buy) something that is too different from everything else they've been exposed to.
But music marketing is different. Certainly, there are tried and true ways or getting the word out about what you're doing, but bending the rules (not breaking them) can give you the extra momentum needed to take your marketing and promotion from good to great.
Garcia Goodbye is a Belgian pop group. They took a simple technique, that at one time was very common for children's science experiments, and put a new twist on it.
Is this a great way to launch a single? Not directly maybe, but it's a creative way to get attention.
See Toronto Musician Hijacks Starbucks "Pick Of The Week" for a similar story of a guy who took a very basic idea and made a great video to make it even more powerful.
Things like this are all around you, but they're so simple, you're probably missing them.
Is "creativity" coming up with original answers? Sure. It also involves asking the right questions though.
As you're going through your day, ask yourself, "Is this something I can use to promote music?"
You'll be amazed at what you can do to get attention for your creative endeavors...
What would happen if Jesus, instead of turning water into wine, healing lepers, or performing exorcisms, was in a band? How would he market himself?
I don't know.
What I do know is we can learn a lot from the way Jesus and Christianity has been marketed. Here are three lessons you can use to market your music...
Jesus had 12 apostles who were willing to put it on the line for him. This is worth more than thousands of people who "kind of" like you, which is what most musicians have.
What you really want, and what you should be focusing on, are the core superfans who will not only buy everything you put out and come to every show you play, but also tell all their friends (and strangers they meet) about you.
How can you encourage this? Keep reading...
When you're selling something, it's not the time to be timid. You don't have to be overly aggressive, but you also don't want to come across like, "Well, if it's convenient for you, and it's not raining, and maybe you could think about stopping by for our gig on Friday."
How would an enthusiastic Christian get somebody to church? "If it's convenient" doesn't cut it. It's more like, "Church starts at 10:30 on Sunday morning, but you'll want to get a good seat. I'll pick you up at 9am, so we can be sure to get a pew right in front. I'll bring coffee and donuts."
I'm not saying you need to act like an Amway rep and force something down another's throat, but do be enthusiastic and make it easy (and fun) for people to say yes.
It's tough to compete with enternal life and forgiveness of sin, but your job of getting people on board with what you're doing is a lot easier when you can give them a benefit for signing up.
When it comes to music marketing, for most people, the social experience is more important than the music itself. Always keep this in mind.
But isn't this about the music? Yeah, for you, but you're not most people.
You are not your fans. They like different things than you do.
I know this is depressing for a lot of musicians, but keep in mind that most people at church value playing on the church softball team or eating fried chicken with their friends every Sunday more than entry into Heaven, so you're not the only one dealing with the fact that people want something secondary, instead of the main product you're selling.
The bottom line is, if people are spending money with you, you can keep making music. Focus on those who are there for the "right" reason, but don't neglect those who are just there.
This is an example of a great way to get content for your video, build connections with fans, and spread the word about your music...
Why it works...
The idea is not limited to just dancing. You can do it with any action. Driving, walking, running, playing with dogs, climbing stairs, hammering nails, etc.
Want to know more about Butterfly Boucher? Listen to her interview on Music Business Radio.
Every musician needs to watch what is happening to the Susan G. Koman Foundation. This is exactly what will kill your music career.
To summarize... Koman cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, some people got pissed, Koman reinstated funding to keep those people happy, and now almost everybody is pissed.
Comments the organization's Facebook wall:
"When I heard you dropped Planned Parenthood.....I made a donation to the Koman charity......and today I called visa and had it canceled.....what a fraud organization you are......on the national Susan G Koman website you have women wearing pink t-shirts which read....we celebrate life but then you monitarily support abortion which kills life.....unbelievable!!!!!"
"I applauded you for defunding PP. Now that you have caved in, you are to be pitied for lacking the spine to confront baby killers."
"I will never give this organization a dime! Planned Parenthood is primarily an abortion factory!"
"Do you realize next year all this controversy will return? READ THE PRESS RELEASES. The only thing Komen changed their stance on is the policy to not fund orgs under investigation. They will honor this year which they said from go...next year PP will be "eligible" for a new grant...this is just a back pedal to save a little face...I ain't biting this slimy hook!"
"If I didn't think SGK would change their mind again I would write them a check. Ill just send it straight to planned parenthood."
"Susan Korman-You are spineless and never again will I donate to your cause. You are just as bad as the baby killers of Planned Parenthood!"
You cannot please everybody.
Try to do that, which is what Susan G. Koman is attempting, and you'll end up right where they are. Everybody will be skeptical of you and nobody will be happy.
You're much better off taking a stand, isolating some people, and giving those that are left exactly what they want.
The true power of "social media" was unleashed earlier today when a rumor spread via Twitter and Facebook that Jon Bon Jovi was dead.
Here is how he handled it...
Angry Birds is pretty much everywhere these days. The characters were popular Halloween costumes, there is a board game, there are t-shirts, and the game has been referenced in American television shows such as Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart, and The Simpaons.
The franchise has had over 500,000,000 downloads.
So now what?
Obviously, people are searching for "Angry Birds" in Apple's App Store and elsewhere. And obviously, people love the game... So why not take advantage of the momentum?
That's exactly what Wisconsin-based musician, Mr. Billy, decided to do.
But taking the idea one step further, he recorded everything on an iPhone!
What's your background?
My family has been in the music business for four generations. I started playing and writing at age nine. I spent about 20 years playing and touring with my own bands. In the late 90s, I retired to start a marketing business using the skills I learned from keeping my bands employed and selling CDs and merch.
Why music for kids?
When my son turned five, he took me to show-and-tell, but I didn't know any kids' songs, so I just sang some classic rock songs. To my surprise, his teacher suggested I could do kids music for a living.
So I did some research and found that, at that time, there were a few kids' folk musicians in my area, but no kids' rock singers. So I decided to create a new niche locally and it just took off.
Where did you get the idea for a song about Angry Birds?
When I got the new GarageBand app for my iPhone, I started messing around and it sounded so good that I decided to write a "real" song and put it on iTunes over the weekend.
I've been following the success of bands like Pomplamoose using current pop culture as a marketing tool and realized that my target audience (kids and parents) are really into Angry Birds. I actually wear Angry Birds t-shirts to my gigs!
Angry Birds and iPhone also seemed like a good match and potential headline for press.
Talk more about your writing and recording process...
The song took an hour to write, including researching Angry Birds on the web.
I recorded it on eight tracks using only GarageBand sounds, the sampler (that's my voice doing the bird and pig sounds), and loops. I played guitar into the GarageBand amp models and sang directly into the phone (no mics).
I sent it to my computer, had my son draw some angry birds, drew myself in cartoon form, uploaded the whole thing to CD Baby, and ta-da!
Any advice for musicians breaking into the children's music market?
I just want to say that since shifting from rock to kids rock, I have done just about everything I dreamed of my whole life... I play all originals, I only do covers if I want to, and I play to people that actually come to see me. I'm the center of attention, which is what I've always wanted to be, I've been on TV, I've been on radio, I do interviews, I've won several awards, and I've been flown to shows... You name it.
As far as advice... Kids music is great, but you have to actually like kids, period. Know what they like and what the parents love and try to find a common ground. I was lucky, I never changed my musical style or performance style... Just the words are different and there is no swearing at the show!
I do 200+ gigs a year at libraries, schools, and concert events. I write and record songs specific to each of my markets. In 10 years I have released 15 albums and various singles like Angry Birds.
Make music that people actually want to buy and listen to... stuff they NEED...and you will succeed.
This is a kick ass idea by Starbucks that would be perfect for a band...
Instead of using a cup to activate it, use a CD or an image on your website. And instead of having cartoon characters, use the members of your band.
Need somebody to program your app? Try Elance.