on High-Profile Gig$"
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...
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.
Steps to Use:
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).
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.
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.
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). Note: 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.
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 audience.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
related articles, read "How to $tiff-Proof Local Gigs" at
and "How to $tiff-Proof 'Outside' Gigs" at
Note: Kenny Love is extensively involved in the Music industry,
in several capacities. Receive more detailed information on
his Music industry services for musicians with requests to