What's My Sales Pitch for Booking?

**As featured in Indie on the Move's Touring Tips section.

 

When communicating with a booker, be as concise and informative as possible. Remember, he probably receives A LOT of emails every day, so the last thing he wants to read is a long-winded message. Try to keep it to 4-5 sentences while still hitting on all your main selling points...

Guidance - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"DON'T DEPEND ON THIRD PARTIES - Being an artist is doing it your way. Now you no longer need a label, gatekeepers are not as powerful as they once were, so why are you playing to them? Of course it's more difficult going your own way, but that's the paradigm of the future. He who plays by the rules gets left behind..."

Pretty Lights Talks About Legal Issues With Sampling

 

Using samples in music poses a problem for young producers unaware of the legalities and obligations that go along with it. In this clip, electronic producer Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith, discusses the ramifications of using unlicensed music in a track, what he did to fix the problem, and the potential pitfalls if a producer is not careful.

You Don't Find A Manager, A Manager Finds You

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 500+ shows under his belt, as featured in his blog "Ari's Take". 

 

"A manager's biggest asset is not being you. A manager talking his band up will get a much better response than the singer talking his band up. Even if the manager is the lead singer's brother (Imagine Dragons)...You need to be kicking ass on your own BEFORE any manager will want to represent you."

Alex Da Kid Talks Mentors, Influences, and Keys to Success

 

From Imagine Dragons to Eminem and Rihanna, Alex Da Kid works with and produces the biggest artists of today's music business. Currently, Alex is flying high thanks to his production on the smash single RadioActive by Imagine Dragons. In addition to producing, Alex recently started his own record label Kid In A Korner in partnership with Interscope. In this clip, Alex talks about who helped him along his career path and why he studies successful people's careers to help him in his own.

WARNING: Only Read If The Venue You’re Playing Sells FOOD.

**Guest post written by Nifty of MusicFullTime.com.

 

"Begin by thinking of yourself as more than just a “hired” musician playing for an evening in a nice (or not so nice) restaurant. Viewing this opportunity as a typical “gig” is actually a 9 to 5 mentality that’s fatal to your income potential. The restaurant has hired you, not for the purpose of doing “you” a favor, nope. The restaurant owner is trying to add value to her customers."

Musings From The Tail

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

Music doesn’t sell in the numbers it once did, but a bigger variety is being consumed. There is so much more to choose from. Everyone is splintering into thousands of little niches. So your best course of action as a creator is to nurture and take care of the core people who are really passionate about what you do...[And]...

 

You have to do everything yourself. And that means booking, teaching lessons, playing shitty gigs for cash, producing, making your own records, working in a music store, etc. etc. You can’t specialize anymore...

Don’t Kill Your Hometown Crowd

**Guest Post by Julian Weisser.

 

"Sure, you could probably play at least one show a week in your hometown, but that’s no good for you because at best you’ll be playing to the same people, and at worst you’ll be playing to no one at all. For the fans it’s just as bad because they’ll hear the same music over and over and it will change from an exciting night that they’ve waited a month for into exactly what they just saw a week ago."

Are We There Yet?

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"Sometimes the artist doesn’t even know if he likes his own work...When Bruce Springsteen heard the test pressing of “Born To Run”, he smashed the record into tiny pieces. Couldn’t stand to listen to it. He thought it was the worst piece of shit he had ever heard...The writer Saul Bellow is quoted as saying, “Works of art are never finished, they are abandoned.”...This is true. So the real question is when do you walk out the door? And if you are in a group, how do you get everyone going in the same direction so you can finish?"

Tunecore Founder Jeff Price Talks About Music Streaming Services

 

The music industry of the new era has benefitted and suffered at the same time from the accessibility of music making technologies. As it stands, there are so many artists looking to break in and be heard that a lot of artists get lost in the mix. Tune in as we talk to Tunecore founder Jeff Price as he weighs in on all of the music streaming services that have become available to the common artist, and what he feels is the best way to be heard!

Radio - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"The major music business, the "new music" business, is built upon radio, it depends upon it....[but] just like music piracy is a dead conversation, just like streaming has eclipsed it, terrestrial radio is dying...however, its replacement has not reared its head yet. Therefore the oldsters say radio is forever. But lousy sales figures of today's mass market records proves this to be wrong...[so] The young acts of today have to depend upon the young entrepreneurs of today to build their careers..."

Getting Started as a Musician and Manager With Blasko

 

Bass player and manager Blasko discusses how he got his start as a musician, from underground hopeful to center stage bass player, and how he transitioned into becoming the manager of the Black Veil Brides.

It Is About Who You Know

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 500+ shows under his belt, as featured in his blog "Ari's Take". 

 

"The most popular "myth" to debunk these days by talking heads in the biz is that it's not about who you know. Everyone will say "just be great - you don't need connections!" Bull...Most of the opportunities that musicians get aren't because they are undeniably great. It is because they are nice guys and gals who people like to be around."

Get Your Merch Printed For Less

 

Booking fees and ticket sales only represent a portion of a performer's income for everyone from the independent artist to the big name band selling out huge venues. As a result, it is essential to take advantage of any opportunity to bring in extra cash via merchandise sales for CD's, T-shirts, and the like. But how can you create an inventory of merchandise without breaking the bank? Here are a few places you might be able to score some great deals...

The Tools of Music Fan Engagement [Part 2]: Newsletters

**Guest Post from Bandzoogle.com.

 

"Having an email newsletter might sound a little old school, but the reality is that it’s still proving to be the best way to keep in touch with your fans over the long term. So when it comes to fan engagement, having a newsletter should be high on your priority list of tools to use."

"Song Power" - The Importance of Good Songwriting

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"One of the biggest problems bands have is that most musicians think they can write when they can’t. A great song is oftentimes very easy to play. A lot of great players have an almost elitist attitude about simple songs. It’s a weird aura to have in the studio. I hate it. But I can tell you (cover band musicians take heed), it is a helluva lot harder to write John Fogarty’s “Down On The Corner” than it is to play it...

 

Bands could save themselves so much suffering if they would just admit that they need better songs than they can write. Maybe they need a new member. Or they need to focus on the work of one guy in the group instead of pushing for a lukewarm democratic process..."

Musicians: "What You Need to Know"

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"...That's one thing wrong with the younger generation, they date in groups, they want to be a member of the club, individuality is shunned. But when it comes to lasting art, individuality is key..."

Radio Promo Exec, Dale Connone, Talks Finding Radio Promotion for Indie Artists!

 

Dale Connone has got to be one of the most well-traveled radio promoters in the business today. If you can think of a record label, he's probably worked there. But, after putting in more than his due diligence, Dale decided to split off to do his own thing. He wanted to build a radio promotion department that record labels have and make it into an actual independently run company. So he did just that with in2une Music, which has brought him such success that he still pretty much does radio promo for all the labels (if you take a look at his clients). One of our members, I am Demure, called in to ask Dale about radio promotion for indie artists, and he gives his thoughts on how to find the right promoters and what to look for here!

The Reason Most Artists Aren't Making Money in the Business...The Answer May Surprise You

**Guest post written by Nifty of MusicFullTime.com.

 

"What many struggling artists fail to realize is that “successful” musicians operate with solid business principles. Successful business models – for the most part – can be applied across different businesses and areas of life. The primary business principle I’m talking about is “putting your customer first”; in this case, your “customers” are your fans. Fall in love with your fans and stop falling in love with your own music..."

Musician: The Last Great Classless Occupation

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"To be a successful musician, you don’t have to go to private school and you don’t have to go to medical school. Hell, you don’t have to go to school at all. If you can connect with an audience, you are in. It doesn’t matter if you went to Berklee College of Music like John Mayer or if you were a high school dropout like Dave Grohl. All that matters is when your boots hit the boards of that stage, people sing along. Or when the needle hits the vinyl people listen...That kind of thing just doesn’t happen in other occupations."

Grassroots Promotion - How Your Biggest Fans Can Help Promote Your Tour

 

Word of mouth is as important today as it has ever been, plus now it’s got the engine of online social media behind it. People are more connected than ever and music fans, as you know, love to spread the word about their favorite music and bands. Fans also enjoy being a part of the discovery process and the more you enable them, the more effective their promotions can be. After you win them over with your awesome music, it is key to engage your fans regularly and show them that you really appreciate their support.

Scheduling the Line-Up for a Festival with Charles Attal

 

To gain real traction as an artist in today's music industry, you need to get on the bill of some of the major music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, SXSW, Warped Tour, Austin City Limits, and Electric Daisy Carnival. Getting on the bill takes some chops. It may take awhile as you build up your touring, but a key factor of getting on a festival is knowing when the promoters are doing their scheduling. Our Music Mentor Contest winner, Andrew Jones, called in to ask Charles Attal, Partner of C3 Presents, how he goes about scheduling the line-up for his festivals. Charles explains how C3 Presents approaches their scheduling and what kind of team is in place to handle determining the line-up!

Constant Creation - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"We live in a direct to consumer society. Amazon knows it. Google knows it. Apple knows it. But somehow musicians don't know it. They want someone else to do the work for them. They don't want to take risks, they don't want to fail, they don't want to try new ways. The new way is you bond to your fan. If he or she doesn't think you're living in their house, you're doing it wrong."

Step #2 to Building a Marketing Plan: Get Your Music Right with Jack Hedges

 

So you've outlined your marketing plan like in step #1, and you know what areas of promotion you want to focus on. That work begins in this step with the music. If you don't get that right out of the gate, you are toast. No marketing plan can save a record, if no one wants to hear the music. Jack Hedges, Director of Marketing at Canvasback Music, goes over step-by-step what you need to do in this phase. Of course, you have the elements of physically making the record, but then there are other considerations to be made. Do you want to make mechanical reproductions like vinyl or CDs? Is it going to be a digital/streaming release? Is it smarter to go with an EP or a full album? Jack walks you through all these things and more in step #2 to Building your Marketing Plan for your Album Release!

Small Batch Vinyl Pressing

 

Although vinyl represents only about 2% of total U.S. album sales, the growth in vinyl over the last few years has been dramatic. According to Nielsen SoundScan reports, vinyl LP sales rose 17.7% in 2012 compared to 2011, representing a continuing upward trend in the sales of vinyl albums since 2007. The most popular vinyl LPs are split between newer acts and classic albums, like the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Some of the vinyl chart toppers in 2012 came from acts including Jack White, Black Keys, Adele, Mumford & Sons, the Shins, Beach House, Alabama Shakes, and Bon Iver. So where can you get your own album pressed to vinyl?